By Paul Deaton
SOLON– Having filed the annual budget with the county and state, the city council made a to-do list for 2014 and began working on it with a discussion of storm water drainage in the Marshek and Eastwood subdivision at its March 19 meeting.
The council reviewed a report from the March 7 meeting between city and school district officials on the long-standing storm drainage issue. Participants included Mayor Cami Rasmussen, Councilor Steve Stange, City Administrator Cassandra Lippincott, Public Works Director Scott Kleppe, district superintendent Sam Miller, school board member Rick Jedlicka and Mike Kasparek, director of buildings, grounds and transportation for the school district.
After a brief meeting at the city office, the group had toured the area, developed and approved a three tiered approach to storm water drainage that involved the city, the school and subdivision home owners. The plan included curb and gutter work by the city, re-grading of school property by the district and re-grading a privately owned area between the Cline and Bulecek residences. While the committee agreed on a potential solution, the property owners did not appear to be on board.
“The only thing is, you can only build up so high,” said property owner Randy Cline after Kleppe presented a plan overview. “I understand what you are trying to do– build up both sides to make a swail.”
“Or take material out,” responded Kleppe.
“Yeah, that looks real pretty,” Cline said. “When there is a pipe underneath the ground that is supposed to be handling it, but is not.”
“The original design of that (pipe) would never have handled all of that water,” said Kleppe. “It was meant to go over the top.”
“When I go to put my house up for sale, and there is a swail that’s two foot deep, that’s a big red flag for anybody,” Cline said. “And you already have an eight-inch pipe that’s supposed to be two-foot pipe going underneath there. There’s only so much you can build up.”
The back and forth discussion continued until Kleppe ended it by saying, “go to the (school board) meeting and talk to them and get as informed as you can. We’re going to try these things and if we’re still having problems we’re going to come back and see what we can do next.”
Old Gold funding increased
As previously reported in the Economist, Old Gold Dining had approached the city about financial support for its site manager. The site council requested city funding for the site manager in the amount of $6,000. The amount was included in the FY 2014-2015 budget, according to City Administrator Lippincott.
“We are extremely pleased that the council stepped forward to support not only our senior dining program, but made an incredible validation of the Senior Advocates’ mission to provide for the well-being of our seniors,” said Sandra Hanson, president of the Solon Senior Advocates. “This $6,000 will pay for two hours of (the site manager’s) three hours of work daily, Monday through Friday.” The other hour is supported by the Solon Retirement Village, which also provides meals for the group. The Johnson County Board of Supervisors will continue to fund two hours per day through the end of the fiscal year, but have declined to continue funding for 2014-2015.
In other news, the council approved renewal applications for permits and licenses for RJZ Express (Class C Beer Permit), D & D Pizza (Class C Liquor License) and Nomi’s Restaurant (Class B Beer Permit) on the consent agenda. Also approved was an event application for the Optimist Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 13.
Fire Chief Bob Siddell reported that the number of department calls had slowed. There have been 67 calls, year to date, with 40 of those occurring in January. After Siddell’s report, the mayor presented a photograph of Antonia Russo’s library display titled, “Engine House,” which featured items related to fire fighting, to the department. The image was created by local photographer Richard Sjolund as a gift.
During new business, the council approved a number of resolutions: an agreement between the city and Johnson County law for enforcement services; the Johnson County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan for 2014 through 2019; setting a date of April 16 at 5:30 p.m. for a public hearing on a budget amendment for Fiscal Year 2014 for the city; and a pay request for expenses on the city hall project in the amount of $22,269.90.
“At the beginning year we have a new council member and it kind of changed the committees up a little bit,” said Rasmussen, beginning discussion of the council to-do list for the remainder of 2014. “This is something I like to do just to make sure we make the most of our year.”
The to-do list included completion of the new city hall; unresolved issues with the Main Street project; updating the water ordinance; review of the employee handbook and wages, unification of building maintenance for city hall, the fire department and library; and completion of Randall Park among other items.
Immediately following the business meeting, the city’s personnel committee convened a closed session to discuss options for the city’s health insurance plan with insurance agent and former mayor Rick Jedlicka.
The city council was scheduled to hold a joint meeting with the Library Board of Trustees on March 24, beginning at 7 p.m., with the next regular council meeting on April 2 at 5:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held at the library.