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Posted on: January 8, 2021

Weekly Update - January 8, 2021

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Ryan J. Waller - City Manager


Indianola Featured

Linked below is an article featuring our community that appears in the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines’ January edition of their digital magazine, Blueprint.  This is a widely distributed publication and it is quite an honor for our community to be spotlighted.  Thank you to Dan Knoup, Executive Director of the Association, and the Association for this recognition.  

Contractor Parking

Thank you to Warren County Supervisor Darren Heater and Megan Andrew, Assistant to the Board of Supervisors, for meeting with Brenda Easter, President/CEO of the Indianola Chamber, and I regarding the topic of Justice Center construction parking.  Supervisor Heater was extremely receptive to the issues and acknowledged that the County needed to ensure the contractors were receiving the message on this issue.  He committed to working through the appropriate channels to ensure our community's issues are a priority and get addressed.  As a reminder, the Justice Center project is under the authority of Warren County, a separate governmental entity.  Since the commencement of the project, the City and Indianola Chamber have continued to work with County officials on this topic, as well as several other issues usually associated with construction projects of this magnitude.  We greatly appreciate the continued partnership of the Chamber and County. 

Year-End Permit Report

The final monthly permit report for 2020 was released by the Community Development Department this week (linked below).  Last year, the City eclipsed the 200 building permits issued threshold for the first time since 2002.  Of those 200, 87 are for new dwellings, the highest total since 2004.  According to departmental records, 2020 was the 9th highest year for total building permits and the 5th highest year for permits for new dwellings.  These permits amounted to over $25 million of new value.

Economic Development District

At its meeting on January 4, 2021, the City Council gave direction to staff to work on necessary actions needed to join an Economic Development District, if it is formed.  The next day, the Warren County Board of Supervisors approved the formation of the district for Warren County.  Warren was the first of seven Counties to approve the formation.  On Thursday, staff met with Des Moines Area MPO staff to review the City’s recently approved Comprehensive Plan, as well as other priority projects in the City where a potential EDD could assist.  MPO staff continues to work with the remaining Counties to get approval.  Staff will continue to work with MPO staff on this matter and will provide updates as information becomes available.    

January 12 Planning & Zoning Meeting

The Planning & Zoning Commission will meet on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 for its regular meeting.  The agenda and meeting materials are available on the City’s website (see link below).

Upcoming City Council Meeting

The City Council will meet for its regular meeting and study session on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, instead of the normal third Monday. This is done in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday.  The agendas and meeting materials will be published as normal on the preceding Thursday (January 14, 2021).

Snow Removal Operations

Last week’s snow event required 237 hours of labor, 104 tons of salt-sand mix (52 tons of salt and 52 tons of sand), 18 tons of straight salt, seven plow trucks, one road grader, one snowblower mounted on a front-end loader, and two pickup trucks.  As a result of our crew’s efforts, 1,112 lane miles of road were plowed, and 302 truckloads of snow were hauled off/away from the Square and the public parking lots.  Crews continue to perform minor clean-up efforts in cul-de-sacs.  The figures above do not include this continuing work.  Additionally, the City’s Police Department impounded seven vehicles and issued 24 tickets.

Brush Facility Operations

Annually, the City uses the services of a contractor to grind more than 750 tons of brushes and certain landscape material collected over the year at the City’s Brush Facility.  This work was completed this week and required 16 hours of labor and a loader to assist with the relocation of finished materials to aid the contractor with these operations.  This is a necessary exercise to ensure the facility can be used by residents the following year.

Community Development Reports

Attached are the following reports provided by the Community Development Department:

  • Current Projects Update (PDF)

    • Of the 12 projects listed, two are awaiting a submittal from the developer, two are in review and eight have been approved and are in construction.
  • 2021 Building Permits (PDF)

    • This week, three building permits were submitted.  There are currently seven building permits in review.
  • Code Enforcement (PDF)

    • 2020 saw 109 total enforcement cases opened.  There are currently 17 open code enforcement cases. 

City Council Anticipated Agendas

Below please find links to the documents containing anticipated agenda items for upcoming City Council meetings.  These are working drafts.  Agendas are published on the City’s website the Thursday prior to a scheduled City Council meeting.


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