The Lowden City Council meeting was called to order by Mayor Barry Hoffmeier.

Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Roll call:  Conrad, Olsen, Lange, Helmold.  Visitors:  William J. Sueppel, Bill Rohloff, Linda Rohloff, Josh Hamdorf, Kirk Steinke, Nick Lange, Jan Olsen, Steve Noack, Kevin Sander, Carol Boedeker, Don Boedeker, Scott Boedeker, Mark Schneider, Pat Kroemer, Bobby Kaufmann.

M/S Helmold, Olsen to approve the consent agenda.  Ayes:  Conrad, Olsen, Lange, Helmold.

M/S Conrad, Helmold to seat McCreight at 5:39 PM.  Ayes:  Conrad, Olsen, Lange, Helmold.

Bobby Kaufmann, State Representative, was present to report on activities in the State Legislature.

M/S Helmold, Olsen to open the Public Hearing on the CDBG application for sewer treatment plant improvements.  Ayes:  All.

Mark Schneider, ECIA, explained to the council the City will submit an application for CDBG (grant) funding in the amount of $300,000 to upgrade the wastewater plant. The City will have to borrow an additional $2.14 million to fund the remaining cost of the project with a DNR sewer revolving fund (SRF) loan.    The City met the income guidelines to apply for the grant with 57.57% of Lowden’s population being low-to-moderate income.  

M/S McCreight, Conrad to close the Public Hearing on the CDBG applicqtion for sewer treatment plant improvements.  Ayes:  All.

M/S Helmold, Conrad to approve Resolution #13-07 applying for CDBG funding for a wastewater plant upgrade, with the City pledging $2.14 million as a local effort if the grant is awarded.    Ayes:  All.

Don and Carol Boedeker and Bill and Linda Rohloff were present to appeal the damage assessment on their properties from the June 2013 flooding.   Tim Malott, Cedar County EMA, assessed the properties as being damaged more than 50% of the value of the house or building.   They presented expenses involved in the cleanup of their properties.  If the house or building was damaged over 50% of the value of the property, according the City’s flood plain ordinance, the buildings would have to be raised a foot above the
100 year flood elevation or would have to be demolished.

M/S McCreight, Lange to grant the appeal of the damage assessment, since it was determined the Boedeker’s machine shed was not damaged over 50% of the value of the structure.  Ayes:  All. 

M/S Conrad, Olsen to grant the appeal of the damage assessment, since it was determined the Rohloff’s house was not damaged over 50% of the value of the structure.  Ayes:  All. 

Council noted, in the future, if any other structures were built on those properties, they would have to abide by the flood plain ordinance.

Bill Rohloff felt the City should check into how this flooding could be prevented in the future.

Mark Schneider, ECIA, informed the council the IDOT has the ability to purchase the two flooded properties on Washington Avenue north of Hwy. 30 in case there would be any Hwy. 30 expansion in the future.  That offer would negate a City buyout of the properties.

Mark Schneider presented information to the council stating the City is eligible to apply for a housing rehabilitation grant since the income survey indicated the City is 57.67% low-to-moderate income.  The grant would be to rehabilitate 6 homes at $24,999 each with a 5-yr. forgivable loan agreement for the homeowner.    The City could consider a $6000/local match for the project.

M/S Olsen, McCreight to set 12/2/13, 5:30 PM, for a Public Hearing on a CDBG application for housing rehabilitation.   Residents can fill out a pre-application in November to indicate interest in the project.  

Kevin Sander was present to request a reimbursement for a delinquent water bill accumulated on his property at 614 Main St. by Tiffany Deerberg in the summer of 2012.  Kevin said Tiffany was buying the property on contract from him at that time.  The delinquent bill of Deerberg’s was not paid and the City filed it as a lien on the property at 614 Main St. with the Cedar County Treasurer in February 2013.  Kevin received possession again of the property on 10/16/12 due to forfeiture of the contract he had with Tiffany.     Kevin said he should not be liable for this bill since he did not own the property at the time when the bill was accrued.  The City was paid in July, 2013, the original delinquent amount of $249.17 plus fees through a tax sale on the property.  Mayor and City Attorney Sueppel told Kevin the delinquent bill was filed as a lien on the property, not specific to who the owner was at the time.   The amount owed now for the delinquent bill to purchase the property on a tax sale is $349.17.

After discussion, M/S Lange, Olsen to pay $349.17 to the Cedar County Treasurer to clear up the delinquent water bill and fees for 614 Main St.   Ayes:  All.   

Steve Noack, MMS, told the council bids for McKinley Avenue curb/gutter, storm sewer, and street work will be taken in Jan. 2014 with council to take action on the bids at the Feb. 3, 2014 meeting.  

Steve Noack will also set up a meeting with the Sewer Committee to discuss the proposed wastewater plant project. 

M/S McCreight, Olsen to approve the annual Urban Renewal Report (TIF).  Ayes:  Conrad, McCreight, Olsen, Helmold.   Nays:  Lange.    Mayor explained to Lange what money was received for TIF from the 5th St. Place Schwarz Addition and how money was reimbursed to Schwarz for the project up to $249,000.

M/S McCreight, Helmold to accept Nick Lange’s resignation with his last work day being 11/7/2013.  Ayes:  Conrad, McCreight, Olsen, Helmold.  Abstain:  Lange.   Conrad commented he did not like to see the City paying for an employee’s water and wastewater certification classes and then having them leave after a 2-year period.   

M/S McCreight, Olsen to pay Nick Lange 6.5 days of unused sick leave, prorate his health insurance benefit for the month of Nov., pay out 11 days of vacation, and retract a portion of his cell phone allowance paid through the end of December.   Ayes:  Conrad, McCreight, Olsen, Helmold.  Abstain:  Lange.

M/S Olsen, Lange to join CCEDCO for ½ yr. at a cost of $1057.00, per LEDCO’s recommendation.   Ayes:  Olsen, Lange, Helmold.   Nays:  Conrad, McCreight.  Conrad and McCreight felt CCEDCO has done nothing for the town of Lowden.   Jan Olsen noted the City has not been a member of CCEDCO since 2006.

M/S Conrad, Lange to accept the only bid received from JJJ Enterprises for 2013-14 snow removal as follows:  $120/hr. backhoe, $70/hr. for 1st dumptruck, $65/hr. for 2nd dumptruck.   Ayes:  All. 

M/S Conrad, Olsen to hire Laurie Wendt for City Hall cleaning at $15/hr. to start in December.  Ayes:  All.   Clerk said generally there is 5 hrs. of cleaning a month.

Applications for the maintenance man position will be accepted until November 14, 12:00 PM, at City Hall.   Two council members plus Mayor Hoffmeier and Kirk Steinke  will meet on Nov. 14 to review the applications and select candidates to interview.   Council will approve the recommendation for the position at the 12/2/2013 meeting.

Kirk reported he has been working with the City’s insurance company after a watertower heater malfunctioned this summer.   It damaged the interior of the water tower building. Kirk is not sure insurance will cover the damage but the water tank level control will need to be replaced or updated.

Mayor Hoffmeier reported some nuisance abatement letters were sent out this month and one appeal was received.   Lists of nuisances are still needed from several council members.  

M/S Lange, McCreight to adjourn at 7:43 PM.  Ayes:  All.

Next regular meeting is December 2, 2013, 5:30 PM.

Barry Hoffmeier, Mayor
Peggy Kedley, City Clerk

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