Meeting Notice: Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting set for Sunday, February 23 at 2pm

Meeting Notice: Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting set for Sunday, February 23 at 2pm

The monthly Mayor’s Town Hall meeting is set for (February 23rd) at 2pm in Community Room at City Hall.

The agenda for the meeting follows:

MAYOR’S TOWN HALL MEETING
Riverdale City Hall, 110 Manor Drive
Community Room

DATE:    Sunday February 23, 2020
TIME:    2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.

THE MAYOR’S TOWN HALL MEETING IS A PUBLIC INTAKE SESSION FOR THE MAYOR, RESIDENTS OF RIVERDALE AND ANY OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES. THE PURPOSE OF THE MEETING IS TO INFORM RESIDENTS, ANSWER QUESTIONS AND TO GATHER INPUT ABOUT CITY ISSUES AFFECTING THE RESIDENTS OF RIVERDALE.

 

Agenda:

Welcome

Current Issues:

  1. Woods Estates Progress Report
  2. Fiber Optic Install/MetroNet Presentation
  3. FY 21 Budget Status Report
  4. Discussion of 02/25 Max Levy Hearing

Comments/Questions from the Public

Adjourn

An official version of the agenda can be viewed on the public notice bulletin boards in the City or in staff offices at City Hall during regular business hours.

Please come with your thoughts, comments and fresh ideas!

See you then!

Take charge of your old batteries – here’s how to recycle them.

Take charge of your old batteries – here’s how to recycle them.

With so many wireless and cordless devices in the typical home, battery disposal is becoming a bigger and bigger issue. You have batteries in your laptop, your cell phone, your TV remote and some of the electrical appliances stored in your kitchen drawers.

But not all batteries are created equal.

Throwing your rechargeable batteries away when they’re “dead” could be unsafe. Not only do the chemicals in batteries pose a risk to the environment (if not properly handled), batteries can spark and cause fires or explosions at the waste processing facility or recycling center.

So how should you get rid of your old batteries?

Alkaline Batteries

Single-use batteries (alkaline) are fine to toss in the trash when they run out of juice. These are most often found in flashlights, kids toys, TV remotes and other devices that need to have their batteries replaced when they stop working. (I know, that sounds really obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t think about it.)

Single-use batteries are now made of common metals deemed non-hazardous by the federal government and can be disposed of in your regular trash. Prior to 1996, single-use batteries contained mercury and were treated as hazardous waste.

One exception: Watch out … the small, button-shaped batteries found in watches should NEVER be thrown away. They are considered to be hazardous and should be disposed of like a rechargeable battery.

Rechargeable Batteries

One way to cut down on the number of disposable batteries you send to the landfill each year is to buy and use rechargeable batteries, instead. These can be re-used up to 1,000 times before they wear out. But beware, rechargeable batteries pose their own risks and need to be handled differently when it comes time to dispose of them.

In fact, rechargeable batteries are the leading cause of fires at recycling centers and landfills because they are usually not prepared for the process and, instead, just buried in trash or piles of recyclables where they can accidentally spark. Lithium batteries – like those found in flashlights, rechargeable household appliances, computers, etc. – are often the culprits.

Small, sealed lead acid batteries, like those found in battery-powered scooters, remote control cars, etc. contain hazardous chemicals that can harm pets and contaminate land and waterways.

Recycling Batteries

Prepping single-use batteries for recycling:

  • Place a piece of non-conductive clear tape over the ends to prevent any current transfer. You can also bag each battery individually instead of taping the ends.
  • Seal batteries in a plastic bag that doesn’t conduct electricity in case there is a spark.
  • Drop the batteries off at a collection site.

Prepping rechargeable batteries for recycling:

  • Remove batteries from their electronics if possible. (This is not required for small electronics like cellphones or iPods, which can be accepted by the e-waste facility at the Waste Commission’s facility in Davenport.)
  • Cover the terminals with non-conductive tape clear tape.
  • Seal batteries in a plastic bag that doesn’t conduct electricity in case there is a spark.
  • Drop the batteries off at a collection site (preferably the e-waste facility).

The Waste Commission of Scott County has created a simple-to-follow guide to help make it easy for you. Just click on the image to the right and either download it or print it out and save the information in an easy-to-reach place.

On the clock: What’s next when it comes to re-staffing City Hall?

On the clock: What’s next when it comes to re-staffing City Hall?

Some people might call it bad luck. Others might call it dodging a bullet.

It is what it is.

