Completion dates set for sidewalk in front of McQuillen Place

By Kelly Terpstra,

McQuillen Place might not be completed yet in Charles City, but walkers by the building should be able to step on sidewalks in the near future.

That will take place hopefully soon, according to Charles City Council members that met on Wednesday for a planning session.

The sidewalk along the McQuillen Place property along Main Street and Clark Street was removed in 2014 and has been closed since as construction on the residential/commercial building has gone through various starts and stops.

A completion date of November 2 is projected for the new sidewalk, which will be installed by the city, but many council members questioned as to why it would take that long.

Preliminary plans call for project letting on July 25 and bids awarded along with contract approval taking place on Aug. 3.

City Engineer John Fallis stated the concrete cost would be $55,000 and there would be two different concrete pours. Cost of the sidewalk will be assessed against the building and added to its city property taxes.

Discussion of the sidewalk also led to discussion about the current status of McQuillen Place. Work has been stalled on the project and council members made it clear they would like to get construction on the building back up and running.


In his “City Notes” column in today’s Press, Mayor Dean Andrews said, “Currently the project is idle as financing concerns are being dealt with. There is confidence that the project will be completed.”

A truck/trailer ordinance was also discussed at the council meeting that aims to prevent anyone parking or leaving a motor truck, semi-tractor or semi-trailer unattended in a business or residential district. The exceptions are when that vehicle is engaged in delivery or receiving of merchandise or cargo.

The Floyd County Firefighters Association has requested a building permit to construct a fire training facility in the 1100 block of E Street. City Attorney Brad Sloter has prepared a zoning ordinance amendment because the city does not have a permitted or a special use for a fire training facility. This matter has been discussed by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Council members agreed that the training facility is a good idea.

Street Department Superintendent Dirk Uetz discussed the purchase of a new street sweeper. This purchase has been budgeted for fiscal year 2019 at $240,000 out of the Road Use Tax funds. The city’s current sweeper was bought in 2008 and there were two quotes provided for a new one, for $201,971.25 and 198,229. That quote is after trade-in of the current sweeper.

City Administrator Steve Diers’ reported that there hasn’t been an agreement reached for a contract to continue the city’s transit system. That contract runs out at the end of this month.

Diers is working with NIACOG (North Iowa Area Council of Governments) to possibly help with a solution to the current status of the transportation system. Two main questions concerning a new contract are, is there a way for NIACOG to provide that service or does the city have to hire drivers and staff? Then it would become an operation of the city.

The council also discussed the contract with AMR ambulance service. Diers said he is asking for a one-year extension for the terms as-is on the current contract with AMR.  

Council member Dan Mallaro was not present for the planning session.