The Dysart City Council has met twice in the past two weeks, capped off by a special Tuesday session to discuss the possible construction of a cellular phone tower by Verizon Wireless.
The meeting, which took place on August 14, gave the council the opportunity to ask questions of a Verizon representative on the possible 250 foot tower the company would like to build in Dysart. The old Verizon tower, a roughly 60 foot structure, was damaged in a wind storm.
The meeting was called because of an ordinance on file with the city that prohibits the construction of structures taller than 50 feet. The Dysart Board of Adjustment, a group independent of the council, was on hand to vote on whether to approve the company's plan for the tower.
In the end, with their questions answered, the board voted to allow the tower to be built. Details of the company's timeline were not immediately available.
Prior to the Verizon meeting, the council met in regular session on Wednesday, August 8. Kendall Lyons was on hand to present his plan to the city for repainting the handicapped parking spaces in the city in order to obtain his Eagle Scout certification. Lyons estimated that there were somewhere between 16 and 20 spots that would qualify. He will do fundraising for the supplies and the mayor and council gave him high praise for wanting to make such an improvement to the town.
Tim Glenn gave an update on the scoreboard situation, estimating the cost to be somewhere in the $4,000 to $5,000 range. The scoreboard will have LED lights, wireless capability and will be roughly the same size as the current one.
Tom Brandt inquired about civic group liability insurance for area clubs hosting events, as well as a resident complaint about parking south of the museum. During events, according to the resident, many cars get parked in front of driveways and this is improper. The council reminded that parking in front of any driveway is against code and can result in a ticket.
Bret Hennessy inquired about burning within city limits due to a resident complaint, and he will attend and report on the library meeting at next month's council session.
The mayor brought forth several issues, including the possible repair of the restrooms in the community building as well as the possible purchase of a generator that would be able to provide air conditioning for the building in the event of a town-wide power outage.
One of the most important decisions of the day was the city's choice not to enter into a partnership with Energy Pioneer to allow the company to audit residents' energy use and provide repairs.
The company has spoken to the council several times and presented its plan at both the May and July meetings, which the Reporter was present for. Ultimately, the council was in unanimous agreement that the partnership would not be a good one for the city, due to the additional costs that could be incurred, the problem that would arise if homeowners moved or didn't pay their bill and many other factors. It is the position of this newspaper, after being on hand for both presentations and hearing the proposal, that the city has made a wise decision in not entering into an agreement with Energy Pioneer.
The council moved on to provide authorization for the city to lease a new copier to replace the aging one in the City Clerk's office. Leasing will allow for a maintenance plan that is more economically feasible for the city.
The Talmage Street sewer project has completed its first phase, and the city will begin accepting bids in September for the second phase. The anticipated start date for work would be October 8 with about 20 working days to complete.
The city received a bill for tree removal at the park that was a result of damage from last year's wind storm. The total cost was $1,405 and included a large tree, a smaller maple and some stump removal.
The council voted to approve the $2,068.50 in dues to the Tama County Economic Development Commission. That number is census-based and figures out to around $1.50 per resident. The council was especially impressed with the new director's [Heath Kellogg's] plans and enthusiasm in bringing business to the county.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Dysart City Council will be on Wednesday, September 12, at 7 p.m.