Kalona council looks at projects
KALONA — A new Dollar General store to be built in the commercial frontage of Kalona’s Harvest Hill Subdivision meets all requirements, the council learned at its Monday meeting. City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said that the city engineer, Jack Pope, “had all his questions answered and has signed off on all the plans from Dollar General”s architectural firm.” He added that the same is true of the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission. He expects the building permit to be issued next week.
The council spent some time discussing five potential projects for which the city could seek grants from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation: a plaza area west of the building and east of Miller’s Medicine Cabinet, a scoreboard and public address (PA) system for the Babe Ruth fields, park benches and trash cans, tennis court resurfacing and mini libraries set up around the city.
Council members agreed that the tennis courts could be just one court with the other a possible volleyball court, and park benches, trash cans, a scoreboard and PA system could be single park improvement project. The library plaza will be the site for a memorial garden to honor the late Velma Skola a major library benefactor. The memorial is a library, library foundation and Friends of the Library project and the groups asked only for the council’s approval. Funds will be raised privately. Council approval was unanimous.
The mini libraries, cost of which could range from $350 to $450 each, can wait, although both Mayor Ken Herington and Schlabaugh noted it is the kind of thing local services clubs, or even the scouts, could do with the city providing the materials or kits. The combining would likely mean seeking only two grants, and the council expects to act on them at its April 7 meeting.
In other business, the council:
• learned that the city is working through easements for the A Avenue storms ewer project seeking both permanent and temporary easements from six area property owners. Easements documents will be done by March 21;
• agreed that the city needs a priorities list regarding road re[pairs, especially in view of the damage incurred during the winter;
• learned that the city is still awaiting approval of state revolving loan fund money before seeking bids for the sanitary sewer lining and force main project along Highway 22;
• learned that the English River Watershed Management Authority (ERWMA) presence at the Ames meeting “went very well,” said Schlabaugh and that “we are acquiring a large HP plotter,” equipment that will allow the group to print large-scale maps for all entities within the 627 mile watershed; and
• approved the purchase of 120 pieces of vinyl fencing at a cost of $833 for use by the city and other entities such as the Chamber of Commerce and Kalona Historical Village. The fencing is a one-time offer from Aero Rental that is replacing the units and Schlabaugh noted that previously the city rented the fencign for its downtown events at the cost of $7.50 per section.