CITY OF CARLISLE
SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
Monday, 5 December 2016, 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 VanRyswyk, Eric Goodhue, Dan McCulloch, Doug Hammerand, and Drew Merrifield constituting a quorum. Also present was City Administrator Andy Lent. Mayor Randleman called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Elizabeth Loux, 520 N 6th Street, Lived in house for 40 years, She asked if service ends, when is the ending date of service? Mayor Randleman stated that it would be the end of June of next year. She doesn’t drive because she is blind in one eye. She appreciates DART service. Son scoops driveway to allow bus to come up to her door. City does a lot of nice things. Please don’t forget senior citizens.
Patty Andrus, 620 Ridge Road, concerned about length of time from downtown and Carlisle for transportation. She was concerned about the notice of when the service would end. Would there be some type of alternative. Mayor Randleman explained that the alternate would be HIRTA and there would be more information coming up in the meeting. Andrus asked if there was a representative of DART was at the meeting? Yes, Elizabeth Presutti, the executive director is here.
Jackie Hook, 500 N 5th Street, stated that several have rode the bus since the first day. She spoke with Carol Fillman who walked from Avon Lake to the grocery store to ride the bus along with her handicap son who needs to make appointments in West Des Moines. Jackie was one of the first users and rides every Friday.
Randy Pegramm, 115 7th Street, lived in city for 54 years feels the bus is necessary to continue to live independently. He rides the bus with them. He feels the bus is good service to have available. He appreciates the assistance they receive to learn about the services available from DART.
Deanne Oakley, 635 School Street, lived here for 33 years. She stated that she is a disabled veteran.
Motion by Goodhue, seconded by Merrifield to receive and file comments/questions from Norm Metcalf, 201 Hawthorn, Norwalk. Motion carried unanimously by roll call vote.
APPROVAL OF BILLS PAYABLE, CHANGE ORDERS AND PAY REQUESTS
Motion by Hammerand, seconded by Van Ryswyk to approve Change Order #6 for Carlisle Fire Station Addition Project. Lent explained that this was for tuck pointing the interior wall of the new addition, which used to be the exterior wall. Merrifield asked why these items are coming up piecemeal. Lent explained that this was a request from Chief Glover, not critical to the construction. Motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.
OLD BUSINESS and NEW BUSINESS and POSSIBLE ACTION:
The purpose of the special meeting was to consider Carlisle’s membership in the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART). At the end of 2015 calendar year, the City of Carlisle had sent a notice to DART and participating communities that it was withdrawing from membership. The 28E agreement for DART required an 18-month notice sent to all participants, which was done with ride service ending June 30, 2017.
Dylan Mullenix, Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (DMAMPO), reviewed the information provided in the packet. He explained the differences between DART and HIRTA which is another public transportation option available in Carlisle. DART is supplemented by a tax levy, HIRTA is not and thus the roundtrip cost is higher. He further explained that in the DART 2035 plan an express route is planned for Carlisle in 5 to 10 years. Hammerand asked if the survey asked if anyone was concerned about the money from the city. Mullenix stated the survey just asked if people were willing to support paying for the service. Merrifield asked if anyone knew how much it cost for taxpayers to pay for the service. He stated that according to DART numbers for 7 riders a week, it costs $167.50 per person to Southridge Mall. For a home of $100,000, an individual taxpayer pays $34 a year in taxes. Merrifield pointed out that Mullenix did not cover the possibility of Uber. Mullenix stated that there was not the critical mass to make that a possibility. Merrifield stated that he had reached out to Uber who said they would be willing to work on this. Mullenix pointed out that Carlisle would still have $63,000 to pay from debt obligation upon leaving DART. He pointed out some things for them to consider: taking away a service that some residents depend on; metro communities competing for amenities like public transit services, what is Carlisle’s role in providing regional services, and finally relationship with peers as far what other cities might think when other MPO community representatives consider funding for future projects. Mayor Randleman explained it was not so much for revenge, but was for practical reasons
Hammerand asked about the difference in the payment amount as far as $20,000 versus $58,000 if the city chose a van option with HIRTA. Mullenix stated the difference was more where the money was coming either from a tax levy or from the city general fund. Randleman stressed that she was looking more towards the future where staying in DART will meet future transit needs and assist with meeting senior housing needs
McCulloch asked about Altoona Mayor Conkling’s remarks on public transit needed to be support by tax levies, remarks from incoming federal transportation officials, and a decrease in federal funding in DART’s budget. Mullenix stated that no aspect of public transportation is self-sufficient.
Rebecca Rickabaugh, 235 Market, stated that she tried HIRTA. The ride cost $10 to the dentist office, but would not be back for several hours. They told her to stay where she was at and could not leave. Then it cost $10 for the return trip.
Elizabeth Presutti spoke about the numerous discussions held by the DART commission in recognition of the tax levy be frozen for smaller communities for the next three years. Hammerand asked what would keep DART from having a huge increase on smaller cities after the three years. Presutti noted that the expenses were calculated year to year and that the larger cities were sharing more of the burden. She felt there would need to be a significant service increase to push a major increase in the property tax levy increase. She mentioned that HIRTA does not offer service to residents in Polk County due to service territory agreements.
Ronda Frost, 735 Sunset, stated that she saw a value to the service, but has a hard time to see the value of price paid for the service. She would like to see what DART can bring to the table for more service availability. She thought there must be others in need of the service besides those in attendance.
Gretchen Tegeler from Taxpayers Association of Central Iowa spoke on the efforts to provide effective and efficient government services at a reasonable cost. She expressed her appreciation of the city council raising the questions of the service in Carlisle. She noted that public transit has to be done on a regional basis and provides benefits outside of direct user benefits. The city should assess what they are willing to pay for the services rendered. She feels it is unfortunate to see a withdrawal from the regional transit because it would herald a potential unraveling of a regional service. She felt it was a good faith effort by DART to freeze the tax levy. Merrifield asked what prompted this action. Tegeler noted that it was likely the action taken by the Carlisle City Council. McCulloch stated he would like to see more service from DART for what the City is paying. He stated he would see a possible return of the metro train system.
Randleman asked that if the conversation could continue with DART for their budget if the City wanted to explore options with HIRTA. Presutti noted that they would need to know if they needed to certify the budget on March 15th with a levy for Carlisle.
Goodhue asked if DART is willing to negotiate the amount of tax levy with Carlisle. Presutti noted that was up to the Board, but would be wary of that opening something to other communities who might also want to negotiate the levy. She noted that any possible discussion on significant structure changes by the Commission was to be on governance first and then anything else later. Tegeler noted that any discussion on the levy should be done as a collection of smaller cities.
Norm Metcalf, 201 Hawthorne, Norwalk noted that he does have a network in Carlisle of senior citizens. He had a couple of observations. He asked if Norwalk was in DART. Presutti stated not at this time, but there were some possibilities. He noted that he understood the regional concept having experience with public transit in Arizona. He asked if there were some companies that offered some incentives for carpooling.
Pegramm asked about running the bus five days a week. He thought that would create a major impact on the use of the bus. He felt that people using on-call service would not be rushed.
Randleman noted that the letter was in and did not change anything. However, more information was needed from HIRTA for the services they could provide.
ADJOURNMENT: Motion by Goodhue, second by McCulloch to adjourn at 8:38 p.m., carried unanimously on a roll call vote.
Ruth Randleman, Mayor
Andrew J. Lent, City Clerk