Last meeting of the year yields first step for large street project
BY BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
In its last meeting of the year Wednesday, the Mt. Pleasant City Council took a giant first step.
Council members approved an engineering services agreement with Warner Engineering Associates Inc., for the Main and Jefferson streets reconstruction project.
The project won’t be until the spring of 2018, but it will be a massive one.
Included in the work is street and sidewalk replacement on South Main Street from South Street north to Washington Street, and the same work will be done on Jefferson Street from Washington Street to Madison Street. A $500,000 grant will help offset the cost of the project.
Councilman Kent White, a member of the street committee, and Mayor Steve Brimhall acknowledged the project will not be popular with downtown merchants.
“The main crux of the project will be in the downtown area which will inconvenience businesses,” White said. “It is a major project and will be a nail-biter for a while.”
Brimhall agreed. “It will be painful for a while but worth it.”
Warner Engineering will be paid $340,000 for its services.
In another engineering-related item, the council approved an increase in compensation for Warner Engineering for its work on the air piping replacement project at the wastewater treatment plant.
Originally, the city agreed to pay the engineering firm $9,500 for its work, but the cost has now doubled to $19,000.
City Administrator Brent Schleisman said the adjustment was needed due to the scope of the project. “Originally, we thought it would be a very simple project, but it didn’t turn out that way. There is a lot of engineering work (involved).”
Moving on to other agenda items, a third reading was approved and an ordinance adopted granting partial industrial tax abatement for the Hearth & Home Technologies, LLC expansion project.
Under terms of the city ordinance, Hearth & Home will receive 75 percent tax abatement on the amount of actual value added the first year, 60 percent the second year, 45 percent the third year, 30 percent the fourth year and 15 percent the fifth year.
Council members approved an agreement with the Southeast Iowa Ridge Blasters snowmobile club to use city right-of-way as part of the club’s winter trails.
Right-of-ways include Iris Street east side from 255th Street to Mapleleaf Drive; Mapleleaf Drive south side from Iris Street to approximately 400 feet west of Harvey Drive; Winfield Avenue south side from the easement to Grand Avenue; and Grand Avenue east side from Winfield Avenue to the north corporate city limits.
Representatives from the club said they now have over 100 miles of trails for winter fun. The agreement with the city runs from yesterday (Dec. 28) to April 15, 2017.
Personnel matters saw the council approve the hiring of Loren Woodruff for a general laborer position in the public works department, pending his passing a physical. Woodruff will begin work Jan. 1, 2017, and be paid $13.50 per hour.
The council re-appointed Schleisman to serve as the city’s representative on the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission Board (SEIRPC) for 2017. Approval also was given of Brimhall’s appointment to the SEIRPC loan committee.
In closing remarks, Brimhall noted it has been a good year for the city. “We completed a lot of good projects. We plan on spending $150,000 per year on (street) asphalt projects. The city is moving forward.”
Council members will meet again in regular session Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at 5:30 p.m., at city hall.