Cuba council approves pool closure

    As expected, during its meeting on Tuesday, May 5, the Cuba City Council approved a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Committee to not open the pool and cancel summer ball due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. All parks will also remain closed for the rest of the month, except Hood Park that is open for walking.

    The Parks and Recreation Committee met in special session at city hall on May 4 and unanimously approved a motion to cancel summer ball and not open the pool. Mayor Ray Mortimeyer relayed their recommendation to the council, stating that maintaining social distancing and keeping surfaces disinfected would pose a problem both at the ballpark and the pool.
    Mortimeyer told the council he would also like to keep the Visitor Center, Crawford County Historical Society Museum, and parks and playgrounds closed until May 31, with the exception of Hood Park for walking. Alderman Debbie Martin asked Mortimeyer why the parks should remain closed and he explained that since the bathrooms and playgrounds are closed there was no reason to have the parks open.
    A motion to approve the recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Committee was unanimously approved by the council.
    In a related matter, Mortimeyer told the council that in conjunction with state guidelines, he would like to extend the city’s emergency declaration, which was set to expire on May 15, to May 31. That would include the waiver of utilities late fees and disconnections and video-only council meetings. Alderman Cody Leathers noted the governor’s order was through June 15.
    In a discussion of continuing electricity rate reductions, which were included in the city’s original emergency declaration, City Clerk Christine Nash noted the abatement would be included if the city emergency was continued through June 15. Since the current order expires on May 15 and the council will not meet again until May 19, Martin asked if the extension could be until the next meeting when the council could discuss it again. She also wanted to know if all city workers were back to a full-time schedule, which they are.
    A motion was finally made to extend the current city emergency declaration until the end of May. All were in favor, except for Martin.
    In other business conducted during last week’s meeting, Police Chief Doug Shelton informed the council that a one-year warranty from WatchGuard on the department’s vehicle security cameras was due in the amount of $6,775. The council approved payment.
    Shelton also stated his department can apply for a grant for a new computer valued at $5,500 and sought approval to do so. City Attorney Lance Thurman said as long as the grant doesn’t require any obligation from the city, Shelton could submit the application.
    Alderman Kevin Copling inquired about the city’s Tourism Tax Board and if it had been meeting legally or if a new board should be appointed. Martin stated that only one member of the current board is legally on it due to required term limits and qualifications. Mortimeyer informed the council he would be appointing a new board with new members and, perhaps, some existing members.
    Leathers informed the council that some positive headway was being made on a nuisance (administrative order) ordinance, which had been on the agenda in March, but removed from further discussion due to the pandemic. Thurman said it would be brought back up for discussion once the council returns to normal meetings so there could be public input.
    Leathers noted the lawn at the city-owned building being leased by National Medical Billing needs to be mowed. Public Works Director Craig Bouse said the company has hired someone to do it.
    Finally, Leathers stated a property on Shaw Street is very bad and something needs to be done.  Shelton said a summons had been issued. Thurman noted that once the administrative order ordinance is passed the city can clean the lot and send the owner a bill or put a lien on the property.
    Public Works Director Bouse told the council he would like to hire two summer employees to help with mowing grass. A motion was approved to do so.
    Bouse also presented a bid in the amount of $1,600 from Miles Signs for a new sign at the airport. The purchase was approved.
    Alderman Copling asked when All Clear, the company that has been inspecting and repairing the city’s sewer lines, was scheduled to return to work. Bouse said they should be back this week or next.
    Alderman Martin also asked Nash when the city’s code book would be online. Nash stated a meeting had been recently held to discuss the issue and that work was continuing to get it done soon.

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