By Steve Woodhouse Editor
The Journal Express
---- — The next step in the process of creating a dog park in Knoxville was approved Monday night. A site plan was okayed by the Knoxville City Council.
Assistant City Manager Dylan Feik told the council that he believed there would be ample space for parking on the site, near the wastewater treatment facility. Some of the land the City purchased to build an equalization basin – which may not be needed due to a new agreement with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources – will be used for the park. Feik is also confident that, if the City must expand its treatment facilities in the future, there will be space available to do so.
Dog park organizers have worked hard, to get to this point, according to Feik. More fund raising efforts are expected to make the park a reality.
In other council action, approval was given to issue $3.5 million in general obligation bonds. This money will be used for the next phase of the Downtown Streetscape Project, and should begin later this year. A public hearing was held prior to the vote. No written or oral comments were received.
Other council notes:
• Two items regarding Knoxville’s Bike Nite were not acted upon. This included the Beer Permit and the Special Events application. City Manager Harold Stewart said he had not received all of the necessary paperwork. Council members were also concerned whether or not organizers had made contact with all of the businesses that will be affected by the event. The first Bike Nite is scheduled for May 3, and the council intends to hold a special meeting to approve Bike Nite’s paperwork to allow the event to take place. No more regular meetings will be held prior to that date.
• Approved a Class “B” Beer Permit for Plethora.
• Approved financial statements.
• Approved a code amendment to allow vehicle overhang. This was necessary because of a request by McDonald’s. McDonald’s is planning an expansion, which will leave the business closed for 90 days. The site plan for this project was also approved at Monday’s meeting. The ordinance change allows vehicles to hang over pavement and green space when parked around the city.
• Approved a rezoning request by Casey’s, located at 109 North Attica, to accommodate expansion of that business.
• Approved the first reading of a public health and safety zoning ordinance, regarding nuisances. Council requested updates to the nuisance ordinance months ago, and this proposed ordinance is the result. Feik wanted only the first reading to be approved Monday, to give the public, as well as council, time to study the changes before it is fully adopted. The ordinance can be reviewed at the City’s website, www.knoxvilleia.gov.
• Approved the second reading of an ordinance regarding sanitary sewer user fees. This ordinance is the one that repeals a scheduled sewer fee increase.
• Approved the first reading of an ordinance regarding infiltration and inflow. As described in a previous edition, this ordinance provides the City with the ability to impose fines and penalties against those who knowingly refuse to comply with wastewater regulations. This is specific to running “clean” water into the sanitary sewer system, which adds unnecessary wear to equipment.
• Approved a Plat of Survey for a parcel split outside the corporate limits for the Duinink Family Trust.
• Approved a fuel contract with Wright Express. This contract is expected to save money on vehicle fuel purchases, while allowing the City to select multiple fuel providers and providing a minimum 1.45 percent discount off of the pump price.
• Approved the union contract. The union ratified the agreement prior to Monday’s meeting.
• Approved the purchase of a bar screen in the amount of $124,291, approximately $100,000 less than what was budgeted. This piece of equipment helps separate waste at the wastewater treatment plant. Installation is expected to cost $28,000, but Feik told the council, “It should last us another 30-40 years.”
• Approved a work order for Snyder and Associates who reviewed the Young’s Park site plan. The City had previously agreed upon a contract with Snyder to provide engineering services, as an engineer is no longer in the City’s employ. The plan for the Kiwanis Miracle Playground was reviewed by Snyder, for the cost of up to $2,800.
• The next regular Knoxville City Council meeting will be held Monday, May 6, at 6:15 p.m.