City to seek bids on second street reconstruction project
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
While most of the attention will be on the Grand Avenue reconstruction project, Mt. Pleasant City Council members approved a bid letting Wednesday night for another construction project this summer.
A stretch of South Iris Street, running south of the viaduct past East Lake Park and to the airport, is slated to be reconstructed this summer.
Bids will be opened April 9 at 4 p.m. and the project awarded during the council’s April 10 meeting.
City Administrator Brent Schleisman said the work is a “summer-only” project, meaning reconstruction will not begin until after school has recessed for the summer and will be finished before the 2013-14 school term begins.
Work will include removal of the current surface, drainage work and new pavement.
Regarding the Grand Avenue project, Jim Warner of Warner Engineering, said the project is going extremely well. “We are making progress on Grand Avenue,” Warner noted. “They are removing the pavement and most of the old concrete will be ground into gravel and used as the base for the new surface.”
The council approved the third readings and adopted ordinances on controlled hunting within the city limits and junk vehicles.
“This has been a long time coming for some people,” Mayor Steve Brimhall said concerning the hunting ordinance, which is intended to control the deer population in Mt. Pleasant.
Curtis Howell of Mt. Pleasant, who has a vehicle rebuildable business on North Lee Street, asked how the ordinance will impact his business. “I probably have $250,000 worth of rebuildables belonging to dealers,” he remarked.
Howell said he is will to build an eight-foot fence around the property if required. “I just want to get it resolved so we can operate a business and get along with the city.”
The council directed city staff and Howell to meet and work toward a solution.
Sewer and sanitation fees will be increasing July 1.
The sanitation sewer flow fee currently is $4.20 per 1,000 gallons of water and the charge will increase by a dime to $4.30 per 1,000 gallons. City Administrator Brent Schleisman said the average household uses about 3,000 gallons of water monthly which would be a 30 cents per month hike.
“This is one thing everybody hates to see, but something we have to do,” said Brimhall.
Schleisman said the increase is due to an Iowa Department of Natural Resources mandate for the city to eliminate storm water flow from the sanitary sewer system. The city has commissioned a three-year study and reconstructed 1,000 feet of sanitary sewer lines and old brick manholes that to date have cost over $2 million. Soon, the city will also undertake a large sewer replacement project on Jay Street.
“This is a way not to have a large increase at one time but incrementally increase it,” Schleisman explained.
Regarding the sanitation increase, the solid waste base fee will rise by a quarter monthly from $2.25 to $2.50 per residence, business and industry. The recycling/hazardous waste and landfill administration fee will increase from $3.15 per residential dwelling to $3.25 monthly.
Council members hosted a public hearing and then passed an amendment to the fiscal 2013 budget. The amendment increases capital project expenditures by $2,072,899. The expenditures are for the Grand Avenue reconstruction project. Schleisman said is is more or less a matter from moving money from one pocket to the other. “We have the money, we just have to designate it when we are spending above and beyond (our budget).” The transfer will decrease the city’s ending fund balance from $9.79 million to $6.58 million.
A proposed ordinance reducing the speed limit on Grad Avenue from Washington Street to Winfield Avenue was defeated in a 3-3 vote. A majority vote is needed for the ordinance to advance to a second reading.
Council members meet again in regular session Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. at City Hall.