MEETING NOTICE: Special Council Meeting called for Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 7pm.

MEETING NOTICE: Special Council Meeting called for Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 7pm.

A special meeting of the Riverdale City Council will take place on Thursday evening, June 4th 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 Thursday, June 4, 2020 (from 7:00 PM – 7:30 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: 569-793-517

Not comfortable joining online? You can dial into the meeting with your phone, just call: (872) 240-3212 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

This meeting will cover two items on a consent agenda. Those items are:

  • The expansion of the liquor license for My Place to include serving beverages outside; and
  • Approval for residents to serve alcohol at a private party in the Community Room on Friday, June 5.
  •  

No other business will be discussed at the meeting. The next regular meeting of the City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, June 9th at 7pm.

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

 

There are two (or more) sides to every issue …

There are two (or more) sides to every issue …

Thanks in large part to outrage expressed by some members of the biking community on social media, Riverdale has found itself, once again, in the media’s spotlight. This time, the controversy swirls around the City’s decision to erect a barrier fence along the Mississippi River Trail behind some homes on Wisteria Lane and across a city-owned lot with a cement path that connects the MRT to Kensington Street. By blocking this path with the fence, Riverdale effectively cuts off access to a public road that bikers and pedestrians can take between the MRT and the Duck Creek Bike Trail which terminates in VanGundy Park just a few blocks away.

Members of the Quad City and Des Moines bike riding community seem to think I’m a tool.

Even though this has been a major subject of discussion at Council Meetings and Town Hall Meetings for the past two years, the snow fence erected while Kensington and Wisteria road resurfacing work caught many in the bike community by surprise. The City’s reluctance to remove the snow fence as the road project reaches its conclusion has pushed more outspoken members of the bike community well beyond surprise to indignation.

I’ve included some of the comments made by bike riders in this post so you can see what people are saying to me and about Riverdale during all of this. And while I’ve had to remind a few residents to tone down the rhetoric a time or two, Riverdale residents, by and large, are asking good questions and expressing their points of view fairly openly.

That includes a resident or two who don’t necessarily agree with the City’s decision and have made a point of calling that out on social media as well.

And that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

So here’s mine.

According to some bikers, I lie for a living. And as for the north side of State Street – I’m not shifting responsibility there to them – the north side of State Street between Duck Creek and Brenny’s is in Bettendorf.

I, quite literally, don’t have a dog in this fight. I’m the mayor of Riverdale and a user of the MRT and DCBT. I’ve used the connector at Kensington and I’ve had a bike rider who wasn’t paying attention hit my car with his bike while I was waiting for him to pass over my driveway to get onto State Street (fortunately neither the biker nor my car were injured).

I have a lot of friends who bike on the trails. Some of them understand the frustration of the Riverdale residents most affected by the bike and pedestrian traffic using the connector trail to go up and down Kensington, some of my friends do not. But because they’re my friends, they’ve taken the time to reasonably and patiently explain their positions to me.

And, of course, I have lots and lots of friends in Riverdale. Several live right down there in the Havens Acres neighborhood and have had to deal with what all of them (to a person) say is a major inconvenience to the “quiet enjoyment” of their life in the neighborhood. I understand that. I used to live in the McClellan Heights neighborhood in Davenport and although the Bix 7 race was fun every year, dealing with the straggling joggers and walkers doing the “Bix at Six” training runs a month or two before the big race could be a real hassle.

So, it’s as mayor of Riverdale that I approach this problem. And as the mayor, it’s my job to be the point-guy to take the questions and to reach out to those affected most to see if we can work out a solution that will work for everyone in a way that reassures people the roads they travel are safe and that their property rights are being respected.

What that probably means is that NOBODY is going to be 100% satisfied with the solution that eventually results. So, now you’re warned.

I’m a person who tries to deal fairly and from a position of fact and knowledge. That’s a little unusual for someone who trades in emotion, humor and rhetoric for a living, but it’s who I am. And maybe because I work with words and with journalists, I really don’t like exaggerations made to make a point and I abhor intentional misstatements of truth. Those are shenanigans that decrease the power and potency of the person making the claims in my book … and there’s been plenty of that in this latest tempest.

What Do People Have Wrong?

