Charles City takes a big step for tree removal
By Travis Fischer, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Charles City Council approved the first phase of a major tree removal project during its regular meeting on Monday, June 5.
At the meeting, the council held a public hearing for a resolution that would allow it to borrow up to $525,000 to be spent over the next two years to remove a majority of the roughly 900 trees that need to be taken down. The loan would be paid back over 10 years through the city’s debt service levy.
The council also approved the final plans for the 2023 portion of the tree removal project, selecting GDB & Sons as the low bidder for the project, coming in at $204,210 for the base bid plus three additional alternates to remove nearly 300 trees by April 26 of next year.
The council also held a public hearing to approve the final plans and award a bid for the 2023 Mill Race Parking Lot Project. Lodge Construction Inc. out of Clarksville put forward the low bid for the project, coming in at $495,018.
The council again noted that this project will close the existing parking lot for up to 30 days during the construction period and efforts will be made to make sure the exact date of closure will be known as soon as possible to give people time to plan for the temporary inconvenience.
On the opposite end of Main Street, the council accepted the deed from Pure Prairie Poultry for a portion of Lane Street south of the railroad tracks. The council briefly discussed how that property will be used to facilitate traffic between Main Street and North Grand Ave., with more details to be determined in the future.
After moving forward with upcoming projects, the council wrapped up two outstanding ones, authorizing the final payment for the 2022 Street Paving Project and releasing the retainer for the Water Resource Recovery Facility.
“This has been a long process that I think started in 2015,” said City Administrator Steve Diers, who was happy to see the water plant project officially closed out.
In other business, the council approved a request from the Elks Club to utilize Central Park on Wednesday, June 14, to hold its annual Flag Day Observance.
The council also approved a street closure request to close Main Street from Court Street to Riverside Drive from 9 to 11:30 p.m. on July 4 to facilitate the Independence Day fireworks show, along with a second street closure on Blunt Street along Central Park on July 15 for the annual Charles City BBQ Challenge.
A proposal to have a mural painted on the city-owned building at 401 N. Main was put aside during the meeting as Mayor Dean Andrews reported on concerns brought forward about the permanence it could have on the structure.
The Charles City Mural Committee has been looking for a willing location to have a community-centric mural painted somewhere in the city as an attraction for photo opportunities. The location of the 401 Main Street building appeared to be ideal to the committee, however concerns had been raised about the damage that would be done to the soft sandstone in the event that the mural would need to be removed.
“We don’t want to damage a building,” said Mayor Dean Andrews.
Instead, the committee will continue to look for other locations and willing participations.
The council also approved the purchase of two new Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) for the water treatment plant at a cost of $72,392, which has been budgeted for the next fiscal year. Four of the plant’s eight PLCs are discontinued models, making replacement parts increasingly hard to come by. By replacing two of those four, the plant can both update two of their outdated PLCs and use the old hardware as replacement parts for the remaining two.
Finally, the council agreed to move the dates of their next two regular meetings.
With the observance of Juneteenth on Monday, June 19, and knowing that some council members will be gone anyway, the next regular meeting will be moved to Wednesday, June 21.
Likewise, to avoid squeezing a meeting between the holiday weekend and Independence Day, the first regular meeting in July has been moved from Monday, July 3, to Wednesday, July 5.