MAYOR'S CORNER August 2015
Where has the summer gone? It seems like the kids just got out of school and it's already time to start back up. Please watch out for all the kids either walking or biking to and from school. Take extra time to look at all intersections and in front the school buildings! Please stop for school busses stopped in front of schools!
Some of you probably wonder what a mayor actually does all month long besides his real job and writing this article. In one week I had calls or complaints on properties not being maintained such as mowed and trimmed up, tree removal, mattresses thrown on lawns, height on signs throughout town, water leak in a street, damage in a garden, loose pets, bad sidewalk, sump pump discharge and a bad electrical pole in town. Some of these are serious items to look at others require just good common sense about what to do. Do you have bed bugs in your mattresses and just through them out a window and on your lawn and let them lie for 3 weeks? I would hope not! Somebody once said its not the big things that will get you it will be all the little ones! Along with keeping up with the normal daily things Lois, Steve, Jim and Barney do Readlyn had some repairs to the ditch and shoulder work on First Street, water leak on Magill Avenue and a water shut off on Fourth Street. Jim, Barney, and I also took a day and toured several sewer plants looking at different options for our sewer plant. I am proud to serve the citizens of Readlyn but it does take a lot of time and dedication and I hope that my effort is worth it.
At our last council meeting we had two citizens ask for variances for building permits, one for a driveway and the other for a front porch. Both variances were granted. The city council opened sealed bids for the Historical Society Building Project. The low bid was from Matt Construction, Inc. Sumner at $33,878.00. Thanks to the other contractors that bid on the project. I have met with Steve from Matt Construction and went over all details. Their plan is to start construction in 2 weeks. The Historical Society has accumulated around $18,000 the city has agreed to help finish this phase of construction but the Historical Society will continue to raise funds.
The county engineer was also at our meeting to discuss the driveways and intersections part of the Lobeck Avenue overlay project. Todd Fonkert, county engineer went through specific intersections with drainage and grade issues. He also discussed cost of these items and given full support of the council to put project out to bid. Todd said he had a few more details to finalize and then would be letting out bids. The plan is to get this project done this fall but if need be would be done in spring.
Jeff Heil was at our meeting also. Jeff is from Northland Securities and is the cities financial adviser as required by the State of Iowa to obtain a SRF loan. Jeff discussed his rate study for loan payback for the sewer plant. Several options were discussed but will require more input from the citizens of Readlyn and the council. Should user fees be based on usage or a flat rate or a combination of the two? If you have a opinion let a council person know.
Thanks for now and don't hesitate to contact me or city hall with any questions. Dan Wedemeier, mayor.
MAYOR'S CORNER July 2015
At our last meeting we had a group, Main Street Beautification, Inc present some programs out there to improve storefronts on Main Street. Brian Schoon with INRCOG gave the council some funding opportunities available the Government. The council decided that those programs are not quite what the city would be looking for but encouraged the group to keep working on their goals. I also gave a update on the city's plan with Main Street street lights which are budgeted to be replaced this year. Our police chief and I are working on a list of sidewalk areas on Main Street to be fixed. As far as the actual Main Street concrete surface we have been concentrating on repairs on that the last 2 years and not getting very far with what we budget. The city may have to put together a special project just to get that done which probably would include some water main work also. So the city has some work to do to keep Main Street up but with our new sewer project it won't be right away.
We had a group from the Readlyn Historical Society at our meeting. Building plans and the bidding process were discussed. The council decided that Historical Society would get some detailed plans and the city would accept bids on them to be opened at our next council meeting. They have done a good job of raising funds and hope to have concrete and a shell up this fall. So if you know someone that would like to bid this contact city hall.
The city has been advised by our city auditor to take over the bill paying and payroll of the library. So we had to establish a fund for that. The library board still approves all their bills and then gives them to the city for payment.
Last month we accepted a resolution for a franchise for Black Hills Energy to provide natural gas the the city. The second reading of that ordinance was read and approved.
As I see many people out on the bike trail please watch out where those walkers and bikers are at in town! Our police chief is working on keeping yards around town up to code. One thing that always is a problem this time of year are boats and campers or any trailers sitting on the street. Please be aware of that because it came be very disruptive to traffic and not very neighborly! I also see vehicles parked the wrong way on a street. I think it is disrespectful to park that way besides against the law! Barney and Jim completed the water tower cleaning with little problems except with low water pressure when we started the process. All appropriate tests were submitted and came back clean as expected. Good job guys!
