Meeting Notice: Regular City Council Meeting (11-12-19)

Meeting Notice: Regular City Council Meeting (11-12-19)

A regular meeting of the Riverdale City Council will take place on Tuesday evening, November 12th at 7pm.  The meeting will take place in the Council Chambers at Riverdale City Hall.

Please check back to this page on the website for further updates:

  • The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting can be found here.
  • Minutes of the last meeting (10-22-19) can be found here.
  • A copy of the warrants that are proposed to be paid can be found here.
  • A current treasurer’s report can be found here.
  • Correspondence from MSA Professional Services include:
    • A letter on the sanitary sewer manhole tests conducted at Woods Estates (11-04-19)
    • A memo on Riverdale’s appeal to FEMA for mapping the Havens Acres Neighborhood (11-05-19)
  • Correspondence concerning the Woods Estates Development:
    • A progress report on the Woods Estates development will be posted here as soon as it is prepared.
    • A copy of the current SWPP report can be found here.
    • A memo from the City Administrator concerning approval of the Woods Estates Subdivision Plat (11-06-19) can be found here.
  • A copy of the revisions to Ordinance #210 (Ordinance 2019-210) can be found here.
  • A copy of the revisions to Ordinance #211 (Ordinance 2019-211) can be found here.
  • Resolutions to be considered by the City Council include:
    • Resolution 2019-44: Cancellation of the regularly scheduled City Council meeting for December 24, 2019
    • Resolution 2019-45: Authorization of hiring an interim employee to assist the Mayor and Council with preparation of the FY21 City Budget
    • Resolution 2019-46: Appvoal of a professional services agreement with MSA for MS4 Stormwater Sewer Permit Engineering, Administration and Technical Assistance
    • Resolution 2019-47: Approval of a professional services agreement with MSA for the Fieldcrest Road Stormwater Project
    • Resolution 2019-48: Approval of an amendment to the current professional services agreement with MSA for the Havens’ Acres Roadway Improvement Project
    • Resolution 2019-49: Authorization of a 28E Agreement with EICC/SCC for reimbursement of snow removal costs on College Drive
    • Resolution 2019-50: Consideration of a quote for asphalt overlay and other driveway/apron fixes at the Riverdale Fire Station
  • The current period’s Public Works/Maintenance Report can be found here.
  • A memo from the City Administrator suggesting regular P&Z Meeting dates for 2020 can be found here.
  • Meeting minutes will be posted following their approval at the following meeting of the City Council on November 26, 2019.

 

  • A complete packet of material delivered to City Council Members can be found here.

If you require copies of materials prior to their anticipated post dates, please call City Hall (563-355-2511) during regular business hours and ask if copies of those documents are available. In the event requests are made for large documents (over 20 pages) are made, there may be a photocopying charge. Please be sure to ask prior to requesting copies.

How was the first plow of the new year? We want to know.

How was the first plow of the new year? We want to know.

Well, the first snow of the year hit us a little early – but thanks to our friends in the public works department at The City of Bettendorf, our streets were plowed and cleared on time and as promised.

But what did you think of the service? Please take a minute and answer this 4-question survey so we can use the feedback as part of a meeting officials from the City of Riverdale will be having with Bettendorf public works management as we discuss how the plowing and snow removal services are provided in the future.

Create your own user feedback survey
Resolutions reached on two lingering issues in favor of the City of Riverdale.

Resolutions reached on two lingering issues in favor of the City of Riverdale.

City Administrator, Tim Long, reports that agreements have been reached in two matters that have been on the Council agenda for the past few months:

1. An agreement with the driver of a car that took out a tree at Volunteer Park earlier this year will re-pay the City for the cost of removing the damaged tree and replacing it with a similar one. The re-payment plan extends over 24 months and is the result of a direct outreach made by the driver (who didn’t have insurance but accepted responsibility and accountability for the accident).

