MP city council approves beer permit for Old Threshers

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


The Mt. Pleasant city council is preparing for Old Threshers, approving a 14-day Class B Beer permit for the sale of Iowa Craft Beers at McMillan Park during the Reunion Aug. 30 to Sept. 3.

This is a first-time request, city administrator Brent Schleisman said during the city council meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 8. Iowa Craft Beers will be sold.

The council has approved other short-term beer permits at McMillan Park for events such as car cruise and van fest.

The council made no motion, however, regarding a request from the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance for the closing of three parking spaces on the south side of Central Park for a new vendor for Crafts in the Park.

The vendor does not have a tent and would like to use their van to be a part of the show. Mt. Pleasant Police Chief Ron Archer said it would be a safety issue with no barrier between the flow of traffic on Washington Street and the vendor.

?Where does it stop?? asked city council member Steve Engberg, saying that this would set a precedent for future vendors to request parking spaces as well.

While the council briefly discussed allowing the van to park on the square, Schleisman said the event already brings a lot of wear and tear to the grass and a vehicle would take a further toll on the park.

City council member Matthew Crill said approving closing three spots would give up already limited parking spaces.

The rest of the city council meeting was spent approving change orders for various construction projects around town and amending city ordinances.

The council approved amending an ordinance on zone change requests. As is, the ordinance states that if property owners request a zone change they must get half of the property owners within 250 feet of them to sign off on the application.

Planning and Zoning Administrator Jack Swarm said that requiring the signatures of 50 percent of the property owners creates a ?pocket veto? on zone change applications when neighboring property owners refuse to sign. The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended instead that property owners within 250 feet of the proposed change would be sent a notice by mail.

?It deprives people the opportunity to apply for zone changes on their own property,? Swarm said. ?This ordinance removes that requirement.?

The change in the ordinance also increases the application fee from $50 to $200 to cover the cost of the zone change procedure.

The council approved amending the Administrative Fee Ordinance as well. Currently the city charges a $25 administrative fee when going through nuisance abatement procedures. The council approved increasing the fee to $75 to cover staff and city costs for abating nuisances.

Movement is being made on Phase VI of the city?s recreational trail with the approval of hiring Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission to provide administrative services to oversee the procurement of engineering services.

Schleisman said that since grant money will be used to cover the cost of this section of the trail, it?s prudent to select an engineering firm to do the final plans, specs and be as impartial as possible.

Other construction projects the council approved was for Hickey Construction to replace the wing walls on the storm sewer culvert on S. Main Street and Warner Engineering to design and oversee the reconstruction of Bergdahl, Hill and Hayward streets.

In other news, the council revisited some current construction projects, approving hiring low bidders and change orders.

Waters? Edge Aquatic Design was approved to construct new waterslides and filters at the Family Acquatic Center.

Warner Engineering Associates Inc. was approved for a citywide sanitary sewer repair and manhole replacement project. The project is an effort to get stormwater out of the city?s sanitary sewer systems, replacing old brick and leaking manholes with new concrete and spot repairing, Schleisman said.

The project will require some street construction, Schleisman said.

Charge orders approved by the council were on the Main Street project and Jay Street Sanitary Sewer project. On Main Street, Kinney and Sons found the 18-inch sanitary sewer line kept breaking apart as they were installing a new manhole. They had to excavate and install over 118 feet of new 18-inch sewer pipe, increasing the project?s cost by $38,641.

?It?s a good thing we found it,? Schleisman said. ?This is a big price tag but it had to be done.?

On Jay Street, Schleisman was ?pleasantly surprised? that a change order resulted in only a $3,804 increase for the project when FYE Excavating ran into a large storm sewer box culvert and had to cut, remove and relay storm sewer pipe to be out of the way of the new sanitary sewer line being installed.

Finally, the council approved a change order for a new fire rescue vehicle. The change in contract is an additional $9,948, upgrading lighting and shelving units on the truck. The change orders will bring the total to $546,317, staying within budget.

The next Mt. Pleasant city council meeting is Wednesday, Aug. 22.