Council tightens city leash law

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By Shelia Tomkins

Guttenberg city council members  updated city code regarding animals running at large when they met in regular session on Monday evening, May 11. 

At the council table were Mayor Bill Frommelt, City Manager Denise Schneider and councilmembers Mick Pierce, Austin Greve, Fred Schaub, and Virginia Saeugling. Councilmember Jane Parker participated via teleconference.

Leash law change

The council approved a change to the city's animal control ordinance that was prompted by complaints of dogs running at large on both private and city property — especially athletic fields. The city manager said the city currently has a leash law that only applies to animals in the riverfront park. The council  approved an ordinance change that now requires animals be on a leash anywhere within the city limits when they are outside of a structure, kennel, fenced yard, etc. The ordinance, which appears on page 13 in this week's issue, defines "at large" behavior, specifies the length of the leash (not more than 10 feet), and lists other guidelines. 

Project updates

The city manager gave an update on three current projects, including sanitary sewer improvements, the Schiller Street Corridor project, and riverbank flood repairs. She said bids for the sewer project were projected to go out next month. The other projects are "moving forward, but maybe not as quickly as we would like," she said.

Pool repairs

The city manager noted that repairs to the municipal pool have been completed. The pool has been filled and it was expected to open on June 15 for adult swimming and on June 18 for swim lessons.

In a related matter and due to the delayed pool opening, the council okayed pro-rated rates and refunds for annual pool passes.

Appointments

The council approved the following appointments: Guttenberg Economic and Industrial Development Commission, Tom Augustyn and Andrea Meyer; library board, Janette Hansel and Dana Mast; planning and zoning, J.J. Rochford and Steve Bahls; zoning board of adjustment, Jeff Dolan; and riverfront advisory board, Steve Bahls. 

Big Springs artifact

Mayor Frommelt reported on an unusual fossil found at the city's Big Springs property. The mayor recommended retaining ownership of the fossil and loaning it out for viewing or study. See story on page one of this week's issue.

Other business

Following discussion at two previous meetings, the council chose Tujetsch Agency - EMC Insurance as the city's insurance carrier for the coming year. The council vote was 4-1 with Pierce casting the nay vote.  Mike Tujetsch representing EMC and Jean Green representing Iowa Insurance were present at the meeting to answer questions and present additional comments prior to the vote.  

The council approved an amendment to city code regarding car washing. The action came following a report of a non-resident using a spigot in the park to wash his motorhome and fill its holding tank. The ordinance now clarifies that vehicles cannot be washed in the street except when by a person cleaning their own vehicle adjacent to private property or done with owner's permission. 

Following up on action taken at previous meetings, a public hearing was held on the status of funds for a Community Development Block Grant application related to COVID-19 issues, including grants for the GMHC Family Resource Center food pantry meal services and hospital staff training.

Changes were approved to the contracts for the assistant city manager and public works director, due to changes referenced in the union contract. 

Buck Wachendorf was approved as a junior volunteer firefighter.

A bid from Kwik Star for fuel service was approved. 

The mayor reported he is in contact with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources regarding algae in the  ponds along the highway. 

A list of fund transfers was approved in order to zero out fund balance and use reserve funds to pay debts prior to the end of this fiscal year.

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