Sixth St. Ditch information meeting, Aug. 17

City Council
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     In an effort to apply for a USDA grant to assist in helping to fund the City of Monticello’s Sixth Street Ditch Project, the city council scheduled a public information meeting for Monday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m.

     The ditch project is a long time coming, and intended to improve the waterway for storm water.

     During the July 20 city council meeting, City Administrator Doug Herman said the intent is to apply for most, if not all, of the total estimated cost of the project. He added that the city is likely to receive a $525,000 grant from the USDA.

     “We’re asking for 100 percent of the cost, but the grant probably won’t be in the full amount,” Herman said.

     The estimated cost of the project is $500,000.

     The council’s approval in setting the informational meeting is also notice of the city’s intent to file for the grant. Following the hearing on Aug. 17, the council will be asked to approve a resolution authorizing submission of the grant application.

     Council member Tom Yeoman asked whether property owners along the Sixth Street Ditch would be able to see and review the proposed project plans.

     “At least two of the city council members have never seen the plans,” added Council member Candy Langerman, who was elected after the project was initially designed.

     Herman said the project was on hold for a while, namely because of the cost associated with the project and proposed property assessments.

In other city business:

   The council approved a grant agreement between the city and the Iowa Economic Development Authority for the Rural Innovation Grant.

     The city was awarded $20,000 for improvements to the former Dollar General/Dime Store at the corner of E. First Street and Cedar Street. This will be home to the Rural Innovation Lab and Creative Adventure Lab.

     The grant required a $10,000 match, and any additional costs associated with the building improvements would be reimbursed to the city by Creative Adventure Lab, Inc.

     •  The council approved the final contract payment to Jason Rauen associated with the city’s yard waste/compost site.

     The city purchased the site for $72,500, with $15,000 down. The balance ($57,500) accrued 5 percent over five years. The council’s approval allows for a payment of $60,875 on the one-year anniversary of the contract. This payment would allow Rauen to provide the deed of the property to the city.

     • With the city’s updated ordinances now available online on the city’s website (, the council passed the second reading approving the code.

     • Herman reported that after sending a survey to N. Sycamore Street homeowners regarding the replacement of trees, roughly 30 replied that they were interested in planting more trees.

     • In an update from Parks and Rec, to date 455 individuals hold a pass to the Aquatic Center, which closes for the season on Friday, Aug. 21. This is an increase in the total number of pass holders from last year.

     The pool also increased its allotted number of patrons from 100 to 125.


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