There are incorrect, inaccurate and possibly intentionally misleading claims being made by some people in the bike community that don’t help their argument and undercut the offers to help made by leadership from community bike clubs who want to help us find a solution. One news report showed a member of the bike community say that Riverdale was not allowing people to ride on Kensington Street. “Any cyclists who are using the Mississippi River Trail can no longer use this public street,” said James McAdams to WQAD’s Bianca Reyes.

So, I’m guessing if there’s a lawsuit over this issue, we’ll have the Quad City Bike Community to thank for it.

That’s not true. The streets in Riverdale are public thoroughfares and can be used by anyone. What Riverdale is restricting is access across city-owned property at the end of Kensington Street.

But this is just one of several incorrect portrayals of what’s really going on. I’ve also found references made by members of the bike community to Riverdale’s intention of cutting off or blocking the MRT. Again, that’s not true.

In fact, we want people to use the MRT. As it was originally designed. Ride in at 42nd Street and Duck Creek, peddle behind the Havens Acres neighborhood to Bellingham Road, cross State Street at the federally-approved bike crossing that’s there and then continue down the MRT back into Bettendorf.

But trail users want to be able to make a connection between the MRT and the DCBT and for them, the option of turning left at Brenny’s when they cross State Street isn’t a good option. Some – including the board of the Quad City Bike Club – feel the crossing at State Street isn’t safe.

That’s understandable. It’s common sense that going under a road is safer than going over a road. But to me, this is more about making a desperate argument to forestall the inevitable fence and gate that will be installed over the connector at Kensington Street than it is about safety.

In the nearly 2-1/2 years I’ve been mayor, I’ve received 0 complaints from bike riders or pedestrians about the safety of the Belligham/State Street intersection. During the same time, I’ve received over 400 calls from residents in Havens Acres complaining about bike and pedestrian traffic on Kensington. Recently, I was told that on a good day now, residents in the neighborhood are seeing between 500 and 1,000 people bike, walk or jog up and down Kensington Street.

And therein lies another problem.

Anecdotal claims are interesting, but not necessarily helpful. Is there a lot more bike and pedestrian traffic on Kensington when it’s a nice weekend day? I don’t doubt that. How much more? I don’t know.

I will tell you this, though, I’ve seen bike riders ride through a resident’s yard to get from the MRT to the street. I’ve seen the disrespect shown both directions. And I’ve seen glass and broken rock put on the connector between Kensington and the MRT.

And I’ve seen how the bike community talks about the residents of Riverdale on social media.

None of those things are helpful or acceptable.

So, What Do We Really Know?

Here is a message I sent to a resident who was “ashamed” of Riverdale’s decision. I understand her point. She says she worked with the residents who managed to bring the MRT into reality nearly ten years ago and she’s a frequent user of both bike paths and the connector between them on Kensington Street. But just as she’s questioned residents about the claims they’ve made associating neighborhood crime with the MRT, she makes similarly questionable claims of her own.

All I have to go on is what I’ve seen first-hand and the people I’ve spoken to, personally. These are the things I think are fairly certain about this situation:

1. There has been persistent trespassing by people using the trails:

•  I’ve spoken to bike riders who have apologized for cutting through the city-owned lot before there was a cement connector path for about 3 years.

•  The existence of the connector trail, itself, speaks to the persistent trespassing across the city-owned lot. I’ve spoken with our maintenance man, George Miller, who recalled being instructed on multiple occasions to re-seed and restore the goat path/cow trail the bikers and pedestrians had created on the city-owned lot. He said the City finally had Kenny Mahler just pave the path to cut down on the mud and debris being left in Kensington Street.

•  I’ve seen photography of tire tracks across Mike Steen’s yard from the MRT to Kensington (or, possibly the other direction)

•  I’ve personally witnessed a biker pedal across someone’s yard on Wisteria to make his way from the MRT to the city street.

2. There are not good records of the intentions or plan for the MRT or for the connector path in the City’s archives. According to what I’ve been told by previous mayors, there has been long-standing reluctance to document things because of the City’s history of litigation.

3. The QCTimes report on the original extension of the MRT in 2012 documented the Havens Acres neighborhood’s resistance to the path and their request for a fence to keep people from cutting through the city-owned lot at the end of Kensington.

