Erosion on Manor Drive Hill becomes a growing concern

Erosion on Manor Drive Hill becomes a growing concern

Damage caused by erosion on the west side Manor Drive Hill continues to increase thanks in large part to the heavy downpours experienced the last few days (and forecast for the coming week). Resident volunteers, most notably Steve Townsend and Mark Griswold, have worked to clear away debris from the catch basins along the road so water can flow more freely through the storm water system, but erosion coming down the hillside is getting especially pronounced.

Photos and video taken Sunday morning show significant scoring and erosion.

The Mayor will meet with the City’s engineer on Tuesday to discuss this problem in more detail and have a preliminary proposal for Council consideration at its next meeting.

In the meantime, volunteer help is still needed to try and deal with downpours expected this week. If you are interested and willing to help, please call City Hall during regular business hours at : 563-355-2511.

“Meals-to-Go” program expanded to include those without a job due to COVID-19.

“Meals-to-Go” program expanded to include those without a job due to COVID-19.

At its regular meeting on May 12, the Riverdale City Council passed a resolution expanding the current “Meals-to-Go” program to include individuals who have lost their job, either temporarily or permanently, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This expands the program from its initial scope which focused on seniors and low-to-moderate income households.

“We’ve had about a dozen people take advantage of the program so far,” said Mayor Mike Bawden. “The word is spreading slowly, which is fine, because it gives us time to work out any kinks in the system with the folks at The Pancake House.”

The grant will cover the cost of meals and delivery for up to 500 meals through April 24, 2021.

Meals can be ordered via the City’s website (by using the form, below) from The Duck Creek Pancake House who will prepare the meals and deliver them to Riverdale residents between 11:30 and 1:30.

Residents can also call City Hall during regular work hours (Mon – Fri, from 8am – 5pm) to place orders for the coming week.

Meals will not be prepared and served on Sundays or Holidays. 


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Riverdale’s playgrounds and community room will remain closed through May.

Riverdale’s playgrounds and community room will remain closed through May.

I’ve just posted this to the bulletin boards in Riverdale. Please take a moment to read it …

One month ago, I decided to extend the shutdown of the parks, playgrounds, and community room for the City of Riverdale through today, May 15, 2020. At that time, I said that the shutdown would be extended if, in my opinion, the health and well-being of the community could be adversely affected by the unintended spread of COVID-19 should groups of citizens gather at a public meeting spot.

I’m sorry to say that even though some cities and counties in Iowa have chosen to re-open parks and community spaces, neither the state nor Scott County have seen a decline in COVID-19 cases for 14 days in a row (in fact, cases in Scott County are rising slowly) and as a result, I’ve decided to continue keeping the City’s playgrounds and community room closed to the public.  I will re-visit this decision again at the end of the Month (May 31st) and will update the public via email, our website and public postings.

Recognizing the need for our residents to move and get out of the house, however, I am authorizing the use of city parks and trails for hiking, dog-walking and similar activities as long as residents maintain a minimum of six feet of distance between groups (hiking with your family members as a group is fine). Please do not linger in places. Keep moving and keep your distance.

In the meantime, I will be working with residents and members of the City Council to come up with guidelines that will allow the limited use of our playgrounds and community room. I hope to present these guidelines at our next City Council Meeting on May 26th.

It’s my hope these guidelines will limit the possibility of viral spread between people in our public spaces – but will allow residents to enjoy the benefits of friendship and fellowship with their neighbors.

Please continue to follow developments of this and other Riverdale-related news on our website: www.riverdaleiowa.com and through our weekly e-newsletter.

Stay safe and healthy – we’ll be seeing you soon!

Will Riverdale’s playgrounds open soon? Not yet, but there is hope!

Will Riverdale’s playgrounds open soon? Not yet, but there is hope!

