Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 2, 2014

Council OKs grant, handicapped ramp, more

By Mary Zielinski | Oct 09, 2013

KALONA — Everything from a Washington County Riverboat Foundation (WCRF) grant application to the fall asphalt project met with approval from the Kalona City Council Monday.
The $25,000 grant is to aid with a new east side monument sign  for Sharon Hill Cemetery and to repair the original wrought iron entrance gate near Fourth Street.  Total cost of the work, that will see  brickwork used, is $45,283 with a city math of $20,238 from LOST revenue.
The public hearing and bid letting for the fall asphalt project is 7 p.m. Oct. 21, and work is expected to start shortly after the contract is awarded.
City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said a meeting between the city and its newly organized Community Building/Recreation Committee and the Mid-Prairie School District committee is set for Oct. 17 with the time to be announced.  The project is part of a possible partnership with the school district that plans to build a second gym near the middle school, a move that could save both entities more than $1 million.  Mid-Prairie plans  to seek a bond issue in 2014 for a number of districtwide improvements, including a new central administrative office near the high school in Wellman.
Kalona has reached a preliminary plan and estimate from Martin Gardner architect, of Marion with a price tag ranging from $5 million to $9 million. The architect for Mid-Prairie is Shive-Hattery and will have a representative at the Thursday meeting, said Schlabaugh.
Schlabaugh also said that the watershed grant agreement with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources requires all of the English River Watershed Management Authority to sign it. He and Kalona  city planner Jody Bailey will meet with the other 10 members before the end of the month.  The $150,000 grant will finance planning and administration for the ERWMA as well as for equipment such as laptops, posters, brochures and Web sites.    He added that the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa will do the modeling for the whole watershed area.
In other business, the council:
• approved the purchase of a crossover utility vehicle from Farmers Supply Sales at a cost of $18,763.52 that includes a municipal discount;
• approved the appointment of Abby Yoder to the TIF board;
• approved a request for a temporary handicapped (ADA) ramp on the south side of Hochstedler Insurance Agency for one year, starting October 8.  The ramp is the sole responsibility of the insurance company that also holds the liability insurance.  The ramp will have a Kalona building permit and be inspected by the city’s building inspector;
• discussed water valve replacement as part of a three year plan to deal with infrastructure work.  The city already has agreed to a $40,000 allocation for three yeras for such work.  The valve project involves seven sites at a cost of $36,600 and Schlabaugh said “they plan to do two per day.”  Work will be done by Utility Equipment Company of Bettendorf;
• approved a 2 percent employee compensation for the new Park and Recreation Supervisor who is not taking  the city’s health insurance; and
• briefly discussed the light near the Stables Subdivision which is at a height that blinds drivers coming from the west on J Avenue.

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