Public hearings on the Phase 1 plat for Woods Estates set

Public hearings on the Phase 1 plat for Woods Estates set

Dates for the public hearings on the final plat for Phase 1 of Woods Estates of Riverdale have been set. The following letter went to households and property owners located within 1,000 of the plat under review/consideration:

Public Hearing:
Notice of Consideration for Final Plat Approval
for the Woods Estates Subdivision in Riverdale

You are being sent this notice of a Riverdale Planning and Zoning Commission Public Hearing and City Council Public Hearing since you reside or own property that is within 1,000 feet, more or less, of the proposed Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision Phase 1. These hearings will be held as noted below, and you are welcome to attend one or both and to be heard during the public hearings portion of the meetings.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
CITY OF RIVERDALE, IOWA
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION
FINAL PLAT REVIEW
WOODS ESTATES SUBDIVISION

Notice is hereby given that the Riverdale Planning & Zoning Commission will conduct a public hearing to consider the request for approval of the final plat of Phase 1 for the Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision. The hearing will be held on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers of Riverdale City Hall, 110 Manor Drive, Riverdale, Iowa 52722.

Notice is hereby given that the Riverdale City Council will also conduct a public hearing to consider the request for approval of the final plat of Phase 1 for the Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 7:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers of Riverdale City Hall, 110 Manor Drive, Riverdale, Iowa 52722.

These hearing are both to be held pursuant to Sections 25.04 and 27.03 of the Riverdale Subdivision Ordinance and Chapter 362.3 of the Iowa Code, for the purpose of determining that the final plat and plans meet the minimum requirements of the City’s Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances.

All interested persons are invited to appear and be heard at the time and places listed above. Interested persons are also encouraged to submit written comments on these proposals to the City of Riverdale, Zoning Administrator, by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 for the Planning and Zoning Meeting and Thursday, January 2, 2020 for the City Council Meeting. Additional information is available at riverdaleiowa.com or from the Zoning Administrator by calling (563) 355-2511.

To review all of the material provided for review by the Planning & Zoning Commission and City Council, click here (please note: the web page will be updated as more material becomes available).

Lisa Kotter named Interim City Administrator

Lisa Kotter named Interim City Administrator

Lisa Kotter, the consultant retained to assist the City of Riverdale with developing its FY21 budget, has now had her role and relationship with the City expanded to include picking up on the duties of City Administrator following the resignation of former City Administrator, Tim Long. Ms. Kotter has over 25 years’ experience in municipal management/administration – all with communities significantly larger than Riverdale.

Former administrator, Tim Long, has offered to spend some time with Lisa over the next few weeks to make sure she’s fully up to speed on the variety of issues he was dealing with when he turned in his resignation and to ensure a smooth transition. The hourly rates for both Ms. Kotter and Mr. Long are the same, so the long-term budget impact of the transition and engagement are expected to be minimal based on the current personnel configuration at City Hall.

“We have a lot of things to do at City Hall,” said Mayor Mike Bawden. “I’m looking forward to working with Lisa on these issues and making sure all of us – from elected officials to local residents – get the full benefit of her experience, enthusiasm and energy.”

No plans for a search for a long-term replacement in the City Administrator’s position have been announced as of yet.

“Whether this becomes a more permanent relationship depends on both parties,” said the mayor. “Right now, we’re focused on a few short-term issues that demand our attention – specifically the development of a budget for FY21 and the final review and decisions regarding the Phase 1 plat for Woods Estates of Riverdale. We’ll see where things stand after that and make some decisions then.”

Council approves changes to the Planning & Zoning Commission

Council approves changes to the Planning & Zoning Commission

In two separate Council actions, the Riverdale City Council accepted the resignation of Planning & Zoning Commissioner Kevin Adams (who will be taking a seat on the City Council in January) and then appointed long-time resident, Teri Stickler, to the board.

