Minutes, Carlisle Regular City Council Meeting, 11 September 2017



Monday, 11 September 2017; 6:30 P.M.

Carlisle City Hall Council Chamber

195 North First Street, Carlisle, Iowa

Elected Officials present were Mayor Ruth Randleman and Council Members Rob Van Ryswyk, Dan McCulloch, Doug Hammerand and Drew Merrifield constituting a quorum. Absent was Eric Goodhue. Also present were City Administrator Andy Lent, City Clerk Martha Becker, Interim Police Chief Matt Koch, Electric Superintendent Donald Miller, Parks and Rec Superintendent Ronda Frost and City Attorney Robert Stuyvesant. Mayor Randleman called the meeting to order at 6:30 P.M.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.


Alex Reed spoke to Council about an Eagle Scout project he would like to do for the city. Reed explained to Council that he would like to put all the city grave information on record through “Billion Graves” and wanted to check and see if there were any permits he needed from the City before starting the project. Stuyvesant replied that he did not need any permits to complete the project. Lent noted that he might want to check with Pat Brehse and Kay Black as they are working on a project as well concerning grave marking and see where they are at with their project. McCulloch thanked Reed for starting the project and asked if he would be able to get help. Reed replied that he would be getting some volunteers to assist. Stuyvesant mentioned that the graveyard was split into two sections (City and Township). Merrifield noted that the project may take some time but Eagle Scout stays on a resume for life.


Motion by Hammerand, seconded by Merrifield to APPROVE THE FOLLOWING CONSENT ITEMS: Merrifield noted that a correction needed to be made to the August 28th minutes for Goodhue’s vote concerning the appointment of Stephany Goodhue to the Planning and Zoning commission. The vote will be corrected from an “Aye” vote to an “Abstain” vote for Goodhue. Merrifield also requested that a comment from Jeff Schug of McClure Engineering from the August 28 2017 meeting be added. Schug stated an average bike trail in the State of Iowa costs a million dollars a mile.

  • Approve Regular City Council Meetings for 28 August 2017
  • Approve Class E Liquor License for Fareway Stores, Inc, #147, 1115 Bluestem Drive
  • Approve Special Class C Liquor License for Cal’s Fine Foods & Spirits, 20 Vine Street
  • Set Public Hearing For Rezoning of Wilbur Goodhue, Inc. Parcel for 25 September 2017 at 6:30 PM at Carlisle City Hall, 195 N 1st Street.
  • Receive and File Public Safety Committee Minutes for 5 September 2017
  • Receive and File Department Reports

Motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.


Motion by Van Ryswyk, seconded by Hammerand, to approve bills in the amount of $78,515.40 Motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote. Mayor noted that we have had to use Green Wood Sewer Service to unclog the kitchen sink drains at the Recreation Center more than usual and Council may notice a repetition in using them. Ronda Frost has talked to renters about proper use of drains and they are working to correct the issue and will hopefully resolve problems in the future. McCulloch requested that the invoice to the Chamber of Commerce for Christmas Wreaths be pulled. He would like this item to be removed from the Road Use Tax fund. The charge was split between the following accounts per Council vote in February of 2017: Economic Development, Streets and Electric. McCulloch noted that RUT is a tax fund used for the construction, maintenance and administration of roads and is not sure how decorations fall under those categories aside from that they are being hung from the street lights. McCulloch asked Council if they agreed or disagreed. Mayor noted that it was how it was interpreted. McCulloch disagreed because the definition is plain on how the funds could be spent and it was according to the law. McCulloch expressed concerns that Mayor questioned how the Road Use Tax money could be spent. Mayor noted that she was not questioning the law and how the funds could be spent but because street lights were charged to Road Use Tax there is latitude on how the charges are coded and it is not illegal to do that. Mayor also commented that Council could change how they want the charges to be split in the funds. Hammerand asked if Stuyvesant knew the legal definition if the decorations would fall under administration or another area. Stuyvesant replied he did not know the definitions but that there is latitude. McCulloch communicated that he spoke to the State Auditors and they said if the Council wants to charge the decorations to the Road Use Tax fund then that was acceptable to the auditor. Hammerand noted that he had the understanding, per McCulloch’s statement about the auditor’s comment that if the decorations are under road maintenance then it’s okay. Lent also noted that it would be part of the street lighting system and street lighting is an expense under the Road Use Tax Fund. Hammerand recognized that if this was not part of the streets than it would not be charged but it sounds like it is a Council call. Merrifield asked Lent based on what was discussed and the fact that this was a decoration what his thoughts were. Lent replied that he was fine with it based off Councils decision that it was part of the street lighting. Merrifield asked if he considered this street lighting rather than a decoration and if justifiable. Lent replied yes. Mayor communicated that the Council could pull the item and rethink their decision on what fund to charge it under. Stuyvesant replied that the second would have to be withdrawn, and the motion to remove the bill would be for a separate vote. Hammerand replied he was not going to withdraw his second. Merrifield defined with Stuyvesant if he was okay with the bill. Stuyvesant said if the auditor was not going to call it as a problem then he was okay with it. Lent mentioned that Council could approve it now and he would ask the auditor specifically on the wreaths if there was a problem with it. The auditors are in the office this week so he will ask tomorrow. Merrifield said he was okay with that and asked McCulloch if he was okay with it. McCulloch replied no because politically it would not be acceptable.