The way events have played out over the last seven to ten days, the City of Riverdale now finds itself back to where it was around Thanksgiving, facing the departure of its head of staff (Interim City Administrator, Lisa Kotter) and evaluating its options for the future. The main difference now, though, is that City leaders have gone through a goal-setting process and reached consensus on some over-arching priorities for our community.

I feel confident in saying that we’re all headed the same, general direction. And while we might have differing points of view on the best way to get there, everyone is listening to each other and to the residents, with the intent of finding the solution that works best.

We’re also further down the budgeting road which helps bring some important issues (like available funds, tax rates, valuations, etc.) into greater focus. That also helps with the decision-making process by eliminating ideas that are not economically feasible.

Side Note: If you have time available at 2pm on Sunday, February 23, please be sure to come to our town hall meeting where I’ll provide an update on our budgeting process in advance of our Max Levy Public Hearing (scheduled on Tuesday, February 25).

Questions About Tuesday’s Closed Session

The City Council went into closed session at Tuesday’s meeting and there were questions as to whether or not that was appropriate.

Although the original intent was to go into closed session to discuss the finer points of an employment agreement with Lisa Kotter (to be our full-time, City Administrator for 24-30 months), it was also to discuss the additional plans for staffing including changing job descriptions and evaluating personnel. The second objective for the session still had to take place (which it did) although no action could be taken in closed session, the Council did agree on a general plan to move forward so we could have a more substantive, public discussion as part of the City Council meeting on February 25th.

We also discussed an offer made by a person known to the City Council to serve as Riverdale’s City Administrator. He requested we not make his name public.

The Plan Forward

The consensus of the City Council was that there were a number of additional options open to the City and that taking the time necessary to find the right staff person/staff personnel at identified wage levels determined during the closed session was the preferred path forward. The Council seemed okay with taking this course, even if it might result in lowering expectations for staff performance in the short-term and pushing some of the objectives outlined during the City’s goal-setting meeting.

Council members are supposed to send me their thoughts on staffing, wages and related items/issues by the end of the day on Friday. I will compile the information and send a summary memo to members of the City Council along with some recommended actions. Depending on how similar the recommendations are between all the Council Members, I may prepare some action items for public discussion as part of our next meeting.

If there are any ideas that are significantly different from what other Council Members are suggesting, I’ll take time to discuss those ideas with the Council Member who offered them in a one-on-one meeting.

The over-all goal, though, is to clearly set some expectations and guidelines for searching and selecting one or two key staff people who will serve the City of Riverdale in a full-time capacity. Our research into this process (including discussions with consultants who specialize in this kind of thing) indicate a typical timeline for a search is 90 days (3 months). Sometimes the search takes less time. Sometimes it takes more.

It is what it is.

And it will be what it will be.

Republic Services produces a waste guide for Riverdale residents

Republic Services produces a waste guide for Riverdale residents

Not sure you remember exactly whether the recycling bin needs to be wheeled to the curb this week? Can’t remember when bulky waste pick-up day is? Afraid you’re too late to leave yard waste at the curb for clean up?

Thanks to the City of Riverdale’s waste/recycling service provider, Republic Services, that won’t be a problem any more. They’ve provided a handy guide that will be mailed out to residents over the next week to help remind us what goes in the bin, on the curb and to the street – when it comes to trash and recycling.

You can also download a copy of that guide by clicking here (the guide will open in a new window).

With all the warnings about coronavirus, what should we do?

With all the warnings about coronavirus, what should we do?

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDHP) just released a statement about how state officials are screening people at risk for coronavirus and takes the opportunity to warn against a much more serious (and common) threat, influenza. In a recent statement provided by the IDPH, they wrote:

(IDPH) continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local partners to monitor and respond to novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The virus was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and has since been detected in other parts of the world, including the U.S.

In February, IDPH began monitoring and testing appropriate individuals for the virus, in accordance with recommendations by President Trump’s Task Force on Coronavirus. Testing is recommended for individuals who traveled to China within the last 14 days AND have symptoms of novel coronavirus (fever, cough, shortness of breath). Public health monitoring and limiting contact with the public is recommended for persons who returned from China within the last 14 days but have no symptoms. Monitoring involves the individual checking in with public health several times each day to ensure the person is still well. These individuals also avoid contact with the public in group settings.

While the emergence of a new virus that can infect humans is always a serious public health concern, the risk to the general public remains low at this time. This is a situation that public health prepares for and responds to with a layered approach to protect the public health.

IDPH reports that testing in the state shows the coronavirus risk to Iowans is quite low. There are fewer than 30 people being monitored and the two individuals tested (as of February 10) have both tested negative.

