City approves new Diamond Pi sign

City Council
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Monticello City Council and Planning and Zoning committee approved the residing of the former Happy Joe’s pole sign for the new Diamond Pi Company restaurant at the same location.

     New owner, Eric Green of Monticello, submitted a request to the city to ask that the pole sign be allowed to stay.

     “This pole sign is the best route for me to go versus a monument sign or signs on the building,” stated Green in writing. He said a monument sign would block the MercyCare sign for those traveling north on S. Main Street, and his new sign would be blocked for those traveling south. Green said a sign on the building would not be noticeable for those driving by. He said he would need signs on both the north and south sides of his building in that case.

     The sign will remain lit during evening hours. Green also plans to repaint the sign and pole.

     The current sign does not encroach in the city’s right of way, but lies entirely on Diamond Pi property.

     “It’s existed for quite some time,” said City Administrator Doug Herman of the age and historical significance of the sign. “It’s appropriate for a restaurant at that location, and makes sense from a visibility standpoint.”

     Per city code, all pole signs must be considered and approved separately from the city’s sign ordinance.

     While the council was in unanimous approval, Council member Gary Pratt asked that they revisit the sign ordinance. This is the third time in the past few months that the council has approved a sign not outlined in the city’s sign ordinance.

     “If we have an ordinance we need to enforce it,” said Pratt.

     Herman suggested the council should, instead, “firm up the definition of a pole sign.”

In other council business:

     • The council approved the removal of culverts under E. First Street and associated grading. The project is estimated to cost between $7,500 and $10,000, depending on the use of city vehicles to haul waste material and the amount of grading involved in the end.

     • The council approved a pay request from Eastern Iowa Excavating & Concrete, LLC in the amount of $8,430.09 for work related to the E. First Street water service line.

     Public Works Director Brant LaGrange discovered the water leak, which took place in early June. The leak was located in front of property owned by Cliff Payne, 211 and 213 E. First St. After digging up the leak, it was found to be a leaking service line connected to Payne’s properties.

     City code places responsibility for the maintenance of service lines, from the main to the lot, with the property owner. However, this line had been abandoned quite some time ago. Herman said until now, every water main leak surfaced from an active line.

     Herman said he would visit with Payne regarding invoicing the cost to him as property owner.

     • The council approved a pay request from Jones County Secondary Roads in the amount of $12,841.70 related to contract rock on 190th Street.

     • The council approved an amendment to Snyder & Associates’ Standard Consultant Contract for the E. First Street Bridge replacement project. The amendment would increase the consulting fee from $108,207 to $126,237. Council member Rob Paulson was opposed.

     The amendment takes into account the extended project timeframe, additional time related to the work that was completed this spring, additional concrete work that was added, and time for the final audit.

     • The council approved the second reading of an ordinance for one-way traffic, adding the alleyway between S. Walnut Street and S. Gill Street.



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