Swarm will assume duties as building, zoning administrator
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Mt. Pleasant has a new building and zoning administrator.
Jack Swarm, Mt. Pleasant, was hired by the city council during its meeting Wednesday evening. Swarm replaces longtime building and zoning administrator Barb Welander, who retired earlier this year.
Swarm will begin his duties March 31 and be paid an annual salary of $40,518.40.
City Administrator Brent Schleisman said the city “received a couple of dozen applications from the region.” The field was narrowed to a “final four” and the council interviewed the finalists during a recent Saturday. Mayor Steve Brimhall said the city feels “we found someone who meets our needs.”
Looking toward summer, the council approved a contract with SlideCare, LLC of Avon Lake, Ohio, to repair, paint and rewax the open slide at the Aquatic Center. The cost is not to exceed $32,000.
“We have a very slow slide and the kids don’t like it,” assessed Brimhall.
Schleisman said the slide is almost to the point where it would have to speed up to stop. “We have tried to do what we can. We have patched it and it is not working any longer. People are having to push themselves down the slide. We think it is worth a shot to have them (SlideCare) refurbish the slide. We want the slide to be an attraction.”
Other large expenditures saw the council approve a $91,000 engineering service agreement with Shive Hattery of Moline, Ill., to help the city develop a plan to comply with new Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) standards on effluent (nitrogen and phosphorous) discharge requirements from the northeast lagoon and wastewater plant.
In other agenda items, the council approved a site plan for the industrial speculative (spec) building which is the subject of a pending sale. The planning and zoning commission recommended approval of the plan which sets parameters for vehicle access, stormwater retention/detention, landscaping and parking at the building.
A local developer is negotiating the purchase of the building and plans to lease it to a local business, primarily for storage. No other details have been released because the sale has not been completed.
The council put three amended ordinances into the books after approving the third reading and approving the ordinances. Each ordinance will become effective following publication in the Mt. Pleasant News.
Following is a brief description of each ordinance.
• Parking will be prohibited on the west side of Hamlin Street from Monroe to Henry streets. City staff requested this ordinance because of the difficulty of snow removal in the area.
• Increased city parking fines from $5 to $10. If the fine is not paid within 48 hours, the fee will increase to $15. Brimhall said the current $5 fine is not a deterrent to parking violations. “They haven’t been raised for a long time and maybe $10 will be a deterrent,” he said.
• Established a $25 fee for parking in fire zones. Mt. Pleasant High School, which has a fire zone in front of its building that often is violated, had asked for the amendment, but Brimhall said “there are some other issues around town…We are not going to run around town looking for this (violations) but there will be tickets issued.” Current language does not specify a certain fine amount.
Council members also eagerly approved a change order, saving the city $18,720 on the airport storage building and snow removal equipment project. There was an increase for extra soil testing in the amount of $3,235, but also a decrease of $23,680 for not having to use fly ash in the sub-grade.
Engineer Jim Warner of Warner Engineering, Mt. Pleasant, told the council that work will begin the week of April 7 on the North Iris Street reconstruction project. Reconstruction will be from Washington Street to Winfield Avenue. The first phase of the work will be from the northern half of the Walmart Distribution driveway north to Winfield Avenue. Shipley Construction of Burlington is the general contractor for the project.
City officials will begin meeting with impacted industries regarding the project and construction updates will be published in The News.
Brimhall, in closing remarks, commended the late Don Young of Mt. Pleasant (Young died earlier this month) for his volunteer work in the city. “One of the best volunteers we had was Don Young. As long as he was around, he was Mr. Pleasant History and Mr. Henry County History. He was a great all-around person and will be missed by all.”
Council members meet again in regular session Wednesday, April 9, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.