Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 15, 2018

City removes item from ‘wish list’

Aug 24, 2017

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News


Something that has been on the City of Mt. Pleasant’s “wish list” for over a decade has come to fruition.

The city has been “eyeing” some property on Cedar Lane for the purpose of a city well, a park or other city improvements. During Wednesday’s city council meeting, it was approved to purchase the eight-acre plot for $300,000. The purchase is a joint venture by the city and Mt. Pleasant Municipal Utilities and contingent on the ground being adequate for a city well.

“This could be of great benefit to the city,” said City Administrator Brent Schleisman.

Mayor Steve Brimhall was cautiously optimistic. “We’ve been trying to buy this for 15 years,” Brimhall began. “The purchase is contingent upon a well being able to be drilled on the property. If things don’t work out (the ground not suitable for a well), it’s a whole new ballgame. If the studies say we can’t do what we want to do, the contract is null and void.”

In corresponding action, council members approved the expenditure of $3,750 for a archaeological, historical and cultural assessment of the property, and $2,500 for an environmental assessment of the land. The cost of the studies will be shared equally by the city and Mt. Pleasant Municipal Utilities.

Ed Weber, who lives on the 600 block of North White Street, alerted the council to problems with traffic in his area, which borders Courtland Street. “We have a dilemma in our neighborhood with 18 wheelers destroying property,” Weber said, referring primarily to sidewalks, driveways and lawns.

Weber claimed many motorists are not obeying the stop sign on Courtland Street at its T-intersection with White Street.

“Truckers aren’t paying any attention to load limits and are tearing up our property,” he said. “I am very concerned right now because the neighborhood population is increasing with classes beginning at Iowa Wesleyan. There are a lot of college students who walk on Courtland, and I fear for their safety.”

The council referred the matter to the street committee.

First reading of two ordinance amendments regarding signage gained approval. The first ordinance puts the maximum height for signs along U.S. 218 and U.S. 34 near Mt. Pleasant at 100 feet.

“Over the years, the board of adjustment has given variance to companies for signs (height), and they are tired of it,” noted Jack Swarm, city planning and zoning administrator. “They wanted an ordinance. I agree with the height because the signs will draw people to our town who may not otherwise stop.”

The second ordinance amendment allows more signs in areas zoned B-1. Swarm said that the amount of signs in the districts is currently limited. “The purpose is to allow businesses the same amount of signage as schools and churches.” He added that the amendment also increases the maximum size of the sign from 30 square feet to 100 square feet.

Council approval also was given for Brimhall to sign a contract with the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) for funds for next summer’s reconstruction of Main Street from South Street to Washington Street, and two blocks of Jefferson Street from Washington to Madison streets. The city will receive $468,000 in federal funds to offset street reconstruction costs.

In final action, the council:

• Approved the purchase of a new sewer jet machine from Trans Iowa Equipment of Ankeny for $55,000. The price includes a trade-in allowance of $10,000 for the trading in of the current sewer jet machine.

• Approved the following mayoral reappointments and appointments — reappointment of Phil McCormick and Gabrielle Stokes to three-year terms on the airport advisory committee; reappointment of Penny Rauenbuehler to a three-year term on the community development committee; appointment of Kristen Heart and Karl Schaefer to terms on the community development committee; appointment of Devin Phelps to the city’s board of adjustment to fill the remainder of Sheila Kiesey’s term.

Council members meet again in regular session Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.

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