MAYOR'S CORNER June 2016Hi Everyone!
As I'm writing this, I realize that today is the first day of summer. It feels like summer arrived early this year, because of all the warm weather we've been enjoying.
I'm also reflecting on all of the great comments I've heard about Grump Days 2016. I want to thank ALL of our great community members on all of their hard work and countless hours that they each invested in making this year's celebration a great success. I've received many great comments - so thank you ALL!!!!!! Your contributions have been noticed by many!
Also, I want to thank all of the outgoing 2015 representatives, our Grump, Ron Kohagen, our very own Miss Readlyn,Miss Kuhlmann, and our little 2015 Grumpsters. Each of you have done a great job of representing Readlyn during the past year.
Congratulations to our 2016 Grump, Charlie Albrecht, and our 2016 Miss Readlyn, Miss Wittenburg , and of course our new 2016 Grumpsters, Kipton and Savannah. I look forward to following you this year, as you represent Readlyn. You will do great!
Congratulations and thank you to our 2016, Readlyn Volunteers, Ruth and David Wittenburg. We sincerely appreciate all you do for our community. Thank you!
Remember that we are actively working on fund raising for the Readlyn community Splash Pad. I want to remind you that for every dollar that is donated towards the project, the Readlyn Telephone Company has generously offered to match each donation. Example: If you go to either the City Hall, the Telephone Company to the Readlyn Savings Bank and you donate $25 to go towards the Splash Pad project, the Readlyn Telephone Company will match your donation - making a donation of a total of $50. That's Awesome!!!!!!! So, if you are able to, please consider donating to this great community project.
I also want to remind you that beginning the week after Grump Days, they will begin working on the Quarter Avenue road improvement project. So, if that's a road that you typically travel on, you will need to take a different route while the road work is going on. I appreciate and thank you in advance for your patience and tolerance as we anticipate the completion of this project and look forward to a nice road again soon.
A BIG THANK YOU again to each and everyone of you for all the hard work on a successful Grump Days 2016!
Have a great summer!
MAYOR'S CORNER May 2016
Hope your spring is going well. We have had some pretty nice warm spring weather along with some cool days that have included plenty of moisture. Sure makes the lawns look nice but takes a lot of mowing!
Speaking of mowing we have had to issue a couple warnings to residents that haven't kept up with their lawns. The ordinance allows the city to issue a ticket to any person who's lawn is over 8 inches tall. We will give you a specific period of time to get the mowing done and then if it's not done the city will do it and send you a bill for the mowing.
I've heard that the garage sales went good and Jim and Barney said the city picked up lot of items that were put out on the city wide clean up days. We continue to do what we can to keep the City of Readlyn looking good. This helps to project a nice image for the town and our visitors. It also helps make our property worth more.
The city electrician has completed the installation of new lights on Main Street. I think they look great! We also have new banners for the Main Street light poles and we will have them up in time for Grump Days.
The city has met with the splash pad contractor and splash pad company personel. They looked at our proposed site and we discussed how to provide water to the area and also how to winterize the site. They believe that it will look great and will work well at the site we have selected. We are anticipating to have construction begin at the end of the summer and will take about a month. We would like to move the date ahead so we are diligently working with the contractor to see what he can do for us, but a lot depends on Mother Nature. We are still looking for outside funding to help get this done! As you will see RTC Communications has put together an ad promoting this project. If you have any questions regarding this project, please call RTC Communications, Readlyn City Hall or myself.
At the May city council meeting the council decided to have the gravel road, that goes west out of town - parallel with the bike trail, treated with a dust control product. We thought it would make the bike trail more pleasant to be on and would also help with some of the filtration equipment at the sewer plant. We will see how this works this summer. If it makes a positive difference, we will continue the dust control treatment in the future.
Right now we are in a holding pattern with the new sewer plant project. The City has a couple more details to work out and we want those handled before the project is presented for final council approval and bid letting.
Congratulations to all of our graduates and their families.
MAYOR'S CORNER April 2016
They say spring is here but the temps sure don't feel like it. I am sure it will warm up soon.
The City of Readlyn has completed the electric meter update. Thank you, we appreciate your assistance with this project. This will allow the city to get closer to read meters remotely, transfer information, and be more accurate with electric readings in the future.
The spring garage sales are scheduled for May 6th and 7th and we have scheduled our spring clean-up days on May 9th,10th,and 11th. If you have items that you would like picked up, please be sure you have purchased your tickets for the items that you are setting out for pick up, from City Hall - before the pick-up days. Just a reminder that the last chance to get items picked up will be at 8am on the 11th. If you have any questions, please call Lois at City Hall.
