City council amends golf cart ordinance

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By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council at its monthly meeting on Aug. 3 amended the city's golf cart ordinance that was passed last year. The action came in response to discussion at the previous month's meeting regarding reports of irresponsible behavior involving the carts.

The new wording specifies that all occupants of a golf cart must be in a seated position at all times, and that no one may be standing on the vehicle or sitting on another passenger while the vehicle is in operation.  

In 2014 the city passed an ordinance allowing for the operation of golf carts with restrictions, and  established a permit system. Police Chief George Morteo told the council at Monday night's meeting that 17 permits have been issued thus far.

Mayor Russ Loven presided at the monthly meeting, with councilmembers Virginia Saeugling, Fred Schaub, Dave Schlueter and Jane Parker in attendance, along with City Manager Mary Willett and City Attorney Michael Schuster.

Other business

The council tabled a resolution regarding the sale of city property adjacent to the Guttenberg RV Park to owners Gene and Cheryl Gustin. Mayor Loven and the city manager reported that they met with the Gustins that morning and were awaiting a response by the end of the week.

The council okayed a resolution providing for utility easements on the Staebler and Sadler properties off Acre Street in connection with the Sunset Lane lift station project.

Discussion was held on city leases for Riverview Cafe and the Kann building. Both buildings are located on city property on South River Park Drive. The city manager reported that letters were sent to the owners informing them of new lease rates, and that the new rates were based on the same formula used for the Landing 615 with a goal of being consistent. The city attorney discussed the role of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in regard to ownership and jurisdiction issues. The council also discussed the pros and cons of selling riverfront land versus leasing it.

The council unanimously passed an ordinance endorsing policies to ensure the vitality of the Mississippi River. The ordinance was at the urging of the Missississippi River Network as a means of building support for a healthier river system. 

Resident Barb Pape thanked the council for addressing infrastructure needs and asked about a plan for street improvements. City Manager Mary Willett said that the Iowa Department of Transportation has inventoried and issued a grade for every city street in the state, including Guttenberg's, and that the city's consultant, Fehr-Graham, is putting the information into the city's computer system. Pape also discussed concerns about nuisance properties along Highway 52. 

Monthly administrative reports were briefly presented by Jeff Zerbe on the marina, Fire Chief Chad Esmann, Police Chief George Morteo and City Manager Willett.

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