Second reading of compost site fees approved

City Council
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Monticello City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance adding compost site fees on a 5-1 vote, with Council member Brenda Hanken opposed.

     The ordinance imposes a $2 per month fee for use of the city’s compost site north of town. The fee would be added to all utility accounts in the city. With approximately 1,700 accounts, the fee would generate roughly $40,800 a year.

     During the Oct. 5 city council meeting, City Administrator Doug Herman asked the council if they wanted to consider how the fee is applied to apartment buildings that operate off of one meter rather than multiple meters.

     “All residents can use the site,” Herman said, meaning not just homeowners, but those who reside in apartments, too.

     “It’s clear a lot of people may never use it,” commented Council member Dave Goedken. “We need to find a good way to share the cost.”

     Goedken felt the $2 a month per utility account was a fair approach.

     Council member Candy Langerman said the $2 was fair considering Public Works employees would still be offering curbside service for tree brush for residents.

     “I think $2 is more than reasonable for that service,” she said.

     Some residents in the audience felt they shouldn’t have to pay for a city service they would never use.

     Part of the $40,000 annual cost associated with the compost site includes a $30,000 contract with T&W Grinding & Compost Service. The remaining funds will go toward upkeep and maintenance of the site by city employees.

In other city business:

   The council approved a liquor license for Glass Tap.

     Prior to the approval, Council member Brenda Hanken requested to have this item considered separately from the Consent Agenda. Hanken asked Police Chief Britt Smith if the owner of Glass Tap had any convictions or if the establishment had any problems recently. Smith informed Hanken that the bar has been closed since March due to COVID-19 and ongoing renovations. In addition, Smith said there was nothing disqualifying the owner from obtaining a liquor license.

     • Andrea Hall with the Monticello Trails Committee addressed the council during the Open Forum. Hall informed the council that the committee met for the first time and plans for moving forward for a larger trail in Monticello.

     “There is a need for more safer options for outdoor recreation,” Hall said. “We’re going to be working on fundraising options.”

     • The council approved a bid for crack sealing at several locations throughout the community from Kluesner Construction $27,433.02.

     They also approved a bid from Kluesner for asphalt and crack sealing for $3,969.32. This work will be done on Second Street between Highway 38 and N. Maple Street.

     The council held off on approving a bid for various street repairs.

     • No action was taken on a request from property owners along the Sixth Street Ditch for the city to trim and remove trees. The tree lies on private property, and was damaged in a recent storm. Should the tree fall, it could block the waterway. Herman said if the council chooses to move forward with the ditch project, it’s likely the tree would come down anyway.

     “If it is not our responsibility at this time and we don’t known when we’ll do the project, I think this would set precedence if we removed it,” voiced Langerman.

     The rest of the council agreed.

     “It’s too early for the city to move forward and take down trees,” added Goedken.

     • The council approved an Engagement Letter with PFM (Public Financial Management) to assist with funding, planning, and bonding for a new sewer treatment plant.

     The total cost for the project could be between $8 million and $10 million.

     The fees associated with the city working with PFM total $18,000. If the city borrows money from the State Revolving Loan Fund, which is likely, the city could be reimbursed $4,000 from the Iowa Finance Authority.


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