2. After receiving a letter from the City concerning how they were to remove the brush cleared on City property behind their home, a Deerbrook couple have agreed to repair the damage in the spring. A date certain to be confirmed in writing is expected later this week.

Elections scheduled for today from 7am – 8pm

Elections scheduled for today from 7am – 8pm

The polls open in Tuesday’s election at 7:00 am and close at 8:00 pm.

The times were inaccurate on other material provided (including the calendar post card that was mailed to residents last week).

The polling place remains the same: The Community Room at Riverdale City Hall

Cameron Adams selected for membership in the National Honor Society.

Cameron Adams selected for membership in the National Honor Society.

Cameron Adams, 343 Manor Drive, was recently selected for membership in the PVHS chapter of the National Honor Society. Cameron is the son of Kevin and Dawn Adams.

The National Honor Society is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to recognizing outstanding high school students. These students have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership and character. In addition to recognizing students for their accomplishments, the NHS also challenges them to remain actively engaged in their community and school.

Last year, the PVHS chapter of the  NHS had around 200 members.

“I had the honor of writing a recommendation on Cameron’s behalf earlier this fall,” said Riverdale’s mayor, Mike Bawden. “Cameron racked up numerous service learning hours helping our City Administrator and other office personnel on a variety of projects including identifying possible contractors to help us deal with our coyote problem last year. As a part of the project, Cameron made a presentation to the Council for their consideration.”

“It’s rare to find teenagers who are willing to take on these kinds of problems, work with adult mentors and see the project all the way through. It was a pleasure to recommend him for induction into the National Honor Society.”

Cameron’s work on this issue was featured in a Channel 4 News story in January of this year.

Cameron is a junior at Pleasant Valley High School which is located in Riverdale, Iowa.

Public intake sessions for the FY21 budget have been scheduled

Public intake sessions for the FY21 budget have been scheduled

Public intake sessions have been scheduled to allow residents of Riverdale to provide their thoughts on how the City should spend its tax dollars during the next fiscal year. The FY2021 budget is due to be submitted to the State of Iowa by mid-March 2020.

The 2021 fiscal year (FY21) starts in July of 2020 and runs through June of 2021.

The dates for the public intake sessions are Monday, 11/18 and Monday, 12/02. The meetings are scheduled to start at 7pm and will be held in the Council Chambers.

Both meetings will follow the same, general format as our Town Hall meetings and will encourage conversation between everyone present. Notes will be taken and shared via the City’s website and for personal review at City Hall during regular business hours. No deliberation or decisions on budget matters will be conducted at these meetings.

As discussed by the City Council at its 10/22 meeting, the purpose of the meeting is …

… to gather information and input from citizens about top priorities for the coming 18-24 months. These meetings are intended to be for informational purposes only. 

The mayor will be present for both meetings and will serve as the chair to convene the meetings and moderate the conversation.

 

The value of volunteerism.

The value of volunteerism.

I lost a friend of mine last week.

The man the Quad Cities (and a good number of folks who live outside the region) knew as “Happy Joe” passed away last week. The world is a little less fun without Joe’s bright personality, humor and unbridled passion to help people of all ages and abilities as a result.

I knew Joe most of my life. And I feel fortunate to be friends with a number of his children and employees. For a while, I even helped advertise “Happy Joe’s” and tell its story that connected food and fun in a truly unique way.

But probably the most meaningful interaction (and enjoyable adventure) I had with Joe started in 2012, when I was asked to help the Whitty family launch the Happy Joe’s Kids Foundation – an organization focused on building on Joe’s life-long passion for including and cherishing kids of all ages who have special needs. This foundation was (and continues to be), without question, a true and pure reflection of what drove Joe all of those years he was at the helm of Happy Joe’s and, later in life, working with his kids and long-time employees to continue building the business as an advisor and “top advocate” of the Happy Joe’s brand.

And while I’m not here to shill for the foundation, I am here to promote what its success represents – the good things that can come from just one individual dedicated time and effort in pursuit of a cause that’s bigger than them.