Stay cool and have fun the rest of the summer!
Mayor, Dan Wedemeier
MAYOR'S CORNER June 2015
Congratulations to our newest Grump, Ron Kohagen and Queen "Miss Readlyn" Kassidy Kuhlmann and our newest Little Grumpsters, Carly Gray and Caleb Hogan. Also, congratulations to Roger Deterding, as Volunteer of the Year. Have fun representing our City of Readlyn! Also, thank-you to the outgoing kings and queens for a job well done. ----- A BIG THANKS to the community club and its volunteers for a successful Grump Day Celebration. It's takes a lot of work to make a fun and successful Grump Days and I am very proud to have a group of people in Readlyn to do that! I am also happy to see the attendance at all of the events. Thanks to all involved - Great Job!!!!!
At the last city council meeting the council renewed its franchise with Black Hills Energy to provide natural gas service to the city of Readyn. This franchise is for 25 years and is the same as the last franchise provided by Black Hills Energy.
The council also approved a service contract with Fox Engineering. This allows them to provide a preliminary design for the new sewer plant. Once the city gets this draft, we will provide the citizens with more information on this important project.
The City of Readlyn has received an offer from Bremer County to cost share a street improvement project on Lobeck Avenue, from the north city limits to 4th Street. The County will be resurfacing from the city limits north to Highway 3. The city had a special meeting with the City Council, the County Engineer, Todd Folkerts and the County Supervisor, Dewy Hillebrant. The specifics of the project were discussed. Basically, it involves breaking old concrete, compacting it, grading and compacting gravel and then putting a 5 inch layer of asphalt on top of that. This will change the height of the road. So all the driveways and intersections will be affected. It was decided by the council to go ahead with the project. This will be the one chance we have to have the county help pay for this and seems like a good solution to fixing this road. The driveways this affects will be repaired with the product your driveway is made of gravel, asphalt, or concrete. The plan is for this project to be completed this fall. If you have questions or concerns, please contact a council person, the city hall or myself.
Don't forget about the swim bus program! It starts on June 30th and runs for 5 weeks. The bus ride is free - you just need pay $4 for pool admission. Your children will need to have a permission slip completed and given to Lois, at the City Hall, before they are able to participate in this fun activity. Contact Lois at the City Hall with any questions.
Remember that the city parks are available for you to use for family gatherings. This also includes the tennis courts, ball fields and the volleyball courts. They are yours to use! Contact Lois, at City Hall, with any questions.
The city of Readlyn has a Facebook page which has a lot of pictures from Grump Days for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to check it out. We also try to keep you up to speed on events going on in town on this page. If you have any ideas or suggestions on ways to make this better, please let us know.
Thanks again - Enjoy your summer! Dan Wedemeier, Mayor
MAYOR'S CORNER May 2015
Hope all of you are doing well and getting graduations and enjoying all of the end of school year activities. As of this writing we have just completed our May council meeting. The city is also busy with the cities spring clean up week. Barney and Jim reported that the clean up is going well and they still have more to do! We also discussed the cleanup of properties in town that are outside the city ordnances for their property. I know it doesn't feel good to get a notice from the city but, it is for the betterment of our town and your own property.
Chad Garber, Superintendent of Wapsie Valley Schools, gave a presentation on the "Mission and progress of Wapsie Valley Schools". Thank you to Mr.. Garber for keeping us informed, we certainly appreciate him taking time out of his busy schedule to keep us informed and up to date on this topic.
Also, on the agenda was a public hearing to amend the budget, which was primarily about spending authority for monies received from hail damage to city buildings. The council discussed and then approved the budget amendment . This also approved the money spent for the brown building behind City Hall.
The city of Readlyn's franchise with Black Hills Energy, which provides natural gas service, will expire in January, 2016. The current franchise agreement has been in effect for 25 years. There will be a public hearing at the June council meeting to discuss whether we should continue the cities franchise with Black Hills Energy.