The bid for Lobeck Avenue and Quarter Avenue project have been accepted by the Supervisors and it was given to Heartland Asphalt Company. The bid actually came in lower than was estimated, but we will wait and see for sure how the bill turns out when the project is completed.
The council and I continue to move forward with the new sewer plant project. We had a special counsel meeting discussing how we will finance and pay for project. The city's financial adviser, Jeff Heil, was at that meeting to help look at the best plan for us. We will use the State Revolving Fund to finance this project. The council also decided to increase the sewer improvement fund from 13$ per month to 31$ per month for every customer. This will allow to pay for the new sewer plant. Look for this increase to take place this summer.
The other project I am excited about is the splash pad. The City of Readlyn is going to construct and install a splash pad in place of the two sand volleyball courts and the tennis court down at the ball park, on the northeast corner of town. The city has set aside $130,000 for the splash pad.
The total project will cost $160,000 to complete phase one and an additional $22,000 to complete phase two. The city is hoping to raise shortfall from private donations. I have spoken to RTC Communications, the telephone company, and they, along with their board have agreed to meet individuals donation up to $10,000. This is a fun and exciting project for Readlyn and we have the ball rolling! The city has also applied for all the grants we can think of. Based on what we know today, we are hoping to come up with the additional $30,000. Watch for fliers explaining what is happening with project to be going out soon.
If you have any questions, suggestions or ideas regarding this project, please contact either me, a council person, Lois at City Hall or Sharon at RTC Communications.
The City of Readlyn is putting new banners up on the Main Street light poles. They will be installed before Grump Days. The city's electrician will also be putting new LED lights on Main Street and we are also hoping to get the poles repainted.
We have a lot of exciting things going on in Readlyn. We have great small town with great people and we are always looking for ways and trying to make it even better for all of us!
MAYOR'S CORNER March 2016
Is spring here? Temps are warmer, people out walking,running, and out working in their yards. If you have started yard cleanup the compose pile at sewer plant is open and leaf burning will be permitted April 1st to May 15th. Please remember when burning in town, be considerate of your neighbors.
It was brought to the cities attention that there are a lot of illegal u-turns being made on Main Street! There are 6 signs on the 3 blocks of Main Stree t indicating "No U-turns". Please pat attention to the signs. U-turns are only permitted at the intersections - not just anywhere you want to turn around! Our police chief has warned many people and many of them are embarrassed and say they didn't know. The council is going to try to get the "word out" and see if that helps before our Chief starts writing tickets. Please help us out with this!
The City of Readlyn has a lot of things going on.
- We will be putting new "led" lights on Main Street.
- We are going to get new banners on the light poles.
- We are also going to get the light poles repainted.
The "led" replacement lights will be brighter and take less than half the electricity to run them. This should get the expense of the lights paid back in 3 years.
Barney and Jim have completely rebuilt all the city benches with new treated wood and sandblasted and powder coated frames. They look great!
The city is also going to replace all electric meters with new more efficient radio read meters as soon as weather and properties permit. Stay tuned for more details!!!
The council and I along with the County Engineer,Assistant County Engineer and the County Supervisor held a informational meeting last Monday night concerning the resurfacing project for Lobeck Avenue. There were several citizens in attendance. I felt like everyone's questions and concerns were answered. The project is going out for bid on March 28th with several bid packages already picked up. The project will not start till after Grump Days. Weather permitting and any other out of control problems, the project should take about 2 weeks. I am excited to get this project done and see our new road!
The sewer plant project is moving along with a schedule of bids going out in May and reviewed in June. Their are many details that go along with this project that follow a schedule and it all takes time. The council will have a special council meeting on March 28th at 6:30 to discuss financing the new sewer plant. I have been working with local farmers to discuss the tile lines that carry water away from the sewer plant. We will keep you informed and will have an informational meeting in the near future.
The council also discussed a Splash Pad for Readlyn. We are moving ahead with plans to put the Splash Pad in the place of the sand volleyball area. A park equipment company is putting together a design of a 80 ft by 60 ft pad. The council will see this plan at our special meeting on the 28th. The council discussed looking for public donations to put benches, tables and other equipment around the pad. So, if any of you have ideas, please contact a council person, city hall or myself. I think this will be a great addition to the Readlyn parks and will be a lot of fun for our kids!!