Ayes: Van Ryswyk, Hammerand, Merrifield. Nays: McCulloch. Motion carried on a roll call vote.

Motion by Merrifield, seconded by Hammerand to Approve the Pay Estimate #2 for NW Water Main Extension in Amount of $146,672.47. Motion on carried unanimously on roll call vote.

Jeff Schug from McClure engineering spoke to Council regarding pay estimate #15 for Scotch Ridge Nature Trail. He explained that pay estimate #14 was for $14,087.70. The actual cost for pay estimate #15 was $6,970.00 which was around $7,000.00 less than anticipated from #14.

Motion by Hammerand, seconded by Van Ryswyk to Approve the Pay Estimate #15 for Scotch Ridge Nature Trail in the Amount of $6,940.61 to Corell Contractor, Inc. & Subsidiary. Motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.

Schug explained that Change order #3 was the order that trues up all the quantities for what was bid on the Scotch Ridge Nature Trail project. When the project is bid and all the quantities are measured up and at the end of project they do a change order for what was actually billed. By doing the change order there was a net negative of $238,570.54 with an overall negative of $245,547.05. Hammerand asked how a negative balance worked. Schug explained that it isn’t paid back or that it was never billed. Merrifield asked about the cost of grass seeding and fertilizer which was $30,000.00. Schug explained that there was so much area to cover and the specialty native grasses made it expensive. He also explained that the bonded fiber matrix that went down was a large part of the cost. The cost of the native grass seeding was $1,350.00 per acre and the wetland grass seeding was $2,000.00 per acre. There was a total of about 18 acres that is mainly in the park and a strip along Highway 5. There was a total of five types of seeding: specialty seeding and fertilizer, native grass seeding, wetland grass seeding, urban seeding and rural seeding for a total of 39 acres. Merrifield mentioned that there was improper grasses in area. Schug explained that there was some clover invading into the grasses and it will something they will have to manage their way through. Schug also mentioned that there was a requirement through a wetland mitigation plan that 80% of the trees planted remain alive after five years. Lent noted it was a 100%. Some trees have died so that will need to be addressed. He will check into the state nursery. Merrifield asked how they will get rid of the clover. Schug said they spoke about putting a broadleaf herbicide down and that should get rid of some of the clover.

Motion by Hammerand, seconded by VanRyswyk to Approve Resolution 2017091101 A RESOLUTION TO APPROVE CHANGE ORDER 3 FOR SCOTCH RIDGE NATURE TRAIL for a decrease of $238,570.54. Motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.

