At the regular City Council meeting Thursday, May 18, Mayor Pro Tem, Bob Bynam led the proceedings for the first time since Mayor Broderson’s removal.
One of the first items on the agenda was allowing Mike’s Hilltop Tap to reserve street parking for motorcycles during their weekly Bike Night event. Bike Night is held each Wednesday night starting at 5:00 p.m. and hosted by Tony Tone. Many customers drive their motorcycles to the event and while Mike’s Hilltop Tap does have a parking lot, the lot is gravel and inclined, making it undesirable for motorcycle riders. Chief Talkington discussed the request with the council members and the decision was made to approve the request, with the stipulation that the event will not cause complaints as Mike’s Hilltop Tap is located in a residential area. Chief Talkington made the point that Bike Night has been held previously and there were no issues, nor does he expect issues to arise in the future.
The most discussed subject at the meeting was what the city plans to allow regarding firework sale and usage, now that state law has changed. The City of Muscatine cannot opt out of the sale of fireworks, but they do have some options regarding regulation, especially regarding what zones fireworks may be sold in. Currently, fireworks can only be sold in industrial zones. Tina Skipton of S & S Distributing spoke to the council, saying no companies located in the industrial zones are going to sell fireworks and she felt this policy would allow the sale of fireworks while knowing no one will sell them in the designated zones. Jim Simmons of Hy-Vee and Matt Schweizer of Hy-Vee Mainstreet spoke to the council stating reasons why they should allow the sale of fireworks in commercial zones.
A motion and second was made to follow state code regarding both sales and usage of fireworks, but was rejected in the vote. No final decisions were made on either sale or usage as the council would like to discuss the matter further.
Other items discussed were purchase order approval for Public Works to purchase a cold planer. A cold planer is a tool Public Works will use to remove the surface of a paved area. This tool will allow them to mill asphalt themselves instead of outsourcing the milling, which will save the city money as well as allowing Public Works to complete asphalt related tasks faster.
MuscaBus was granted a purchase order for three Transit buses which will replace the current buses. MuscaBus was recently notified of availability of funding for this purchase to decrease the cost the city will cover.
The city council meeting closed with the members entering a closed session.