DeWitt City Hall

One of DeWitt’s main thoroughfares will be closed for a while this summer.

The DeWitt City Council approved the replacement of a box culvert that runs under the street just west of MJ’s East. 

An exact date for work has not been decided. 

One challenge for the project has been finding a contractor to complete the work. 

“This has become a convoluted project,” said DeWitt City Administrator Steve Lindner.  “We had bids last year to complete this project from KMA, an underground pipe contractor.”

That company has since gone out of business, which forced the city to change course. Now, the project will be completed by three separate contactors: 

• Bi-State Barricade Rental will cover the barricade placement and road sign management for up to 30 days. Their service costs $7,500. 

Endline Excavation will demolish the street and prep the area for the culvert’s installation for $31,850.

KE Flatwork will build the 3-foot-by-5-foot box culvert in place at a cost of $31,000.

DeWitt’s maintenance department will repave the section of street. 

The project will shut down 11th Street for up to 30 days, Lindner said. 

Dates for the closure have not been finalized. East 10th Street, Fourth Avenue and First Avenue will serve as a detour route.

Lindner said MJ’s East will be accessible, but only from the east entrance at times.  

Will hail damage be fixed?

A hail storm that swept through the area in May 2019 left a swath of damaged roofs to municipal structures, and the city is now looking to get those items fixed. 

The challenge has been finding a contractor to complete the job. 

At the May 4 council meeting, Lindner said he had not received any responses to five requests for proposals. He did, however, expect one of the companies to send communication.

The repair costs are covered by the city’s insurance provider. 

The buildings involved include the fitness center, Referral Center, fire station, police station, wastewater facility buildings, city maintenance garage, community center, and various pump houses and a storage building. 

Both the Frances Banta Waggoner Community Library and City Hall roofs were also damaged. City Hall’s roof was already scheduled for replacement, and that work was completed this month. 

The library’s roof work will be completed by the contractor working on the addition. 

In other business, the council:

Held a required public hearing regarding the DeWitt Police Department’s commission of accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The re-accreditation is basically an audit, Lindner said. It examines the department’s policies and procedures and assures they are being followed. 

Approved the replacement of a lawn tractor used by the water treatment facility staff. Lindner said the machine is on its last legs. Recent repairs have made it operational, but it is nearing the end of its life. The council approved $10,000 for its replacement in the 2021-22 fiscal year, but that timeline may need to be pushed up. The council authorized a purchase in this fiscal year if the tractor dies before July 1, when the fiscal year turns over. 

Authorized DeWitt Police Chief Dave Porter to order a new police truck. Three proposals were received: A crew cab Dodge RAM from Stew Hansen Dodge in Urbandale, Iowa, for $30,492 and a Chevrolet 1500 pickup from Kreigers of DeWitt for $31,571. The council chose the local purchase from Kreigers. 

Discussed the adoption of a new city ordinance for food trucks. The city of DeWitt does not currently have any regulations in place besides the zoning code. Lindner said many other cities have similar ordinances in place, and the city’s draft is based off what other towns have done. It includes a fee for annual licensing to operate a food truck in the city limits. 

• Set a public hearing for a fiscal year 2019-20 budget amendment. The amendment, which is a standard procedure for city councils, helps backfill unexpected expenditures and revenues. This amendment includes roof insurance reimbursements for the hail damage, grant funds, increased utility connection fees, street maintenance contracts, the new mower for the wastewater treatment plant, software, and adjustments to capital project schedules. It also includes COVID-19 related items. The hearing will took place Monday. No comments were given.