Volga Council

By: KCTN News
Jul 16th, 2020

The Volga City Council held a Public Hearing on the status of funded activities for the Volga City Grocery Delivery CDBG Program on Monday, July 13, 2020. Mayor Carrie Taylor opened the Public Hearing at 6:45pm in the Volga City Opera House.  Council members George Duff, John Friedley, Dennis Christeleit and Elaine Follon were present.  Pam Follon, Lorna Christeleit and Ann Duff were also in attendance.

The following items were discussed in regards to the Volga Grocery Delivery Program funded through CDBG funds:
1. Need for the CDBG project: The Volga Grocery Delivery Program was needed to assist the identified vulnerable populations (households over age of 60 and households with children) to have local access to essential grocery items during the COVID-19 pandemic without having to travel outside the community. There are currently no grocery stores, meal sites, or convenience stores within the City Limits.
2. Description of the CDBG funded project & activities: The Volga Grocery Delivery Program provided essential grocery distribution on a weekly basis to those households over the age of 60 or those households with children.  The groceries were distributed weekly on Fridays from the Volga City Opera House during May. Volunteers assisted families with delivery if requested.
3.  The amount of CDBG funds for the project: $40,000 max. The exact amount spent for the entire program was $39,789.85.
4.  Estimated amount of CDBG assistance that will benefit low and moderate income persons: An estimated 75% of the population served through the project would qualify as low to moderate income households.
5.  The location of project activities: All households with persons over 60 or children in the home within the 52077 zip code were contacted about the program and offered participation. The project was operated out of the Volga City Opera House.
6.  Any relocation that will have to take place as a result of the CDBG project: Not applicable
7. City/ County contact information for residents to contact with concerns or complaints regarding the project: All participants identified in the zip code and within the identified vulnerable population to be served were contacted through email, text or phone calls with contact information for Beth Gilana or Carrie Taylor. Questions or concerns about the project were directed to: Volga City Hall, PO Box 110, Volga, Iowa, 52077 (Mail), 563-767-3511 (phone) or volgacty@gmail.com (e-mail).
8.  Community Development and Housing Needs of low to moderate persons in the city/county and any planned or potential activities to address these needs:  Council discussed opportunities in the areas of existing housing rehabilitation and energy efficiency for housing. The City has designated a lot in the subdivision for a developer through a Clayton County Development Group program.  The City donated a lot to Northeast Iowa Community Action for the construction of a 'green' house. The house and the program has a homeowner who qualified for the program.  The Council has  identified Property Cleanup of unoccupied properties as a focus area for 2020, communicating with property owners and recently completing one demolition.
9.  Other Community Development and Housing needs and any planned or potential activities to address these needs: The Council has identified property cleanup as a focus area and is working to communicate cleanup needs to property owners.  The City has worked with the Northeast Iowa Housing Trust Fund to acquire grant funds to complete demolition of one unoccupied property.
Follon motioned to close the Public Hearing. Second by Duff.  All voted in favor. The Public Hearing was closed at 6:55pm.

Mayor Carrie Taylor called the regular monthly meeting of the Volga City Council to order at 7:00pm.   Council members Elaine Follon, Dennis Christeleit, John Friedley, and Geroge Duff answered Roll Call. Mike Howard, Darren Nading, Lorna Christeleit, Ann Duff  and Pam Follon were also present.

Public Comments: Duff reported that Tom Crandall is willing to disk, drag and spray the ball diamond near the campground.  This item will be recommended to the Park Board for their upcoming meeting.  Lorna Christeleit thanked Council for the difficult decision regarding the vicious dog issue.

Bruce Moore contacted the City for permission to mow the prairie grass area for hay. Duff motioned to approve the request with a goal to have it baled and bales removed by the August 1 VCTC event.  Friedley seconded.  All voted in favor. Motion carried.

Tom Lott requested to mow and bale the ditch area along the north side of Bell Road and by 100'x100' concrete pad on the east side of the river.  Motion to approve the request by Christeleit. Second by Duff.  All voted in favor. Motion carried.

Pam Follon discussed concerns for the increase in traffic and speed of the traffic on Volga Street and North Main Street in the area of the River Bluffs Reflection Park. Motion by Follon to install a 15mph speed limit sign in that area. Second by Duff. All voted in favor. Motion carried.

Mayor Taylor presented Darren Nading for appointment as Fire Chief as recommended by the Fire Department. Duff motioned to appoint Darren Nading as Fire Chief. Follon seconded. All voted in favor. Motion carried. Darren Nading recited the Oath of Office for Fire Chief.