I’ve been blessed in my life to spend time working for a variety of organizations, like the Happy Joe’s Kids Foundation, that I feel make a difference in the lives of people. Whether it’s the Pleasant Valley Schools Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America or my church – I’ve always been happy to contribute my time and talent to further the mission of those organizations.

In a similar vein, I’ve had the honor of serving as the mayor of Riverdale for the past two years. Sure, there’s a stipend that goes with the job, but I was never interested in serving because of the money, anyway. I was asked to run and did so without having any prior experience on the City Council or in an elected position. It took some time to get up to speed on the job and I’ve managed to shake a few things up along the way.

But in my view, Riverdale was in need of a wake-up call. Plans needed to be created. Processes need to be documented. The status quo needed a shake-up. And while we managed to accomplish all of those things, there’s still a lot of work to do.

There’s much more needed here than volunteering to come to a couple of meetings a month. And although it seems like progress is slow, it is coming.

Whether or not I’ll continue in that position depends on Tuesday’s vote. But know this, it’s been an honor and my pleasure to work with members of the City Council, to get to know my neighbors and to begin the process of taking Riverdale to the next level of responsive and responsible governance.

Win or lose, I’m committed to doing what I can to help Riverdale get there. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to continue pushing forward as Riverdale’s mayor through 2021. But the event I don’t get re-elected, I’ve promised to help my opponent get up to speed on the wide variety of issues and opportunities facing our City. Similarly, my opponent has promised to stay involved with the City if I win – which is essential if we hope to build a community culture of pitching in and making a difference in the quality of life we enjoy here in Riverdale.

It all starts again on Tuesday. Please be sure to vote. Take part in our democratic process and voice your interest in our community’s future.

Because no matter how the vote turns out, Riverdale wins.

Questions raised about fill dirt in Bicentennial Park

Questions raised about fill dirt in Bicentennial Park

Questions and photos were posted to the Riverdale Residents’ Facebook page yesterday (10/30/19) about a half dozen truckloads of dirt and rubble dumped at the back of Bicentennial Park. Residents were asking why the material was dumped there and what the City’s plans were.

After looking into it, this is what I’ve been able to uncover …

Last Thursday (10/24), the City’s maintenance person, George Miller, shared information about a request he received from the contractor doing work for Iowa-American Water. The contractor was asking if the City had need for free fill that they could provide instead of hauling it away. The fill came from the excavation work the contractor was doing for the water main installation along the MRT.

The email, sent to City Administrator Tim Long and City Engineer Chris Cooper read:

Dumping a few dump truck loads (6-10) of spoil from the water main installation on to the back side of Bicentennial Park is ok and does not need any permits due to the fact that it is  disturbing less than a acre of ground. The area where it would be dumped is at the edge of the draw just before the old radio tower. Both of the areas are marked in yellow.

You can click on the map to the right and see a full-sized version of the image.

George then went on to send a fuller explanation to City Council Members Anthony Heddlesten and Kelly Krell later on that day. That email reads as follows:

Kelly and Anthony
I spoke with Tim and Chris about letting the contractor dump some of the spoil from the water main installation up at the rear of bicentennial park. The two areas I have highlighted are the spots where I would like to do some fill work. The amount to be dumped would be about 6 dump truck loads. The areas could take over ten times that amount with out any issues.
The area involved is less than 1 acre and no permits should be needed. As a precaution I can put some hay bales across the bottom of the draw but with there being as much vegetation between Manor Dr and the top where they would be dumping I don’t think is should be a problem.
This would save the contractor time and mileage and would help get us a little more usable park space next summer. Nothing to write home about but some space.

I remember seeing George on Thursday as he was walking through all of this with Tim and he told me, that since Kelly’s focus was on Parks & Recreation and Anthony’s was on Public Works, Tim had asked him to keep those Council Members in the loop and ask for their input before proceeding. Judging by the reactions of both Kelly and Anthony on Facebook, they didn’t have an opportunity to respond to George – and things moved ahead, regardless.

