December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

Posted in General at 10:09 pm by thevoicesofstuart

Good Morning 2009

My one and only resolution for this year………..

I am definitely going to start buying Lottery tickets at luckier stores.

What are yours?


December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Posted in General at 9:51 am by thevoicesofstuart

The Spirit of Christmas

I have a list of people I know

All written in a book

And every year at Christmastime

I go and take a look

And that is when I realize

That those names are a part

Not of the book they are written in

But of my very heart

For each name stands for someone

Who has passed my path some time

And in that meeting they’ve become

A treasured friend of mine

And once you’ve met some people

The years cannot erase

The memory of a pleasant word

Or a friendly face

So when I send a Christmas card

That is addressed to you

It’s because you are on that list

Of folks I am indebted to

And you are one of many folk who

In times past I’ve met

And happen to be one of those

I don’t want to forget

And whether I have known you for

Many years or few

In some way you have a part in

Shaping things I do

This the spirit of Christmas, that

Forever and ever endures

May it leave its richest blessing

In the hearts of you and yours.


December 11, 2008

Police Department (Updated)

Posted in Council Meetings at 4:11 pm by thevoicesofstuart

By Peggy Schlichter


Police Officer Martin Miller has resigned.  The council made and passed a motion to accept the resignation.


Robert informed the council that Sgt Larson and himself have one week of vacation time that needs to be used up. He requested that during the two week period the council authorize the payment for the additional hours worked while one or the other is on vacation.  Sgt Larson started his vacation Monday for one week.  Robert will be on vacation at the end of the month.  Two shifts will be covered by a county deputy but none of the others can be handled by outside help.   With the resignation of Officer Miller there is money within the budget to cover the cost.  The council made and passed a motion to authorize the payments.

New Hire

The council approved the hire of Roger Baird as the new patrol officer for the city.  The effective date of the hire is January 1st with a salary of $32k a year and the standard 6 month period for establishing residency and probation apply.



Officer Robert Wendt has resigned his position effective January 1st.  He has accepted a position in Denison, Iowa.

December 10, 2008

New and Old Business

Posted in Council Meetings at 4:15 pm by thevoicesofstuart

By Peggy Schlichter

New Business

Mr. Ashour informed the council that Cory Waddell has resigned his seat on the City Council.  A motion was made and passed to accept the resignation.

A notice will be posted in the paper announcing the vacancy and the mayor will nominate a replacement to complete Mr. Waddell’s term in office at the next regular council meeting.

There was no new business.

Sewer Rate Study

Posted in Council Meetings at 3:22 pm by thevoicesofstuart

By Peggy Schlichter

The council approved agreement with Ruan Securities to perform the sewer rate study needed to support the funding shortfalls for the new water treatment plant, sewer and storm lines for the school and the enlarging of the storm outlet at N. Harlan Street.  The agreement cost is estimated at $1.2k.

Project Payments

Posted in Council Meetings at 3:16 pm by thevoicesofstuart

By Peggy Schlichter

The final $500 payment was authorized on the bath house project.

The second payment was authorized for the Depot Project.  This money is reimbursed to the city by the grant authority after payment is made.

Library Board Appointment

Posted in Council Meetings at 3:04 pm by thevoicesofstuart

By Peggy Schlichter

Rose Swalla has resigned her position on the Library Board as a representative of the rural Guthrie County area.

The Library Board nominated Anita Hilgers to fill the position.

A motion was made and passed to accept the recommendation appointing Anita Hilgers to the Library Board.

2008 Street and N. Division Street Projects

Posted in Council Meetings at 2:58 pm by thevoicesofstuart

By Peggy Schlichter

2008 Street Project

Mr. Forrest Aldrich reviewed with the council that the street project did not happen as expected and that it will be spring before the streets are fixed.  At a meeting just before Thanksgiving between the construction company, city and Mr. Aldrich it was decided that the construction company would donate about $25 K  of materials to temporarily fix the 5 blocks of the worst streets.  They are not finished they are just temporarily fixed for the winter.  Beginning in the spring they will be back to actually do the street project including the 5 blocks with the temporary top.

