Council seeks sewer grant

STRATFORD – The October meeting of the Stratford city council started off with a public hearing to apply for $300,000 of Community Development Block Grant funding for sanitary sewer inflow and infiltration project.

The proposed project is necessary due to past flood events and is to be funded with $300,000 of CDBG funds from IEDA and $150,000 from the city’s local option sales tax receipts. With no written or oral comments during the hearing, the council voted to apply for $300,000 of CDBG funding for the project. The council then reviewed the community development and housing needs assessment, as is required for the CDBG application.

With that hearing out of the way, Mayor Mike Neperney opened another public hearing for bid letting for the downtown revitalization faade project. No written or oral comments were received.

In old business, the council again looked at the situation with the historical Linn-Berglund cabin. Gregg Anderson, present on the behalf of the Stratford Historical Society that owns the cabin, reported to the council on his disassembly progress on the cabin, which is in disrepair. Earlier this year, the council directed Anderson to have the disassembly of the cabin completed by November 1.

Anderson requested a two-week extension of the deadline to disassemble and store the historical cabin, which the council approved.

In other business at the meeting, city manager Rachel Cahill reported that the city of Stratford’s application to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program was approved. Flood insurance is now available to local property owners and may be purchased from any insurance agent or broker licensed to do business in the state where the insurable property is located. The entire community is designated as Zone X, an area of minimal or moderate flood hazard where the mandatory purchase of flood insurance is not required.

A crop damage claim of $50 from Mark Erickson was discussed by the council. Erickson’s claim is based on damage done during the water main construction, but Bolton and Menk Engineer recommended not reimbursing Erickson because the benefits to Erickson’s property outweigh the damages to the crop. The engineering company plans to talk with the contractor and get the claim compensated. The council approved the recommendation and denied the crop damage claim since the claim is the responsibility of the project contractor.

Also, the council approved a housing committee and named as members Paul Nielson, Kim Leeds, Sarah Binder, Catherine Bergman, Rachel Cahill, and Sarah Thompson.

Also approved were three contracts, one for $66,000 from Bolton and Menk, authorizing engineering services for and to proceed with the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The MIDAS contract for $20,000 for administration services associated with the implementation of the program was also approved.

The other contact approved by the council was an amended contract for Allers Architects for an additional $15,100 plus reimbursable expenses for the Downtown Revitalization Project.

Looking at the downtown Revitalization Faade Project, the council approved of Historical Preservation Faade Easements Agreements for 813 Shakespeare Avenue and 826 Shakespeare Avenue.

In additional business, the council approved:

A request from the Stratford Fitness Center to use ATV’s on city streets on Thanksgiving Day from 7:00 a.m. until noon for course marking and marshaling for the annual Turkey Trot fun run/walk event.

Coyce Carlson’s volunteer fire department application.

Attendance by Cahill and deputy city clerk Kim Leeds to the Iowa League of Cities Budget Workshop on December 5. City hall will be staffed by Diana Erickson.

The meeting ended with a 24-minute closed session for the city manager evaluation.