So, I’ve been asked about whether or not Riverdale will be re-opening our Community Room and Parks/Playgrounds on Friday. The short answer is “no” but there’s a more in-depth explanation I’d like to share with all of you (I posted this on the Riverdale Residents page just a few minutes ago) …
 
“I’ve asked a select group of citizens known as “The Playground Users’ Group” (all kids between 5th and 10th grade) to create a set of guidelines they can live by that will explain how they’ll socially distance, what kinds of games they’ll be playing and how they’ll educate and encourage other kids at the playground to play safe.
 
If they can come up with the guidelines, I’ll review them and we’ll figure out a plan to re-open the playgrounds and parks. Right now, though, I’m going to temporarily extend our shut downs to the end of the month and start working on guidelines for limited (and safe) use of the Community Room, Gazebo and Park Shelters while my 10-15 year-old colleagues work on the playground rules.”
 
I’m quite concerned that removing the restrictions on our public places will seemingly minimize the threat posed by COVID-19 that still exists today as much (or more) than it did a month or two ago when we enacted the restrictions in the first place. By the same token, I know that it will become increasingly difficult for people to stay sheltered in place for even more weeks – especially if there’s no end in sight.
 
I believe there’s a third option and that requires a combination of discipline and ingenuity.
 
What I’ve asked our “Playground Users’ Group” to do is give me guidelines they think they can live within. This is important – especially with kids – because while many kids may never contract COVID-19 this year, they can spread it from one kid to another (at the playground) and carry the virus back into the home where it could infect an at-risk adult or senior member of the family. By giving these youngsters an opportunity to become part of the “solution” to the problem, we not only give them the possibility of playing outside again (responsibly), but we teach them that they can work with local government to make things happen that are important to them.
 
Call it a 2-fer-1 education in social and biological sciences. A teachable moment. Or, for some parents, a chance to finally get the kids out from in front of the TV.
 
I’ll let you know how things go.
Meeting Notice: Search Committee to meet one hour prior to Tuesday’s City Council Meeting

Meeting Notice: Search Committee to meet one hour prior to Tuesday’s City Council Meeting

Chair Kelly Krell has called a meeting of the City’s Staff Search and Selection Committee to convene the hour before the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 6pm. 

The agenda is open to the public and will be held online using the City of Riverdale’s GoToMeeting account.

Attending the Meeting Online

To attend the meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 (from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM), just join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smart phone by clicking on the button or this link. You can access the meeting by using the access code: (872) 240-3212

Not comfortable joining online? You can dial into the meeting with your phone, just call: (224) 501-3412 and use the access code (569-793-517) when prompted.

Please Note: It’s highly recommended you get the GoToMeeting app and install it on your computer before the meeting starts so you’ll be ready when we begin.

Just Click Here to download the app.

Agenda

According to this agenda, prepared by the Consultant, it looks like the committee will have a full meeting:

I.  Call to order

A.  Attendance
B.  Reminder of meeting roles and participation

II.  Public comment

III.  Review of proposed candidate benefits

A. Salary and employment agreement
B. Automobile options
C. Vacation
D. Sick leave
E. Insurance
F. Moving allowance
G. Supplemental living allowance
H. Severance package
I. Retirement plan
J. Performance evaluation
K. House hunting expenses
L. Professional association dues
M. Professional education and continuing education
N. Miscellaneous conditions
O. Candidate(s) travel expenses for final review

IV.  Public comment

V.  Adjournment

 Support Documentation

A hard copy of this agenda can be downloaded here. Minutes from the last meeting can be found here.

Meeting Notice: City Council Meeting scheduled for 7pm on Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Meeting Notice: City Council Meeting scheduled for 7pm on Tuesday, May 12, 2020

A regular meeting of the Riverdale City Council will take place on Tuesday evening, May 12th at 7pm. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the meeting will be held virtually as a GoToMeeting web conference.

 

Attending the Meeting Online

To attend the City Council Meeting on Tue, May 12, 2020 (from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM), just join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smart phone by clicking on the button or this link. You can access the meeting by using the access code: 418-666-325

Not comfortable joining online? You can dial into the meeting with your phone, just call: (646) 749-3122 and use the access code (266-590-501) when prompted.

