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|9/11/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
|Charlotte council discusses a variety of issues|
Jennifer Reed Murrell
The Tuesday, Sept. 3, Charlotte City Council meeting was preceded by a public hearing with representatives of Gateway State Bank to discuss the future of the bank building at the corner of Broadway and Case streets following its upcoming closure Oct. 1.
With just three residents appearing, Gateway representatives Gary Saelens and Brig Tubbs repeated what Saelens said at last month's council meeting - that Gateway State Bank refuses to sell the structure to another financial institution. In addition, as part of the property deed, if the city were to acquire the property, it could not sell it to another bank either.
The city has yet to receive a written proposal from the bank.
Later in the meeting, the council received information from city clerk/treasurer Savannah Sieren about moving the city's financial accounts to Clinton National Bank.
Not only is there a branch in Delmar with more hours, but residents also may have the option of online payment of utility bills, which several council persons noted is a plus.
The council directed Sieren to request a representative from Clinton National offer a presentation of services at the October meeting.
Water project nearing completion
In other news, the council discussed its water project with engineer Bob Meyer of the Moline, Ill., firm, GM Engineering, who informed the council the project's completion hinges on additional electrical work.
Though unable to attend the meeting, Meyer explained city water/sewer supervisor Marty Jahn requested a manual shutoff for well pump No. 5 be installed at well pump No. 4.
"It saves Marty from walking to the other well house," Meyer said. "I don't know how often he'd have to do that."
While the system is automatic, Meyer said there will be times when manual shut off is required, such as in the event of a fire when water pressure suddenly is affected.
The electrical work was bid at $2,800, but to Meyer's dismay, it included shutoffs in both well houses versus a one-way shut off. He estimated a one-way shutoff would be $500, but it wasn't outlined in the bid.
Meyer said the additional work is not required, and it is up to the council to approve.
Councilman Jim Keller voiced concern over the additional work. "We're so far over budget now, it isn't funny.
"I just don't think we need to go another $2,800 for something that's used seldom," he added.
Meyer did not believe the shutoff would be used "too often."
Mayor Peggy Sellnau verbalized a desire to see the project completed. "I would just like to see us not do anything that's not in the specs and just get it done."
The council agreed, and Keller's motion to "complete the project as designed" met with unanimous approval.
Resident Harry Scharff approached the council with concerns about his property relating to the water project, noting ground work has been neglected.
"I've been very patient, but this is looking bad," Scharff said.
His noted his property was "tore up" and left with holes, clods of dirt and weeds growing. Scharff was told by contractor Jack Laud, owner of AJ Excavating of Bettendorf, "I'll make it better than it was before, and I wouldn't even know he'd been there."
Scharff said fill dirt has not been added, and weed control was merely the application of a burlap cover over foot-tall button weeds.
"Do I get him to pay me $20 for RoundUp for killing the weeds?" Scharff asked the council.
Mayor Sellnau requested Meyer look at Scharff's property. "That final payment (of $24,237.98) is not going to get paid until everything is done," she said.
Additional city reports
The city council reviewed information on a state structural inventory and appraisal sheet of the Broadway Street bridge spanning Deep Creek.
While the report indicated the bridge is in good condition, some settling has occurred in an area near the sidewalk and will be repaired.
Peggee Meyers, maintenance supervisor, reported the city likely will need to budget for a replacement lawn mower next year as the present equipment is breaking down.
Meyers noted mowing has given way to watering, given the dry weather and said she's taken to repairing the maintenance shed due to the decrease in mowing.
The council authorized Meyers to order two sets of street closing signs and provided positive feedback on the work she and other maintenance department members have done.
In other business, the council reviewed Deep Creek Campground expenses and revenue for fiscal year 2012-13, noting $2,730.89 in expenses and $10,969 in revenue.
Sellnau said there presently are six to seven members of a road construction crew who will remain camped at the location for about eight weeks.
Charlotte Days success
Meagan Marlowe-Graves, a member of the Citizens for Charlotte (CFC) group that organized last month's Charlotte Days celebration, provided a report to the council. She said all three days were a success and noted over 40 children participated in Sunday's pedal pull competition.
Council members lauded Marlowe-Graves and her organization's efforts. "I think it was a really good Charlotte Days," Keller said. "Everybody I talked to thought it was fantastic."
Council person Lori Jahn requested a financial report of the event, to which Marlowe-Graves said, "I don't see why that would be necessary since there was no