Feb. 17 to be Iowa Wesleyan University Day
BY BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Bring out the purple and white Friday, Feb. 17, because the date has been designated by the Mt. Pleasant City Council as Iowa Wesleyan University Day in Mt. Pleasant.
The proclamation coincides with many other events planned at the institution to commemorate its 175th birthday.
City council members, meeting in regular session Wednesday, also set the financial wheels in motion for a couple of large-scale projects in 2017 and years following.
Those projects are going to cost the city a good chunk of change. The council approved a resolution instituting additional action on the authorization of a loan/disbursement agreement not to exceed $5.1 million for sanitary sewer projects. Secondly, the council approved a similar resolution for $500,000 for the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex parking lot resurfacing.
“We’re beginning the process,” remarked City Administrator Brent Schleisman regarding the sewer projects. “There will be a lot more to come.”
Sanitary sewer improvements are needed to help meet new requirements of the city’s pollutant discharge elimination system permit. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) are mandating the improvements.
Also included in the sanitary sewer projects are improvements to the Jay Street sanitary sewer, bar screen, air piping and lining at the sanitary sewer plant and other related items.
The sanitary sewer plant work must be completed by 2023. Schleisman said improvements to the wastewater plant will run about $3.5 million and the Jay Street project approximately $2.2 million. The city received a $600,000 community development block grant (CDBG) for the Jay Street work.
A 28E agreement has been entered into by the city and the school district to replace the gravel parking lot at Mapleleaf with permeable pavement. The city received a $500,000 water quality grant for the work, which is expected to cost around $1 million. The remaining $500,000 cost of the project will be equally shared by the city and school district.
However, the city is borrowing $500,000 from the state revolving loan fund because of work needed before the parking lot can be paved. “To make this work, we have to do a bunch of sewer work and if we don’t get the sewer work done, the project may be pushed back six months,” noted Mayor Steve Brimhall.
Council members also passed the first reading on rezoning property at 1010 E. Washington St. and three properties to the south from B4 (business highway) and B1 (limited business and professional) to B3 (general retail and service district).
Karl Braun made the request, which has been approved by the planning and zoning commission. Jack Swarm, city planning and zoning administrator, said the rezoning would bring the property in conformance with adjacent property. “It is not a highway anymore,” Swarm said, referring to Grand Avenue formerly being U.S. Highway 218, “so it will be much better if it is zoned B3.”
A first reading was passed increasing the speed limit from 20 miles-per-hour to 25 miles-per-hour on streets surrounding the city hall/library complex. The streets include East Monroe Street from Adams to Hamlin streets; East Madison Street from Adams to Hamlin streets; Jay Street from Washington to Henry streets; and Harrison Street from Washington to Henry streets.
The change was sought because the area is no longer a school zone but a residential zone.
Council members will host a public hearing on the proposed amendment of the fiscal 2016-2017 budget and also a public hearing on the proposed fiscal 2017-2018 budget during a special meeting Wednesday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Next regular meeting of the council will be Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 5:30 p.m., in City Hall.