Please Note: It’s highly recommended you get the GoToMeeting app and install it on your computer before the meeting starts so you’ll be ready when we begin.

Just Click Here to download the app.

Agenda

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

Presentations to the City Council include:

  • Reports by the Fire Chief and Maintenance Department
  • City Engineer’s Progress Report on a variety of projects
  • Status Report from Woods Construction & Development
  • An update from the Staff Search and Selection Committee

Resolutions addressing the following:

  • Re-consideration of Approval of the Final Plat for Phase 2 of the Woods Estates Subdivision
  • Consideration of Approval of the Recommendations of the Search Committee for Recruitment of Full-Time Staff, and for Intermediate Staff Support During the Recruitment Process
  • Consideration of Amending Resident Qualifications for Participation in the Meal Delivery Program Funded by an Iowa CDBG Grant in FY21
  • Consideration of Purchase Authorization for New Signage Along the Mississippi River Trail to Notify Bikers and Pedestrians of Route Changes

Discussion of various items include:

    • An update on the boundary fence project to be built along the MRT in Riverdale
    • A review of the City’s progress on a tree management program
    • A final status report on the IT upgrade at City Hall
    • A review of the plan to begin long-range budget planning for the City of Riverdale
    • Overviews of new accounting projects to clear up confusion over TIF accounting and Sewer Utility fund and rate accounting
    • A review of documents provided to Council Members regarding the proposed FY 20 Budget Amendments
    • Update on landscaping the City’s grounds
    • Fieldcrest Drainage Way Completion Update
    • Discussion of roof repair and other maintenance issues at City Hall
    • Proposed X-Stream Clean-up activities in Riverdale during the summer
    • A review of events planned for through the summer
    • Update on Friday Night Community Conversation program
    • An update on the installation of the flood gauge on Duck Creek in the Havens Acres area
    • A final report on the coyote trapping program for the season
    • An update on the Meals-To-Go program that kicked off this past week

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

A copy of the information packet sent to Council Members can be found here (note: the Council Packet is 94 pages in length).

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

A report from the mayor covering administrative work over the last two weeks can be found here.

Meeting minutes can be found here.

* NOTE: If you would like a copy of the Council Packet or Budget Report, please call City Hall during regular business hours (10-5pm, Tue-Thu) and one can be made for you at a cost of $.25 per page.

Council agrees to dig into drainage problem behind homes on Manor Drive.

Council agrees to dig into drainage problem behind homes on Manor Drive.

At their last meeting of the City Council, Riverdale Council Members agreed that it was time to look a little closer at the drainage problems causing sink holes to develop in the back yards of several residents in the 200 block of Manor Drive.

The issue was presented as a motion to direct staff to inspect the clogged drainage line behind 234 Manor Drive and then discern the size and shape of the storm water lines running through the back yards and to the main line under Fieldcrest Road (to the north).Once the size and nature of the problem can be determined, staff will work with the City Engineer to estimate a cost to repair the damage.

After the cost and scope of work is estimated, the mayor said he’ll sit down with residents and talk through the options available to them.  “It’s too early to know just who is involved or what a repair might cost,” explained the Mayor. “But it’s not going to get any cheaper – so the Council decided it was better to take this matter head-on now rather than wait for things to get much worse down the road.”

The drainage lines do not appear on any maps of sanitary or storm water sewer maps in the City’s archives. “It looks like this might have been something the residents did on their own,” explained the Mayor. “And if that’s the case, and the lines were never conveyed to the City, then there’s not much we can (or should) do.”

“On the other hand,” he continued. “If we don’t, at the very least, work with residents to find out what’s wrong and what it will take to fix things, property values in the neighborhood could suffer in the long haul and that hurts everyone.”

Investigative work in the neighborhood is expected to occur this summer.

For more information on this project, click here for the initial story

 

Update: Weather slows Havens Acres roadwork, but plans are to finish it this week!

Update: Weather slows Havens Acres roadwork, but plans are to finish it this week!