“We’ve appreciated everything Kevin has done on the P&Z Commission and look forward to having him join us on the City Council in January,” said Mayor Mike Bawden. “Kevin is always interested in knowing and understanding the various issues that lie behind everything we do – and that’s a tremendous benefit to both the Council and the community.”

Kevin was appointed to the commission in January of 2019 and was going to serve the balance of a five-year term expiring on December 31, 2023. His appointment to the Riverdale City Council starts on January 1, although he won’t be officially sworn into office until the first meeting of the Council in early January. An individual is prohibited by law from serving on both a city’s council and planning and zoning commission at the same time.

A copy of the resolution accepting Kevin’s resignation can be found here.

Teri Stickler attended Monday’s meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission so she would be informed as to where things stood on the upcoming review/recommendation for the Phase 1 Final Plat of the Woods Estates of Riverdale Subdivision. As a member of the commission, she will be tasked with participating in the upcoming public hearing and deliberations by the council whether to recommend approval of the plat or not. 

Teri’s term on the commission will expire on December 31, 2023.

A copy of the resolution appointing Teri to the P&Z Commission can be found here.

City Council agrees to sell street sweeper – will contract service

City Council agrees to sell street sweeper – will contract service

At its last regular meeting of 2019, the Riverdale City Council agreed to sell the City’s street sweeper. Although a formal agreement has not yet been signed between the Cities of Bettendorf and Riverdale to fix a price for quarterly sweeping and related services, the cost benefit study conducted by the City of Riverdale this past summer showed a considerable savings to the community through a partnership with Bettendorf.

“The City of Riverdale will not sell the sweeper until the City Council has had an opportunity to review, discuss and adopt an agreement with the City of Bettendorf for sweeping services,” explained Interim City Administrator, Lisa Kotter. “But the resolution passed on Tuesday allows the City’s staff to begin the process of putting our old sweeper on the market.”

A specific use of funds generated by the sale of the sweeper has not been determined. It’s likely the funds will just flow back into the City’s Capital Fund for use on one or more other projects on the City Council’s 2020 list of goals and objectives.

A copy of the resolution authorizing the sale of the equipment can be found here.

After violence occurs in our community, what’s next?

After violence occurs in our community, what’s next?

Sometimes bad things happen to good people.

And that’s no comment on this weekend’s fatal shooting of one Riverdale resident by another. That matter, the first murder in our community that I know of, is in the capable hands of the Scott County Sheriff’s department. There’s also plenty of news coverage (KWQC-TV   |  WQAD-TV  |  Quad-City Times), so there’s no need here to go into the details surrounding the chain of events.

But a recent comment on one of the City’s news stories summed up the feeling of concern I’ve heard from a number of residents:

“It saddens me to hear about the shooting-murder in Riverdale. The only shooting i remember was my dad shot and killed a rabid skunk in Rex Concannon’s driveway when dad was town marshal! We are truly living in the end days, of no respect for life! God help us all!”

– Dennis Speth

So, what can be done to address the fear and concern in our community that serves as a kind of “emotional hangover” from the event itself?

Things we can do to make Riverdale a more secure community

We’ve come a long way from the days when running the stop sign at the top of Manor Drive, chasing teenagers out of our parks after dark or dispatching the occasional rabid skunk were our most pressing problems. Riverdale is in the unusual position of being a very small city in the middle of a relatively large metropolitan community.

It can be the best of both worlds … and sometimes, the worst of both.

Challenges facing law enforcement and public safety officials are different when you talk about large communities and small towns. And somehow, Riverdale needs to manage a path between the two.

But in my research, the answers I’ve found all seem to point to finding ways for citizens to engage more directly with law enforcement and with each other as a key to creating a safer community. In Riverdale, we rely on the Scott County Sheriff’s office to provide support when crimes occur. Bettendorf PD may be available to respond to an urgent request (as they did last weekend), but Riverdale is in the jurisdiction of the county sheriff.

If fire or a medical emergency occurs in our city, we have a great, volunteer fire department that is able to respond. But in many cases, they’ll show up along with the Bettendorf Fire Department since the two departments work so closely together (it often works the same way for Bettendorf fires).