The council meeting also included a review of a recent city adit which was done by Keith Olltrogge. There also were reports presented on EBBRA and the Tripoli-Readlyn Sanitation meetings. Jim and Barney's licenses for operating the water and sewer plants were also approved.
A project that the city is currently working on is the ditch and shoulder on 1st Street, east of Main Street. Another priority we will be working on is getting the Main Street concrete patched. We also are working on the clean up of railroad property, which includes some tree and fence removal. The Garden Club is going to be busy working on flowers, plants and bushes by the sign along Highway 3. You may have noticed that the doors and soffit on the water tower building are new. We will also be shingling the Historical Society Building. These and many other tasks are just a part of the normal maintenance that is needed for the city property and utilities.
In a few days school will be out, which means children will be out and about more during the days. PLEASE be careful and be aware of them walking, biking and playing during the day! ALSO, please get out and enjoy our nice parks, shelters, ball fields and the terrific bike trail! If you have any questions about anything concerning the city, just give Lois a call at the City Hall.
Remember Grump Days coming soon! Get involved and get signed up for the parade and volunteer to help out. All of us working together will create a very fun and successful Grump Days Celebration.
Be careful - stay safe and enjoy the summer!
Dan Wedemeier, Mayor
MAYOR'S CORNER Feburary 2015
I know that this cold weather is making all of us to be looking forward to spring.
Our monthly council meeting was fairly routine. We had a visit from Joan Greenlee with the Bremer County Community Partners. She told us about all of the programs they provide and how they operate. If you would like more information about any of these programs, you can call Joan at 319-352-3726.
We also approved several sessions for new and continuing education for Jim and Barney. Most of those sessions will keep all their operating licenses up to date and any new things coming down the line.
The council also set the date for the public hearing for the budget. The council has discussed most of the items on the budget. If you have any questions or concerns about where your city tax dollars go, this hearing would be the one to attend and allow you to voice your opinion if you feel that you is something you would like to do.
Many of you probably know that EBRRA's building in Sumner burned down, along with the baler and other equipment and inventory. The citizens of the city of Readlyn will not notice anything different in their recycling efforts. The city of Readlyn is using some buildings in town to store recyclables until we have room to bale them. We have a new baler and lift truck already in operation at the previous County Home Farm, where we are storing cardboard. The city of Sumner will be building a new building in Sumner and we will eventually be back with all operations in Sumner. The EBRRA group feels very strongly about the good that our recycling does for us all and strives to make it better operationally and financially.
The brown metal building in the alley, just east of City Hall, has been purchased from Dan Salsbury and Brenda Salsbury by the City of Readlyn. Because the city has much of its electric supplies stored in several buildings in town, it is our plan to make this our electrical storage building and seasonal equipment storage building. This will also give us more room to work in our maintenance building and more storage in our recycling building. The city has also started installing new LED lighting in the maintenance building. It was a very dimly lit space and hard to work in, the new lighting has greatly improved this work space.
The council discussed at budget time our needs for next years street repairs. We plan to concentrate on repairing Main Street and north by park. We also want to get 1st street, east of Main Street, back in good condition. The council also discussed installing a splash pad. Based on the responses on Facebook and the council members opinions, the city has decided to move ahead with this project. First we will figure out how to pay for it and then where and what kind of equipment. We will look for donations from groups or individuals. So if you or your group have ideas, please let a council person or myself know or call Lois at the City Hall.
MAYOR'S CORNER November, 2014
Once again it's a white out! We had our 1st measurable snowfall today. It's seems too early for this already. It's also too cold out! I don't know about you but, I'm not ready for that either.
I am sure that many of you listened to the forecast and had anticipated the white stuff but when I was out early this morning, I noticed that there were quite a few vehicles parked on the city streets. I also saw our Police Chief, Steve out putting reminders in the windows of those vehicles reminding them that they shouldn't be there. In the past I've helped Barney and Jim plow the streets and it sure makes it difficult when a vehicle is park in the street. I also think it would be a common curtesy not to place your snow in the street after it has been plowed. I have seen snow fences put up on home owners property, which is fine, unless it makes for snow banking up on city streets. Once again a little consideration for the city and your neighbors would be the important thing to do! The city does put up some snow fences around town. These are put up to try to keep snow from getting on city streets. If you're not sure what's right, please call City Hall and check.
