City approves pact for paving the Mapleleaf parking lot
BY BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
After nearly a decade of major summer street projects, the Mt. Pleasant City Council is turning its summer focus to a parking lot.
However, this is not any parking lot. Rather, it is the parking lot for the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex. During Wednesday’s council meeting, approval was given to a 28E agreement with the Mt. Pleasant Community School District to hard surface a majority of the parking lot this summer. The Mt. Pleasant School Board approved the agreement Monday night.
“I think most of us have wanted the Mapleleaf parking lot paved for as long as the complex has been there,” remarked Mayor Steve Brimhall.
The $1 million project will be fueled by a $500,000 water quality grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The city and school district will evenly split the remaining $500,000.
“It will be a big project to hard surface two-thirds of the parking lot,” noted Councilman Kent White. “The reason we were able to do this was because of the water quality grant. The parking lot will have three strips that will allow water to drain.”
Although current plans are to hard surface two-thirds of the lot with a permeable concrete, city officials expressed a desire to hard surface the entire lot. “We are going to start at $1 million and see where that gets us,” Brimhall said.
“There is still a desire to come up with the funding to do the whole thing,” added White.
The city hopes to award the bid in March. Construction will begin after track season and hopefully, be completed before football season, City Administrator Brent Schleisman said.
A street project scheduled for this summer is the reconstruction of Baker Street between Lincoln Street and Palm Avenue. Some of the work will be patching while the remainder will be reconstruction. Hickey Contractors of Keokuk was awarded the bid for $264,936.46 — 20 percent under the engineer’s estimate. The engineer’s estimate for the work was $334,143. Eight firms bid on the project with the bids ranging upward to $340,317.50.
White said he was pleased with the response from bidders, noting that eight bids for the project were more than normal. Work will also include sidewalks, curb-and-gutter and the replacement of any defective infrastructure.
Council members approved the final site plan for the expansion of Hearth & Home Technologies in Mt. Pleasant. The firm is building a 90,000 addition to the west of the current facility. The expansion will serve as a distribution center and include 22 covered loading docks.
Several changes in the leadership positions of the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department were approved. Anthony Blint will go from senior lieutenant to captain; William Bensmiller from firefighter to lieutenant; and Robert Jennings from lieutenant to firefighter. The council also approved the addition of Tyler Scott to an active firefighter position. Scott had been a reserve firefighter.
Moving to other agenda items, the council set Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 5:30 p.m., as the date and time of a public hearing on the city’s new comprehensive plan. The city’s planning and zoning commission approved the plan last night.
“This will be a guide of where we want the city to go in the future,” explained Brimhall. “We try to do this every 10 years, and we follow it.”
Jack Swarm, city planning and zoning administrator, said the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission, which headed the writing of the plan, “did an amazing plan.” Hard copies of the plan are available at the library and city offices. The plan can also be found on the city’s website.
Council members also approved a three-year lease of computer equipment for the police department. The city’s monthly payment will be $1,667.46, which Schleisman said is a slight decrease from the last lease.
Jack Hedgecock, general manager of Mt. Pleasant Municipal Utilities, said the firm is in the process of trimming trees in town so they don’t interfere with power lines.
Council members meet again in regular session on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 5:30 p.m., at city hall.