Henningsen Construction has requested a $84k payment on stored materials for the project.  The materials are located about 5 miles down the road and include rock, asphalt and soil.  The payment request was made because they have purchased the materials for the project even though they are not going forward on construction until spring.  Mr. Aldrich informed the council that the contract calls for stored materials but that they are usually stored on site.  It is a little unusual for materials to be stored off site and cautioned the council to be careful since they would have no over site of the materials.  He also cautioned that the types of materials stored there are fungible meaning they can be used in many different applications and lose their identity with no way of tracking there use.  He informed the council that they are under no obligation to make the payment under these conditions.

A motion was made and passed to deny the payment.

N. Division Street Project

Mr. Aldrich informed the council that the issue of liquidated damages needed to be settled for the project.  The repairs have been made at N. Division and 3rd and 4th Streets.  The cracks have been repaired on N. Division.  The city’s assessment of $9.5k in liquidated damages is being contested by Monat’s and they are willing to settle for $4k.  The discussion being that the remaining repairs cannot be accomplished until spring, the project needed to be closed out and that they were willing to do a supplemental contract for the remaining work.  There is no payment involved in the discussion at this point but that the council needed to decide the amount of liquidated damages they will settle for.  At the next meeting there will be a payment request for $19k minus the liquidated damages and 31 days later a payment request for the 5% hold back money of $35k.  What is needed tonight is the amount of liquidated damages to finalize the paperwork for the next meeting.

When asked what is typically seen on liquidated damages Mr. Aldrich informed the council that if they are in the $4 to 5k range they do not contest the assessment.  If it is higher they most usually do contest the assessment.  There is usually no negotiation on these.  They will only accept this new offer you make tonight or contest the original offer.

The consensus of the council was to split the difference on the liquidated damages.

Mr. Bump pointed out that they have sufficient documentation to hold them to the $9.5k assessment and if they do not wish to accept this offer of half the difference we can just go to court and let it be settled that way.

A motion was made and passed to adjust the liquidated damages to $6.5k.

WCV Sewer and Storm Lines

Posted in Council Meetings at 2:02 pm by thevoicesofstuart

By Peggy Schlichter

Mr. Harvey Anderson from the Facilities Cost Management Group addressed the council on the storm sewer lines needed for the remodel of the old high school and the sanitary sewer for the new high school.

The FCMG reviewed the city plans for the new sanitary sewer to the high school and asked the council to pay for the line from the nearest point on the church land to the property line of the high school.  The school will pay for the connecting line to the school.  This is in line with the last discussion the council had several months ago.  The council is awaiting the results of the rate study to determine how they will pay for the line.  Mr. Belden asked if they had talked to the Utility Board and was informed that they had and they were going to install the water line to the school property line.  The school will pay for the installation from the property line to the school.

Mr. Anderson then addressed the issue of the storm sewer at the old high school.  The new line that will go south to the end of the block and east is the same as the last discussion the council had.  The school is covering the cost of the line from the manhole in the back parking lot south to the new line.  The implication being that the city had to have the new line in by the time construction starts in the spring to avoid construction delays because the current line runs under the site of the new addition.

The council confirmed that that was their understanding also but that they were waiting for the results of the rate study before making any decision on this line also.

He then addressed the water line needed to serve the sprinkler system being installed in the renovation.  Their talks with the Utility Board determined that the school will donate $19k to the Utility Board to have a new 8 inch water line installed north from the corner of 2nd and Main Streets to 3rd Street allowing the school to tap in under the street without cutting up the corner intersection to make the connection.

The discussion ended with the mayor informing them that the rate survey was being discussed later on the agenda.

Dale Craddock/New Business

Posted in Council Meetings at 10:43 am by thevoicesofstuart

By Peggy Schlichter

Mr. Dale Craddock introduced himself to the council informing them that he has made no threats to anyone as insinuated by the previous speaker and is willing to take a polygraph test to prove it.

He then stated that he had the desire to open a heavy equipment repair business in town.  He is looking at a piece of property owned by Jeff Marks behind the hotel of 3.4 acres.

In addition he has an invention that will well serve the trucking industry that he has applied for a patent on.  He expects to receive patent approval in about 6 months.  At that point he expects to start development and manufacture of these items here in Stuart.

He informed the council that he is not a permanent resident of the city but his business will be located here.