(UPDATE: MAY 4, 2020) – Roadwork continued today from the weekend with all of Wisteria completed as well as most of the southern half of Kensington Street (south of the railroad tracks). The northern half of Kensington Street is expected to be completed on Wednesday or Thursday, as are a few of the driveway entrances that still need asphalt paving.

The only possible bug in the works? Garbage pick up for the neighborhood was delayed to Wednesday to allow the street crew time to finish the job – but with rain in the forecast for tomorrow (Tuesday), it’s now likely we’ll have garbage trucks and pavers cruising through Havens Acres at the same time.

No good deed goes unpunished, I suppose.

In the meantime, enjoy these photos from Council Member Kelly Krell who lives in the neighborhood:


Work on the Havens Acres Roadway Rehabilitation project moves from “behind the curb”  and “into the street” this week as Brandt Construction, the contractor hired to remove and replace the surfaces of Kensington and Wisteria Streets accelerates their project timeline thanks to an early end to the school year.

According to project manager, Troy Stimpson, Residents in the Havens Acres neighborhood should expect some slight delays this week as roadway is removed on Monday and Tuesday, mat is laid down on the roads on Wednesday and then a new road surface is applied on Thursday and Friday. The schedule is, of course, dependent upon cooperative weather – which doesn’t look likely as of this weekend.

Forecasts for the week show one day of possible thunderstorms (Tuesday) and rain again the following day. If the forecasters are right, it might be sometime next week when the actual roadways are reinstalled.

The search for a new City Administrator/Clerk gets underway on Tuesday

The search for a new City Administrator/Clerk gets underway on Tuesday

Members of the Riverdale City Council meet with consultant Pat Callahan Tuesday night at 7pm to discuss the details, timing and cost of conducting a search for a new Administrator/Clerk and a Deputy Clerk to work 5 days a week at City Hall with the start of the new fiscal year (in July). Council Members will be serving in the role of search and selection committee since hiring the clerk is the purview of a city’s council. Council Member Kelly Krell is the chair of the search committee.

The agenda is open to the public and will be held online using the City of Riverdale’s GoToMeeting account.

Attending the Meeting Online

To attend the meeting on Tue, May 5, 2020 (from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM), just join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smart phone by clicking on the button or this link. You can access the meeting by using the access code: 418-666-325

Not comfortable joining online? You can dial into the meeting with your phone, just call: (224) 501-3412 and use the access code (273-231-733) when prompted.

Please Note: It’s highly recommended you get the GoToMeeting app and install it on your computer before the meeting starts so you’ll be ready when we begin.

Just Click Here to download the app.

Agenda

According to this agenda, prepared by the Consultant, it looks like the committee will have a full meeting:

A.  Call to order

B.  General Overview of Work Session 
     1.     City Administrator Search Process
     2.     Purpose of Work Session
     3.     Update on preliminary steps in the search process
               *City Administrator ordinance review – any changes?
               *City Administrator job description review – any changes?
               *City Council goals & objectives – need to review?
               *Development of position and community profile – gathering information

C.  Time Tables for Search Process – Subject to Council Review & Approval – Option 2 
     1.     Review the key dates for Mayor & Council
               *One on One Meetings – May 6th & 7th  
               *Council Work Session – to Review Resumes – Tuesday, June 16th – 7:00 PM
               *Skype or Zoom Interviews – Wednesday, June 24th – 5:00 PM 
               *Interview the Finalists – Saturday, July 11th – 8:00 AM
     2.     Council consensus on dates & times
     3.     Candidates will be advised of time table in position profile
     4.     Review of tentative time table for deputy city clerk position

D.  Consultant Interviews with Mayor, & City Council Members & Department Heads – May 6th & 7th – Select a Time

 E.  Citizen Involvement in Search Process
     1.     Varies from City to City
     2.     Need to consider the confidentiality of the applicants

 F.  Community & Position Profile  
     1.     Purpose of profile
     2.     General overview of content
     3.     Council consensus on content
     4.     Placement on City of Riverdale  website
     5.     Sending to potential candidates by email

