In a lengthy, nearly four-hour meeting with a long agenda, the Sully City Council met in regular session at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 8. Many area residents and their families were awaiting the council’s decision on a Sully Fourth of July Celebration in a few weeks, and the council, after nearly two hours of discussion, approved it on a unanimous 5-0 vote. Due to COVID-19, the public attended via zoom video conference. Present at the council chambers in Sully Community Center were Mayor Gordon Yarrington, city clerk Barbra Maasdam, councilmembers Jeff Burkett, Josh Foster, Wes Van Wyk, Teryl Ver Ploeg, and Jon Van Wyk. Guests included Ryk De Goey, Judy Zegers, Jeana Van Haaften, Darin Arkema, Kathy Zylstra, Mike Vander Molen, Matt Walker, and Margaret Vander Weerdt.
The consent agenda approved Apr. 13 meeting minutes, payment of claims list, treasurer’s report, equipment fund summary, and Revolving Loan Fund Summary. No one spoke during public forum.
Vander Molen was asked to speak on two years ago, mayor Brent Vander Molen at the time asked the fire department to flush culverts with fire equipment and if that is allowed. In some areas of town without plastic pipes, lead pipes have rust that gets stirred up for residents’ homes when fire hydrants are opened. While culverts near the school were being flushed recently, a rural water association alarm was tripped due to what they said was a use spike of 47,000 gallons, which the council would like to have checked out by rural water. M. Vander Molen reported approximately 4,700 gallons of water to clean the school’s culvert, and the contractor of the project, Sully Construction, will be billed by the fire department for the water. The city asked the fire department to contact Behun when the fire department will use water from hydrants for non-emergencies, with a plan to be worked out and on the July meeting agenda.
Concerning library update on providing lobby service, it was stated when city buildings opened this month, the first phase at the library was putting books ordered in the community center hallway on Thursdays. Zylstra explained the health precaution steps. She was asked by the mayor why the library is not taking on new patrons, Zylstra said it has to be done in person nor is online currently available. Yarrington and the council challenged the director and her board to work out a way to register new patrons by July, including possibly emailing a driver’s license copy for ID purposes for new patrons and possibly waiving signature requirements. “The library board needs to realize they are tax-supported and services need to be available,” Yarrington said. A notice for new patron acceptance was requested in the Hometown Press. Plexiglas placement for social distancing at the library has apparently been ordered but no one on the city council knew anything about it nor who will be paying for it.
A library Dutch-style door replacement was cancelled because it was deemed unnecessary for the situation.
City office Dutch-style door replacement at a bid of $1,317 from Key Cooperative is underway due to inability to keep customers six feet away from the clerk’s desk.
Opening Sully government buildings and the playground officially started June 1. As per the last council meeting, the mayor was permitted to allow openings when the governor allowed them with social distancing. Lynnville-Sully promenade will be at 5:45 p.m. on June 20 in the city park.
Consider July 4 celebration cancellation or “modified plans” was moved up on the agenda. Arkema shared his notes about the 25th Freedom Run. He stated he is more concerned with runner health issues and traffic than the pandemic. He asked about city’s event insurance. He also explained having waves to start the runs, which are possible with electronic timers. “From my stand point, we’d have it virtual or live, not at a later date. The run makes enough to cover the Lynnville-Sully cross-country program,” Arkema said. He also explained totally online registration and picking up packets before the morning of the race, pre-packaged after-race food, no door prizes, etc. If there is a parade, he asked for race to start earlier than usual or the parade to begin at 10:30 a.m., due to longer race with wave starts. He also suggested parade staging to possibly move due to interference with runners. He asked to be able to use the city PA system for race starts and other possible announcements. Parade committee will have to have an expanded route and possible ZOOM or Facebook Live of the parade for those uncomfortable to attend.
Before a council vote happened, everyone was informed that if a celebration happens, it won’t be the normal celebration; there will be many differences, including differences of opinions. No large tents will be allowed so people can’t congregate. Kybos will be the only restroom facilities. There are 25th Annual Freedom Run, breakfast and noon meal, tractor pull, and tractor ride (June 27) possibilities as well as a parade and entertainment. Presentation of parade trophies may have to happen during the parade lineup, and no candy throwing will be permitted. People comfortable with coming can attend and those uncomfortable should not attend, just as is happening at churches in the area. “We could have it, not sure I think we should have it,” Yarrington said. Sully Lions Club Executive Committee decided not to serve the meal this year due to the susceptible age of its members.
