The regular meeting of the Lowden City Council was called to order by Mayor Reuben Wenndt. Council members present on roll call: Conrad, Ryan, Olsen, Madden (Decker seated at 5:35 PM). Visitors: Pat Kroemer, Gene Hamdorf, Joey Wenndt, David Boettcher, Kirk Steinke, Clint Henning, Wes Griesbach, Duane Lasack, Marsha Dewell, Mark Dewell, Victor Young, Louis Licht, Jan Olsen, Rob Fangmann, Dennis Boedeker.

M/S Conrad, Ryan to approve the minutes of the 3/5/07 meeting. Ayes: Conrad, Ryan, Olsen, Madden.

M/S Madden, Olsen to approve payment of the bills as presented. Ayes: Conrad, Ryan, Olsen, Madden.

M/S Olsen, Conrad to seat Decker @ 5:35 PM. Ayes: Conrad, Ryan, Olsen, Madden.

Cedar County Engineer, Rob Fangmann, was present to discuss the schedule for replacing the bridge on 155 St. by the Lowden Cemetery that is within the City limits. Council asked if the project could be delayed until FY2010 so funds would be available in the next two years for the town to do other street projects. Or, if the County wanted to schedule the bridge work in FY2008, could the City pay for the project over a 3-year period. Fangmann said by waiting the cost for materials could increase greatly. Cedar County Supervisor, Dennis Boedeker, was present and agreed if the project was completed in FY2008, the City could make payments to the County over a 3-year period. M/S Conrad, Ryan to do the bridge replacement project in FY2008 at an estimated cost of $45,000 - with the County paying one-half the cost and the City will pay Cedar County-$5000 in FY08, $5000 in FY09, and the balance will be due in FY10. Ayes: All.

M/S Ryan, Madden to hire Stephanie Williams to water the Main Street planters at $20/week. Ayes: All.

M/S Olsen, Decker to donate $100 to the Lowden Tree Project as requested by Jan Olsen, Lowden Tree Committee. Ayes: All.

Louis Licht, Ecolotree, was present to ask permission from the Council for him to speak to the IA Department of Natural Resources about our wastewater discharge system. He uses root systems of trees to treat the liquids from wastewater discharge. M/S Olsen, Decker to allow Louis Licht to speak to the IDNR about Lowden’s wastewater discharge system. Ayes: All.

Mayor Wenndt asked Licht to keep the weeds mowed more frequently where his trees are planted north of 1st Street.

Council discussed the possible installation of sidewalks in east Lowden from Roosevelt Avenue to Country Club Drive or further east to Larre Petersen’s. Mark and Marsha Dewell said sidewalks would help the safety for children on bicycles or walking. Marsha Dewell asked why some homeowners have been exempt from putting in sidewalks. Councilman Conrad said he would not want a sidewalk in front of his house on Old Highway 30. Council agreed there is a safety issue along east Main Street for people walking or biking. Council directed Gene Hamdorf to measure the area for sidewalks and the Street Committee will get costs of installing a sidewalk from Roosevelt Avenue to Country Club Drive and further east to Larre Petersen’s. This may be a project for next year. They also will look into a grant for sidewalks.

Lowden Fire Dept. presented information about a new tanker truck for the department. Joey Wenndt told the council a new truck from Midwest Fire would cost $84765. Conrad thought that is a lot of money for a new one and asked if they could get a good used one. Joey Wenndt said they had done extensive research on new and used vehicles and could not find a suitable used one.
After discussion, M/S Ryan, Decker to have the City pay for one-half of the truck, $42,500 and the Fire Dept. will finance the remaining amount over a 4 to 5 yr. period. Ayes: All. Mayor Wenndt will check interest rates at American Trust and Savings Bank.

Council discussed streets that need surface improvements. An area on Harding Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets is low and water runs on the property of Marilyn Lafrenz. Council agreed curb and gutter would be a solution in that area. Street Committee will work up a plan for installing curb and gutter on various streets in Lowden. Olsen will speak to Marilyn Lafrenz about the drainage problem.

At the direction of the City Council, Clerk will add a bill for salting sidewalks to the water bill of Miller Apts. on Washington Avenue

Council discussed a proposed fence ordinance. One of the main issues of the ordinance is, a lot would have to be surveyed, at the owner’s expense, before a permit could be issued for a fence. Conrad said he did not agree with the survey requirement. Clerk will obtain a copy of Mt Vernon’s fence ordinance for additional ideas and distribute to the Council before the May meeting. The ordinance will be placed on the May meeting agenda.

M/S Decker, Ryan to accept Julie Hoffmeier’s bid of $1200 for Food Stand Manager at Lowden Memorial Park. Ayes: All. The contract will run from May 1 to August 5, 2007.

M/S Decker, Ryan to set a Public Hearing date of May 7, 2007, 7:00 PM, for a FY07 budget amendment. Ayes: All.

M/S Decker, Ryan to approve the monthly financial report. Ayes: All.

M/S Ryan, Decker to approve the following building permits: Trinity Lutheran Church-storage shed, and Merlin & Carma Conrad-house. Ayes: All.

Councilman Conrad will check with Jason Conrad about repairing the eavespouts on the north side of City Hall. City Clerk will also contact Triple J gutter from Wheatland about a solution to the eavespouts leaking.

Gene presented a price for a 15”culvert along 1st Street from Roosevelt Avenue to Rex Feed, $8140, which includes five drop boxes and five grates. Council discussed who pays for the culvert. Previously, property owners paid for the culvert and the City installed it. No decision was made on this project.

Council directed maintenance men to fix the tar problem on the street in front of the Post Office.

Councilperson Decker inquired about recycling magazines and catalogs. Gene Hamdorf said, at this time, our recycling system would not accommodate collection of those items.

Council discussed junk on properties. Clerk will continue to send out nuisance abatement notices to offending residents.

Correspondence was read from Alice Lopez objecting to the City charging a minimum charge for no usage throughout the winter season on outside water meters. Gene Hamdorf said the meters have to be read every cycle and the information goes to the Clerk and she has to check for usage. Council said the policy will remain the same. A minimum bill for 1 month for water and tax is $6.42. City Clerk will check into automatic deductions for water bill payments.

M/S Decker, Ryan to adjourn at 7:30 PM. Ayes: All.

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