3.18.20 – Council Meeting Minutes
SPECIAL SESSION COUNCIL MEETING
REGARDING COVID-19 PREPAREDNESS
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 2020
The council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Dennis Moorman. Present were Council Members Bennett, Christian, Holmes, Rupe, and Rodgers. Others in attendance were the City employees and Times Republican representative Jen Reed.
The foremost topic was preparedness for COVID-19. Bennett suggested closing City Hall to the public until further notice. Christian reported she spoke with Emergency Management Director, Bill Byrns, who recommended the same thing. The council also discussed the office workers use gloves and disinfectant while handling mail and drop box payments. It was also suggested to let mail and payments set for 24 hours to allow any possible trace of the virus die.
Rodgers made a motion to close City Hall to the public, while employees can still continue working inside-answering phone, taking payments by the drop box and mail, etc. Rupe seconded. Ayes- Bennett, Christian, Holmes, Rupe, and Rodgers. Nays-none.
The city workers approached council members about sick leave. They would like to raise the rate from 60% to 100% payout. In the event they have to stay home for several days 60% of their rate would not be enough to live on. The council agreed that the sick pay rate should be raised.
Bennett made the motion to raise the sick pay rate from 60% to 100% for the next 90 days and review this further in the future. Christian seconded. Ayes – Bennett, Christian, Holmes, Rupe, and Rodgers. Nays – none.
Christian informed the council on March 19th the Iowa Workforce Development is going to have a conference call and discuss unemployment options for people unable to work due to the effects of COVID-19.
Stewart and Moore expressed concerns of whether or not to proceed with water disconnections and penalties. The council expressed how important it is for people to wash hands and clean at this time.
Rodgers, due to the current state of emergency, made the motion to waive disconnecting water for the next 30 days and review again at that time. Bennett seconded. Ayes – Bennett, Christian, Holmes, Rupe, and Rodgers. Nays – none.
Bennett made the motion to waive future late fees for the next 30 days and review again at that time. Christian seconded. Ayes – Bennett, Christian, Holmes, Rupe, and Rodgers. Nays – none.
The mayor asked for good cause business:
1. Moorman bought up that we still need to get an oiler wand before summer so repairs on cracks around the square can begin.
2. Trower mentioned they will be taking the plows off the trucks soon, and will be able to take the boom truck up for repairs on the knuckle.
3. Holmes spoke to Trower about scheduling water taps being switched over to the new line on the street by the hospital.
4. Rodgers mentioned that at the Public Health meeting, Shelley Bickel recommended keeping track of any hours spent dealing with the effects of the COVID-19. She doesn’t know for sure, but funding could be available in the future for reimbursement.
5. Trower and Holmes wondered if they should start preparing the aquatic center soon, or wait to see how the COVID-19 plays out. The council decided they should wait for 30 days and reassess the situation.
Mayor Moorman called the meeting to a close at 6:50 p.m.