Ver Ploeg said, “I have a different view of it as I’ve had it [COVID-19], it’s okay if we go ahead and have it but I won’t attend.”
J. Van Wyk said, “We are giving the option if people want to attend.”
Maasdam said, “If it can’t be as normal, my opinion is not to have it at all.”
After nearly two hours of calm discussion of many celebration aspects, the mayor asked for a motion at 8:40 p.m. to proceed with the Sully Fourth of July Celebration which passed with a 5-0 vote. “If we have things to do, the event will happen; if not then we won’t,” Yarrington concluded about the matter. A committee was to meet the evening of June 9. Watch for details.
No one spoke during the public hearing on proposed FY2020 budget amendment, and the resolution for the amendment was approved.
Three resolutions passed by the council included resolution to authorize and approve contract for residential solid waste and recyclable materials; resolution approving designation of “Special Project Property” allowing for municipal funds to be used to pay cost of sewer line replacement; and resolution to authorize and approve agreement for mapping of water and sanitary sewer systems.
Walker reported on replacement of flow monitoring equipment using the GIS (Geographic Information System) of Garden and Associates, the city engineering firm, so there would be current and accurate electronic files accessible by several with up-to-date data. The council agreed to go forward with an agreement.
Next item was, “City’s flow meters are junk, and data isn’t to be trusted,” Yarrington said. Behun has checked on new equipment for $595 for satellite usage and flow meter ownership by the city would be $19,300 for four meters or $10,100 for two. “If we’re serious about getting rid of infiltration, having two owned by the city would be a good idea,” the mayor said. Item was tabled until next month’s meeting to check references of others using such equipment.
Northridge Estates Lot #19 Project was explained by Ver Ploeg representing Sully Betterment Committee, noting the need for housing with usually only a monthly average of three homes for sale recently. Betterment asked for city council’s approval to go forward with the project, including contacting the current residents in the development due to three units on a lot is not according to the covenants, as well as how much time for project completion. Public meetings would be a step, as well as looking for a townhouse floor plan and interest in purchases of the townhouses. Also needed to be determined is city involvement on the lot already owned by the city. The council okayed proceeding with the project.
First reading of ordinance amendment for recreational vehicle parking came up to keep people from permanently living in an RV. After discussion, first reading was approved but if further information determines changing it, changes can still be made as councilmembers questioned the broad scoop of so-called recreational vehicles included.
In considering airport insurance policy, the clerk recommended switching to Tulip City Agency who has the rest of the city’s insurance for $933 per year instead of the current policyholder, Interstate Insurance Services, at $1,133, and the council approved the change.
Consideration of decorative liquid concrete flooring replacement instead of carpeting for council chambers, city office, and library was explained by J. Van Wyk. Basic cost would be $6.50 per square foot, and $10,640 for the project was approved. Council chamber wallpaper replacement at the same time was discussed, no action taken but will be on July’s meeting agenda.
Tree removal – free DNR tree inventory showed a plan for public trees in Sully. At this time, the council approved only contacting Dale Van Maanen of Vermeer to remove two dead/dying trees in Sully Central Park.
Review items on action sheet was held, including getting culverts cleaned out so ditch cleaning actually works.
Public works director in his report noted a manhole with infiltration, EWI needs to check it.
Councilmember W. Van Wyk asked for future reference, who is responsible to clean an old field tile in north part of town, and after lengthy discussion, homeowners need to resolve in the future.
Councilmember Foster reported about no county cost sharing for the school crosswalks.
Councilmember Ver Ploeg asked about how to get part-time help for Behun and suggested Behun’s 16-year-old son at $10 per hour to help with a few projects and also check with temp agencies, to be decided next month. Discussion was also on hiring a private company with the equipment for the ditch cleaning, with proposal planned for where and cost.
Mayor asked about how to handle infiltration/water flow in private yards.
The mayor thanked the council for its patience during the long meeting which adjourned at 10:41 p.m.