Prior to its regularly scheduled meeting on September 8, 2014, the City Council of La Porte City, Iowa met for a work session to discuss the Main Street rehabilitation project.  Those present were Mayor David Neil, Council members Eric Allsup, Sarah Craft, Mike Johnson, Brent Sadler and Jacob Huck from MSA Professional Services.  The group discussed the possibility doing the rehabilitation of the 200 block of Main as a stand-alone project.  Huck estimated the cost for the 200 block to be approximately $582,000. This would include roadway construction, storm sewer, water main, sidewalks and lighting.  The cost would be shared with La Porte City Utilities as well as possible special assessments to property owners for sidewalks.  The roadway construction would utilize the existing bricks by removing, cleaning and reinstalling them in the roadway.
Following the work session, the City Council then met in regular session. Mayor David Neil called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM with Council Members Eric Allsup, Sarah Craft, Mike Johnson and Brent Sadler present. Absent was Council Members Todd Butler. Also present were Jen Sparks and Wes Gardner.
Wes Gardner spoke to the Council about his request to eliminate excavation permit deposit. The City currently requires a $500 deposit and a $25 permit fee for contractors working in the right of way.  Gardner told the Council that he is required to have a $5,000 bond to do excavation work in the City right of way.  Because of this, he doesn’t think that the deposit is necessary.  Mayor Neil expressed concern that if a contractor doesn’t perform the work, the City would have to pursue reimbursement from the insurance company, possibly involving legal fees. The Council tabled action until more information could be gathered.
Gerry Jacobsen was hired for the Public Works Department. Jacobsen has been employed as a seasonal employee, but will move to permanent, full-time effective September 11, 2014.
The Council discussed changing traffic controls at the intersection of Commercial and Main, where a stop light currently exists.  The discussion included conversation regulating traffic with two-way or four-way stop signs. Craft expressed concern about pedestrian traffic crossing Commercial Street (U.S. Hwy. 218).  Allsup  was concerned about speeds on Highway 218 at the intersection, as well as traffic exiting Tootsies onto the highway.  Johnson indicated that if the City were to keep the lights, he would like to see sensors put in so that the lights respond to traffic patterns. If not, he would prefer a four-way stop.  Allsup suggested that at slow traffic times, the lights could be switched to flashing.  City staff will check in to other options for the intersection.
In other business, the Council ordered sidewalk repairs at 804 Sycamore. Mayor Neil will send out the repair order.
New assignments to Council Committees were announced by Mayor Neil, with the first name listed to serve as the committee chairperson.
Finance/Economic Development: Johnson/Allsup; Legislation/Personnel: Butler/Craft; Public Safety: Craft/Butler; Public Works: Sadler/Johnson; Parks & Recreation:    Allsup/Sadler