At our last monthly council meeting we continued to work towards a new sewer treatment plant. The DNR has approved our site plan. We also heard from the city engineering firm on a timetable to follow and started the necessary paperwork to work with the State Revolving Fund.
Billy Lemkuhle, the marketing director, and a board member from EBRRA, attended the meeting and he presented the council with a 5 year report. This recycling agency has been a very successful venture and I believe all three towns involved are committed too keeping this program going.
The council approved several training meetings for Steve, Lois, Jim and Barney. Most of these are required for certification and others are for continuing education. We believe the training will keep our people up to date on new and old things.
Nicole Barnes reported on the cities Facebook page and said it was picking up customers and"likes". The idea behind this page is to see how much interest/use is out there and help us decide what we should do to up date out city website.
If you don't normally drive out on the north side of Readlyn, you should take a drive out there. The new sign, along Hwy 3 is done! The sign is basically brand new and I have talked with the the Garden Club and they are going to redo the flowers and bushes next spring. A big thanks to Burton Thies and his crew, they did a great job! Speaking of the Garden Club, I think they did a great job on the new greeting sign on the 'rock' across the road from Barry Wittenburg's house. BIG THANKS! Barney and Mark Kuker and David Wittenburg went out on the bike trail and cemented a couple pads for benches on the trail. Thanks guys! David has his poles cemented in for his new bike trail greeting sign. He is still working to get top part on. Maybe we will get some warmer weather yet this fall so he can get it done!
I am very excited for our new Chistmas on Main event that's coming up the week after Thanksgiving. I have heard of many great events going on. I'm excited about everyone that's getting involved. Like our Firemen providing fire pits and s'mores for very one. The lighting of the big Chistmas tree at the north end of Main Street. The lighted parade will be a fun way to begin the holiday season and it's great to have all the groups and businesses doing and activities for everyone. I have also heard of trolley and sleigh rides in town. It sounds like a wonderful winter celebration. Hope you all come and there's still time to get involved. Contact Jess Buck if you have something you would like to do or provide for this fun event.
Be sure to stop in at City Hall that night too. We'll have something warm to drink, a little treat and an LED battery operated Christmas ornament for each family.
Remember to count your blessings every day! Happy Thanksgiving - from our family to yours!
Dan Wedemeier Mayor
MAYOR'S CORNER August, 2014
Once again where has the summer gone? Just knowing the children will be back in school very soon, means that summer is almost over. Please be carefull of the children around town, especially around the schools during drop off and pick up times. Also, please obey the parking signs and be courteous of home owners and other citizens traveling the streets near the schools.Barney and Jim are out on the streets getting the lines freshly painted. We also have some new street signs going up as time permits.
As you may have noticed some of the cities buildings are getting new shingles, because of hail damage earlier this year. Jason Franck Construction is doing the work and they are doing a fine job and the city will end up with new shingles on all our buildings. The Fire Station and City Maintenance building also got new roofs as well. We also have some siding damage on a few of the city buildings, which will be fixed as well.
At our monthly council meeting we completed the normal city business. Just a few items that may be of interest to you is that the city has purchased the brown building behind City Hall from Dan Salisbury and Brenda Salisbury. That building will be used for storage of electrical supplies for the city and seasonal equipment. In other business, we talked about available funds from the state revolving fund for waste water control. The council decided to have Erv Mussman, from the cities engineering company, provide us with more information. The council also had a discussion on a up dating the city web site. We would like to make it more user friendly. We also entertained the idea of possibly using Facebook. Nicole Barnes is going to look into some ideas, so if you have any ideas or suggestions for us, please contact Nicole or another council person and let them know. The idea that started this thought process is that EBRRA has recently had a site designed for them and the person who did it was asking about the cities site. So, if you want to know anything about recycling you can go to the EBRRA site and check it out!
We also had a report from the Tripoli-Readlyn Sanitation Board. Everything seems to be going good there. The sanitation board asks me to remind everyone that one 32 gallon container with a lid, that does not weigh over 50 pounds, is what permitted. You can purchase a sticker for any extra bags that you might have on any given week. They cost is only $1.50 per sticker and can be purchased at City Hall or the Kwik Star. If you have any questions, give Lois a call, at the City Hall. Once again, when putting out garbage use a little common sense and think about the guys picking up garbage up.