G.  General Overview of Wage & Benefit Package 
     1.     Council consensus on salary range
     2.     Council consensus on benefit package parameters
     3.     Reimbursement of candidates’ expenses to travel to Riverdale for an interview

H.  Advertisement of Position 
     1.     Content of advertisement – Council approval
     2.     Publications and websites
     3.     ICMA Website 
     4.     Iowa League of Cities Website 
     5.     IAMU Website
     6.     Authorization to proceed

I.  Confidentiality of Candidates’ Information 
     1.     Confidentiality during early stages of process.
     2.     Request for Closed Session Form –Signed by Finalists 
     3.     Release of Names of Finalists to the Public – The Council’s Decision
               * Candidates’ consent to release their name to news media
               * If the names of  the finalists are  to be released – Candidates are so advised 
                 (and allowed to withdraw)
               * Consultant’s experience regarding the release of names

 J.  Consultant Updates during Search Process 
     1.     Phone calls to Mayor and City Administrator
     2.     Written reports to Mayor & City Council sent by e-mail
     3.     Welcome to contact us at anytime

K.  Screening of Candidates by Mayor & City Council Members 
     1.     Consultant reviews and ranks resumes
     2.     Cover letters & resumes made available to Mayor & Council for review
     3.     Mayor & Council members review and rank the  candidates
     4.     Composite score determines who is selected for skype or zoom interviews

L.  City Council’s Next Work Session 
     1.     Review of the position and community profile
     2.     Review and approval of advertisement

M.  Final Comments and Questions

N.  Adjourn

 Support Documentation

The packet of information provided to the search committee by the consultant, can be found here. An outline of the timeline, sample questionnaires and more can be found in a different document (click here).

We’re looking for help this summer … internship, anyone?

We’re looking for help this summer … internship, anyone?

The City of Riverdale is looking for a college student interested in accounting, finance, public administration or business. Our summer, administrative intern position pays in both experience and cold, hard cash.

Okay, well maybe a little more experience than cash …

“We’re hoping to find an energetic, college-aged student who is interested in learning more about how cities and governments work – and, at the same time, help us wrangle some pretty big projects we’ve got on the slate for the summer,” explained Mayor Mike Bawden. The mayor explained he had pulled together a rather lengthy list of projects – ranging from conducting a community-wide survey of residents to helping put together a long-range financial plan for the city.

The position pays $12/hour and is limited to no more than 21 hours of work per week.

Interested applicants should send an introductory email to the mayor no later than noon on Friday, May 8th. In the email, applicants are asked to provide their name, phone number and a brief summary of what interests them about working in municipal government. A decision will be made and an offer extended by Tuesday, May 12th.

Sign up now for your “meal-to-go” from The Duck Creek Pancake House

Sign up now for your “meal-to-go” from The Duck Creek Pancake House

If you’re a Riverdale resident over the age of 65 of if you live in a household earning $58,000 or less a year, you automatically qualify for a special “Meals-To-Go” program offered by the City of Riverdale and The Duck Creek Pancake House. Through a special arrangement with the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the US federal government, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money has been made available to the City to pay for meals delivered to the doorstep of those most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Qualifications

To qualify as a participant in the program, you must live within the Riverdale City limits and meet one of the following criteria:

You must be 65 years of age or older; or

  • Your household income must be $58,000 or less a year.
  • This program is not open to non-residents of Riverdale.

Although we will not be verifying age or income information initially, it may be a requirement of receiving the federal money at some point in the future – so if you want to benefit from this program, please be advised that we may be asking for age or income verification at some point in the future.

How It Works

It’s very simple to take advantage of this program. All you have to do is provide your name, address and phone number. Then pick the days you want to have food delivered to your house. Meals will be prepared at the restaurant each day and then delivered to homes between 11:30 and 1:30 – so please make sure you’re home during that time.

There is a limit of 15 meals delivered each day. Orders are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If you place an order but we can’t fill it for the day you’ve selected, we’ll let you know.

This program will be in operation until the amount authorized by the City Council ($7,500) is used. Notice of the program’s end will be posted to this website and to social media.

 

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