4. That same article quoted the mayor at the time (Jack Franklin) saying he recommended the fence, but the City Council didn’t vote for it.

5. I personally witnessed previously-elected officials disparaging residents in the Havens Acres neighborhood as being poorer, unintelligent and not worth the effort when it came to dealing with this issue.

8. Home values in the neighborhood have not changed appreciably in the 8 years since the MRT was put in. In fact, the City’s assessed property values have not changed significantly in either direction since the total elimination of the state’s M&E tax in the early 2000s.

Where Do We Go From Here?

I will continue to meet with the Quad City Bike Club and other area bike clubs to make sure they understand that Riverdale will work with them to address the concerns of their members when they’re in our city. That’s an obligation of any elected representative and it’s the right thing to do. One of the first things we’ll be working on is improving and replacing signage for trail users so they have a better understanding of how to make the connection between the trails safely and efficiently.

I will also meet with Bi-State this week to discuss setting up a traffic study at the connector between the MRT and Kensington Street so we can get an accurate count of peak traffic volumes using the connector (and Kensington Street) between the two trails. This will be an inconvenience for residents in Havens Acres (again) for a period of time, but the data collected is really important.

The City has good relationships with both the City of Bettendorf and the Iowa DOT. If there is going to be any work performed on alternate connection routes, those parties need to be a part of the conversation. The north side of State Street (between Duck Creek and Brenny’s) is in Bettendorf and the sidewalk on the south side of State Street (between the Pancake House and Bellingham) is almost entirely within the Iowa DOT’s right of way for Hwy 67.

And here’s the thing, the very first question they’re going to ask is: “How many people are we talking about, anyway?” If we want to make sure something happens, we need hard numbers, not anecdotal claims that opposing sides will question whether they’re accurate or not.

I will continue to reach out to the businesses affected by this decision. There is an impact felt by both the Duck Creek Pancake House and My Place – and we need to be a constructive partner in helping find and develop a solution.

And finally, we need to realize that we have an obligation to work through this issue in its entirety. We can’t just build a fence and call it a day. We need to understand and respect the concerns raised by bikers and walkers on the MRT – and if there’s a way to help them feel safe making the connection between trails while they’re in Riverdale, we owe that to the community at-large. But, by the same token, I am responsible to the City and its residents to make sure our homeowners feel safe in their homes and to reduce or remove nuisances that make the “quiet enjoyment” of their neighborhood difficult.

Nobody is happy now. Nobody is likely to be happy once we’ve worked out a solution. But then again, maybe that’s how we know things were handled equitably?

More Comments from Unhappy Bikers

Here are some of the comments I’ve seen in the past day or two. There are new ones out on Facebook now, more misstatements and misinformation. Some of it, I’m sure, is unintentional (it’s not a particularly easy subject to research and understand if you don’t live here already). But a lot of it is just trying to wind people up.

So, spoiler warning, a lot of these comments say nasty things about Riverdale, Havens Acres residents and me. If that is likely to upset you, don’t waste your time reading them.

Mayor proposes guidelines for opening playgrounds and public gathering places

Mayor proposes guidelines for opening playgrounds and public gathering places

Mayor Mike Bawden has prepared a draft of guidelines for re-opening the City’s playgrounds and public gathering places like the Council Chambers and Community Room at City Hall. These guidelines take into consideration public health concerns related to the COVID-19 outbreak and, if passed, will go into effect on June 1, 2020.

 

Parks and Playgrounds

The guidelines allow for visitors to use the parks from sunrise to sunset, but requires individuals or family units (those people living in the same household) to maintain at least a distance of six feet between groups. Picnicking and sunbathing in the parks will be permitted (as of June 1), but only if proper social distancing protocols are followed. Masks are not required but are encouraged.

Other rules related to the parks – specifically anti-littering provisions and no open flames – remain in effect. If park visitors want to use an on-site structure (e.g. the gazebo in Volunteer Park or the shelters in Peggy’s Park or Bicentennial Park), they may do so, but there are additional guidelines that must be followed and the facilities must be reserved at City Hall prior to their use.

