Council hears updates on major projects

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By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council heard an engineer's update on several major city projects when it met in regular session on Monday, Oct. 12.

Mayor  Pro-Tem Virginia Saeugling led council members through the evening's agenda in the absence of Mayor Bill Frommelt. On hand were councilors Austin Greve, Fred Schaub, Mick Pierce and Jane Parker. Also at the table were City Manager Denise Schneider and City Attorney Michael Schuster.

Project updates

Steve Thompson, an engineer with Veenstra and Kimm, Inc., presented several updates on city projects:

•The Sanitary Sewer Improvement Project is on schedule. Due to the fact that the bid came in under estimates, a change order was okayed for some additional work that the contractor is now completing.

•The council reviewed preliminary plans for the  Schiller Street Corridor Project. After answering council questions about the plans for the portion located west of Highway 52, Thompson said he would proceed to refine the preliminary design for that area. Discussion then turned to the portion of Schiller Street from the highway east to the river. Thompson discussed intersection reconstruction for ADA accessibility and pointed out areas that will need sidewalk replacement. "There are a couple segments we can save," he said. He noted that the current curb and gutter was in "pretty good shape," adding, "We are doing a pretty good job saving as much as we can." The location of electrical conduit for lighting was also discussed. In regard to sidewalk on the south side of Schiller at the intersection of Highway 52 and the Bender property, Thompson said the project would necessitate purchasing the property or that the city "get a good size easement." 

•The council reviewed a set of plans for the Riverbank Repair Project (behind the public restrooms in downtown Guttenberg). Thompson said that following conversation with the Army Corps of Engineers, the project will have to be done as two parts with the Corps paying for stream bank stabilization and the city for the wall portion; the latter will have to be done first. Thompson hopes to have bids ready to open by the next monthly council meeting so that work could proceed yet this season.

•Trail plans were discussed and it was the council's consensus to wait for a draft of the city's "bikability" study before proceeding with a master trail plans.


Thompson congratulated the city on the awarding of a $75,000 REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) grant to dredge Horseshoe Pond. "You got a very difficult grant to win," he said.  The council authorized him to prepare plans, specs and bid documents. Thompson said dredging projects are usually done in the winter. 

Other business

Attorney Schuster gave an update on the Schrodt property (Palmer house). The court has awarded title to the city, and Schuster recommended waiting 30 days before taking any action to raze the building. The council discussed the fact that the city currently has no building maintenance ordinance, and the city manager  was asked to draw up a basic ordinance for consideration at the next meeting.

Following a recommendation from the city rec board, it was the council's consensus to move forward with plans to survey and develop the property adjacent to the city soccer field for a disc golf course. 

In routine action, the council approved the city's annual urban renewal report, designated official depositories for city funds, okayed TIF debt certification, and okayed modifications to the city code to be consistent with Iowa legislative actions. 

The city manager gave an update on repair work at the city pool following problems that occurred over the winter.

A property request from Kann Mfg. will be discussed at next month's meeting.


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