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, Decker, Madden. Visitors: Jan Olsen, Barb McCreight, Rex McCreight, Gene Hamdorf, David Horman, Jeff Decker, Rob Hunter, Jeff Goettsch, Randy Millam,
Wes Griesbach, Pat Kroemer, Tom Schwarz, Dan Hamdorf.

M/S Conrad, Decker to approve the minutes of the 4/3/06 meeting. Ayes: All.

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

M/S Ryan, Decker to approve payment of the CDBG-Draw #7 bill-ECIA Inv.4031-$749.73. Ayes: All.

Randy Millam was present and asked if the council would be interested in a skateboard park in Lowden. He is a member of the HAF Club and said that club could build the equipment needed for a skate park. He asked what area in the city might be available for a skate park and would the City’s liability insurance cover this activity. He said the project could cost the City nothing. Council directed City Clerk to check with the City’s insurance about liability coverage for a skate park and asked Millam to come back to the June meeting with more information on the size, kind of surface, etc. for the skate park.

Jan Olsen, Lowden Garden Club, asked the council what should be done with the old flower planters on Main Street donated by the 4-H Club years ago, but now being replaced with new planters. Jan stated there had been no interest at an auction recently for selling these types of planters. Mary Goodlove of Goodlove Museum of Collections on Hwy. 30 expressed interest in the planters. Council directed the maintenance men to move the planters to the museum on Hwy. 30.

Council discussed the drainage problem behind Gary Oster’s on Grant Avenue. His garden floods when there is heavy rainfall from tile that runs behind his property. Council felt the only solution to allow for better drainage was to run a storm sewer from Oster’s south to the creek, which, at this time, is not feasible. Mayor Wenndt and councilman Chuck Ryan will look at the area again and speak to Oster to see if a solution to this problem can be reached.

Tom Schwarz, Lowden Sesquicentennial Committee, told the council the Lowden Legion is willing to transfer their liquor license to Lowden Memorial Park on August 6, 2006, for a Sesquicentennial fundraiser and also on August 3, 4, 5, 2007, for Sesquicentennial events. M/S Ryan, Olsen to approve the Lowden Legion’s transfer of their liquor license on August 6, 2006, and August 3, 4, 5, 2007, to Lowden Memorial Park for Sesquicentennial events. Ayes: All.

Council discussed the cracked cement floors in the closed shelters at Lowden Memorial Park. M/S Madden, Conrad to have Jim Rice pour a new cement floor over the existing floor in the south park shelter and fill in the center crack of the north park shelter floor. Ayes: All.

An estimate was received from JJJ Enterprises to clean out four ditches in town and/or install culverts at a cost of $1425.00. Council felt it would be less expensive to hire JJJ Enterprises to do the work by the hour. M/S Olsen, Ryan to have JJJ Enterprises dig out four ditches in Lowden with work to be billed by the hour. Ayes: All. The four ditches are: north side of 5th St. bridge and rework culvert and place rip rap, south side of Main Street west of old Rex Feed and clean out north ditch culvert ends, clean ditch north of Main St. by Elgeva Stolte, and install culvert on 4th Street by Woodward’s.

Clerk will check City ordinances about obstruction of view for traffic at the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 4th Street because of large bushes.

Council discussed a curb and gutter project north of Main Street on the west side of Washington Avenue to 403 Washington Avenue and on the north side of Main Street on the east side of Washington Avenue to 400 Washington Avenue. Councilman Ryan had spoken to most of the homeowners on the west side of the street and they were agreeable to the project with the City paying one-half of the curb costs. Council said it is possible part of the homeowner’s costs could be assessed to their taxes over a 10-year period. M/S Conrad, Ryan to hire Shoemaker & Haaland Engineers to do the preliminary engineering work and proceed with the curb and gutter project on Washington Avenue north of Main Street. Ayes: All.

No bids were received for a new roof on the north side of City Hall. Councilman Conrad said he would ask Jason Conrad to look at the roof and give an estimate for the work to be done.

Council discussed a proposed ordinance banning burning in the City limits. Clerk had distributed to the council several ordinances for other cities that do not allow burning. Council directed Clerk to prepare an ordinance banning burning in the City limits with the first reading to be held at the June meeting.

Mayor said there is a problem with stray cats roaming the City. He said he will speak to Friends of the Animals in Tipton about trapping them. Council discussed an ordinance to limit the number of pets per household. Clarence has an ordinance whereby only four are allowed at any one location. After discussion, M/S Ryan, Olsen to have an ordinance prepared for the first reading at the June meeting whereby “the number of animals regulated” per household will be four. Ayes: Ryan, Olsen, Madden. Nays: Conrad, Decker.

Mayor Wenndt told the Council he thinks the City should hire someone to do the City mowing for the summer so the maintenance men can get other work done. Mayor Wenndt and Gene will make a list of jobs to be done by the June meeting. M/S Decker, Olsen to advertise for summer mowing help at $7.00/hr. and the individual must be 16 yrs. of age or older. Ayes: Ryan, Olsen, Decker. Nays: Conrad, Madden. Councilpersons Olsen and Decker will select the person for the job after a May 11 deadline for applicants.

Council reviewed the Cedar County Land Use Plan and had no suggestions for any changes.

M/S Conrad, Madden to have the first reading of Ordinance #771 establishing a $500 fine for anyone tampering with the City’s waterworks system. Ayes: All.

M/S Olsen, Decker to hold a Public Hearing on June 5, 2006, 7:00 PM, for the FY06 budget amendment. Ayes: All.

Per Dan Hamdorf’s request, the City will pay the budgeted amount of $600 to the Lowden Little League in May.

Notification was received from the IA Dept. of Transportation they will be doing patching this summer on Highway 30 from east of Clarence to 1 mile west of Calamus.

Mayor Wenndt will look at a tree that is cracked at the corner of 6th Street and McKinley Avenue and see if it needs to be removed.

Mayor Wenndt asked Gene Hamdorf why the addition of fluoride was discontinued in the City’s water. He said he has had several inquiries as to the reason it was stopped. Gene said they are using the same equipment that was used for fluoride addition for the addition of phosphates in the City’s water to eliminate the rust problem. He informed the council last fall he was discontinuing the use of fluoride. He said to add the fluoride now, a construction permit would be needed from the DNR and other equipment added.

Council directed maintenance men to grade and gravel the alleys this month behind Charlene Bixler and Kim Steinke.

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

M/S Decker, Olsen to approve the following building permits: Rex McCreight-garage, Randall Millam-above ground pool, David Hintz-garage. Ayes: All.

M/S Ryan, Olsen to approve a cigarette permit and a Sunday Sales permit for J & J Grocery. Ayes: All.

Council will send a request for rezoning to the Lowden Zoning Commission. New Horizon FS has requested their property west of Harding Avenue be rezoned from Residential 1 to Commercial 1 in the event they will likely sell the property in the near future.

Council approved a request of the the Boy Scouts for use of 2 or 3 picnic tables from Lowden Memorial Park for an event at Mona’s Café on May 13. M/S Madden, Ryan to adjourn at 10:00 PM. Ayes: All.

Next regular meeting is June 5, 2006, 7:00 PM.

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