The Albia City Council met May 17 with council member Dennis Conley absent. Mayor Richard Clark was also absent so council member Merle Regenold ran the meeting.
Several residents spoke to the council about the proposed mandatory garbage pick up the council has been discussing for the past several weeks. They objected to the city going to only one garbage hauler, which the council is not proposing and also to the idea of being charged for garbage pick up together with something like their water. They also talked about the struggle for people on fixed incomes to afford garbage pick up, especially the elderly.
Council members later discussed perhaps looking at city ordinances in regards to sanitary issues and perhaps updating or changing them to address any issues.
The council discussed having a public forum about the proposed mandatory garbage pickup to make sure citizens know what is being proposed. After the public forum, the council will decide whether to move forward or not.
Property owner Jana Simmons addressed the council about an alley that had been closed. They said they were not informed before the closures even though the alley was used as an access to their property.
They said they had bought the property to perhaps sell lots from it and they felt closing that alley access devalued their property as it was the most direct access.
City Attorney Bob Breckenridge said that they were not notified of the proposal for closure because the alley is not contiguous to their property and they have two other access points to their land. According to Planning and Zoning ordinances adjacent property owners would have had to be notified, and Breckenridge said in his opinion they were not an adjacent property owner.
Andrew Garza, a resident from South Clinton Street addressed the council about cars speeding down the street in front of his home, which is near Grant Elementary School. Albia Police Chief Brad Evinger said that since May 5 officers have spent three hours there in both marked and unmarked cars tracking the speed of drivers and that police will be moving a speed control sign there in the near future to show drivers how fast they are going.
The council approved a contract with Chariton Valley Planning and Development to go through all the city’s current codes and make sure they are up to date. This will also include Planning and Zoning code. Chariton Valley will work in conjunction with the city attorney and the project should be finished by Dec. 31, 2021. The price will be approximately $60,000.
The council also discussed and approved a resolution for their hazard mitigation plan. The plan will be part of a regional hazard mitigation plan for ADLM that will be submitted for approval to the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.
The council approved the first reading of an ordinance to create no parking on South A Street between 4the and 5th Avenue West during school hours with council member Scott Kelly voting no.
The ordinance regarding vehicles over 80 inches parking on city streets was once again discussed. The council had previously talked about allowing vehicles over 80 inches to park for up to 48 hours but the city attorney said the current ordinance that prevents over width vehicles from parking on the street between dusk and dawn was put in place mainly because of accidents that can happen at night.
Police Chief Evinger said the current ordinance was put in place specifically because of an accident that occurred in town. The council discussed changing the ordinance to allow parking at night if the vehicle had lighting on it to let other drivers see it.
The council approved seeking bids for several proposed city street repair projects presented by Street Commissioner Jeff Stephens. Stephens said the projects would address about 40 blocks and would include some concrete overlays and some asphalt overlays.
In other business:
• A bid of $800 for clean up of 222 S. 2nd St. was accepted by the council.
• The council voted to refer alley closing to the Planning and Zoning Committee
• The council held a public hearing on the proposed budget amendment. There were no comments for or against the amendment. The council then approved the amendment.
• Beer and liquor permits were approved for Casey’s North and Highway Restaurant.
• Four properties had mowing costs assessed to their property taxes. They included 222 S. 2nd St. for $300, 121 N. 9th for $300, 414 N. Clinton for $300 and 123 S. 2nd St. for $300.
• The council briefly discussed putting a camera at the brush dump because of people repeatedly breaking the rules.
• Albia City Clerk Linda Heller reminded the council that city clean up would be June 7. Items need to be on the curb by 7 a.m. that morning. Items that will not be collected include tires, motors, electronics like televisions, computers, stereos and microwaves, etc. and appliances including stoves, fridges, water heaters, washers and dryers, etc.