Dredging of Five Island Lake has come to a standstill, at least temporarily.
Emmetsburg City Administrator John Bird told members of the City Council Monday night that the dredge is not running. The Lake Restoration Board met earlier Monday
Bird, along with Councilmen Finer and Gramowski, met with a private dredging company last week. This company will submit written proposals: for them to provide the equipment and personnel to complete the dredging project; for them to provide personnel and use our equipment, which would be more affordable; and, a proposal where the city would continue to use public employees and the company would train the employees and provide oversight of the dredging operation.
This company is from Ashland, NE and a company from Dubuque will be coming to Emmetsburg to review the dredging project later this week. These companies have done work with the Department of Natural Resources in the past.
"We're hoping to get the thing running again this year, but if not the State of Iowa has told us they will work with us, pushing back the funding so we will still get three years of funding," said Bird.
Councilman Corey Gramowski asked about safety cones that had been placed on a city street the morning of July 4.
In his brief to the council, Bird noted that street department employee Jim Reding found five orange hazard cones placed across Lake Street, just north of the intersection at 4th and Lake. Reding notified Bird and determined that the city had not placed the cones on the street. The cones were removed and taken to the street shed.
"We still haven't had anybody come to claim those cones, but apparently a couple of the cones are actually property of EMU (Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities)," said Bird.
Addressing Police Chief Eric Hanson, Councilman Steve Finer asked, "Have you done any investigation about who put those out illegally?"
Hanson said he just found out about it and had not made any inquiries.
"We really need to investigate who did that, and I think citations ought to be issued," said Finer. "That is a very selfish act. What makes them think they can block a city road. I don't know who did it, but we should try to find out."
Police Chief Hanson reported to the council that he has been working on a couple of nuisance abatements. Notices had been sent out two weeks ago.
"One of them has been completed and the other one, with Lamont Naig," said Hanson. "Him and I talked on the phone and I've been down to survey and look at the property when we first started and where we're at right now. He's moved four of the cars and he's got one more that needs to be worked with and then there are some items of personal property, a camper and a couple of mowers we need to get moved out of there. He's agreed to continue to work to get a few more things accomplished. We'll get together toward the end of the week to see where he's at. At least we're seeing progress and moving forward, that's my biggest goal when we start one of these."
Councilman Gramowski asked Hanson if the speed trailer could be put on the gravel road by the lake, with the speed posted at 15 mph.
"We just put the speed trailer up on North Lawler and we'll give that about five days or until the end of the week, then we'll bring it in and charge it up and put it out by the lake," said Hanson.
The council approved a resolution establishing written policies pertaining to standards of accounting and financial reporting.
Bird explained, "After 1989, when new financial standards were adopted, governments could adopt private sector accounting standards. The City of Emmetsburg never did, which is fine, but at a recent seminar Ed Burdorf learned that those cities who have not made that change should have city councils adopt these policies so that they (auditors) can quit having to make long comments on the audit."
Eric Smith came before the council to discuss sale of an unimproved alley bordering his property at 2401 25th Street to the west. Bird said the alley was vacated in 1966, but never disposed of. He pointed out that the last several requests for selling an unimproved alley have been denied.
"There are utilities in this alley and an easement would have to be maintained if you did decide to sell it," said Bird.
"If the opportunity came up, we would like to have the opportunity to buy half of it," said Smith.
After discussing the pros and cons of buying the alley or continuing to maintain the alley property, Carolyn Smith asked, "Would there be a problem if we, and the other property owner, had a gentleman's agreement and maintain the property without selling it?"
"I don't know that we've ever kicked anybody out for mowing grass," said Councilman Brian Malm.
In other business, the council voted to approve the Golf Board's request to push back the date to demolish the current clubhouse/community center. The board had requested that the date be moved back to Oct. 1 so that wedding receptions and golf events can be held in September.
The council tabled the Golf Board's request to enter into a lease agreement for a new rough mower. The proposed amount of lease payments was not available.