Kalona opens bids, lets contract
KALONA — Although four firms were contacted, only one, L L Pelling of North Liberty, bid on Kalona’s fall asphalt street projects, said Mayor Ken Herington. The bid, opened during Monday’s meeting, was $102,164 for the four main items with an additional $8,030 for the A Avenue alternate. Initial estimate for the work was $109,023.
“I think we should not do the alternate right now,” said council member Mark Robe. Herington agreed, adding that the city could do some improvements itself for now. A future goal is to pave the street, not just use chip and seal.
The bid opening and acceptance followed a public hearing in which no objections were made.
Herington said that while work will start this fall, “it may extend into spring 2014.”
In other business, the council:
• was updated about the Oct. 17 meeting for the community center/recreation building committee about the possible partnership with the Mid-Prairie School District on the project. The district and Kalona each would build its own facility, but it is possible that sharing space and utilities would save each money, possibly as much as $1 million or more. The site would be near the Mid-Prairie Middle School and council member Joe Schmidt, who attended the meeting, said there were a number of “new ideas,” including space for the Home School Assistance Program (currently with 265 students) and that there are no preconceived ideas about what it will be.” He added that unless it is a savings project “for everyone,” it may not happen;
• approved an ordinance amendment to change an R-1 District to R-3 to permit Pleasantview Home to have a day care operation (for employees) and other uses for a recently
acquired residential property;
• approved updating the Personnel Manual, the first in more than a decade;
•approved the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) application from The Kalona Stables Subdivision, J Avenue, in the amount of $80,000 in a ten-year period. Herington noted, “If they sell nothing, they get nothing”;
•received a report from Angela Lobberecht, Key Account Manager with Alliant Energy, noting it has paid $48,074 in taxes in Kalona and $613,455 within the county, offers three cycles of community grants for nonprofit community organizations and government-related entities and a variety of annual scholarships; and
•set Trick or Treat Night for Halloween, Thursday, October 31, a motion that Robe happily made, noting “At last, Halloween gets celebrated on Halloween,” something that he has insisted upon since being on the council, “but don’t always get.” The Kalona event always coincides with the annual Halloween Party given by the local Optimist Club on the last Thursday of the month.