Lastly, Connie and I were invited out to the Poor Farm, by the Poor Farm Foundation Board. They gave us a tour of the facility and presented a brief history lesson on the Bremer County Farm-Poor Farm. It's was a very eye opening experience to what that group is doing and has already accomplished . I would just like to remind you that if you have a group or club or family is looking for a facility to hold an event, please contact that group....Charlie Albright and Ron Leistikow are both a very active part of this group. If you have time to volunteer to mow lawn, do building maintenance, volunteer to do some electrical or plumbing work or just would like to be part of restoring this great historical location, please, please get a hold of one of those guys. They would love your enthusiasm and your willingness to be part of this huge project. There are so many opportunities out there and I believe it's a great cause.
Enjoy the rest of your summer - Thanks for now! Dan Wedemeier Mayor
MAYOR'S CORNER July, 2014
Thanks for letting me have a month off. It seems that everyone has very busy schedules these days and last month I wasn't able to even find a few minutes to sit down and write a few notes or even read a few notes, for that matter.
First of all, "Congratulations" to new Miss Readlyn, the new 2014 Grump, and to the Community Club for a great job with Grump Days this year. Thank-you all for all your time and energy. It was great fun and I really appreciate everyone's help in making it another enjoyable celebration for all of us.
The city is working on several projects. We are trying to clean up the railroad property by the bike trail. David Wittenburg attended a recent council meeting to get approval for a "Welcome" trailhead sign to put up on the bike trail. The city guys are also trying to keep up with mowing and the maintenance of the city parks. We are also working with Denver Underground to get some needed street repairs done. The recycling and normal upkeep of the compose and brush pile also take a good deal of their time in the summertime.
I have also been working with some citizens on some electrical service issues and and permits for the same types of issues.
This summer, I have also been working with a couple groups from the state of Iowa on some funding opportunities to assist with water drainage issue through out the city of Readlyn.
This time of the year we always seem to have some issues and concerns expressed with trailers of some sort being parked on city streets for long periods of time. We will be watching that and issuing tickets if they are parked on the street for longer than 48 hours.
We are also getting complaints about yards not being taken care of. Those complaints range from not mowing the lawn - to not trimming around buildings and etc. - to trees that are hanging too low on neighbors property - to too much junk and vehicles sitting around. Let me tell you, some of the calls that we get some days are interesting.
For some of these complaints, the city has ordinances in place for. For some of the other concerns, it seems like just good common sense and working together could solve many of these small issues before they become big issues. Let's give it a try!
While Readlyn is not on the Ragbrai route we do expect that a few riders that will ride the bike trail from Waverly. Thanks to Louie Hartman, we have some volunteers to be on the bike trail to greet them and help them with any info they might need. I know a couple of our businesses are planing to be open special hours to accommodate the visitors on Friday.
Don't forget about swim bus! Any questions on that or anything else call Lois at the City Hall.
Thanks - Enjoy your summer!
MAYOR'S CORNER March, 2014
As of this writing, we are experiencing our first week of somewhat warm temperatures. Don't be misled and think that frozen water lines are over. It will probably get worse before it gets better. As the temps warm up the frost will go deeper. Please keep a eye on your water temperatures and if you are not sure - run a faucet. Your water stream should be at least the size of a dime more than a pencil. The city of Readlyn will work with all of it's customers that are running water. Just give Lois a call at City Hall and let her know that you are running water to keep lines from freezing. Your water bill will be an average of previous months bill.
Also, with the melting snow, there will be plenty of sump pumps running. Make sure yours is working....floats not stuck.....check that the valves are working.....be sure the discharge is not plugged or frozen and not discharging into sanitary sewer. Keep a eye on the storm water intakes on your street also tha t they are not plugged. If your sump pump drains onto your lawn move it around and be considerate of your neighbors and the city street. If that water gets on the street and freezes at night it creates a dangerous situation. All I ask is for everyone to use common sense and be considerate of your neighbors. If you're not sure call City Hall.
At our last council meeting the council did approve the first reading of the ordinance dealing with our electric rates. This ordnance will do away with the cost adjustment charge that you see on your utility bill and should make the electric bill easier to understand. This ordinance will include a small rate increase that will help the city keep our system up to date.
