The regular meeting of the Lowden City Council was called to order by Mayor Reuben Wenndt. Councilmembers presented on roll call: Conrad, Gottschalk, Hamdorf, Decker, Kroemer. Visitors: Pat Kroemer, Gene Hamdorf, Barb McCreight, Jan Olsen, Bill Norton, Jason Miller, Jim Holz.

M/S Conrad, Gottschalk to approve the minutes of the 3/1/04 meeting. Ayes: All.

M/S Hamdorf, Kroemer to approve payment of the bills as presented. Ayes: All.

Jan Olsen and Barb McCreight representing the Lowden Tree Committee, reported the City had received a $750 grant from Trees Forever. They said trees will be planted in various locations throughout the town. They also asked about a windbreak west of Lowden Memorial Park where a fence will be torn out between the Park and the Jeff Licht property. Council stated once the area is cleared out, they would consider a windbreak for next year. At the May council meeting, Council will decide about donating to the tree project.

Olsen and McCreight, LEDCO representatives, also related to the council there are many junk cars in Lowden, as well as bad sidewalks, tractors in yards, etc. They would like to see Lowden cleaned up. Mayor Wenndt said he would make a list of nuisances in Lowden and the City would address the problem areas. Maintenance men will make a list of sidewalks needing repairs.

Mayor Wenndt will also speak to Kirk Hein about the old Rex Feed building. Pieces are blowing off into people’s yards and nails have gotten into car tires. Council will advise Hein to have the building down to “where it’s not a problem”within 90 days.

Two bids were received for Lowden Memorial Park mowing. Tim and Matt Drewelow bid $2230, and Allen Hamdorf bid $1985. M/S Kroemer, Decker to accept the low bid of $1985 from Allen Hamdorf. Ayes: Kroemer, Decker, Gottschalk. Nays: Hamdorf, Conrad.

Council and other City personnel will be conducting a door-to-door income survey that is needed to apply for a Community Development Block Grant for water system improvements. The survey is strictly confidential and will be completed by April 23.

Estimates were received to dig out the ditch east of the Fast Stop to allow for proper culvert drainage in that area. Bids were as follows: JJJ Enterprises: $575.50, Dan’s Excavating: $1400.00, and Eastern IA Drainage Svcs: $800.00. M/S Conrad, Kroemer to accept the low bid of $575.50 from JJJ Enterprises. Ayes: All.

Councilman Gottschalk will check with Kemmann’s for a used or new 3/4 T. truck for the City to replace the red recycling truck currently being used and report back at the May meeting.

Bill Norton, Little Home Day Care Center, was present to request additional financial support for the the day care center. The City contributed $600 to Little Home Day Care in September, 2003. After discussion, M/S Hamdorf, Conrad to donated $1200 to Little Home Day Care Center. Ayes: Conrad, Gottschalk, Hamdorf, Decker. Nays: Kroemer.

M/S Gottschalk, Decker to have Jim Leeper enlarge the door area and install a new overhead door at the town shed. Ayes: Gottschalk, Decker, Hamdorf, Kroemer. Nays: Conrad.

Councilperson Decker reported on the “Friends of the Animals”organization from Tipton. She will obtain additional information for the May meeting regarding contract costs.

Council discussed pets at Lowden Memorial Park and stressed all pet waste should be picked up by the pet owners.

Morris Beatty, Wilton, submitted an estimate of $800 to remove a large tree and stump directly west of City Hall. An estimate was requested from Beatty when it was determined the tree was splitting during high winds. M/S Conrad, Decker to have Clerk get several other estimates for removing the tree and accept the low estimate and have the tree removed. Ayes: All. Council asked Olsen and McCreight of the Lowden Garden Club to get a price of a large new tree to replace the one taken down. Council will also discuss this at the May meeting.

Gene Hamdorf will contact property owners along south Hall Avenue about installing curb and gutter. The City would pay one-half of the costs and this would finish the whole block from Main St. to 1st St. with curb gutter.

Council discussed summer street work. L.L. Pelling quoted $.89 for single seal and $1.78 for base repair and second seal. MSI quoted $.94 for single seal and $1.53 for base repair and second seal. The subject will be placed on the May agenda.

Councilman Hamdorf will speak to Mike Blake and tell him he has 30 days to install the sidewalk at Blake Apartments.

Mayor Wenndt reported the Lowden Cemetery Board is considering using some of the Albert Licht Estate funds for a portion of new sidewalk to the Lowden Cemetery.

M/S Kroemer, Hamdorf to set May 3, 2004, 7:00 PM as the Public Hearing date for the FY04 budget amendment. Ayes: All.

Council will discuss building specifications at the May council meeting. Gene Hamdorf will have information for the council regarding building heights for garages.

M/S Decker, Hamdorf to order street address signs and poles from BARCO at an estimated cost of $1638.30. Ayes: All.

Gene Hamdorf reported the yellow dump truck needs a new plow. A price for a new plow installed is $7275. Councilman Hamdorf will check where Cedar County purchases plows for County trucks.

Jim Holz and Jason Miller, MSA, were present to offer any advice needed on completing the income survey in Lowden.

M/S Kroemer, Conrad to approve the monthly financial report. Ayes: All.

M/S Kroemer, Hamdorf to approve the following permits: David Holst-garage, Neil Shaull-storage shed/garage, and Kent Strackbein-curb and gutter. Ayes: All.

Clerk reported Sherry Smahaj will be holding a garden party in the City Park on April 24.

Maurer Agency also provided the council with $250, $500, and $1000 deductible limits on property coverage in Lowden. Council took no action on this.

M/S Hamdorf, Conrad to adjourn at 9:40 PM. Ayes: All.

Next regular meeting is May 3, 2004, 7:00 PM.

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