With specific regard to playgrounds, the mayor’s proposal includes the use of PLAYGROUND GUIDES to help supervise the activities during restricted hours (10 am to 5:30 pm). Children (and their siblings or adult supervisors) are asked to take turns using equipment so only one child is on a piece of equipment at a time. Everyone using playground equipment is required to wear a mask or cloth face covering. If they don’t have one, the mayor proposes the City provide a face covering that can be returned (for cleaning) after use.

When the playgrounds close, the PLAYGROUND GUIDES will be tasked with disinfecting and wiping down the equipment to prepare it for the next day.

The parks and playground guidelines are intended to run through August 15 but may be extended if deemed necessary by the mayor.

 

Public Gathering Spots

The mayor has also provided proposed guidelines to re-open the outdoor and indoor gathering spots in the City’s parks and at City Hall. These guidelines would go into effect on June 1, as well, and remain in effect until modified.

In general, the modified guidelines require people who want to use any of the public gathering spots to notify City staff at City Hall and obtain a permit. There is no cost for getting an occupancy permit for the gazebo or park shelters, but the City is asking residents to reserve no more than four hours at a time to allow other residents to enjoy the amenities at their leisure, as well. The permitting process also provides an opportunity for staff to review the guidelines for use with the resident and to answer any questions that may arise.

For the outdoor facilities, residents and their groups can meet at the location although the number of people allowed under the roof at one time is limited to reflect preferred social distance practices. Face coverings are highly recommended, but not required.

Outdoor gathering spots close when the parks close, at sunset, although accommodations can be made but may be subject to a fee and will be handled on a case-by-case basis (subject to mayoral or administrative approval).

As for the gathering spots at City Hall – most notably the Community Room, but also the Council Chambers – use is limited to one gathering per room per day, with strict attendance limitations. This is to allow time for staff to clean and disinfect the facilities between uses. Reservations will be posted to the calendar on the City’s website so individuals interested in reserving one room or the other will know what days are free.

We need a hand to open our playgrounds this summer …

We need a hand to open our playgrounds this summer …

“We’re in this together.”

Does that sound familiar? It should. It’s the catch-phrase that so many organizations, businesses and public officials are using as a rallying cry to the American public as we deal with the widespread, public health and economic crisis.

As a guy who creates slogans and catch-phrases for a living, I can tell you that the best of them are the ones that appeal to your common sense. They just sound true when they are said. And you are able to see yourself “Just Doing It” or “Doing Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.”

And, yes, I just called “The Golden Rule” a catch-phrase. That King James had some pretty great copywriters on his staff.

“We’re In This Together” reminds us that by working together, we (all of humanity, really, since this is a pandemic we’re talking about) can accomplish amazing things. That idea holds up on all different levels. Even when you break it down to a small city the size of Riverdale. 

Especially when we’re talking about our smallest residents.

 

Riverdale Needs Your Help

As you may have noticed, I’ve proposed to the City Council that we take some extra precautions when we try to re-open our playgrounds and community gathering spots in June. These precautions are intended to help keep the most vulnerable among us safe from the unintended spread of the coronavirus.

“Social spread” of the coronavirus is a particularly difficult problem. It’s been shown that people can infect others before they even show any symptoms of the illness. This is of particular concern with children – who may have and spread the virus and never show signs of contracting it.

As a result, schools, parks and playgrounds were closed during the public health emergency declarations and now cities and states are trying to figure out the best way to re-open them and not create a surge in COVID-19 infections as an unintended consequence. A big part of the problem, though, is that many of the “customers” of our parks and playgrounds are too young to understand or practice effective distancing measures without a little encouragement and reinforcement.

That’s why the Riverdale plan for re-opening our playgrounds includes the introduction of PLAYGROUND GUIDES. Just like public swimming pools employ lifeguards to provide instruction and ensure safety, I envision Riverdale’s PLAYGROUND GUIDES doing much the same thing in our playgrounds in Bicentennial Park and Peggy’s Park.

While it would be nice to have volunteers provide this service, I think we have to be realistic and not expect that to actually happen – at least not all the time. For that reason, I’ve asked the Council to authorize up to $10,000 in expenses this summer to cover the cost of part-time wages and provide supplies and materials to our PLAYGROUND GUIDES (whether they’re paid or volunteers) so proper oversight and instruction can occur at our playgrounds.