It’s not too late to get that flu shot, however.

Click on this image to see a larger view of this Flu Prevention Tips graphic.

That being said, the IDPH does warn that Iowans are at much greater risk from influenza. In 2018, there were nearly 300 people in the state who died from the flu or flu-related illnesses. That was up from around 140 deaths the previous year.

This IDPH statement on flu risks was buried inside it’s bulletin about its efforts to monitor for coronavirus.

At this time, the greater risk to Iowans is from influenza. This is also the time of year many respiratory viruses circulate. It is important to protect yourself from any of these viruses by covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently, and staying home from work when ill. It is also not too late to get your flu vaccination.

Besides getting vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control recommend some simple steps to help you from catching the flu this season:

Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.

Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.

Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

•  Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
Tips on hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers

•  It’s a SNAP Toolkit: Handwashing
Hand washing resources from the It’s A SNAP program, aimed at preventing school absenteeism by promoting clean hands. From the School Network for Absenteeism Prevention, a collaborative project of the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cleaning Institute.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Lisa Kotter lands full-time job as Eldridge Administrator

Lisa Kotter lands full-time job as Eldridge Administrator

At a special session of the Eldridge City Council, that body approved an agreement with Lisa Kotter to serve as that city’s City Administrator. According to sources who understood the council’s reasoning, it was Ms. Kotter’s financial and utility experience that made the biggest impression on them. Eldridge has seen explosive expansion over the past few years and has the highest growth rate in the Iowa Quad Cities.

The move comes as Riverdale was considering a more permanent relationship with Ms. Kotter for a similar position.

“It’s a bummer to lose someone I thought would be of great benefit to the City of Riverdale,” said Mayor Mike Bawden. “But I understand how the Eldridge job would appeal to Lisa. They’re great people and the city is poised for tremendous growth. There’s a much longer and larger career opportunity for the right city administrator out there – and I have every reason to believe Lisa is up to the challenge and pace.”

“The question is: Is Eldridge ready for Lisa Kotter?” he added.

“She’s high energy and, as she proved to us in just the 2 months she’s been working at Riverdale, she’s able to hit the ground running and make a difference on day one. Eldridge is very lucky to have her.”

What’s next for Riverdale?

According to the mayor, Ms. Kotter will continue working with Riverdale through the end of February and thanks to discussions with both Ms. Kotter and officials from Eldridge, Lisa will be allowed to complete her original engagement with Riverdale (working on the City’s FY21 budget) and a few other administrative projects currently in-work as long as her service is provided outside of her regular office hours.

“Is it an ideal arrangement?” Mayor Bawden asked. “No. But we just weren’t able to move as quickly as we needed to in order for things to go Riverdale’s way, so we’ll have to live with the consequences.”

The Mayor explained that the Riverdale City Council will still hold their closed session scheduled for Tuesday’s City Council meeting – but rather than approve the employment agreement with Ms. Kotter as originally intended, they will be discussing what kind of compensation arrangement with a new city administrator would be deemed to be appropriate as well as the scope of recruitment search needed to find a qualified candidate.

Riverdale flies the RFD flag at half staff today. Here’s why …

Riverdale flies the RFD flag at half staff today. Here’s why …

The flag for the Riverdale Fire Department will be flown at half-staff today to honor the life of Firefighter Analiese Chapman. The Celebration of Life Ceremony for Analiese will take place at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf today at 1pm. The event is open to the public, but please keep in mind that seating is limited.

Fire trucks and other emergency service vehicles are expected to travel from the convention center to the cemetery in Le Claire where Analiese’s remains will be interred. That journey will take them up State Highway 67 (State Street) past the Riverdale Fire Station.

By proclamation of the mayor, the department flag will continue to fly on the pole at City Hall for the remainder of the month of February to honor the service provided by the men and women of the Riverdale Fire Department.

Visitation and Celebration of Life planned for fallen Riverdale firefighter

Visitation and Celebration of Life planned for fallen Riverdale firefighter

Riverdale bids goodbye to Firefighter Analiese Chapman who passed away on February 2 due to complications from Cystic Fibrosis. A visitation is planned for Friday (02/07) and a Celebration of Life service on Saturday (02/08) at the Waterfront Convention Center. Both the visitation and the Celebration of Life service are open to the public, but seating is limited.

Fire departments from Riverdale, Le Claire and around the greater Quad Cities will join together to celebrate a life taken too soon.

Visitation will be held at the Waterfront Convention Center (2021 State Street in Bettendorf), starting at 3pm on Friday, February 7th.