On April 2 at 8 am, the Historical Society and I are planning a volunteer work day to insulate and drywall the inside of the new building addition. If you can, and are able to, please show up and help out! I'm hoping to be done by noon and I've heard rumors of a free lunch when done. Any questions call me.
Thank you for all your support of all the projects that we have going on all the time. It's the great support from all of the great people in Readlyn, that helps make Readlyn the nice community that it is.
Thanks again - Have a blessed Easter and a wonderful spring!
Dan Wedemeier, Mayor
MAYOR'S CORNER January 2016"Happy New Year!"
As I am writing this letter we are bracing for a bout of extremely cold weather. We had some cold weather earlier and then some warmer weather that helped to get the streets melted back to concrete. So far this winter we haven't had a lot of extremely cold and snow, but since I'm talking about it, that will probably jinx it.
Remember, that if you think it might snow, please keep vehicles off the city streets so Jim and Barney can get the streets cleared off. Also, please be courteous and use common sense when and where you blow or shovel your snow. If you have a fire hydrant on your property try and keep it clear in case the firemen old need to use it.
We keep track of daily water usage and it seems like the numbers are higher than they should be. It has not been cold enough to have to let water run in your house to keep pipes from freezing. If you have any questions on that you can just call City Hall.
The council has approved the appointment of Kent Kuhlmann to complete Tom Cozart's term on the Readlyn City Council. I believe Kent will represent the citizens of Readlyn very well. We also made annual appointments to various committees and boards. These appointments include Chief of Police, city treasurer, city clerk, city attorney, city electrician and so on. If you have questions about any of these appointments, you can call Lois at City Hall.
At our January council meeting the council approved several upcoming training meetings for Steve, Barney, Jim and Lois. This is the time of year where all our employees are required to attend special training for various/specific areas of their jobs.
This is also the time of year that we review, discuss and approve next year's city budget. At this council meeting we had Randy Kleitsch, our Fire Chief, Linda Mcarthy, our Librarian, Samantha Powers and Sheri Sommerfelt, representing our First Responders and Steve Aiello, our Police Chief. We also heard from Jim Bisby regarding the streets and sewer departments and Barney Wiersma with the water and parks department. Each of these individuals presented their 2016 proposed budget. The council will have a special meeting this month to work more on the budget. This is a very important time for all of us, as it sets our map to what will be able to get done next year and also lets us know what he cities' tax base will be. It's quite a process and it can be hard to look ahead and know what will be needed and then think about what's going to happen, but we can rely on past experience and then use our best judgement.
The Butler County REC was also at our meeting. They gave us a report on what's going on with rates and other information regarding the cities' electrical provider. One thing that Craig Codner, the manager of the REC, said that stuck out to me was that President Obama's clean air plan to require coal fired electric generation plants includes many new restrictions and requirements. What that all boils down to is that our electric rates will increase!!! If you want more information on this, please let me know and I will get it for you or, if I don't have the answer, I'll find an expert that can get you your answers.
Don't forget the "Keep Your Heart in Readlyn Valentine's Ball" coming up in February! It will be warm there and I know it will be an enjoyable evening foreveryone!
Have a safe and warm rest of your winter!
Dan Wedemeier, Mayor
MAYOR'S CORNER December 2015
I write this with a heavy heart thinking about the unexpected passing of one of our dedicated councilman, Tom Cozart. I have gotten to know Tom through the years of serving with him on the council. Tom provided many years of service to the citizens of Readlyn and I respect and admire that. He went about his years of service with a sincere concern for every citizen and the needs of the city. Not many people are willing to step up for a community service job that doesn't get many rewards, for that long. Thank you Tom - the city of Readlyn will miss you! My sincere condolences to Tom' wife, Lorrie and family.
The council has decided to fill the vacancy on the city council by appointment. I will make a recommendation at the January council meeting. The council will then approve appointment and that person will finish out Tom's term.
Once again the Grump Who Stole Christmas - Christmas on Main was a huge success! I want to thank the committee, all the volunteers, and all participants and our visitors, without all of you, this celebration doesn't happen. Also, thanks to the city guys for their extra efforts! It takes special people to make a community a great place to live and Readlyn has them!!!!!!! Thanks again! We are already looking forward to next year's celebration.
At our council meeting we approved a sale of a lot in Parkveiw addition to Fred and Sonia Bast. Congrats to them!
We also discussed and had final approval of a ordinance dealing with length of grass before the city can enforce this ordnance. Basically, the city will issue a ticket if you don't keep your lawn mowed below 8 inches.