So how do we engage with these professionals (and highly skilled volunteers)? When it comes to finding ways to help communities connect with their public safety personnel, some of the ideas I’ve discovered include:

•  Increasing the effectiveness of neighborhood watch programs by capitalizing on activities that naturally occur in the community – like piggybacking on existing community walking groups or establishing a “Dog Walker Watch” program.

•  Establish a “Coffee with a Cop” program to help individual officers connect with members of the community.

•  Hold a “Coffee, Cars and Cops” annual car show featuring new and classic public safety vehicles.

Another key factor is finding more ways for neighbors to know their neighbors and be aware when tough domestic situations arise. By knowing and responding to a neighbor in need, it’s possible we (as a community) could be helping reduce the possibility of that situation spiraling into violence. It’s not a guaranteed answer, but an act of kindness, compassion and love never hurts.

Finally, knowing what kinds of resources are available to residents in need of financial, legal or mental help assistance is key. I’m working on pulling together information from the county and other resources at the City’s disposal who might be able to provide assistance in each of these areas and hope to add that information to this website in the coming months.

That being said, any thoughts or advice you might be able to share are more than welcome. Please leave your comments below.

Thanks to you all.

Riverdale lights up for the holidays.

Riverdale lights up for the holidays.

The weather cooperated, the tree was up, the presents were out and the carolers were singing when Riverdale residents started appearing at City Hall this past Saturday afternoon.

Council Member Kelly Krell spent weeks working with contractors, Public Works/Maintenance Man George Miller and other volunteers to make sure everything came off just right for the City of Riverdale’s first Holiday Lighting Celebration from 4-6pm on Saturday, December 7th. Carolers from First Presbyterian Church of Davenport sang and greeted guests as they arrived – with many of them chiming in on familiar songs.

Then just a little before the exterior lights were flipped on at City Hall, Santa arrived on a Riverdale Fire Department truck to the joy and amazement of Riverdale’s smallest citizens.

Inside, kids of all ages got to spend time with St. Nick as he shared candy canes, hugs and Christmas cheer with everyone.

Thanks to Kelly Krell, Teri Stickler (for the photos), the Riverdale Fire Department, Santa, and Matt Bishop (and the members of First Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir who shared their gift of music) for making the evening such a tremendous success.

We’ll be posting more photos as they become available. You can also find more photos and comments on the event by visiting the event gallery on the Riverdale Residents Facebook Group.

Pictures from the Event

Some of the photos taken at the event by resident, Teri Stickler …

More will be posted later on.

Meeting Notice: Regular City Council Meeting (12-10-19)

Meeting Notice: Regular City Council Meeting (12-10-19)

A regular meeting of the Riverdale City Council will take place on Tuesday evening, December 10th at 7pm.  The meeting will take place in the Council Chambers at Riverdale City Hall.

PLEASE NOTE: This is the last regular City Council Meeting of the calendar year.

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

 

  • The packet of information for City Council Members can be downloaded in full (in two parts): Part I  |  Part II

 

  • Meeting minutes will be posted following their approval at the following meeting of the City Council on January 14, 2020.

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.

Don’t forget – Monday is the last day yard waste will be picked up this fall!

Don’t forget – Monday is the last day yard waste will be picked up this fall!

Just a reminder to Riverdale residents – Monday morning is the last yard waste pick-up of the year, so get your leaves and other yard waste to the curb Sunday night for an early Monday morning pick-up.

For those of you who just can’t get to the rake this weekend, take note that there are some “experts” out there who claim raking the leaves in your yard is bad for the environment. In fact, naturalists at the National WIldlife Foundation suggest you skip the whole raking-leaves-thing forever.

