Council awards contract, amends mask mandate

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By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council meeting in special session on Nov. 23, awarded a contract for the riverbank retaining wall project in downtown Guttenberg and amended the face mask resolution approved earlier in the month.

On hand for the meeting were Mayor Bill Frommelt, councilmembers Virginia Saeugling, Jane Parker, Austin Greve, and Fred Schaub, and City Manager Denise Schneider.

Steve Thompson, project engineer with Veenstra-Kim, spoke to the council about plans for the project that is intended to stabilize the eroding riverbank behind the restroom in the 500 block of South River Park Drive. He said the project will use corrugated channel sheet piling, which he said is a more permanent solution than riprap. The council awarded the contract to the low bidder, Taylor Construction of New Vienna, for $173,000. The city manager noted that bids came in higher than expected, and discussion was held on doing a change order to lower the cost that would eliminate the piling cap and paint. Mike Hefel, whose business is next to the project area, questioned the council on the exact location of the project, future maintenance concerns, and the timeline for completion. He spoke in favor of having a cap and paint on the wall. 

A resolution passed at the council’s monthly meeting on Nov. 9 was amended to remove any penalties for those not following the face mask mandate (see story in the Nov. 18 issue). Penalties had ranged from verbal warnings to a $10 fine. The council unanimously voted to remove the penalties.

The council approved a standardized COVID-19 policy upon recommendation from the city manager. A portion of the policy addresses work-from-home scenarios, and the council discussed the technology needed by the city staff to do so. The council voted to purchase a new computer to be used by staff at home if needed.

Discussion was held on plans to take bids on demolition of the former Palmer house property now owned by the city. The council discussed a proposal to salvage some items. The city attorney will be consulted regarding the proposal prior to taking bids on demolition.

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