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City council approves rezoning requests

By Kelly Terpstra,

Not one, not two, but four rezoning requests were approved by the Charles City Council on Wednesday.

The Charles City Railway Co.’s request for property it owns to be rezoned from a general manufacturing district to service business district was approved by the council.

The property, located south of 11th Avenue between North Grand Avenue and D Street, is part of a proposal called The American Passenger Train History Museum. The non-profit group wants to build a passenger car train museum that would also feature a building for displays as well as utilizing the existing cars that would then be restored. There would be lounge, dining, coach and sleeping cars that could be walked through and experienced.

The council also approved rezoning the Express Lube property at 600 Gilbert St. and State Bank at 610 Gilbert St. from residential to business. The properties have been commercial properties for quite some time and City Engineer John Fallis said an error was made when the city was remapped in 2005.

Express Lube also made a request to have property rezoned that it is looking to purchase in an effort to expand its business. The property is owned by Basil Law and is located at 403 Cedar St. A third reading of that rezoning was approved and the ordinance was authorized to be published by the city clerk. The ordinance changes the property from residential to a business district.

The 2017 and 2018 sanitary sewer lining projects were approved and accepted. The 2017 project done by Hydro-Klean LLC was completed at a cost of $161,940.01. The project consisted of lining approximately 5,500 lineal feet of sanitary sewer mains in the northeast area of Charles City.

Due to low unit prices, the city negotiated a change order that called for 2,000 more feet to be completed at a cost of $41,425.33. That change order was approved on March 6, 2017. The final payment of $12,772.08 was also authorized on Monday.

This year’s sanitary sewer lining project was completed for a cost of $181,604. The original bid by Hydro-Klean was $172,356. The added cost was because extensive repairs had to be made at three different locations prior to lining the sewer main. The council approved the entire project and authorized the final payment of $9,080.20 to Hydro-Klean.

The council also gave the OK and set a date for Callahan Municipal Consultants to conduct the biennial 2018 goal-setting session, for 5 p.m. Nov. 7. The Institute of Public Affairs and Jeff Schott had conducted prior goal-setting meetings, but the program was eliminated at the University of Iowa due to budget cuts. Pat Callahan will lead the goal-setting session at a cost of $1,350.

City Administrator Steve Diers said in his city report that there will be a public transit meeting this Wednesday with NIACOG and Circle K Communications to discuss how things are going with the public transportation system.

The city, Circle K Communications and NIACOG reached a new 11-month agreement to continue service of the transit system in July. The new service started Aug. 1.

Diers also said the city’s brush pickup will start the week of October 22 and leaf pickup starts the following week. The leaf pickup will start on the west side of town and work its way east. Diers also said it would be helpful to keep vehicles off the street as much as possible to effectively pick up the leaves.

The next City Council planning session is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23.