Mayor Taylor discussed the need to develop a procedure for all city entities to follow in regards to transfer and acquisition of assets. Motion by Duff to request that any city entity must submit minutes with an approval vote by their members in order to buy, sell, insure or otherwise trade value on any type of asset held by the entity or to request for assistance in grant writing where a match is required. Any grant requiring the City Clerk's services must be presented for Council approval. Second by Follon. All Motion carried.

Mayor Taylor presented the recommendation from the Library City Hall Planning Committee to retrofit the existing former hardware buildings. The Committee reviewed the community surveys,  took a tour of the former hardware buildings, and voted in agreement with survey results collected from the mailing to retrofit the former hardware building, pending a favorable negotiated price and full inspection.  The Committee is requesting council approval to retrofit the buildings for the Library City Hall Project and to sell the property at 704 Washington Street. Duff motioned to approve the retrofit decision by the Committee and dispose of the property at 704 Washington Street. Mayor Taylor to negotiate price with current property owner. Second by Christeleit. Ayes: Duff, Christeleit, Friedley. Nays: none. Abstain: Follon. Motion carried.

The Consent Agenda was presented with the following items: 1)  Minutes, 2) Claims, 3) Treasurer's Report , 4) Bank Reconciliation Report-June, 5)  Monthly Budget Report – June/End of FY 20, and 6)  Debt Obligation Report, ending June 30, 2020.  Motion by Christeleit to approve the Consent Agenda with the corrections to the July 7 minutes to read Craig Follon, and to move maturing CD to the Savings Plus account pending rates. Second by Friedley. All voted in favor. Motion carried.

Council Focus Areas:
Streets: Howard presented a plan to rent equipment to clean and seal the cracks in the subdivision streets. Motion by Christeleit to approve the request. Second by Follon. All voted in favor. Motion carried. Letters will be mailed to contractors for sidewalk repair and replacement and resurfacing of the intersection at Volga Street and Lafayette Street due to damage from continual heavy rains.

Dike: Howard has sprayed for weeds. Permits have been submitted and letters will be mailed to contractors for riprap and leveling off of the walking trail and seeding.

Property Cleanup: The Mayor has had conversations with several property owners.  Motion by Follon to send letters and ordinances to multiple owners of unoccupied properties and to request Applications for License to Keep at Junk Vehicles for consideration and approval at the August meeting. Friedley seconded. All voted in favor. Motion carried.

Drainage:  Howard reported the tree on Cass Street has been cleaned up and Cass Street road ditch has reshaped after the recent rains.

Motion by Follon to participate in the Clayton County Marketing Partnership at the $300 level. Second by Duff.  All voted in favor. Motion carried.

Council discussed the Memorial Area Flags. The Mayor will contact the Fire Department to see if they would be the responsible committee for flag display on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veteran's Day.

Mayor Taylor presented Resolution 2020-16: A Resolution approving a permanent easement for driveway purposes at 102 Buchanan Streets Motion by Follon. Second by Freidley. A Roll Call vote was taken. Ayes:  Duff, Friedley, Christeleit, Follon. Nays:  None. Motion carried.

Mayor Taylor updated Council on the Clayton County Emergency Management meeting she attended that discussed Hazard Mitigation Planning. She stressed the importance of completing the update to contain items that will assist in mitigation of natural disasters. Council was asked to bring ideas to the August meeting.

The 0% State Contingency Loan process was discussed. Motion by Follon to obtain costs for dike maintenance, street intersection repair, pedestrian trail levelling, waterway grass planting and sidewalk repair projects. Second by Christeleit. All voted in favor. Motion carried.  A Public Hearing will be scheduled after costs are submitted.

Department Updates:
Water/Sewer Department: Howard reported that they are waiting on additional lift station materials and quotes to finish the repair project.

Council reviewed the end of FY 20 balances.

Mayor Taylor presented Resolution 2020-17: A Resolution authorizing transfer of Local Option Sales Tax and Emergency Levy Funds to General Fund. Motion by Follon to approve. Second by Duff.  A Roll Call vote was taken. Ayes: Duff, Friedley, Christeleit, Follon. Nays:  None. Motion carried.

Mayor Taylor presented Resolution 2020-18: A Resolution authorizing transfer of funds from Enterprise Funds to General Fund (Annual Pilot Payment).Motion by Christeleit to approve.  Second by Friedley.  A Roll Call vote was taken. Ayes:  Duff, Friedley, Christeleit, Follon. Nays:  None. Motion carried.

Delinquent Utilities were discussed.

Motion by Friedley to adjourn. Second by Duff. All voted in favor. Meeting was adjourned at 9:11pm.