Recently, Jim, Barney and I sat down with the sewer plant engineers to review some more specific details about the plans for the new sewer plant. They are very close to getting them finalized so that they can present them to the council for final approval and to the public for review.
With the warmer temperatures and high rainfall keep in mind placement of sump pump hoses. This time of year can really be dangerous if you place them on street or sidewalk and it freezes. So please use common sense with those items.
Please remember to NOT park on the street when it snows. I know that the Police Chief issued several warnings after our last snow fall. So, if it's snowing or it looks like it's going to snow or it is forecasted for snow, please do not park on the street! Also, please do not snow-blow or shovel your snow out on to a city street - especially, if your street is already been plowed.
If you have any questions on anything I have talked about please don't hesitate to call city hall or me!
Enjoy this special time of the year with your families and friends! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Connie and I !!!!!!
MAYOR'S CORNER November 2015
We have had amazing weather this fall! The City has got many projects done. We have cleaned out the leaf compost pile twice already this fall and it continues to get new leaves everyday.
The City's polishing pond at the sewer plant was pumped out and injected into nearby farm ground. We've flushed and winterized fire hydrants with no problems or complaints. The City's well at the sewer plant and one of the wells in town were inspected and pumps replaced.
The City has several locations though out town where electrical services have been improved either by new equipment such as transformers or new poles or burying service lines.
David Wittenburg called me and said the sign on the bike trail is done! Good job David and volunteers! It looks great!
Barney and Jim also got a trail head sign installed near David's sign. This sign provides the route of the trail, not only out in the country but, also includes the route in the city limits. I have been asked about the future plans for this area of the bike trail - and there are many. We are planning to wait till sewer plant project is further along to see what the west end of that property will look like.Readlyn continues to move forward with the design of the new sewer plant. Several parts of this project have already been worked on, such as soil samples and boring, water requirements at new plant and tile lines for affluent discharges from sewer plant. The goal of the engineers and the City is to be able to let bids this spring. The City also has plans for a informational Town Hall open house to show the citizens the sewer plant plans.
The Lobeck Avenue street project to resurface the road will be bid on this winter, with plans to be completed this spring. This project has been on the agenda for several meetings and has been approved by your council. This project will be done!
The Historical Society building outside shell is done! The concrete work and building look great! I know the Historical Society is working hard on fund raising to complete the building. The building still needs electrical, insulation and drywall. Please support this project.
We're all Looking forward to the Community Club Christmas On Main celebration! I hope for great weather-great participation and a great turnout! Please come out and support this fun winter activity! A great BIG thanks to the Community Club and all of the volunteers for putting on this fun event.
Congratulations to all of our local students and athletes as you all continue to make us proud of our community!
Quick Reminder...... Please remember to keep the vehicles off streets on snow days so we can get the streets cleaned off.
MAYOR'S CORNER September 2015
I know I've said it before, but it's hard to believe it's fall already and all the fall activities are in full swing and our local teams are working hard and doing a great job! Enjoy watching and supportIng them! This also reminds me, that if you see some lights on at the ball diamond, it's some of our youth football teams having some practices in town. We have lots of events coming up and I want to encourage everyone to participate, if it works in your schedules. Just a few of the upcoming fun activities are: - The Annual Golf Cart Ride on the bike trail on Saturday, September 26th - meeting at Louie Hartman's home at 1:15. - 5k Color Run on October 17th. See the flyers posted in town for more details - Halloween Trick R' Treating in Readlyn will be on Sunday, October 25th from 4::00 - 6:00.
I also want to let you know that leaf burning will be permitted in town from October 1st through November 15th.
Update on the county road that comes into Readlyn from St. Matthew's church: The County Engineer said that they are still working on finalizing the plans and they will then be accepting bids on the job in the very near future. So that means that they will probably be working on the road project next spring.
One other item I have to mention, is that I've been receiving calls/complaints from residents that people are speeding on that road and on 1st Street, that runs by the CO-OP and also on V49, that runs past the Kwik Star. Please remember to slow down and pay attention to the speed limit because we will be watching those areas - especially because of the many calls we are receiving about this issue.
The Historical Society will soon begin construction on the addition for the building. They are still working on fund raisers because they do not have all the funds raised yet. I know that they are planning to have a fund raiser raffle for a kayak and they are also planning a few other activities. Watch for posters on the upcoming activities and please help support this great cause.
Thanks Everyone - We really appreciate how well you are all taking care of your yards. It shows how proud you are of our nice community and I really appreciate it!
Thanks again - Enjoy this beautiful fall!
Dan Wedemeier, Mayor
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
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