Please take a look at the proposed guidelines here and participate in our discussion at City Hall at Tuesday’s Council Meeting – when the Council considers authorizing both the guidelines and the supplemental budget expenditure for the guides program this summer. 

Riverdale considers new sanitary sewer rates for FY 21

Riverdale considers new sanitary sewer rates for FY 21

For the past three months, Riverdale has been working on re-aligning its sanitary sewer rates for the coming fiscal year (which starts in July). The City Council is now considering an ordinance change that will allow residents and businesses to have a say in how those rates are set.

The ordinance, which will have its first reading at the May 26, 2020 City Council meeting, establishes a review committee which is made up of residents, business owners and representatives from Arconic, PVCSD and Scott Community College. Their job will be to review sewer infrastructure costs and upkeep issues and to provide recommendations to the City Council on rates and budget expenditures.

It is estimated the committee will only have to meet two or three times a year. If you are interested in serving on the committee, please email the mayor.

 

Re-Structuring the City’s Sewer Fund

The Sanitary Waste Treatment Facility in West Davenport – jointly owned by Riverdale and three other cities.

The Mayor has been working with the City’s accounting firm, BFA, to build a more comprehensive financial model to project Riverdale’s sanitary sewer expenses now that it has become part of the consortium of cities that jointly owns the trunk sewer line extending from Panorama Park to west Davenport (where the waste treatment facility is located).

“Our responsibilities as a co-owner of the waste treatment plant and the main trunk line that serves us means we all need to make sure our sewer fund has enough money in it to manage the on-going operational costs and improvements needed from time to time in that facility,” explained Mayor Bawden.

But the overhaul of the City’s Sewer Fund was needed for more reasons than just the costs associated with the joint sewer service with Davenport, Bettendorf, and Panorama Park. “We also needed to start allocating overhead and engineering costs for the sanitary sewer to the sewer fund,” explained the mayor. “Historically, Riverdale has been covering those costs out of its General Fund and that’s not really appropriate. Those costs are sanitary sewer related, so they should be paid with user fees and not property taxes.”

(from left to right) Mayors Rice (Panorama Park), Bawden (Riverdale), Klipsch (Davenport) and Gallagher (Bettendorf) sign the documents setting the joint sewer 28E Agreement between all four cities in place.

The difference is slight, but it is there. Not all residents in Riverdale are on the sanitary sewer system and, as a result, don’t pay sewer fees.

In addition to the costs of the jointly-owned sewer utility and overhead, the financial model built by BFA also includes capital investments and sanitary sewer rehabilitations currently scheduled for the next 3 to 6 years as Riverdale moves proactively to eliminate I&I (inflow and infiltration) from their portion of the joint sewer system. Failing to do successfully eliminate I&I from the lines could be financially catastrophic not just for Riverdale, but for all of the cities in the partnership.

“The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has a multi-million dollar order ready to hand down to Davenport, Bettendorf, Riverdale and Panorama Park if we don’t ge the I&I situation under control and reduce the amount of relatively clean water that flows through the waste treatment plant at peak times,” said Mayor Bawden. “Most of the work needs to be done in Davenport and some of it needs to be done in Bettendorf – but Riverdale and Panorama Park have a little work as well. In our case, most of the sewer repairs we need to make can be done by re-lining the pipes. There are just a couple of spots where we’ll need to do something more involved.”

 

Rate Increases Are Inevitable, But Won’t Be As High As Originally Expected

With most of the financial modeling completed – thanks in large part to projections provided by the City of Davenport for anticipated waste treatment costs over the next 5 years or so – it’s possible to get a more accurate read on what is expected to happen with sewer rates when they are finally adjusted for FY 2021.

According to the mayor, all sewer rates are going to go up in July, but not quite as much as originally expected.

Even after we increase the rates in Riverdale, we should still be below where Bettendorf and Davenport are, cost-wise, with our rates in all categories (Industrial, Commercial, Residential, etc.). But more importantly, we should be able to control the rate growth and keep it at or below the CPI (Consumer Price Index) and still generate enough cash flow to self-finance the larger, capital projects.

