Council puts the final stamp on Grand Avenue
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Mt. Pleasant’s City Council put its final blessings on this past summer’s Grand Avenue reconstruction project, lauding it as one of the best, if not the best, street project in recent memory.
“I am probably the happiest and most proud of this one,” stated Councilman Stan Curtis, chairman of the city’s street committee. “There weren’t as many constraints on this one. We received good bids and it was a very, very good job. The contractor was concerned with quality and we have a beautiful street.”
Curtis, who is retiring from the council Dec. 31, said the best project was his last. “Now, when you are coming in (to Mt. Pleasant) from the north, it looks like you are coming into a town. I think this will help in economic development. I am very proud of this. It went better than any other project we’ve had and that was because of the good cooperation between everybody involved.”
Councilman Steve Engberg said Curtis will be missed on the street committee and council. “I want to commend Stan for his role on the street committee. He had a lot of passion. I don’t know if we fill his shoes, we will miss him.”
Total cost of the Grand Avenue project was $2,084,770.35. The figure includes stockpiled rock which will be used for next summer’s Iris Street reconstruction project. Already having the sub-base rock will reduce the cost of the Iris Street project.
Mayor Steven Brimhall noted that with the Washington Street and Grand Avenue projects finished and upcoming reconstruction of Iris Street and Mapleleaf Drive, the city will have achieved its objective of upgrading the major streets in Mt. Pleasant.
“We hope to have enough money for Iris and Mapleleaf,” Brimhall said. “Then we will have to figure something out (for other street projects). We will either have to raise the (property tax) levy or borrow.
The mayor noted the city has spent $12.9 million on streets and capital improvement projects the past four years and $25 million the past decade.
Council members approved the five-year capital improvement plan for the airport. The plan is more or less a “wish list,” but needs to be filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) for the city to be considered for any federal or state grant funding.
Included in the plan is rehabilitation of the runway lighting system, construction of a conventional hangar and expanding the runway from 4,000 to 5,000 feet in length to accommodate larger jets.
Filing of the plan does not mean the city is going to undertake any of the projects. Total cost of the projects listed is $2,074,000. Federal grants, if available, would pay for 90 percent of the project total.
Council members approved a request from the 20th Century Car Club for the use of Central Park and closure of one block of Monroe Street (between Main and Jefferson streets) and one block of Main Street (between Washington and Monroe streets) for four car shows next summer.
Formerly, there were cars parked in Central Park during the show, but City Administrator Brent Schleisman said there will no longer be cars allowed in the recently renovated park.
Final agenda items saw the council:
• Reappoint Schleisman to the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission for a one-year term. Schleisman currently serves as president of the board.
• Passed the third reading and adopted an ordinance prohibiting parking on portions of North Pine, North Hamlin and West Exchange streets. The ordinance was requested by the public works department to aid snow removal in Mt. Pleasant.
• Passed the third reading and adopted an ordinance raising fees charged by the public works department for rental of the department’s equipment. Fees were last adjusted in 2002.
Council members meet for the final time this year Monday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m. The meeting has been moved from the traditional Wednesday night date due to Christmas.