MidAmerican Energy says “yes” when Riverdale residents asked for “Trees, please!”

MidAmerican Energy says “yes” when Riverdale residents asked for “Trees, please!”

Thanks to some persistence by long-time residents Linda and Dale Hupp, the City of Riverdale is the recipient of a $1,000 grant through the “Trees, Please!” program from MidAmerican Energy. The City Council will consider a resolution authorizing the spending of an additional $1,000 this year to match the grant (a requirement), meaning we could see the two thousand dollars’ of new trees gracing Riverdale’s parks and green spaces later this year.

More information about the “Trees, Please” grant can be found here. The resolution to be considered by the City Council at Tuesday’s meeting – can be found here.

Meeting Notice: City Council Meeting scheduled for 7pm on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Meeting Notice: City Council Meeting scheduled for 7pm on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A regular meeting of the Riverdale City Council will take place on Tuesday evening, April 28th 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 and FY 21 Budget Public Hearing on Tue, April 28, 2020 (from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM), just join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smart phone by clicking on the button or this link. You can access the meeting by using the access code: 418-666-325

Not comfortable joining online? You can dial into the meeting with your phone, just call: (224) 501-3412 and use the access code (418-666-325) 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

Resolutions addressing the following:

  • Consideration of Approval of the Final Plat for Phase 2 of the Woods Estates Subdivision
  • Consideration of a No-Interest Loan Program for Riverdale-based Businesses Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak
  • Consideration of Authorizing the Hiring of a Part-Time, Summer Administrative Intern for the City of Riverdale, Iowa
  • Consideration of Authorizing $1,000 in Matching Funds for a “Trees Please!” Grant Award from MidAmerican Energy
  • Consideration of the Proposed Budget for Volunteer Firefighter Recognition and Support for FY21
  • Consideration of Authorizing an Additional $9,000 for the Fieldcrest Drainage Way Project (Phase I)
  • Consideration of Authorizing $7,500 for a Senior/LMI Meal Delivery Program to be Funded by an Iowa CDBG Grant in FY21

A Motion will be discussed regarding the following: 

  • Action to create a bike-friendly space in the Bellingham Road parking lot near the Mississippi River Trail
  • Action to hold a public hearing, amend and approve proposed adjustments to the FY20 budget for the CIty of Riverdale
  • Action to clean and inspect the privately-owned drainage lines behind homes in the 200 block of Manor Drive so possible project scope can be defined and budgets determined

Discussion of various items include:

    • Next steps on boundary fence construction along the MRT in Riverdale
    • An explanation of the We Need Trees Grant program
    • An update on the Invasive Plant Study
    • A summary report on the IT upgrade that has been completed at City Hall
    • Update on City Hall staffing, job definitions and process development
    • Update on the recovery of costs associated with repair of a retaining wall surrounding a storm intake catch basin on the east side of Manor Drive hill which was damaged in an auto accident
    • A review of the plan to begin long-range budget planning for the City of Riverdale
    • Overviews of new accounting projects to clear up confusion over TIF accounting and Sewer Utility fund and rate accounting
    • An explanation of the CDBG Grant Application to IEDA
    • Update on landscaping the City’s grounds
    • Fieldcrest Drainage Way updates
    • Discussion of hail damage to City Hall roof and associated projects
    • Plans for resumption of curbside yard waste collection
    • Need to meet with Fenno Drive residents to discuss sanitary sewer project
    • Proposed X-Stream Clean-up activities in Riverdale during the summer
    • Plans for the citywide appliance pick-up on May 1
    • A review of events planned for through the summer
    • Discussion of having Friday Night Community Conversations online
    • An update on the installation of the flood gauge on Duck Creek in the Havens Acres area
    • Concerns about nuisance properties in the Fenno Hill neighborhood
    • An update on issues surrounding coyote trapping near the Woods Estates neighborhood

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. (Please note, this document is 88 pages long* and the file is approximately 9.4 MB.)

A memo that spells out recommended next steps and a time line for the final plat of the second phase of the Woods Estates Subdivision can be found here.

A summary memo explaining the proposed no-interest loan program for Riverdale-based, small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak can be found here.

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

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

Meeting minutes can be found here.

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

Town Hall Meeting scheduled for Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 2pm

Town Hall Meeting scheduled for Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 2pm

The monthly Mayor’s Town Hall meeting is set for (April 26th) 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 April 26th, 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. Proposed no-interest loan program to Riverdale-based, small businesses due to COVID-19

B. Meal program for seniors and low-to-moderate income households with the Duck Creek Pancake House

C. Construction projects get off to an early start

D. What would you like to see at City Hall?

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, April 26, 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: 722-789-837

Not comfortable joining online? You can dial into the meeting with your phone, just call: (571) 317-3122 and use the access code (592-413-805) 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/592413805 to download the app.