The first responder community in the Quad Cities has shown their solidarity with Riverdale and Le Claire fire departments for their loss already and are invited to participate in the visitation on Friday. Fire departments and other emergency service providers attending in their service vehicles are asked to stage their vehicles at 6:15pm at the convention center. Service personnel are encouraged to participate in a “Sea of Blue” starting at 7pm and continue until all personnel have had an opportunity to express their condolences.

A Celebration of Life service is planned for 1pm the following day (Saturday, February 8th) at the Waterfront Convention Center, as well. Dennis Glew, a Riverdale resident and the RFD’s chaplain, will speak at the ceremony. A luncheon is planned following the service and will be held at the Le Claire fire station (201 North 15th Street in Le Claire, Iowa).

The City of Riverdale will commemorate Analiese’s passing by lowering the flag for the Riverdale Fire Department (located at City Hall) to half-staff again on Saturday, from sunrise to sunset. The flag was also lowered on Tuesday to mark Analiese’s return home to the Quad Cities from Iowa City where she was undergoing care.

The City will continue to fly the department flag throughout the month of February in honor of the men and women of the Riverdale Fire Department who set a great example for all residents with their love and compassion for their 20 year-old colleague. A Mayoral Proclamation will be presented and read into the record at next Tuesday’s City Council meeting to commemorate the events of the past week.

More information about Analiese, her journey and the shared memories of friends and family can be found on her online obituary page. Donations can be made to the Team Analiese Memorial Fund. For more information about that fund, please check out the Team Analiese Facebook Page.

Images from Analiese’s Celebration of Life Service

Check out this gallery of pictures from Tim Olk, a photographer from Chicago who came to the Quad Cities to shoot photos of the event and share them with the Riverdale Fire Department and our community. Thanks, Tim!

Woods Estates of Riverdale is officially “open for business”

Woods Estates of Riverdale is officially “open for business”

On a chilly Wednesday morning (February 5th), Mayor Mike Bawden cut the ribbon to officially open the Woods Estates of Riverdale subdivision to the public.

Developer Seth Woods and members of his family, Council Members Anthony Heddlesten and Paul DCamp and others were present along with Scott County Sheriff Tim Lane, PVCSD Superintendent Brian Strusz, members of the Quad City Chamber of Commerce, Riverdale Interim City Administrator Lisa Kotter and nearly two dozen other people braved the wind and freezing temperature to participate.

Woods Estates will double Riverdale’s population

In some opening remarks, Mayor Bawden explained to those in attendance that Woods Estates was a significant addition to the City of Riverdale. The 116 lots, filled with single-family homes, are expected to double the population of the city (currently around 405) and will add an estimated 30-35% to the community’s property value.

“This is truly a historic occasion for our little city,” Mayor Bawden said. “Not only is it the first significant real estate development in Riverdale in over forty years, but as it turns out, Woods Estates is the premier housing subdivision in the Quad Cities.” Houses are expected to sell for $450,000 and up and will be built by Mr. Woods’ company as well as other, select homebuilders. The entire subdivision is represented by Sarah DeWulf and Pieter Hanson of Mel Foster Company.

A development challenge

Mayor Bawden made a special effort to explain the challenges Mr. Woods and his company took on by choosing to develop the former Welch Farm on the top of Riverdale Hill overlooking the Mississippi Valley. “There are all kinds of springs, bedrock and unexpected challenges that made putting a road into the addition from State Street particularly challenging,” he said. “We salute Seth’s persistence and determination to make things work and are excited to see him, his family and his company succeed.”

In the nearly two years that Woods Development and Construction worked on preparing the site for houses, Mr. Woods and his company had to face record rainfalls, mudslides, sub-surface bedrock, persistent springs and the expected complaints and concerns from neighbors upset about dust, dirt, lights and noise.

“It was tough at the start,” confessed the mayor. “But over time, the City and Woods Development and Construction have established a working rapport that continues to improve as the project takes shape, property is sold, homes are built and new neighbors move in. If Seth and his company succeed, Riverdale succeeds, it’s that simple.”

Sales of lots in the first phase of the project that opened on Wednesday have been brisk with over 60% of the lots selling as soon as the final plat was approved. Woods Development is currently pulling together engineering drawings for the second phase of the project (there are six phases in total) which should be presented to the City for approvals this spring.

Riverdale to be among the first to receive fiber optic service

Riverdale to be among the first to receive fiber optic service

In a call Thursday evening with MetroNet, Mayor Mike Bawden was informed that Riverdale’s neighborhoods would be among the first in the Quad Cities to receive broadband, fiber optic service from the company when that service goes live in early March.

