Council proceeds with trail extension project

City Council
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     During previous Monticello City Council meetings, the council was undecided about extending Willow Trail from Kitty Creek along E. Oak Street/Highway 38 toward Oakwood Cemetery and the high school/middle school.

     After much discussion at the April 20 meeting, they approved a 10-foot trail extension to the first entrance of the cemetery, at a cost estimate of $88,000. This does not include crossing beacons, which will be purchased and installed separately. They also approved a bid alternate to extend the trail to the second cemetery entrance, which is estimated to cost $7,000.

     The first cemetery entrance also happens to be the current entrance to the high school. A new, separate entrance is being built for the new middle school.

     There was talk about whether a 10-foot sidewalk was needed.

     “The first section is not so bad,” noted Council member Dave Goedken. “But 10 feet could be a maintenance issue long-term. How well would it hold up? I think 8 feet is adequate and it’ll last longer.”

     Mayor Brian Wolken and City Administrator Doug Herman said 10 feet would remain consistent with the current trail.

     “For a multi-use trail, they recommend 10 feet minimum,” noted Herman.

     “If we started with 10 feet, we need to continue with 10 feet,” said Council member Chris Lux.

     Goedken said whatever width is decided upon, he would suggest the use of rebar under the concrete for reinforcement. With an adequate sidewalk already in place along E. Oak Street, Goedken said this project would be improving the sidewalk as well.

     The goal is to have this trail completed by mid-August just in time for the start of the new school year.    

In other city business:

   • The council visited with Norm Zimmerman regarding a sewer extension along Highway 38. This project would benefit three homes on N. Cedar Street, one Zimmerman currently rents out. These properties are served by septic tanks. The plan would be to extend city sewer from Madalyn Court to the rear yards of these homes. Snyder & Associates estimates a cost of $70,000.

     “It behooves the city to have everyone as possible off septics in city limits,” said Council member Tom Yeoman.

     The council would support such a project at a 50/50 cost share. Herman said he would reach out to the property owners on estimated assessments to get a feel for where they’re at on this project.

     • The council approved a site plan for the Chestnut Street condominiums. (Council member Tom Yeoman abstained.)

     Yeoman plans to build a two-unit condo, followed by a three-unit condo on Chestnut Street.

     • The council approved the Monticello Regional Airport/Iowa DOT airport state funding application.

     Two individuals approached the airport wanting to each construct a 100-by-100 hangar. The estimated cost is $345,000. The grant requires a 15 percent local cost share, which would come from airport revenues. In addition, the airport is set to receive $30,000 from the federal CARES Act.

     • The council directed Herman to continue working and planning for sewer plant upgrades, in obtaining funds to assist the project through the Iowa Revolving Loan Fund.

     Herman said he is working on the project with Economic Development Director Derek Lumsden.

     “We need to make it clear that we’re serious about moving forward,” Herman said of the grant application. “We’ve been following the required steps so far.”

     This resolution would accompany the grant, which could help with scoring and successful funding.


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