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home : news : news Saturday, April 30, 2016

10/5/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Charlotte council hears water update, banking bids

Jennifer Reed Murrell

A flurry of activity met members of the Charlotte City Council at their monthly meeting earlier this week as the water project concludes and the bank closes.

Bob Meyer of the Moline, Ill., firm GM Engineering overseeing the city's water project, admitted, "I thought I'd be coming here to tell you we've finished."

As is the case, Meyer told council members the system should be pumping water "by next week."

During last month's meeting, resident Harry Scharff, whose Charles Street property sits adjacent to the city water facility, complained of poor water drainage and soil replacement by Bettendorf contractor AJ Excavating.

While repair to the ground is the responsibility of the contractor, "it gets to a point where sometimes you need to just take care of it," explained mayor Peggy Sellnau.

As a result, city maintenance personnel Peg Myers and Rhonda Marlowe completed the work by bringing in additional soil, seeding it and also adding blacktop to help with water drainage.

"(Scharff) had a right to complain," noted Marlowe. AJ Excavating workers "were out two or three times," and the work was never done.

Myers noted the property now looks good, and annual grass is beginning to sprout. "It just took a little time and effort, and (Scharff) seems really happy with it."

The maintenance staff estimated it took 4-5 hours to complete the work. While council members Perry Lamp and Sandy Busch indicated a need to deduct the wages paid to the maintenance staff from the retainer owed AJ Excavating, no formal action was taken.

Later in the meeting, the council unanimously approved a 25-cent increase to the hourly wage of maintenance staff members for good job performance.

"Everybody's doing a great job, and I hear nothing but great things," Mayor Sellnau said.

Councilperson Kellee Clarke agreed. "Our town has never looked so good as it has over the last six months. They deserve a raise."

Other council members noted they've heard many compliments from city residents.

Two banks vie for city business

With the Oct. 1 closing of the Charlotte branch of Gateway State Bank, the council agreed the city would look at alternative financial institutions to handle city funds.

Both Clinton National and DeWitt Bank and Trust Co. offered presentations to the council with Clinton National leaning on its technology strengths and DeWitt Bank noting its strong community involvement in Charlotte.

Christine Smith, assistant vice president of operations at Clinton National, explained the technological advantages of her bank whereas DeWitt Bank president Greg Gannon focused on his familiarity with Charlotte and the high level of community involvement by his employees, specifically Marty Murrell of rural Charlotte.

The council will vote on which institution it will use at its Nov. 5 meeting.

The council unanimously agreed to waive its purchase of the bank property at the corner of Broadway and Case streets. Per Gateway State Bank, the ban on the property ever being used as a financial institution remains with the property for the life of the structure.

In other news

The council discussed a probable future need to replace and/or update the water meter readers of Charlotte residents as replacement units are becoming increasingly harder to locate.

Though no official action was taken, the council agreed it needs to look into grants that may help lighten the financial burden of replacing the units per a Department of Natural Resources code that will go into effect Jan. 1, stating all new units must be replaced with a lead-free unit.

During the discussion, it was noted much of the public space throughout the town is not metered, though all residences are. The council agreed it needs to get the public spaces metered, but funding such a project is the biggest hurdle.

In other news, the council:

•Approved a resolution to correct a property abstract between the city and Ron Bormann over unclear property lines.

•Set trick-or-treating hours Thursday Oct. 31, 5-7 p.m.

•Learned the Charlotte Fire Department will hold its annual Halloween children's party at the Charlotte Area Activity Center Saturday, Oct. 26, at 1:30 p.m.

•Received the Clinton County sheriff's report which showed one incident and five calls in the past month.

•Approved an LP contract with Eastern Iowa Propane for unlimited gallons at a price of $1.309 per gallon for the 2013-14 heating season. The city also renewed its lease of a 120-gallon LP tank from the company.

•Was informed September expenses totaled $17,283.99 with revenue of $30,996.21.

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