Fill dirt and rubble dropped off in Bicentennial Park yesterday (10/30/19).

When these pictures appeared on the community’s Facebook page, residents started asking questions. Terry Stickler summed up the feelings expressed on the  page with the following:

Seems like Bicentennial Park has gone from being a nice park for residents and visitors, to becoming a dumping ground, first for brush and rubble, then for limbs and fallen trees, most felled and just left, and now 10+ big piles of dumped dirt and huge hunks of rock and looks like broken concrete, to say nothing of the ruts in the grass near the dump site. Very disappointing.

Today, I had a chance to speak with George and get some more clarification as to what happened. He explained that he’s been trying to fill in part of the swails behind the old radio tower, and to work on the sandy soil areas where the old ball diamond and volleyball court were located. His plan was to have the fill dropped off near the swail and then to use a Bobcat to push the fill into position and compact it a bit. Then, he would get some truckloads of compost from the Compost Facility in West Davenport and work it into the fill dirt and the sandy-soil parts of the park with a rototiller, preparing it for seed so Bicentennial Park would be a little larger and a little more usable as a result.

What is it that people say about the “road to hell” being paved with good intentions?

10 – 12 truckloads of fill dirt and rubble dropped off in Bicentennial Park on 10/30/19.

This situation demonstrates the need to establish a process for identifying areas of need, formulating a plan, asking for feedback from residents and those affected and then finalizing that plan (including costs) for presentation and review by the City Council. No such process currently exists. And if one does, then people don’t know about it so it’s not being followed.

But know this. We will establish these essential rules and processes and we will follow them in the future. 

And we’ll keep residents informed as to how this particular situation is being addressed – weather and conditions permitting.

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below and we’ll endeavor to provide answers.

Trick-or-treating tips for a blustery (and chilly) Halloween in Riverdale.

Trick-or-treating tips for a blustery (and chilly) Halloween in Riverdale.

It looks like a chilly night for trick-or-treating – so if your kids are going out, be sure they’re bundled up. And if some chilly, little spooks come to your house, please make sure they’re out of the wind while they’re digging through your candy bowl.

Council Member posted this handy little graphic to the Riverdale Residents’ page on Facebook today and we thought we’d share (for those without a Facebook account, especially).

We also want to share a few cold-weather tips for kids (and adults) hitting the streets of Riverdale between 5 and 7pm tonight:

1.  Add a layer. Kids (especially the young ones) don’t tolerate the cold as well as adults. And since most Halloween costumes are built for cold-weather situation (unless you’re dressed as a Tauntaun), it’s good to make sure everyone has an extra layer (or two) under the costume.

2.  Make sure you’ve got traction. It’s snow boots rather than tennis shoes tonight.

3. And while you’re at it, gloves or mittens and a hat may be required as temperatures drop. Kids can always pull off the stocking cap and put on the mask for pictures (and remember, we want photos).

4.  Keep things bright. Don’t forget to make sure everyone in your Halloween party can be seen when things get dark. Sunset is at 5:58 tonight, so at least one hour of trick-or-treating will be happening as the sun comes down and night falls.

5.  Limit your time outside. Remember, little bodies get cold faster – so you would best be served by breaking your trick-or-treating into a series of smaller expeditions rather than one marathon.

6. De-ice your driveway, sidewalk and front step. Be a good neighbor (and don’t play a trick on the kiddos) by making sure you’ve reduced the slippy-slidy ice and snow from the approach to your home. After all, the little goblins will be thinking about candy and treats and not the ice and snow that lies in their way. (Check out this post on the best ways to remove snow and save your back in the process.)

7. If a trick-or-treater is a funny color, make sure it’s their costume. If you notice a child’s skin turning red, get them inside and warm them up.