Riverdale Fire Department leads a birthday parade for local kids

Riverdale Fire Department leads a birthday parade for local kids

(From a Facebook Post by Council Member Anthony Heddlesten)

Thank you all so much. Truly, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Today, CJ, pretty much my favorite person in the whole wide world turned 5. Unfortunately, the whole wide world is a mess. I’m going to attempt to cover the greatness that has occurred over the past few days:

1) I saw a cool birthday parade and asked if Riverdale Fire Department would do something like that in our town. Brian Ballard, our assistant fire chief, got it all planned out and said we were good to go.

2) I shared the plan on our Riverdale Residents group page and another family pointed out they had a birthday coming up, so we got a whole group together and did a birthday parade last weekend for another little boy down the street.

3) Birthday cards started flowing in this week (my piano is fully covered) Neighbors, friends, and family members filled our mail box with love from afar. Thanks to Dorla Dubbels, Stacey Christensen, Lisa Mintz Kotter, Darold Heddlesten, Yvonne Heddlesten, NaNa Pugh, Melissa Roling-Maher, Jimmy Maher to name a few.

4) Last weekend, our preschool teacher stopped by and dropped off a present and said hello.

5) Friday, Miss Taryn, another preschool teacher met up with me and gave us a present since she couldn’t get to the parade this weekend.

6) This morning, while CJ was sleeping in, our neighbors (Amy Walker Kramer) snuck into the yard with a giant inflatable birthday cake.

7) Ky (Anthony’s wife) and I got some great 5 year old photos of our favorite little guy and then walked down the street to get some additional pics with his new best friend, and Riverdale Heights favorite, Molly Curran.

8 ) we got a fun good morning happy birthday message from cousin Ben.

9) we had a zoom birthday party and got WAAAAYYYY too many LEGO.

10) Just before the parade was supposed to start we got to have a birthday party with the other side of the family.

11) We got a message from another YWCA of the Quad Cities daycare teacher that she is in a Quad Cities Jeep group that’s just driving from party to party. Several Jeep owners, who we’ve literally never met, even provided some cool Jeep related presents. (Keep an eye out for the minion mobile QC!)

12) I GET A PARADE TOO?!?! CJ exclaimed as RFD and the Scott County Sheriff’s Office rolled by tooting their horns and flashing their lights. Followed by neighbors, friends, coworkers, etc.

13) Many of the drivers threw out additional surprises (cards, candy, a minion doll, even toilet paper!)

14) Facebook messages galore have come in throughout the day.

15) A few friends also trickled through after the parade singing happy birthday, wishing us well, hosting an impromptu Wisconsin Jump Around equipped with New Glarus beer, and reminding us how fortunate we all are.

So, again, thank you. Today was more than we could’ve hoped for. So much more. CJ is in seventh heaven today.

Spring has sprung … and so has the Garlic Mustard

Spring has sprung … and so has the Garlic Mustard

Springtime is a time of hope and optimism. As the weather breaks and temperatures rise, people like to spend time outside. And all of that “indoor time” from the previous months contribute to a little “springtime optimism” that creates lists full of gardening and yard projects for the ambitious homeowner.

But you’ll rarely find “fighting with Garlic Mustard” on anyone’s list.

That’s because Garlic Mustard, a fast-spreading and highly invasive weed, can overwhelm you with its ability to grow just about anywhere, the path of destruction it leaves in its wake and its tenacity (some call it down-right stubbornness) when it comes to removal.

What You Should Know About Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard can grow in most soil types and can grow in full sun or full shade. It’s an equal-opportunity invader and its roots produce a chemical that is toxic to other plants.

Mowing Garlic Mustard doesn’t control it. The plants will bolt and seed. Many homeowners resort to hand-pulling the plants when they are in bloom and easy to identify (during April), but must revisit pulled sites frequently to make sure more Garlic Mustard hasn’t popped up to replace their lost comrades.

Left unattended, Garlic Mustard can spread quickly. Each plant can produce up to 5,000 seeds which can remain viable in the soil for up to 5 years.

How to Identify Garlic Mustard

(From the East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District Website

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a biennial, meaning each plant lives its life over two growing seasons. Seedlings emerge in early March, forming a rosette of leaves the first year. The leaves are alternate, triangular to heart shaped, have scalloped edges and give off an odor of garlic when crushed. The odor can be used to distinguish garlic mustard from native plants like evergreen violet (Viola sempervirens), piggy-back plant (Tolmiea menziesii), fringecup (Tellima grandiflora) and non-native plants such as silver dollar plant (Lunaria annua).

