City looks to have Code of Ordinances online

City Council
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     It’s been a couple years in the making, but the City of Monticello’s Code of Ordinances is one step further to being complete and updated for public access.

     During the July 6 city council meeting, a public hearing was held and the council approved the first of three readings of the entire Code of Ordinances. The city has been working with Iowa Codification to transfer the updated code onto the city’s website. This will allow the public to not only access the code book, but to search for specific codes as well.

     While the code book is not yet available online, the council felt they could pass the first reading, giving the public time to review the ordinances before the second and third readings, to be approved at the next two council meetings.

     “Iowa Codification hoped to have the full version up (on the city’s website) by the end of June,” noted City Administrator Doug Herman. “It has not been uploaded yet.”

     Hard copies of the Code of Ordinances are available at City Hall for public review.

     Herman informed the council that some ordinances were modified to read like the state codes, which have changed over the years.

     “It’s still very much our code,” he said, referring to the amendments the council has made over the years. “Iowa Codification made some suggestions, but we didn’t follow through. Most of the changes were things talked through in great detail (at council meetings).”

     Some of those changes include zoning, signage, and street frontage on buildable lots, just to name a few.

     The council felt they could approve the first reading without having the online version available to the public, again noting there would be two more readings. Council member Dave Goedken said he would not vote to approve the last two readings if the code was not online by the next council meeting (Monday, July 20).

     “We need to give everyone a chance to look through it who wants to,” voiced Goedken. “We’ve spent quite a bit of time on this.”

In other city business:

     • The council approved the Jones County Hazard Mitigation Plan, as shared by Emergency Management Coordinator Brenda Leonard.

     • During the Open Forum, Kaye Junion, a resident on N. Arminda Avenue, asked that the council reconsider its ordinance on allowing fireworks in city limits.

     Junion also questioned whether N. Arminda was a residential or commercial district, noting a neighbor has been conducting salvage work on a vehicle, causing excessive noise.

     Police Chief Britt Smith said the neighbor was attempting to demolish one vehicle for parts for another.

     “It’s not prohibited unless it’s within the noise ordinance or it’s an in-home occupation,” noted Smith. “We’re looking into it because it’s created a lot of noise in that neighborhood.”

     Regarding the fireworks, Mayor Brian Wolken said he has not received any complaints.

     • The council approved the fourth pay request from Crawford Company in the amount of $19,775.20 for work related to the Berndes Center HVAC project. A 5 percent retainer in the amount of $7,919.20 is being held.

     Herman said he and the contractor did a walk-through on the project and created a punch list of minor items remaining to be done.

     “The contractor dealt with the list and we did a second walk-through,” noted Herman. “I’m comfortable with the work completed.”

     The council’s approval authorizes the city to release the retainer after 30 days.

     • The council approved the pay rates for on-call ambulance staff.

     The previous rate was $2 an hour. Since Britt Smith took on the role of administrative director of the Ambulance Department, the on-call workload has increased, as has the rate to $8 an hour. EMTs/AEMTs start at $19.30 an hour; paramedics start at $22.30.

     “This is consistent with the collective bargaining agreement,” noted Smith.

     • The council approved city policies related to the receipt of a CDBG grant.

     Smith applied for a grant to assist the police, fire, and ambulance departments. The award amount was $2,295, with $55 going to the Ambulance Department to purchase a UV disinfecting light, and $1,800 going to the Fire Department to purchase accountability software and equipment.

     A public hearing on the policies was set for Monday, July 20, at 6 p.m.

     • The council will hold a goal-setting workshop following their July 20 meeting.


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