Schug spoke to Council regarding pay estimate #16 for Scotch Ridge Nature Trail in the amount of $13,859.29 to Corell Contractor, Inc. & Subsidiary. He explained this is the release of the retainage. Hammerand asked if there was any reason to keep retainage and Schug replied no. Merrifield asked if this closed the books on the Scotch Ridge Trail project. Schug replied that it closed books on Corell. Motion by Hammerand, seconded by Van Ryswyk to Approve the Pay Estimate #16 for Scotch Ridge Nature Trail in the Amount of $13,859.29 to Corell Contractor, Inc. & Subsidiary. Motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.

Schug reviewed with Council the Scotch Ridge Nature Trail project payment summary for Corell Contractor. Schug explained that the review shows the total project cost as $3,163,978.00. The City of Carlisle’s trail piece portion was originally going to be 7.29% of city funds and ended up being 10.3%. Schug explained that we are at about 19% total cost of the project. Merrifield clarified that the City’s portion as a dollar amount and not a percentage is $509,681.00. Lent replied that he showed $519,000.00 plus a $30,000.00 transfer as the City’s portion which comes out as 17% of the project. Merrifield noted that the total amount was $549,000.00. There was further discussion from Council and mayor regarding trails.


Gary Norgard, of Altoona Iowa, spoke to Council regarding his sister’s property at 6368 NE 46th Street, Carlisle Iowa. He inquired where the Scotch Ridge Nature Trail was at. Mayor explained where the trail was at. Norgard asked if this would extend to his sisters property. Mayor noted that the City has a trails master plan but nothing was concrete yet and the hope was to extend the trail under the bridge at Highway 5 and loop around. Norgard asked if he could have a copy of a map. A map was provided to Norgard of the proposed trail extension.



Motion by Merrifield, seconded by McCulloch to Approve Resolution 2011091102, A RESOLUTION CONCERING CERTIFICATION OF UNPAID UTILITY RATES OR CHARGES TO COUNTY TREASURER. Motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.

Lent spoke to Council regarding the Hazard Mitigation Plan. Lent reviewed some of the goals which included community shelter rooms, improvements to the Police and Fire Department infrastructure, and installation of a new generator for power protection. McCulloch asked if anyone else had read the 150 page plan. Merrifield replied that he had and it took him three hours. Mayor replied that she had read it and noted that it touched on 40 different disaster situations and hopes that it becomes more user friendly. McCulloch mentioned that this interested him in light of the current disasters. McCulloch noted that there were requirements that the plans be monitored and updated every five years. He encouraged everyone to read through the plan. Mayor mentioned that there is FEMA training called NIMS that public officials need to participate in. This training ties in with FEMA funds. Mayor reiterated to make sure public officials are on track to get certified. Lent will check and see where Council is at with training. McCulloch mentioned that the plan did not appropriately address airplanes. Merrifield asked about under transportation-railway and how to deal with that. Lent said the City will need to work with Warren County Emergency Management on some table-top exercises. McCulloch appreciates talking about the hazard mitigation.

Motion by Merrifield, seconded by McCulloch to Approve Resolution 2011091103, A RESOLUTION TO ADOPT THE WARREN COUNT MULTI-JURISIDICTIONAL HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN UPDATE. Motion carried unanimously on roll call vote

Motion by Merrifield, seconded by Van Ryswyk to approve a 5% increase for City Clerk, Martha Becker effective 4 September 2017. Lent explained that the increase was stated in Becker’s conditional offer of employment following a successful 6-month review. Motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.

Todd Kielkopf spoke to Council regarding the August MEAN meetings. He mentioned that there was nice stability financially and they are working on a distributed generation policy as well as working on an integrated resource plan. Mayor asked for an explanation of the 2% cap. Kielkopf explained that if we put in a solar garden or wind farm as Carlisle utilities it regulates that its City owned as opposed to having solar on rooftops. It protects smaller communities. Merrifield asked about MEAN’s 2.3 million dollar overage and what would be done with the excess funds. Kielkopf explained they would be rebating back and put into reserve funds or do improvements. McCulloch noted that he has heard about cities doing an incentive to citizens to purchase electric cars for additional things into the house to increase electric. Kielkopf said he has heard about public charging stations to encourage the use of electric. McCulloch asked if this would this be something the city could do. Kielkopf said there have been studies to see if it is viable but now the studies are showing it’s questionable about whether or not the amount of usage is going to be there in a community. There was further discussion from Council regarding electric cars and charging stations.