Alternatives to raking leaves

So, what should you do with the leaves that fall into your yard if you’re not going to bag them up and ship them off to the nearest compost facility? Here are a few suggestions …

  • Let leaves stay where they fall. They won’t hurt your lawn if you chop them with a mulching mower.
  • Rake leaves off the lawn to use as mulch in garden beds. For finer-textured mulch, shred them first.
  • Let leaf piles decompose. The resulting leaf mold can be used as a soil amendment to improve structure and water retention.
  • Combine fallen leaves (“brown material”) with grass clippings and other “green material” and keep moist and well mixed. You’ll have nutrient-rich compost to add to your garden next spring.
  • Still too many leaves? Share them with neighbors, friends, schools and others. Some communities will pick up leaves and make compost to sell or give away.
  • Build a brush shelter. Along with branches, sticks and stems, leaves can be used to make brush piles that shelter native wildlife.

Do these suggestions still sound like too much work? Well, some experts suggest mulching leaves into your lawn instead of raking them may actually make your grass healthier.

Either way, with temps in the 50s tomorrow, it might be your last chance to get some good outdoor time in before the snow flies. Enjoy the weekend!

Flags fly at half-staff in honor of those who died at Pearl Harbor.

Flags fly at half-staff in honor of those who died at Pearl Harbor.

Flags in Riverdale are flying at half-staff today (December 7th) in honor of those who lost their life in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. This is part of a national commemoration of the 78th anniversary of the event which launched the United States into World War II.

In addition to the federal declaration announced by President Donald J. Trump, Governor Kim Reynolds also ordered flags across Iowa at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, December 7th as part of the remembrance:

“For 78 years December 7th has lived in infamy, a time to grieve for the 2,403 service members and civilians who lost their lives that tragic day,” said Gov. Reynolds. “On December 7th, we remember the lives lost that day, honor the sacrifices made, and once again fully reflect on the true cost of freedom.”   – Gov. Kim Reynolds

The story of what happened that day, this summary from the US Library of Congress, provides a fairly comprehensive overview:

President Franklin Roosevelt called December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.” On that day, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory. The bombing killed more than 2,300 Americans. It completely destroyed the American battleship U.S.S. Arizona and capsized the U.S.S. Oklahoma. The attack sank or beached a total of twelve ships and damaged nine others. 160 aircraft were destroyed and 150 others damaged. The attack took the country by surprise, especially the ill-prepared Pearl Harbor base.

The telegram from the Naval commander at Pearl Harbor announcing the Japanese attack.

“AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL.”

The ranking United States naval officer in Pearl Harbor, known as the Commander-in-Chief Pacific, sent this hurried dispatch to all major navy commands and fleet units. Radio stations receiving the news interrupted regular broadcasts to announce the tragic news to the American public. Most people knew what the attack meant for the U.S. even before Roosevelt’s official announcement the next day. The U.S. would declare war on Japan.

The U.S. was already close to joining the war, but in an attempt to preserve its stance of isolation and neutrality, it had only committed to sending war supplies on loan to the Allied forces, mainly Great Britain, France, and Russia. Within days, Japan’s allies, Germany and Italy (known collectively as the Axis powers), declared war on the United States.

Interested in learning more about the attack on Pearl Harbor?

For young people not familiar with the event that, more than any other, pushed the United States into WWII, you might want to check out these online resources:

  • The History Channel provides a fairly comprehensive overview of the events leading up to the attack and what happened the fateful morning of December 7, 1941.
  • For information about the naval base itself, you may find this information from Britannica to be very helpful.
  • And finally, for real history buffs, here are some interesting facts about the event, check out this list of twelve things you (probably) didn’t know about Pearl Harbor.
PVHS dance team triumphs at state!

PVHS dance team triumphs at state!

The dance team from Pleasant Valley High School (located in Riverdale) took two, first-place finishes at the ISDTA State Dance Team Championships in Des Moines on Friday, December 6th. 

The team scored with two, championship routines. One in the Class VI Jazz Division and the other in the Class XIII Pom Division. A gallery of photos can be viewed on the Quad-City Times website.

This achievement is a follow-up to some outstanding individual performances by state champion Josie Kaffenberger and fellow Spartan dancers: Hannah Lederman, Kylie Crome and Caitlin Crome. The entire story can be found here.

