Council deadlocked on First Street Grille request

KEOSAUQUA ? Keosauqua City Council met earlier this month in regular session.

Some of the agenda items that were added due to discussion last month were subsequently removed and will be dealt with in a special meeting later this month.

Those items included the curb and gutter situation on Dodge Street, cleanup bill at Riverview Club and an agreement with Riverview Club.

? The council discussed whether to forgive all or a portion of the bill at the Methodist parsonage. It was due to a toilet in the downstairs, where running water went unnoticed, and amounted to a large bill for the occupant. Council member Larry Shipley abstained from any action. A motion to forgive half of the bill died for lack of second. Other council members questioned the precedence this would set. The occupant will owe the total bill.

? Council members discussed having an attorney present at meetings, that had been the case with the previous city attorney.

Council member Carol Harlan said it would be helpful to have an attorney present to ask questions when the need arises.

Mayor Nasseem Hesler said that having the attorney present in the past generated a lot of cost for the city. Hesler said the attorney had been scheduled to be present at this meeting, but because of the abbreviated meeting due to city clerk needing to attend a funeral of a close relative, it was necessary to hold a special session later this month.

Shipley recommended that Hesler contact the attorney to see if she would be available on a regular basis by phone, in case the council needed any advice at future meetings. That way, it would save the council from having to pay mileage, but would still have an attorney available. Hesler said she would check.

? Council approved a budget amendment. It was due to extra receipts from the sports complex and unplanned expense from Country Lane Road project.

? The following building permits were approved: Brenda and Dennis Perry, 1006 Sixth St.; Todd and Rhonda Fellows, 903 Keoway Drive; Ryan and Erin Huck, 507 Van Buren St.; and Randy Bentzinger, 201 Second St.

? Council approved having Anderson, Larkin and Co. P.C., to perform the annual inspection pursuant to Iowa code.

? Administrator Joy Padget gave an update on the city swimming pool. The slide was fixed May 8 and there will be Red Cross swimming lessons from an individual from Memphis, Missouri. The opening is Saturday.

? The city discussed the nuisance at 1105 Second St. The city will get an estimate on its cost to mow it, which will include a backhoe and present it to the property owner before proceeding.

? Riverbend will apply for a chamber grant to finish its facade, according to Hesler.

? Liquor license for Rotary Club was approved for music festival. Liquor license for Great Day Cafe/Good Night Bistro was approved. Liquor license for Town and Country was approved.

? There were no bids for asbestos removal and demolition of the two downtown buildings. Padget said the Department of Natural Resources will reach out to potential contractors to see if there was any interest.

? The council voted to purchase a Scag Turf Tiger from Armstrong Tractor for $10,769.

? The council had a tie vote 2-2 with one abstention on whether to allow First Street Grille to close a portion of a street to allow them to have a band and an outdoor beer garden as it has done in the past. Padget said First Street Grille did not fill out an application and contacted her the day of the meeting to see if the city was willing.

Council member Chuck Lazenby said he was concerned with the fencing used in previous years. Harlan said she would be against voting on an application that hadn?t been made. Hesler suggested a motion to allow the closure for Memorial Day weekend and then ask the owner to submit an application for the rest of the summer. That motion was made and ended up 2-2 (council members Shipley and Twyla Peacock voting in favor and council members Harlan and Chuck Lazenby voting against).

Council member Dave Atwood abstained. The motion did not pass. The mayor cannot break the tie.

? City superintendent Jim Chambers presented the council with an update on the water pressure surge in the Des Moines subdivision. The problem is with Rathbun water and sand in their filter that causes the pressure surge.

Council asked Chambers to discuss this with the homeowners and let them know of a way to decrease their risk of damage. Chambers has been in contact with Rathbun about the issue and also will contact the five or six residents that it affects.