The Traer City Council held their regular meeting Monday, August 4, at Traer City Hall.
Mayor Russell Drinovsky called the meeting to order at 7 pm.
Attending the meeting were Council Members Patty Guzman, Mark Mason, Ray Mundt and Lou Rausch. Council Member Jake Schmitt was absent. Several members of the community, Sheriff Dennis Kucera, pool Managers Melissa McKinley and Heather Brubaker and Street Department Superintendent John Novak also attending the meeting.
Mundt made a motion to approve the Agenda, Mason seconded the motion and the motion carried. Mason made a motion to approve the minutes of the two previous meetings, Guzman seconded the motion and the motion carried. Mason made a motion to approve the bills for the month of July, Rausch seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Sheriff Kucera gave his report to the council. He told the council that his department had 216 3/4 hours of service for the month of July, with most of the calls for public assist. He reported six harassment calls, a theft of a 4-wheeler stolen from the back of a trailer on Seventh Street, eight traffic stops, one attempted suicide and one threatening suicide. Kucera also informed the council of five vandalism calls including some breaking of windows at the county shed and kids trying to break into some of the abandoned buildings next to the Fire Department.
Guzman commented to Kucera that is seemed like there had been a high number of attempted suicides or suicides lately and if these people were getting the mental health care they need? She went on to ask if there was follow-up from his office after the initial call. Kucera told Guzman and the rest of the council that if they followed their advice then yes there was follow-up in place. Kucera also told the council that he believed that the current economy had a role in the high number of calls.
McKinley gave a report to the council on the current state of the Traer Swimming pool. She told them that it is in need of painting and that the bathrooms looked really bad and that they required constant up-keep. The pool had recently been inspected and had several things that needed updated or fixed cited on the report. One of the main things that she would like to get done before they open next year is getting the pool painted. She had gotten a rough estimate of $20,000 and was expecting a complete estimate soon. Mason suggested that she put together a report telling the council of all the repairs needed and the costs to do those repairs so they could prioritize the repairs. McKinley told the council that she had been informed by a contractor that the pool could last up to 15 to 20 years more. Panfil updated the council on the amount of money that they already had set aside from this year and next year in the amount of $54,000. The council agreed in a past meeting to start saving for a new pool and to set aside a percentage of local option tax money.
Ken Seda, a 1976 graduate of North Tama, asked the council to consider helping get a film festival started in Traer. He was hoping that this year the festival could feature Czech and Slovak films and ultimately use it as a fundraiser for the Czech Museum. He gave suggestions for different ideas for following years including films made in Iowa or films that star famous Iowa natives like John Wayne. He would like to get a committee formed to look into this idea further.
Novak gave his report to the council stating that they expected the construction crew blacktopping the streets to begin in the third week of August. He also told the council that a letter had been sent to Traer residents that curb work or street work that was being done on saying that if they wanted any changes made to the curb in front of their homes (cut-out for driveway) to contact the city to make arrangements.
Novak said that they had been working with Josh Youel to get the football field ready for the season after the storm sewer drain lines had been replaced earlier this summer.
He also told the council about a call he had received from the DNR about a complaint that had been made for dumping dirt at the Mill Street Bridge. Novak explained that they had dumped the dirt there for a reason as they plan to replace the bridge. The DNR representative said that it was fine to just fill out the proper paperwork.
Novak said that he was in the process of looking for a snowblower and would get costs to the council.
City Clerk Jon Panfil told the council as far as the progress with the Mill Street Bridge they had received approval from the DOT to use the firm that they had received a proposal from. Now they are waiting to negotiate a contract with that firm.
Mary Hamilton asked if the council had received a report on the progress of the gas franchise negotiation? Panfil informed her that the council had received a report in writing. She also asked if the report contained information as to the amount of money to date that had been spent? Panfil said that to his knowledge no further bills had been presented or paid lately.
Hearing no other matters before the council, Mayor Drinovsky adjourned the meeting at 7:50 pm.
The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 7 at 7 pm.