Letter from the Mayor

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Letter from the Mayor – June 2017

The summer busy season!

Ely continues to be a place of a lot of activity. There is construction going on in 3 different developments around town along with Creekside nearing completion of its initial construction phase. Also construction on the recreation trail will start up in July finishing the trail to Seven Sisters Rd.  Summer is definitely upon us with the parks full of baseball games nearly every night and the trail full of cyclists and walkers. I’ve spent a lot of time on trails the past month or two and I’m always impressed with the number of people who are riding into our town on a daily basis. We have to continue, as a city, working at ways to take advantage of this traffic coming into our town. Now lets get you caught up on the month of June!

  1. Council had a full slate of business this past month. First off, council approved to shut down the parade route for the 4th of July Parade which starts at 6pm. The route will be the same as in past years starting at the Fire Station, winding through town, ending at City Hall. Volunteers are still needed to watch crossing streets to make sure traffic does not pull onto the route during the parade. Click HERE to sign up to help. You can still watch the parade while helping keep the parade safe for everyone!
  2. Next, council discussed fireworks regulations due to the legislation recently passed at the state level. Council moved to adopt a modified version of the state’s code with a shorter range of dates in which the fireworks can be shot off. To read the full ordinance click HERE. Council also agreed to review this ordinance in the Spring of 2018 once the city has gone through the first cycle of firework dates to see where public opinion stands on the current ordinance.
  3. Council heard from Tammy Bryant, owner of Cloud 9. She is helping to head up the 2nd Annual Winterfest. She requested street closures on December 16th as they looked to add a parade to this year’s festivities. Council agreed to the street closures with more details coming later this Fall.
  4. Council approved two change orders for the Knoll St/Ranmar Ct resurfacing project. Additional work was added to portions of Ranmar Ct to allow for proper drainage and curb work.
  5. Scott with MMS presented rough estimated costs for extending sanitary sewer services from Traer St onto Main St. This would allow for potential businesses to locate on the east side of Main St and along the trail just to the north of Dan and Debbie’s Creamery. There is a potential for up to 4 businesses to locate in this area. Council agreed to solicit firm estimates on the project to be considered at the next regular meeting.
  6. Council approved the purchase of a second new Kubota mower at the same price point as the first mower to be purchased in the new fiscal year. This will continue to improve Public Work’s ability to maintain the city’s parks and common areas.
  7. Council approved a resolution allowing departments to roll over unspent budget dollars to a reserve account for future use. The old system promoted departments to spend unused budget at the end of a fiscal year with the concern that the funds may not be available the follow year. This new resolution will promote sound budgeting without the fear of lost funds. Unused funds can be saved/accumulated for larger future projects. Expenditure of the funds will still need to be approved by council.
  8. Council adopted a new ordinance related to the mowing of properties within town. To view this new ordinance click HERE.
  9. Council reviewed the State of Iowa Auditor’s report and agreed to address the noted comments. Nothing major, however a few things to clean up. If you would like to review the report feel free to stop down at City Hall and request to view it.
  10. The Personnel Committee introduced a resolution setting salaries for FY2018 reflecting a 2% raise for city employees, except for library employees whose wages are set by the Library Board. Council approved the resolution.
  11. A resolution was passed by council approving a computer based policy, an electronic messaging acceptable use policy and an internet acceptable use policy. These were common-sense policies that are now in writing for the city.
  12. Council agreed to consider an ordinance at the next city council meeting concerning banning all use of electronic smoking devices in public buildings and on public property.
  13. Council accepted the resignation of Connor Fisher as the Recreational Coordinator as he is moving back to the Des Moines area.  The Personnel Committee announced that a notice for Connor’s position had been posted and recommended that council consider appointing the second candidate that interviewed for the position less than a year ago. A motion was made and council approved the hiring of Callie O’Brien. Callie will be starting in early July and will go through a month of cross-training with Connor before he steps down at the end of July.
  14. With regret, council accepted the resignation of 7-year council member Stephanie Mehmen. Stephanie’s resignation is effective August 14th as she will be moving to Cedar Rapids. Council has begun accepting applications to fill Stephanie’s unexpired term and will make the appointment at the August 2017 meeting. All candidates will be eligible to run in the next regular city election slated for November 2017. Click HERE if you are interesting in applying.  All applications need to be submitted to City Hall no later than August 7th.

    In closing, I want to give my personal thanks to Stephanie. She is everything a city needs in a councilperson. Every decision she made had the community’s best interests at heart. She grew up in Ely and loves our town very much. She will be greatly missed. Thank you for your time serving on council Stephanie!

    As always, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach out to me via the contact info below.

    Thanks for taking the time to get caught up!

    Eldy Miller
    Mayor of Ely
    C: 319-350-9231
    E: eldy@elyiowa.com