Let’s keep an eye out for the littlest ones to make sure they have a fun and safe experience this Halloween.

And, seriously, if you can, please share pictures of your favorite tricksters when they come to your door tonight. You can post them to the Riverdale Resident’s Facebook Page or share them with us here by using this form.

With snow in the forecast – there is a plan for Riverdale.

With snow in the forecast – there is a plan for Riverdale.

At last Tuesday’s City Council Meeting (10-22-19), the Council gave their go-ahead to City Administrator Tim Long to finalize arrangements with the City of Bettendorf for snow plowing and removal services this winter. The Bettendorf City Council is expected to review that the proposed 28-E agreement and provide their approval at their next meeting, in early November. Similarly, the board of Scott Community College is expected to review and approve a separate agreement with Riverdale to assure reimbursement for snow plowing and removal services provided by Bettendorf.

And then the weather turned.

The National Weather Service has now issued snow advisories for the next three nights (October 28, 29 and 30) and accumulations on roadways are a distinct possibility.

Based upon this information, the City of Riverdale has already been in contact with the Bettendorf Public Works department to discuss how the situation will be handled. In response, City Administrator Tim Long sent this email to the mayor and members of the City Council:

“Bettendorf’s director of public works confirmed this morning that if they are called out for snow tonight,  they will cover Riverdale under the terms of the agreement. Brian Schmidt also shared that their city Council was fully on board with this, and anticipated full approval at their next meeting.”

Similar conversations are underway at the moment with Scott Community College and we anticipate their acknowledgement of the situation and agreement to reimburse the City for their snow removal expenses if incurred this week.

Some things to keep in mind about snow and ice removal

Looking at the established snow and ice control policy for the City of Bettendorf (which will apply to Riverdale now, as well), it’s important to know the following:

1. Snow and ice control crews are called for duty by the Bettendorf Police Department when, in their opinion, streets are or will become hazardous.

2. The main objective for the plowing and salting of streets is: 1) arterial streets; 2) collectors; 3) local streets and cul-de-sacs/courts; and finally 4) alleys.

3. Once the main objectives are completed, crews will work on widening travel lanes and parking areas. The eventual objective of snow removal operations shall be bare pavement within twenty four (24) hours after the cessation of snow fall (for average storms of 4-6″).

4. The area between the curb and the lot line are generally used for snow storage. When necessary, snow accumulations will need to be pushed even further from the street edge to allow for additional storage capacity.

5. Crews will not remove snow from private driveways and access roads. Residents are prohibited from plowing or throwing snow from their driveway into city streets.

6. On streets which have mailboxes at the curb, crews shall come as close as possible to the box without damage. The remainder of the snow will be required to be removed by the property owner to insure mail deliveries. 

7. Residents are required to remove snow from around fire hydrants and to limit parking on streets until snow is pushed to the curb.

8. In the event a resident has a concern or issue about snow and ice control efforts around their home (e.g. your mailbox gets hit by a plow), please contact Riverdale’s public works/maintenance person to lodge your complaint. He will follow up with Bettendorf Public Works Department and coordinate a response. Using this email form is probably the best way to log your issue.

Once the final agreement is in place with the City of Bettendorf, we will publish a more complete outline of the agreement and guide for residents on the City’s website.

City Council discusses process for enforcing yard waste ordinance during the fall.

City Council discusses process for enforcing yard waste ordinance during the fall.

At last Tuesday’s City Council Meeting (10/22/19), the Riverdale City Council discussed what they thought was reasonable enforcement of the City’s code concerning a Resident’s responsibility to control their own yard waste – and how that code will be enforced this fall.

It was generally acknowledged that there are some “habitual offenders” when it comes to people raking or blowing their yard waste into the street so it can be washed down the drain. This can cause problems with the City’s stormwater system and violates City Code 135.03.

Council members felt one warning letter per household was enough of notice. After that, offending households will receive a citation from the City explaining the infraction, the amount of the fine and how to remedy the situation going forward. Fines will increase with subsequent infractions.