According to the Metronet representative for Riverdale, Theresa Lemek, the company will be turning it’s service on around March 6th, following two other neighborhoods in Bettendorf that are scheduled to have their service started the week before.

Ms. Lemek explained residents could contact her to select a service package and set an installation date. Her phone number is: 319-631-0841, or you can use the form at the bottom of this page which will automatically contact her via email.

Ms. Lemek will also attend the next Mayor’s Town Hall meeting which is scheduled to take place at 2pm on Sunday, February 23rd in the Community Room at City Hall.

Priced Competitively

According to Ms. Lemek, the prices for internet access, home phone service and cable / TV service from Metronet is priced competitively with other carriers like Mediacom. There are also special offers for pre-launch sign-ups ( not available online) and accepting paperless billing / autopay as well as contract buyout options, etc.

Internet access costs about the same as Mediacom (around $60-$65 / month) but speeds are symmetrical (upload and download speeds are the same), speeds are guaranteed and there are no data limits. Home phone service over the fiber is relatively inexpensive (around $10 / month) but is free for two years to new customers who either purchase internet or TV services with it, excluding taxes and fees. Cable / TV service is about the same cost as what is currently offered in the market by Mediacom but offers a few bonuses – whole home DVR service, fast- flip technology and stunningly sharp picture only available through fiber. Metronet also does not require bundling to receive discounts and provides all services with no contract.

To take advantage of all the possible discounts, residents need to contact Ms. Lemek and walk through the various options. She can also work with residents to schedule installation at a convenient time and date.

Contact MetroNet and Review Your Options

Meeting Notice: Regular City Council Meeting (02-11-20)

Meeting Notice: Regular City Council Meeting (02-11-20)

A regular meeting of the Riverdale City Council will take place on Tuesday evening, February 11th at 7pm.  The meeting will take place in the Council Chambers at Riverdale City Hall.

Among the issues to be considered and discussed by the City Council:

Resolutions addressing the following:

    • Authorization of expenses related to the Mayor’s trip to Washington, DC as part of the MRCTI Conference in March
    • Authorization of retaining Quercus for Landscape Maintenance Work from 2020 – 2022
    • Authorization of extending the approval of the Preliminary Plat for the Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision
    • Authorization for MSA Professional Services to Proceed with bidding the first phase of the drainage work required for the Fieldcrest Drainage Way.

Discussion of various items include:

    • Integration of Riverdale’s Parks & Trails Needs Assessment with the Campus Master Planning work currently underway at SCC
    • Update on progress with the budget for FY 21
    • Update on progress with finalizing the TIF agreement with Arconic
    • Review of where things stand with the boundary fence project between Havens Acres and the MRT
    • Discussion of setting up a Utilities Commission to address sewer infrastructure work and sewer rates
    • Discussion of how the City will address mowing this spring-summer-fall
    • Review of public library options available to residents from SCC vs current library services received from the Scott County Library Association
    • Determination of next steps required to co-sponsor a 4th of July fireworks show on the river with East Moline

 

A copy of the agenda for the meeting can be found by clicking here.

A copy of the information packet sent to Council Members can be found here.

A copy of the City Engineer’s report from MSA can be found here.

Meeting minutes will be posted following their approval at the following meeting of the City Council on February 25, 2020.

Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project – Phase 2

Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project – Phase 2

MSA Professional Services, the City’s engineering consultant, advised that they are preparing a proposal to evaluate televise the sanitary sewer that flows through the woods behind Scott Community College and the Sanitary Sewer that flows parallel to the Fieldcrest Drainage Way. The City of Bettendorf does not have off-road capabilities to televise the sanitary sewer, therefore MSA is seeking companies that have an ATV component in their televising capabilities.

MSA has walked the entire path of both the aforementioned sections of sanitary sewers. In addition to televising, MSA is seeking a price to clear a path along the Fieldcrest Drainage Way sanitary sewer.

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

MSA Professional Services will oversee the mapping and televising of approximately 1/3 of the City of Riverdale’s sanitary sewer lines and then provide a recommendation as to what kinds of repairs need to be made to those lines to eliminate inflow and infiltration (I&I) and create additional capacity in the sewer facility jointly owned with Davenport, Bettendorf and Panorama Park.

Budget:

TBD

Public Hearing Date

TBD

Project Bid Date:

TBD

Project Start Date:

June – July, 2020

Project Completion Date:

August, 2020

 

 

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