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City Discusses Snow Removal, Towing

By Staff | Jan 8, 2016

Questions regarding whether certain snow removal policies are being followed arose Monday evening during the City Council’s first meeting of 2016.

Ward 3 Councilman Jim Hoffert asked Public Works committee chairman Terry Wentz if public works employees are noting how much snow has been pushed out to the city streets. Wentz said that he could have employees watch for it and report it to the Rugby Police Department.

Depositing of snow and or ice on streets or sidewalks is prohibited by Chapter 12.04.080 of city ordinances.

Mayor Arland Geiszler said the bigger issue is whether vehicles are still on the streets when public works employees are removing snow.

“We’ve got to have a firm policy on that,” Wentz said.

Chapter 12.04.050 of city ordinances deem it unlawful for vehicles to be parked on streets, alleys or public ways during snow removal. Chapter 12.04.070 allows the city to impound vehicles parked in prohibited zones during snow removal hours.

Ward 3 Councilman Joel Berg asked what the city’s process is for towing and impounding vehicles. Rugby Police Chief John Rose said the city does have impounding in the ordinance, however the city and county tried to form a towing agreement with Brad Odden of Brad’s Towing and discussion on it had stalled.

“This is a situation in which that’s needed,” Rose said.

BUDGET AMENDMENTS

The council discussed amendments in the 2015 revenue and expenditures budgets.

On the revenue side, the general fund was revised by $58,673.63. The Fire Reserve fund was revised by $443,120 due, in part, to donations to fund the Fire Hall construction not being budgeted for and also to $392,000 in proceeds from a general obligation bond note. The Water Supply & Treatment fund was revised – the city originally appropriated $850,500 but committed $503,500 due to receiving less than requested from the State Water Commission. The Job Development Authority Sales Tax fund was revised by $21,675.13; the original appropriation was $242,000 but the city committed $263,675.13. The Infrastructure Maintenance fund was adjusted by $213,330.73; The original appropriation was $450,000, however the city received more sales taxes and reimbursements that weren’t budgeted for.

On the expenditure side, the general fund was revised by $89,751.08 due, in part, to the Ward 4 election, software upgrades, fire department expenses and revised wages for seasonal employees. The Capital Equipment Reserve fund was revised by $114,158 due to the purchase of two police vehicles and expenses from Vanguard Appraisals not being budgeted. Fire Reserve was revised by $331,092.78. Infrastructure Maintenance was revised by $115,941.05 due to sidewalk repair and other projects. The REAP fund was zeroed out due to not receiving those funds.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Public Safety – The committee had three applicants to fill a vacant spot in the police department; the committee met with All-School Reunion organizers; police calls were down slightly.

Finance – The committee discussed possible tax incentives for Gooseneck Implement.

Ordinances/Recreation – The committee discussed drain tiles for the baseball diamonds; will begin working on the special meeting ordinance.

Public Works – The master lift station is functional; a walk-through of the water treatment plant with Aqua-Pure would be done soon.

Buildings/Property/Infrastructure – The meeting with KLJ Engineering regarding natural gas in the city was postponed, and was rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m.

Personnel – The committee discussed police department recruiting, scheduling and overtime.

OTHER ACTIONS

The council met with Heart of America Medical Center CEO Patrick Branco and Heart of America Community Service Coordinator Alan Meckle.

The council accepted a $1,500 bid from Brian Gibbs for the city’s old water truck.

The council approved a special events permit for the All-School Reunion Committee to use the city parking lot for a dance with alcohol sales.

The council approved the December minutes, bills, Municipal Judge’s report, JDA minutes and financial statements.

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