The Mayor explained that while the City recognizes that some residents live in areas where trees overhang and drop leaves, etc. into the street, the main concern of the Council related to those residents who push their yard waste into the street rather than preparing it to be hauled away and leaving it out for pick-up on Mondays after a weekend of yard work.

Why it matters. It’s not just about making sure Riverdale looks nice.

The fact is, Riverdale – like metropolitan cities across Iowa of every size – has to follow certain storm water management practices that are mandated by the State of Iowa. Among those practices is a requirement to eliminate as much plant matter from the storm sewers as possible.

That means we all have to work together to keep grass clippings, leaves, sticks and such out of our storm drains and sewers. Failure to do so could result in penalties from the State – and that would cost the entire community. 

The easiest thing to do to meet this requirement is to make sure your personal yard waste isn’t left in the street to go down the drains and into our storm sewers. 

What you SHOULD do.

Please either blow the debris back into your yard or bag it in kraft paper bags (like the ones shown) for weekly collection. Remember, yard waste collection is paid for out of the City’s budget as part of our waste management contract with Republic Services – so there is NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE to residents to do this.

If you don’t have large, kraft paper bags for your yard waste, you can use garbage cans instead. Just make sure the yard waste is loose in the cans so everything dumps out. Please DON’T BAG YOUR YARD WASTE if you put it in a garbage can.

Also, if you have sticks or branches that need to be hauled away, they need to be no thicker than your wrist and cut into lengths not to exceed four feet in length. Please bundle sticks and branches together so they’re easier to handle by the crew picking up yard waste on Mondays.

Yard waste pick-up will continue through November.

Be Aware: Break-ins in Deerbrook reported last night.

Be Aware: Break-ins in Deerbrook reported last night.

For the past two weeks, Riverdale residents have reported seeing unfamiliar cars and pedestrians in the morning hours in the Manor/Circle Drive areas. Although no break-ins have been reported in our city, it appears some criminal activity has now been reported in the Deerbrook neighborhood in Bettendorf (next to Riverdale).

Here is the report from the Bettendorf Police Department:

On Thursday October 24, 2019 during the morning hours officers were dispatched to 5 residences located in the Deerbrook edition in regards to burglaries or attempted burglaries. At this point it appears that 3 residences were entered where items were taken in the 3600 block of Deerbrook Drive, the 3700 block of Deerbrook Drive, and the 3800 block of Brookwood Lane. Also, it appears that 2 attempted burglaries occurred in the 1400 block of Antler Ct. and the 1400 block of White Tail Drive but no entry was made. These all occurred when the residents were present in their homes sleeping. It was only after they had woke up and came downstairs in the morning did they discover and realize that something had occurred.

Entry was gained through ground level windows that were not secured or latched and/or slightly ajar making it obvious they were not secured. In these cases if there was a screen the screen was either cut or removed.

This is a reminder to secure all your doors, garage doors, and windows to your residence along with locking your vehicles.

Please be on the lookout for suspicious activity in your neighborhood and if anyone has information regarding these incidents, they are encouraged to call the Bettendorf Police Department at 563-344-4015, or Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities at 309-762-9500.

See attached video, provided by a resident, of the possible suspect.

The advice provided by the BPD is sound: please make sure your home and vehicles are fully secured before you turn in for the night. That means all doors, windows and garage doors should be completely closed and locked. Do not leave your keys in your vehicle and if your vehicle is parked outside, do not leave items in the seat where they may entice someone to break a window and take them.

If you see suspicious activity in Riverdale, please call 911. The priority dispatch system will help dispatch the right support vehicles to your home as quickly as possible (depending on the situation).

Thanks to our friends in the Bettendorf Police Department for sharing this information.

If you have any additional information to share or have seen additional suspicious activities in Riverdale you think your neighbors should be alerted to, please leave your name and comments in the space provided, below.