New sanitary sewer fees should be ready for City Council review at its first meeting in July (07/14) and, if approved, will be used in the sewer billing that is mailed to residents near the end of the month. 

Remember to keep your grass out of our gutters!

Remember to keep your grass out of our gutters!

Spring and summer is the heart of lawn-mowing season, so we’re in the thick of it now. But did you know that grass clippings and other yard waste left in the street can cause flooding and storm water drainage problems for Riverdale? That’s because grass clippings in the street ultimately end up in a storm drain. Once in the drain, they can build up and clog pipes and cause drain issues.

This sophisticated diagram spells out what you need to keep in mind when it comes to cutting your grass next to the street.

In Riverdale, we have free, curbside pick-up of yard waste from April through October (and, sometimes, into November), so there’s no reason for residents to leave their lawn clippings, leaves and other plant refuse in the street.

Also, did you know that grass clippings and other yard waste in the streets can cause high levels of nutrients in local creeks and streams which can result in algae problems? It’s better for you to leave your grass clippings on your yard to help restore nutrients back into the soil and increase the amount of organic materials in your soil.

Grass on the road can also be a hazard to motorists, especially motorcyclists and bicyclists. If a two-wheeled vehicle hits a patch of grass in the road, the unstable nature of the grass pile can result in the bike losing traction on the road and, thus, losing control. 

According to Justin Lovely, in this article on the GreenPal website

“Grass clippings in the roadway can be extremely hazardous to the rider and even deadly. Rider’s are taught about potential *gravel* on the road but far too often forget about the dangers of grass. In our area we often see this on the back country rural roads.” 

“Rider’s don’t think about it because the rider is often on pavement or other city roads where this is really not an issue. The moment the rider decides to go on the secondary roads, he or she needs to be thinking and looking out for grass.”

Solutions For Your Grass Problem

There are a number of things you can do to make sure you and your grass clippings are not the cause of Riverdale’s next great storm water management problem.

  • If your mower shoots grass clippings out of the side, make sure you mow a few passes with your mower blowing towards your yard and not into the street – do it first, before you get going on the rest of your yard.

  • If you bag your grass with your mower, make sure you transfer the grass into your disposal bags away from the curb and street.
  • If you mulch, you’re good. Mulch-mowing will not blog grass out the side which means you shouldn’t have to worry about grass blowing into the street.
MEETING NOTICE: Special Council Meeting called for Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 7pm.

Meeting Notice: Special City Council Work Session set for 6pm on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Riverdale City Council will hold a special work session on Tuesday evening, May 26th at 6pm. Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the meeting will be held virtually as a GoToMeeting web conference.

Since the meeting deals with personnel matters and all candidates for the position in question have requested the search committee meet in closed session to keep their identities confidential, a portion of this meeting will take place under Chapter 24.5 (i) of the Code of the State of Iowa and the online public meeting will be terminated shortly after the meeting starts so the Council will be able to go into closed session.

 

Attending the Meeting Online

The general public is able to attend the first part of the meeting (approximately 5-10 minutes), but then the meeting will be moved into closed session in a private chat and the online meeting for the general public will be ended (since we are only able to host one meeting at a time). Once the closed session has wrapped up, the Council will resume its meeting in public, ending shortly before the regular Council Meeting at 7pm.

Please note: a summary of what was discussed at this work session (both public and closed parts) will be discussed in detail during the Council Meeting at 7pm.


 

Agenda

The items and issues to be discussed as part of this meeting include:

Presentations to the City Council by the Search Consultant:

  • A review of key dates in the interview and selection process.
  • A review of the candidates for the city administrator/city clerk position.
  • A review of typical questions asked during the interview process.
  • A review of packet information required for successful interviews.

Serving as the Search Committee, the City Council will discuss the following:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of candidates for the position under consideration.
  • Available dates for online and in-person interviews.
  • Questions for candidates.
  • Ranking of candidates supplied by the Search Consultant.
  • Discussion of items to be included in the draft of the proposed employment agreement.

In addition to a review of candidates, the Search Committee will also:

  • Review questions from the Search Consultant on the deputy clerk position
  • Discuss items for the information packet to candidates

A copy of the full agenda can be found here.