Garlic mustard also has a distinct “s” shaped curve at the base of the stem. Garlic mustard flowers during the second year of growth. In March and April of the second year, plants send up a flower stalk from 12 to 48 inches tall, topped with a cluster of white four-petaled flowers. The seeds form in narrow, green seed pods that originate from the center of the flowers and turn brown as the seed matures. The plant dies after producing seed and the brown, dried out stem with the brown seed pods remain through winter.

How to Control Garlic Mustard

Hand pulling and herbicides are the two most effective methods of controlling Garlic Mustard. While hand removal may work for small patches that can be re-visited frequently, herbicides are often used for large infestations. Over-use of herbicides that manage to kill off other native vegetation that may compete with Garlic Mustard only results in less competition for the Garlic Mustard seeds that germinate the following year.

Herbicides don’t kill Garlic Mustard seeds.

The video below provides more instructions on how to deal with Garlic Mustard:

What is Riverdale Doing About Garlic Mustard?

Riverdale is currently conducting an audit of the invasive species in the City-owned woods, trails and other greenspaces. We have also been asked by Arconic to audit their property as well since so much of it lies next to Riverdale’s. Scott Community College is conducting a similar audit.

We all know the audits will report a significant population of Garlic Mustard within the City’s geography – but the audits will help us identify the areas where widespread treatment is called for. In subsequent years, the City expects to spend a significant amount of money to gain control and then manage the Garlic Mustard spread in the City. 

Residents are encouraged to inspect their own yards and the wooded areas around their homes to identify patches of Garlic Mustard. If possible, we ask residents to pull and manage what patches they can and to let City Hall know if there are patches that are just too big for them to handle on their own.

By working together, the City, its residents and local business and education concerns can stem the tide of Garlic Mustard, saving all parties hundreds of thousands of dollars in habitat replacement, unnecessary erosion damage and worse. 

Thanks for your help.

Curbside yard waste pick up to resume on May4 – say goodbye to the dumpsters!

Curbside yard waste pick up to resume on May4 – say goodbye to the dumpsters!

Republic Services has notified the City that they intend to resume curbside, yard waste pick-up on May 4. To get ready, Republic has been instructed to remove the dumpsters in Volunteer Park and at the end of Kensington Street on Tuesday, April 28th.

The yard waste dumpster at Volunteer Park is very full. If it’s possible for you to wait until May 4 to have your yard waste picked up, please do so.

The next, big, bulky waste clean-up day for Riverdale will be this fall (probably in October). Please check the website and e-newsletters for udpates.

Appliance recycling pick-ups scheduled for May 1. Make sure you’re on the list by Tuesday.

Appliance recycling pick-ups scheduled for May 1. Make sure you’re on the list by Tuesday.

As part of the City’s effort to help residents get rid of their bulky waste this month, residents were asked to notify City Hall if they had an appliance they would like to have hauled away on May 1. The deadline for getting on the “pick up list” is Tuesday, April 28.

The program – the first time it’s been offered by the City – was announced on April 1st after Republic Services notified the City they had to suspend their curbside yard waste pick-up service indefinitely due to the COVID-19 outbreak and that they would be unable to participate in the planned Citywide Clean-Up Day on April 18.

While the bulky waste dumpsters delivered to Volunteer Park and Kensington Street were able to accommodate most bulky waste,  residents are asked to not use them to dispose of electronic waste (e-waste) or appliances (white goods). E-waste collection is still suspended until the Waste Commission of Scott County resumes accepting it. White goods disposal/recycling will be done by the City on Friday, May 1st.

Residents are asked to notify City Hall by calling during regular business hours or by using the form, below, to get on the list for a pick-up. Appliances should be to the curb the night before and, if possible, doors should be removed.  Later this week, the City will notify residents who are on the list as to when the City’s maintenance person can be expected to come by and pick up their item(s).


Appliance Pick-Up Request

Please give us your email or phone number so we can contact you with questions or to discuss alternative times for pick-up.
Please give us your preferred time. We will email you a confirmation once we have a schedule of pick-ups completed (on or before April 28).

An early end to the school year may help speed up street repairs in Havens Acres neighborhood.

An early end to the school year may help speed up street repairs in Havens Acres neighborhood.

Iowa Governor Reynolds ordered the end of the school year late last week, so now the City of Riverdale is working with contractors to possibly accelerate the road project currently underway in the Havens Acres neighborhood.

The original plan called for work “in the street” to begin after the end of school on June 8. The Governor’s orders change that, allowing Brandt Construction to move into the streetwork as soon as they’re finished doing their work “behind the curb.”

According to project manager, Troy Stimpson, the contractor will keep the City and its residents informed of their project timeline so accommodations can be made:

“We will proceed with milling and asphalt paving after the other work is done behind the curb.  We’ll keep you posted on our schedule. As always, we will also monitor the virus and any potential impacts it will have on our project schedule.”

The total project comes to around $221,000 and was originally slated to be completed in late-July/early-August.