In addressing the concerns stated in the previous conversation Mr. Craddock stated that there were some issues raised in previous years with Mr. Coe.  He has visited city hall to make sure that he has all the necessary documentation to conduct business and he is in compliance with the law.  He is not trying to put anyone out of business but he is a competitive business man.

The mayor stated that as long as he was doing what was needed and following the law there should be no problems.

Mr. Belden asked Robert if he had confirmed all of Mr. Craddock’s paperwork.  Robert informed the council that everything was in order with DOT and Department of Revenue.

The council had not further questions for Mr. Craddock.

Police Issues

Posted in Council Meetings at 10:11 am by thevoicesofstuart

By Peggy Schlichter

Mr. Dale Lindberg requested a meeting with Mr. Ashour and Robert before presenting his problem to the full council.  His request to address the council was tabled.

Mrs. Michelle Coe addressed the council stating that she was not happy with the police handling of a threat made to her husband by Mr. Craddock.  She informed the council that the police were unresponsive to the situation and that the other service was illegally doing work in town without the appropriate permits and license’s.  He used his ex-wife’s address and is not a resident of the town.  Mrs. Coe further informed the council that Robert never returned any of her phone calls to inform her of the results of his looking into the matter.

Robert informed the council that he had checked out the DOT registration for Mr. Craddock’s business and that he was legally registered to do business in the State of Iowa.

The next issues raised was that there are very few arrests being made in town and that he had done a poor job in checking the background of the last officer hired.   If a better background check had been made he would have found several things about the officer that would have raised flags about his suitability for the job.

She further stated that she had requested an answer to the question of whether dirt bikes, four wheelers, atv’s and snowmobiles can be ridden in town and never received any response from the police other than one time when it took them 2 hours to show up and tell some neighborhood kids to park their dirt bikes.  This is not good for the community and it is time for the council to start dealing with the police problems.

The mayor responded that she has talked to Robert and that Mrs.  Coe is the only one who has raised an issue about the police.

City Hall, Library and Police Building

Posted in Council Meetings at 8:36 am by thevoicesofstuart

By Peggy Schlichter

Note: Messieurs Sherman and Waddell were not present for the meeting.

A representative of Baldwin White Architects presented the council with a space layout rendering of the new city building.   Based on the funding constraints of 10,200 square feet and allowing for the water storage tank to remain intact.  The layout shows the library on the west, the city hall in the middle and the police station on the east with a seperate entrance.  The architects have finished the meetings with all offices except the Library Board which they will conclude this week.  After this meeting the architects will finalize the drawings and present them to the council at the next regular meeting.  Anyone who wishes to see the plans should stop by city hall and look at them in the council room.

December 8, 2008

Agenda, December City Council Meeting

Posted in Agenda at 9:32 pm by thevoicesofstuart

Here is the agenda for the Tuesday night City Council Meeting.

Agenda, City Council Meeting

December 5, 2008

Council Meeting Update

Posted in Agenda at 8:31 pm by thevoicesofstuart

The December City Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday night at 6:30 pm.  The agenda will be posted Monday evening.

December 3, 2008

Truly Uninspired

Posted in my thoughts at 11:24 am by thevoicesofstuart

By Peggy Schlichter

While staying busy with multiple projects lately I find myself truly uninspired when it comes to writing.

As with most things that need done daily the tasks are a lot of rote motion and the brain entertains itself by casting about through multiple subjects.  Sometimes it leads to a list of other things that need to get done and sometimes it gets a chance to think about something that you have been wandering about but haven’t had the time to put any real thought to.

The first is so mundane that you consider a nap.  The second can result in a multiple of actions, inspirations or you just plain decide that you need to think about it some more.

With the election over, the city council set in their path of wants not needs, the same old faces and attitudes being appointed to federal government offices leads one to realize that what is ahead is so predictable that it is boring to think about.

I find myself wondering how long it will take before “change” becomes a 4 letter word.  Predictably not long as the new federal administration continues down the path of market interference, globalism, foreign interventionism, bailouts, uncontrolled spending and socialist mandates.  Continued thinking along this line is not productive since it produces the conditions of depression and apathy.

At this point I would rather be truly uninspired than depressed and apathetic.

Some one start a conversation about something and lets see where it leads.