The lawmakers for the City of Indianola have decided to review the way they make legal assumptions.
Acting on a prior concern of Alderman Gary Fratesi, the city leaders voted unanimously Monday night to have City Attorney Gary Austin devise an ordinance for their consideration that would add provisions for adopting streets.
Citing the sewer and infrastructure issues that have plagued the city’s public works department with regard to the prior adoption of the streets in the Sunflower Estates subdivision, Fratesi proposed that an ordinance be established that would protect the city in the future.
In making his motion, he said the document should require that the city engineer be involved in the construction process to make sure the streets are built to the city’s specifications. “Because if we take something that’s inferior then the taxpayers pick up the tab if we decide to adopt it,” Fratesi said.
In addition, he asked that a five-year waiting period be instituted and/or insure that the development is at a 100 percent level on the city’s tax rolls before any of its streets be considered for adoption. Plus, the city has the option to accept or reject the assumption of responsibility. Fratesi added that many larger municipalities are no longer even adopting streets. Mayor Steve Rosenthal said he was not in favor of not assuming responsibility for the streets.
“But, I don’t see a problem with waiting a length of time before we do adopt,” he said.
Rosenthal added that they were not trying to discourage anyone who may be considering a subdivision development, however, waiting a designated amount of time before adopting is practical.
“Because I wish, on Sunflower Estates, we could give them back that sewer system,” he said.
Alderman Sam Brock asked Fratesi to include an addendum that stipulated that the engineer must be engaged at the developer’s expense and not at a cost to the city.
In the municipal code for Indianola, Sec. 48-79(a)(b), it already states that the subdivider must construct the streets and utilities in a subdivision to meet city standards and specifications at no expense to the city and that all such improvement construction must be designed and supervised by an engineer in order to be considered for acceptance by the city.
In other business,
The city decision-makers made several general personnel decisions including hiring an additional clerk to help in the water department.
As is typical, the aldermen voted to accept only cash payments for 2018 and 2016 tax debts beginning March 15.
The lawmakers decided to table the acceptance of the minutes from the February 25 meeting so that an additional item that was voted on could be included.