While we're on this electric subject - our electric provider has suggested that the city of Readlyn have a policy on interconnection policy. This would determine procedures if a customer would have other electric sources of electricity such as solar panels or windmills. The council reviewed this policy and have a couple of changes needed before we adopt this policy.
The council set the dates for spring leaf burning to be from April 1st to June 1st. This is later than before but with the weather the way it is we decided to have later dates. Once again, when and if you do burn leaves please use common sense and be considerate of your neighbors. If you don't want to burn you can always haul your yard waste to the city sewer plant to our compost pile.
On March 3rd the council and I had a special meeting with Fox Engineering. This is the firm that is doing the engineering work for the new sewer plant for the city. This meeting was to finalize our Degradation Plan before we send it to the DNR. After a detailed discussion of the plan the council decided to approve the plan and send it to the DNR. This is the first step in a long process/plan to build a new sewer treatment facility for the city of Readlyn.
The other important item was the public hearing that we held for the proposed 2014-2015 budget. When you see that the council is holding a public hearing for a certain item, it is a time for anyone to come and ask questions or voice your opinion on a certain subject. In most cases the council assumes that if no one shows up - what the council is doing must be the best direction to go. Remember that these meetings are open to the public and if you have a concern you can call City Hall and we will get you on the agenda. Anyway back to the budget - what was proposed was approved. This will keep our tax rate the same as last year.
Enjoy the warmer weather - Happy Spring!
Dan Wedemeier, Mayor
MAYOR'S CORNER February, 2014
Hope you all are surviving our winter. With all the cold weather several of our neighboring towns are experiencing freezing water pipes and water mains. So far Readlyn only has one home that has given us problems. One easy test you can do is to put a thermometer under your cold water faucet and if it is 37 degrees or lower you should let a faucet run. The stream should be at least the size of the lead of a pencil or more. I know you will think this is a waste of water but plumbers are at least a week out for service. If you are concerned, call City Hall and we will check it out.
The next area of concern is is all the snow we have piled up around town. We are trying to get some corners and large pile areas hauled away but it all takes time. If you have a fire hydrant on your property, please try and get it dug out. If there is too much snow, let us know at, City Hall and we will come and get it shoveled out. It would be a bad situation if there was a fire in your area and the firemen wouldn't be able to find or get to the fire hydrant because of snow.
I have also got a couple of complaints about snow around mail boxes. I have even heard that the postal service won't deliver mail if they can't get up to mail box. This is not the cities responsibility so it is important for you to be sure to keep the area around your mail boxes it clean. If your mail boxes are in a cluster, it's a good idea to get someone in that group to keep the snow removed.
I know that we have had a few days that the garbage did not get picked up. The Sanitation Board is having a special meeting to come up with a policy/guidelines for cold and inclement weather pick-up. Please try and set your garbage can so it is convenient for Mike to get it dumped. I was with those guys last week and found that Mike had fell dumping cans in truck. The garbage guys also said they were seeing quite a bit of cardboard and pop cans in the trash. I know that recycling is voluntary and most of you do a great job, but we can always do better. Please remember that anything we can recycle saves the city hauling and getting charged to dump at landfill.
Our regular monthly meeting was held February 10th and will have a special meeting February 17th. During the meeting on the 17th, we will work on the budget and visit with a gentleman on financing a new sewer plant. During our meeting the 10th we will have people from the Butler County REC Electric Cooperative. The city has requested them do a cost of service study for our electric rates. The council is working to do away with the "cost adjustment" on our electric bills. We are getting some numbers from the REC group and the council will be studying them. I will assure you that we are doing our best to keep our electric costs down and also provide us with best service while also keeping our equipment up to date and in good working order. The council has also approved a couple water meetings for Jim and Barney to attend . These meeting not only educate them on new processes and provide the guys up to date information but gives them hours of training/continuing education required for them to keep their licenses current.
I hope everyone will be patient with old man winter! Before you know it spring will be here! Remember if you have a concern with water or snow give us a call and we will check it out.
I would like to send a BIG "Thank-you" to all of the people that planned, attended and hosted the annual "Keep Your Heart In Readlyn" banquet. It was a great fun-filled evening and an event that truly makes a difference for our community. THANK - YOU!
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