Motion by Hammerand, seconded by Van Ryswyk to receive and file MEAN memo, dated September 4, 2017 from Todd Kielkopf. Motion carried unanimously on roll call vote

Lent explained to Council that Rob Fleming is requesting that his out of town rates be reduced to city rate for his irrigation meter. Lent explained that people outside the City are charged a higher rate because they don’t pay property taxes to the City. Merrifield questioned that since there is no sewer rate should it be exactly what citizens pay. He would rather see the rate at 10% over what citizens pay rather than a 100%. Hammerand asked if he was asking for credit and then a change moving forward. Lent replied yes. Fleming submitted an email explaining that Lutheran Services in Iowa is sponsoring Alex Congera, a refugee from Africa and was enrolled in Global Greens Program. Congera became the first graduate of the program and is now on his own, renting property from the Flemings to farm. By securing a reduced water rate, it will help Congera succeed. Hammerand noted that we are benefiting an organization and is okay with it. Van Ryswyk commented that it is a service to someone and helping them out. Merrifield replied that they hooked up knowing what the rate was and are now asking for credit. There was further discussion regarding the rate reduction. Motion by Hammerand to credit the garden meter at Fleming’s property in the amount of $768.65 (June 30–August 30) and use the rate of $7.70 moving for the remainder of 2017. Council will revisit if Flemings request a reduced rate for 2018. Seconded by Merrifield. Motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.


Lent yielded his time to the Electric Superintendent, Donald Miller. Miller explained to Council that there would be repairs to the substation and transformers due to an issue with the unit overheating from leaking oil. Merrifield asked about the time frame of when the issues began and Miller replied that in 2009 it was worked on and there was question then on why oil was leaking. It was discovered that oil was leaking outside of the transformer.

Hammerand inquired if the City could run on one transformer and Miller replied yes. Mayor asked moving forward what is the life of the fix. Miller explained that is why a maintenance program should be discussed. The company he is working with said with proper maintenance they shouldn’t have a problem for 15 years. Mayor noted it could be a million dollar project in 15 years. Miller asked the City where they want to be in 15 years as far as if they want to purchase new or used transformers. Hammerand asked if the City could buy used in the future. Miller replied yes however there are only other companies in Iowa that use our types of transformers. Mayor commented that a five year maintenance plan that would cost $30,000. Merrifield asked Miller if it would need to be built into the budget to have testing every five years and Miller replied yes as part of routine maintenance. Council continued to discuss the maintenance plan and Miller commented that he wanted Council to be aware of what was going on.


Merrifield asked how long it took Hammerand to read the Hazard Mitigation program. Hammerand replied he got through ½ of it in 45 minutes. Merrifield pointed out how long it takes for Council to do their jobs and the reasoning for increases.

Hammerand noted that he will not be at the Council meeting on September 25. Merrifield asked if the ordinance for Council compensation should be tabled at that meeting. Hammerand replied he was okay for Council to vote at the next meeting.

McCulloch wanted to correct a prior statement that could have been misinterpreted that he did not contact the auditor regarding decoration bill. He did speak to auditor with Lent about making sure disbursements were coded to the correct funds. He encouraged Council to be diligent and make sure funds are charged to the correct accounts. Mayor extended an invitation to anyone that wants to be part of the exit interview with auditors. Van Ryswyk commented that he has been on the Council for a long time and felt that people who look at the bills take it very seriously.



Mayor reminded Council of her calendar and that they should have that. The Historical Society is working with Bravo for grants. The City received a grant from AARP for $9,515.00 for downtown improvements. Mayor gave Lent a kudos for his work on the DNR Grants and thanked the Chamber for their help with the Philanthropic Grant. A press release should be seen soon regarding the AARP grant. Should see a press release regarding grant.


 Motion by Van Ryswyk, seconded by McCulloch to adjourn at 8:27 pm. Motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.


Ruth Randleman, Mayor


Martha Becker, City Clerk