Keosauqua faces higher water rates
Keosauqua City Council learned at its April 11 meeting that a water rate increase is in the works.
Rathbun Regional Water Association, Inc., sent the council a notice of a rate increase, effective July 1. Keosauqua’s current rate is $2.80 per 1,000 gallons. The new water rate will be $3 per 1,000 gallons.
According to the letter from John Glenn, CEO/COO of Rathbun Regional Water Association, Inc., “RRWA has made significant improvements in the association’s capability to provide our customers with quality drinking water and services. The most notable improvements include construction of additional water storage towers, booster pump stations, water distribution mains, a six-million gallon per day water treatment plant and complete rehab of the existing eight-million gallon per day water treatment plant.”
Glenn said the improvements will enable RRWA to continue to meet its customers’ demand for drinking water.”
He said that RRWA has experienced an increase of 25 percent in the cost of purchased water and 50 percent in other production costs, “which includes costs associated with the almost $50 million in infrastructure investments in the past 10 years. Maintaining dependable service at an affordable price is RRWA’s goal.”
The council discussed increasing city rates the same amount.
• Mayor Nasseem Hesler expressed the concern for lack of CPO (Certified Pool Operator) and the need for an additional city employee. City administrator Padget, provided information on cities of comparable size having a Parks and Recreation Department for city pools, parks and ballfields. A personnel committee will meet to create a job description to be discussed at the next meeting.
• The council approved a resolution appointing a City Clerk II and setting a wage. The council appointed Samantha Davolt as deputy city clerk and set the wage at $14 per hour and an increase of 50 cents per hour after satisfactory completion of a 30, 60 and 90 day probationary period.
• The council received a letter from Lucas C. Helling, attorney, regarding work to be done on the Duckworth building in order to abate the alleged nuisance. A contract has been signed for the repair of the brick wall on the First Street side of the building and a cap will be placed at the top of the wall. Additional repairs will be made to the roof. Council took no action.
• Council approved building permit (home) for Dave Weller, 103 1st Street.
• Council notified of Riverfront Amphitheatre rental agreement with the Gypsy Chix, June 15-17 and with the Villages Folk School, May 26.
• Council approved closing of Market Street, from Park Street to the river, May 20, at the request of Fett Auction, for an auction.
• Michael Ray Miller announced his retirement from the Keosauqua Public Library effective April 27.
• Van Buren County Deputy Brad Hudson presented the quarterly sheriff’s report to the council. Mayor Hesler recommended placing the speed control sign on the south side of the bridge as you enter Keosauqua to help with the engine brake ordinance.
• Andy Bunnell presented as an interested party in the soon to be former fire station. He is looking to integrate a non-denominational church into Keosauqua, with a focus on providing opportunities for youth that are safe and healthy, summer programs, and after school programs.
• Kris Rankin presented the SAFE Coalition quarterly report.
An invitation was extended to council members to attend Safe Coalition meetings. National Drug Take Back Day will be April 29 at the Community Services Center. The sheriff’s office has a permanent drug take back box now.
• Andrew Brown presented as an interested party focused on developing apartment housing in Keosauqua. He expressed his concern for lack of apartments in Keosauqua, therefore driving the younger generation that is interested in staying in Keosauqua to live outside of Keosauqua.
• Darwin Chapman, airplane enthusiast, has been mowing an RC airplane strip at the airport. Darwin asked if the City would roll the RC airplane strip when they roll the main airport runway. He is in the process of putting a club together open to all ages. Council is in agreement with this.
• Dave Vollmar spoke to the council regarding Alliant Natural Gas franchise renewal, introduced himself as the contact person for any natural gas issues in the area and informed the council of other programs through Alliant such as rebates and grant opportunities. Public hearing for natural gas franchise will be held May 9, 2017.
• Padget updated the council on the abandonment proceedings at 609 1st Street and 611 1st Street. Abandonment petitions have been filed and neither party has responded.
• City administrator updated the council on the sports complex and city pool. Council voted to apply for Hoaglin Foundation and Van Buren Foundation grants for shortage of pool building funds. Council voted to apply for Hoaglin Foundation and Van Buren Foundation grant for sports complex.
• The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division was contacted by city administrator as requested by council member Lazenby for an explanation of street closings and consumption of alcohol at city festivals.
• Superintendent Jim Chambers presented the council with bids on the upcoming curb and gutter project. Council voted to accept CM Enterprises bid for Dodge Street ($25 per linear foot) and Franklin Street ($26 per linear foot). Motion carried 3-0.
• Superintendent received a request from Randy Kisling to plant five trees on city lot and pay for half of the cost of trees. Council voted to approve city’s cost of $185 for half of the cost of trees. Kisling will install and maintain trees.
• Council approved the city park flower maintenance agreement with Barb Boley.
• Council discussed nuisance at 1208 1st Street. Council member Peacock will discuss the situation with residents before further action is taken. If not compliant, further action will be taken.
• Council voted to accept Mike Winslow’s mowing bid in the amount of $315 for city property and an additional $100 for the airport.
• Council approved inserting the Area XV Regional Housing Trust Fund flyer with the city bill.
•The High School Community Clean-up Day is May 12. City administrator andcouncilperson Peacock will discuss projects for the students.
• Council approved the new Keosauqua Veterinary Clinic pound contract with the addition of heartworms, lymes, ehrlichis and anaplasmosis testing for dogs and feline leukemia and FIV testing for cats.
• Council approved Archie’s five-day liquor license. Motion 2-0, Atwood abstained.
• Council discussed upcoming street projects, as there are many that need repaired.
• Council on a 2-1 vote, approved library pest control after termite damage was found during the recent renovations. Motion carried 2-1. Yay – Atwood, Peacock Nay – Lazenby