As the home to PVHS, Riverdale is proud of the academic, athletic and artistic accomplishments of all of its graduates – whether they live in Riverdale or not. Well done, Spartans!

Public hearings on the Phase 1 plat for Woods Estates set

Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting scheduled for 12-09-19

A meeting of the City of Riverdale’s Planning & Zoning Commission is scheduled for 7pm on Monday, December 9th at City Hall.

The meeting is a planned work session for the Commission to discuss, in general terms, about their role in the final plat review and approval process for the Woods Estates of Riverdale subdivision which they will be conducting over the next three to six weeks (approximately).

The meeting is not going to include any deliberations about recommending or not recommending approval of the final plat by the City Council – but rather will make city attorneys available to the Commission so they can ask questions about their responsibilities, what to expect at the public hearing and how to work through the review/recommendation process.

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

 

FY 21 community intake meetings wrap up with a big “wish list”

FY 21 community intake meetings wrap up with a big “wish list”

Public intake sessions concerning the FY21 budget for the City of Riverdale wrapped up Monday evening (December 2nd). Consultant Lisa Kotter, former City Administrator for Moline, IL and Geneseo, IL, took notes and provided perspective to questions and suggestions made by citizens and Council Members present.

A variety of ideas were offered up for consideration by the City Council and the Budget Planning Committee who will now work on a draft of the FY21 budget which will be presented to the public in a budget hearing sometime in February of 2020. The budget needs to be finalized and certified by Scott County (prior to submission to the State of Iowa’s Department of Management) by March 31, 2020.

Lots of ideas offered – now the hard work begins

Citizens offered a variety of ideas focusing on the city amenities and issues that concerned them the most. And while some of the items discussed were already in work, Council Members and the Mayor took note of the topics and proposed solutions in an attempt to craft an operational budget that would be more responsive to residents’ concerns than those from past years.

Ideas offered for consideration included the following:

•  Upgrading the playground equipment in Bicentennial Park (and removing old equipment)
•  More extensive parks planning and development of an integrated landscape plan for the City
•  Removing/replacing the wooden fence at the Havens Acres playground
•  General improvements of the parking area on Bellingham Road to turn it into a “destination” for bike riders (away from Havens Acres)  •  Expand the number of events in the community
•   Remove dead trees that pose a risk of falling into roadways and parks
•  Address storm water runnoff concerns coming out of the pipe at the end of Fieldcrest Road
•  Solve the drainage issues behind the homes on Manor/Circle Drives
•  Install cameras at city parks
•  Install security cameras on either end of Kensington to address bikers and runners not yielding to neighborhood traffic
•  Community entrance signage on State Street, Valley Drive and by PVHS
•  Install solar panels with the new roof on City Hall
•  IT upgrades at City Hall and in the fire station
•  Public Wi-Fi at Volunteer Park
•  Barrier fence between the MRT and Havens Acres homes
•  Investigate using shrubbery or other plants to establish a barrier between MRT and Havens Acres homes
•  Smoke test the rest of the sanitary sewer lines in Riverdale
•  Address long-term equipment needs for the fire department
•  Periodic audits of the City’s finances by an independent, third-party (not the State of Iowa)
•  Develop a policy for handling budget surpluses when they occur
•  Review City staffing alignment and whether or not City Hall should be open 5 days a week vs the current, part-time arrangement

The mayor will be reviewing the complete list of projects and other budget-related notes with each member of the City Council as part of the annual goal-setting/planning process. A work session for members of Council will be held in January to discuss projects and the budget issues identified by the Planning Committee working on the FY21 budget. The time and date of that meeting will be posted to the City’s website and social media. The public is welcome to attend and observe, but there will not be any public input or participation in the meeting.

The public will be able to provide additional input on the FY21 budget as part of the mayor’s Town Hall meeting scheduled for Sunday, January 26th at 2pm.

Residents are also invited to leave comments on this post as part of the on-going dialog with the City concerning next year’s operating budget.