Bulky waste dumpsters to be picked up on April 28

Bulky waste dumpsters to be picked up on April 28

Bulky waste dumpsters in the parking lot of Volunteer Park (at the top of Riverdale hill) and at the end of Kensington Street will be picked up and hauled away on April 28.

Under the agreement worked out between the City of Riverdale and our waste/recycling hauler, Republic Services, the roll-off dumpsters for bulky waste and flood clean-up would be available until the end of April. The dumpster in the parking lot of Volunteer Park for yard waste will remain until Republic resumes curbside yard waste pick-up.

Drains blow out on Manor Hill creating heavy erosion.

Drains blow out on Manor Hill creating heavy erosion.

Stormwater drainage running down the west side of Manor Drive Hill is rupturing.

Following the 4-inch rainfall that hit Riverdale overnight at the end of March, it now appears the drainage system on the west side of Manor Drive hill have been blown-out by excess water pressure.

Riverdale resident (and retired engineer), Steve Townsend, spent some time investigating the decades-old drainage system running down on the west side of Manor Drive Hill to try and understand how the sudden rain seemed to cause more damage than in prior years. Evidence of water rushing over the surface was clear, but upon further investigation, there were several spots where it appears water burst through the underground pipes and pushed back up through the soil.

After inspecting the stormwater intakes on the west side of the street, Steve noted damage to the structure that may have created a blockage at the end of the line. The result of the “clog” was stormwater backing up the line until enough pressure had built up to break through the pipes.

Steve worked out a temporary fix for the ruptured spots which, hopefully, will last long enough for the City Engineer and others to review the situation and recommend a long-term fix that will stop the erosion and – hopefully – create an opportunity to grow some grass on that part of the hill.

Another rupture in the storm water line running down the west side of Manor Drive Hill.

Riverdale City Council certifies FY 21 budget

Riverdale City Council certifies FY 21 budget

The City of Riverdale’s FY21 Budget

At its April 14th meeting, the Riverdale City Council certified the proposed FY21 budget, clearing the way for a number of projects over the next twelve months.

FY21 Budget At A Glance

The budget for the coming fiscal year (which starts in July), calls for general fund and debt obligation taxes of $627,448 which is up slightly from last year. The tax rate for the General Levy will be $4.41807/thousand of assessed valuation. The Debt Service Levy will be $4.37065/thousand and the Capital Improvement Reserve Levy will be $6.1725/thousand.

The biggest difference in the FY21 budget from previous years is the revenue and expense associated with sanitary sewer service. The budget currently projects a significant increase in sewer fees (which haven’t been adjusted since the sewer fund was set up). The actual rates will be set and reviewed with a commission of citizens, businesses, the school district and SCC. The final decision on the rates for services will still lie with the City Council, but the input of the Commission will be very important in setting those rates.

In addition to the increased sewer fees, the City will see increased expenses associated with operating and maintaining the joint sewer line that runs from Panorama Park to West Davenport as well as the costs for inspecting and repairing the sanitary sewer lines in Riverdale.

The Budget as a Policy Document

As mentioned in the memo that accompanied the budget submission, the FY21 budget differs from other budgets for the City in Riverdale in that it incorporates specific goals, objectives and policies set by the City Council at it’s goal-setting session in January. This means that starting July 1, several new projects will be on the agenda for the City to finish in the coming months including:

•  Replacement of the current vehicle ventilation systems for the fire department and repairs made to the entrance apron to the station house.

•  A review of insurance costs for the city and fire department as we attempt to find alternate ways to reduce risk to our fire fighters and EMS technicians.

•  The replacement of several storm water intakes throughout the City to improve how we handle rainfall and prevent erosion in our neighborhoods.

•  Investigation and development of a solution to the drainage problems suffered by homes along the 200 block of Manor Drive.

•  Further progress on the MRT/Havens Acres plan to reduce unwanted bike and pedestrian traffic through the neighborhood.

•  Addressing nuisance property issues on Fenno Hill.

•  Development of a facade improvement program for Riverdale-based businesses.

•  Development of a RISE grant application for the replacement of  Bellingham Road.

•  Community-landmark signage for Riverdale at up to three locations.

•  An evaluation as to whether or not the Capital Improvements Reserve Levy and the use of General Obligation Bonds should be dropped in favor of other, more flexible financing tools available to the City.

•  The creation of a document archival system and re-cataloging of all City documents.

FY20 Isn’t Over Yet

The City still needs to complete its re-estimation of the FY20 budget and identify fund transfers that need to be made within the budget so projects can be paid on time.  At the same time, the City is starting a long-range budgeting project to work out a 4-5 year financial plan that it can maintain going forward as well as working with its accounting firm to review and revise its Sewer Fund accounting practices (and rate-setting) as well as how it tracks costs and income in its four, TIF funds.