Meeting minutes will be posted (without identifying information of individual candidates) following their approval at the following meeting of the City Council on June 9, 2020.

MEETING NOTICE: Special Council Meeting called for Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 7pm.

Meeting Notice: City Council Meeting scheduled for 7pm on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A regular meeting of the Riverdale City Council will take place on Tuesday evening, May 26th 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 26, 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: 569-793-517

Not comfortable joining online? You can dial into the meeting with your phone, just call: (872) 240-3212 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

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:

  • The FIRST READING of a new CITY ORDINANCE establishing a Sewer/Utility Review Committee for the City of Riverdale
  • A Resolution to Certify Certain Past Due Sewer Fees as Past Due Taxes and Pursue a Tax Lien on Property in the City of Riverdale
  • A Resolution to Approve Recommendations on Moving Forward with the Staff Search/Selection Process
  • Resolutions to Approve Payments to Contractors on the Havens Acres Roadway Rehabilitation Project, the Fieldcrest Drainage Way Project (Phase I) and the Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project (Phase I)
  • Resolutions to Approve Guidelines for Opening the City’s Parks, Playgrounds and Public Meeting Places in Light of the COVID-19 Outbreak

Discussion of various items include:

    • An update on the Parks & Trails Survey currently underway
    • A quick review of where things stand on a Tree Management Program
    • A final call for tech issues to review as part of the City’s IT Upgrade
    • An update on the Long-Term Budgeting Project kicking off in June
    • A review of the timeline for a Public Hearing and Approval of FY 20 Budget Amendments
    • An update on how things are progressing on the Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project
    • An update on modifications being made at City Hall and the Fire Station
    • Information on XStream Clean-Up and how residents can participate
    • Updates on the Ice Cream Social and Community Conversations programs
    • A quick review of recent PPE purchases made through SCEMA
    • Questions for the Council to gauge their interest in a strategic planning process for the fire department
    • An update on the Meals-To-Go program

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 99 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 will be posted following their approval at the following meeting of the City Council on June 9, 2020.

* 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.

Town Hall Meeting scheduled for Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 2pm

Town Hall Meeting scheduled for Sunday, May 24, 2020 at 2pm

The monthly Mayor’s Town Hall meeting is set for (May 24th) at 2pm.

The agenda for the meeting follows:

MAYOR’S TOWN HALL MEETING
Riverdale City Hall, 110 Manor Drive
Meeting To Be Held Online via GoToMeeting
Citizens can attend online or via phone.

DATE:    Sunday May 24th, 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:

1. Welcome

2. Current Issues:

A. MRT fence in Havens Acres 
B. Sanitary sewer work on Fenno to start on 05/26 
C. Administrative/staff search next steps 
D. Budget amendments to the FY 20 budget 
E. Meals-to-Go program 
F. Proposed guidelines for parks, playgrounds and community meeting spaces

3. Comments/Questions from the Public

4. 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!

Attending the Meeting Online

To attend the Mayor’s Town Hall Meeting on Sun, May 24, 2020 (from 2:00 PM – 4:00 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: 569-793-517

Not comfortable joining online? You can dial into the meeting with your phone, just call: (872) 240-3212 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 go to: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/569793517 to download the app.

Riverdale continues its search for a new manager.

Riverdale continues its search for a new manager.

The City Council, acting as the search committee charged with finding and recruiting two, full-time staff positions, have set an aggressive timetable with the help of consultant Pat Callahan and already have seen some applications come in. In a recent email to the committee, Mr. Callahan asked for their feedback on an “information packet” about the City and the position (of city administrator) he could share with candidates.

You can review a copy of that packet by clicking here.

“We’ll see what kind of candidates are interested in the position in the next week,” explained Mayor Mike Bawden who has been serving as an interim city manager on a voluntary basis for the City since the departure of interim City Administrator, Lisa Kotter. “There’s a lot to do and the Council is committed to finding the right person, so it will be interesting to see how things go for the next week or so.”

Once a city administrator (possibly a Clerk or a City Administrator/Manager or a combination of the two) is recruited, candidates for a deputy clerk or assistant will be evaluated.

The original deadline for hiring the staff and having them in place at City Hall was July 1. The new schedule comes very close with the first person starting in July and the second in late July or early August.

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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