Building renovation, COVID-19 regulations among Alta City Council Issues

Friday, June 5, 2020

Julie Hahn of United Bank of Iowa spoke at the June 1st Alta City Council meeting about the bank having entered into a purchase agreement for the old quilt shop building on Main Street.

“Our plan is to remove the structure and construct a drive-through that will run along the south side of the main building and exit into the street,” she said. It would require a sidewalk elevation change to make the exit to the street, and she asked council members to consider the proposal.

The plan requires eliminating a few parking spots, and the curb would have to be rebuilt. If approved, the bank hopes to start the project July 1st and finish by the beginning of November, Hahn said.

Alta City Clerk Megan Peterson said bank personnel are aware they have to go through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for demolition, permits, asbestos inspections, etc. “We will follow the right procedures,” Hahn said.

Council members discussed the curb drop, and Streets and Sanitation Supervisor Brad Pedersen said it may be more beneficial to take out and re-pour the sidewalk. He agreed to take part in the transition.

The council voted to allow United Bank of Iowa to remove the building in question and form a drive-through while following all building codes and working with Pedersen for concrete removal.

In other city council news:

Alta Community Building

Megan Peterson asked how she should move forward with how to monitor COVID-19 regulations at the Alta Community Building/Shelter House this summer. Rentals are scheduled starting mid-July.

She is unsure of the city’s responsibility in enforcing the new rules, although the city is not responsible for any liability.

Capacity is required to be at 50%, and with full capacity being 450, 225 people will be allowed. Restaurant guidelines need to be followed with food, and six-foot social distancing is required. Peterson is unsure how to enforce the COVID-19 rules, and renters want answers so they know how to move forward, she said.

The council suggested that before each event, potential renters present to the city how they would like the event to be handled.

Parks Report

There will be no youth program this year for baseball and softball. Additionally, it is anticipated the Alta pool will open, but officials are waiting for the Governor to give the green light for open swim. Swim lessons will be put on hold. The Aurelia pool will be closed for the summer.

Alta playgrounds and tennis courts are closed until the middle of June, but the park is open.

Library Report

Director Andrea Hogrefe said that last week, the library was open to the public two days. The maximum inside is 20 people allowed at a time, and they never had more than three at a time, she said.

The library will reopen on Friday, June 5th which will offer only curbside service. She hopes that next week they can offer more hours open to the public which depends upon when the school is open.

Streets and Sanitation Report

The city of Alta is preparing for the 2020 city-wide cleanup, scheduled for Tuesday, June 9th. The city council voted at the June 1st meeting to fund a dump truck, garbage truck and possibly two roll-off dumpsters on cleanup day. Additionally, City Council Member Les Mann, who will donate his truck and driving time for the day will be reimbursed for fuel.

Council members relied on Pedersen’s advice regarding the vehicles needed considering his years of experience in organizing the cleanup.

Pedersen can only guess as to the number of items to be picked up, but “I anticipate this being a fairly heavy year of junk to be picked up,” he said.

Residents can leave the following items that will be picked up for a fee: appliances, metals, furniture, batteries and tires. Tree branches will be picked up on June 15th. Friday, June 5th is the deadline for residents to have the required form and money at Alta City Hall.

In other streets and sanitation news:

Easement Proposed

The council voted to have an exhibit sent to the city attorney as a first move to provide a proposed easement for water drainage at Maple Creek. The property owners’ lawyers will then review paperwork for the project.

“We would need an easement from the property to the pond to drain that water off,” Pedersen said, which pertains to surface water drainage. Pedersen said the city is not purchasing the easement, just the cost of buying the easement right-of-way through there. The water will be taken to that property line.

Street Project on 1st Street

The city has been working on a street project on 1st Street by putting concrete around storm drains. The council discussed three bids for the concrete work and voted to hire Mann-Speers Construction. The city’s cost would be $3,300.

Tree Removal

Pedersen said ash tree removal is not happening as quickly as he would like, and after a discussion, the council voted to hire Jerry’s Tree Service and YouniQue Tree Removal to work in the month of June to remove more trees.

“We do have a substantial amount of money budgeted for trees that has not been spent yet,” Megan Peterson said. The most recent area for removal is a 2-block area near 6th and 7th Streets and Main Street.

The next Alta City Council meeting is scheduled for July 6th.