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Council looks into improvement project on Grove Street

By James Grob,

The Charles City Council approved a design agreement with SEH Engineers for a possible $135,000 improvement project on Grove Street at Tuesday’s meeting.

City Engineer John Fallis told the council that the city has had discussions with Paul Rottinghaus, the new owner of the former Bailey Nursery site, regarding needed street improvements for access to his facility at Grove and Illinois Streets.

Fallis said that SEH Engineers had previously been retained by Bailey Nursery to review the bridges spanning Sherman Creek and determine improvements to the structures for vehicular access.

“This area has inadequate storm sewer. It has been washing out and causing problems,” Fallis said.

Fallis said drainage from Grove Street has been an issue at this intersection, and the storm water has flowed over the curb and eroded the street embankment above Sherman Creek. His recommendation is to reconstruct Grove Street, add storm sewer to discharge gutter flow directly into Sherman Creek, rebuild the street embankment, and place new guardrails.

SEH has prepared a conceptual plan of the improvements required to correct the deficiencies. The cost opinion of the street improvements is $135,000.

SEH has also prepared a professional services agreement for the design and preparation of bidding documents for the project, and is proposing to perform the work for a lump sum fee of $9,800. Fallis said the street project itself would ultimately get under way in May.

Mayor Dean Andrews said that there had been discussions with the Bailey Nursery two years ago, and this project came back to the forefront because of Rottinghaus’s recent purchase of the property, which he intends to develop.

Fallis said that SEH’s initial discussions about the project had begun at the request of Bailey Nursery five years ago. City Administrator Steve Diers said that it wasn’t bumping ahead of any other projects.

“We’ve known about this for a while, although it seems it’s come together rather quickly,” said Diers. “The only thing we had planned for the upcoming budget was work on Highway 18, so this does add some cost to the budget, but we do have the funds to cover it.”

The council plans to review and discuss the construction project and consider letting and hearing dates on March 10, begin bidding on March 16 and hold a hearing to award bids on April 19.

In other business Tuesday, the council:

— Voted to keep the $40 charge as assessed for snow ice removal. City code states that snow and ice shall be removed from sidewalk promptly, and if not removed after 24 hours the city may do so and assess the costs against the property owner for collection as a property tax. The 24-hour time frame does not start until snowfall has generally stopped. Code does not require the city to notify the property owner at all, but the city does so.

— Approved an addendum to the reserved parking agreement with Hoover Properties. Following approval of the agreement with Hoover Properties at the last council meeting, there was followup discussion about charging a similar rental rate for the reserved parking spaces as the city has done with Hy- Vee for use of space for placing of the cart corrals. This historically has been $50 a year per stall which equates to $350 per year in this instance, as seven stalls are being leased from the city. The addendum approves the addition to the existing amount of a one-time $280 payment to the city.

— Approved a motion denying a sewer agreement to provide sanitary sewer service to a new home being constructed by Tony Lessin in rural Floyd County. The agreement required Lessin to cooperate with voluntary annexation of the property into city limits upon the request of the City, and also designated the city as their power of attorney to sign voluntary annexation documents in the event they (or their successors) declined to voluntarily annex upon request of the City. Lessin said he was not interested in an agreement that might force annexation at this time.

— Approved a resolution for lighting for the Corporate Drive water tower, based on a quote from MUSCO in the amount of $28,000 and the estimate for electrical installation work from Perry Novak Electrical in the amount of $17,500. Total cost of the project would be $45,500. Re-estimated budget numbers for FY21 have included the $45,500 total.

— Approved the purchase of a mower for Park and Recreation for Wildwood Golf Course. The John Deere 9009A mower will be acquired from Van-Wall Equipment Inc. for $30,000, using capital equipment reserve funds.

— Accepted a quote from Double Z Construction for $31,511 for replacement of nine garage doors at the fire station.

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