Council Recap

The Urbandale Council Recap is a brief highlight of the City Council meetings. The recap is not minutes of the Council meeting. Minutes are considered and approved at the subsequent Council meeting.

March 24, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

Tonight was a first for the Urbandale City Council. Restrictions on public gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a meeting be held by videoconference. One of the first actions of the meeting was Mayor Andeweg’s proclamation that a time of emergency exists in the City of Urbandale.

This was the first time that the Mayor has had to invoke this emergency provision. The proclamation has the purpose of allowing “… the City of Urbandale to act quickly and decisively to implement the disaster response plan of any State or Federal agency, or to otherwise act in the best interest of the residents and businesses of the City of Urbandale…” The Mayor affirmed that any powers under this proclamation are used judiciously.

The Public Hearing on the amendment to the Waterford Landing Planned Unit Development was continued to the next City Council meeting on April 7, 2020. The City Council established Public Hearings on development agreements for four economic development projects to be held at the April 7 City Council meeting. The City Council also approved the purchase of a van for the Parks and Recreation Department and a contract for Emergency Medical Services billing software.

March 10, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

The regular session of the City Council began with a request from the Mayor for Fire Chief Jerry Holt to report on the Sunday, March 8 fire at the Ashford Ridge apartment complex. The Chief explained that no residents or firefighters were injured in the incident. The cause of the fire, which began outside the building, is currently unknown, but an investigation into the apparently accidental cause is expected to conclude in the coming days.

Polk County Supervisor Robert Brownell provided an update to the City Council, focusing on the County’s response to COVID-19. The Supervisor urged good hygienic practices and referred the public to polkcountyiowa.gov/health for more information.

The Council unanimously approved the budget (for the upcoming fiscal year which begins on July 1, 2020); cutting the City’s property tax levy by thirty-six cents (3.4 percent). The total operating budget of approximately $54 million maintains the exceptional city services that Urbandale residents have come to expect and also funds four new positions (including two new police officers), a health and social services function, and increased funding for stormwater management. The Council also took steps to initiate the sale of bonds to fund major projects for the 2020 construction season.

The Council also commissioned artist Clint Hansen to create and install public art sculptures on both the east and west sides of the Douglas Avenue interchange. More information is available on the City’s website.

The Council will meet again on Tuesday, March 17 for a monthly worksession. Watch the Agenda Center for more information or to view complete details on any of the Council Agenda items.

February 25, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

Mayor and City Council began their Tuesday meeting by formally recognizing and thanking everyone involved in two successful CPR life-saving events. Seconds count in an emergency, and it takes a dedicated Urbandale team to answer the call. The City of Urbandale is grateful for the following people who helped save a life:

Successful CPR Event on December 8, 2019:
Bystander Cathy Hale, Dispatcher Alex Kerr, Police Officer Brad Frick, Firefighter/Paramedic Coden Tennison, Firefighter/Paramedic Nick Porter, Fire Lieutenant Cory Macumber, Driver/Engineer Drew Stiles, and Firefighter/Paramedic Adam Tryon.

Successful CPR Event on January 20, 2020:
Bystander Eric Shimla, Dispatcher Chinyere Nwogu, Police Officer Micheal Ploeger, Firefighter/Paramedic Logan Derry, Firefighter/EMT Jackson Salter, Driver/Engineer John Ouverson, Firefighter/EMT Cory Seaton, Fire Lieutenant Dan Birkett, Driver/Engineer David Langley, Firefighter/EMT Josh Lux, Firefighter/EMT Brady Mausser.

The Council opened a series of public hearings and reviewed bids for various projects around town including the NW 54th Avenue reconstruction project and the Police Station roof replacement project.

The Council also approved an agreement for design services for Phase II and III of the Jackaline Baldwin Dunlap Park and Arboretum Master Plan. Once the designs are completed the City will have construction plans to build a memorial courtyard, seating area, paved plaza, and primary entrance enhancements for the Arboretum.

The Council will meet again on Tuesday, March 10. Watch the Agenda Center for more information or to view complete details on any of the Council Agenda items.

February 18, 2020 - Council Worksession

Mayor and City Council met for its February worksession over the Noon hour on Tuesday. The single topic for this session was stormwater: what it is, how Urbandale handles it and what can be done to limit the damage it causes to public and private properties. Engineering staff delivered a presentation to the Council.

Stormwater has been an important topic in Urbandale for years, but especially after the extraordinarily damaging floods of June 30 and July 1, 2018. While the City has been investing in infrastructure and practices to address older problematic areas and prepare for more intense rainfall, there will always be some storms that will overwhelm the best-designed systems.

The Council concluded their meeting by giving staff direction to map the drainage basins on the east side of the city and, as the budget allows, to contract with engineers to study those basins and provide recommendations on how to address problems within them. Meanwhile, city programs and regional efforts are in place to help homeowners address stormwater problems on their properties. For more information, visit https://www.urbandale.org/256/Storm-Water

February 11, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

City Council began their Tuesday meeting by formally accepting the donation of the Urbandale Miracle League Complex (special surface baseball field) and thanked all those involved in the fundraising and success of this project.

The Council moved forward many projects that will improve the quality of life in Urbandale, addressing sidewalks, streets, storm sewers, and parks:

  • An annual program to repair over 100 places in Urbandale’s sidewalk system
  • Work to repair storm sewer intakes in the neighborhood south of Meredith Drive and east of 100th Street
  • Repair of concrete streets in several areas of Urbandale
  • A trail connection in the northwest part of Walnut Creek Regional Park
  • Construction of four pickleball courts at Walker Johnston Park
  • Installation of an accessible restroom at the Miracle League complex
  • Purchased two new street sweepers and a mosquito fogger

Bids were submitted by various companies for all of these projects, and the great news was that almost all of these projects had bids that were less expensive than estimated. Lower bids mean quality projects are completed with less money.

The Council also advanced the Merle Hay Apartments project near the southwest corner of Merle Hay Mall.

 The Council will meet again on Tuesday, February 18 for a work session on stormwater management.  Watch the Agenda Center for more information or to view complete details on any of tonight’s Council Agenda items.

February 4, 2020 - Budget Worksession

City Council met for a budget worksession last night. Members are making preliminary decisions on the budget for the next fiscal year, with final decisions to be made by the end of March. Council gave staff direction to build a budget that includes these aspects:

  • Planned reduction in the city property tax levy of 36 cents per thousand dollars of valuation
  • Overwhelming majority of local option sales tax revenue will be applied to the City’s outstanding debt, reducing principal and interest payments.
  • Creation of a Health and Social Services function in the budget that can be used for community services for residents or projects that generally support the quality of life in Urbandale. 
  • Funds increased for the Urbandale Public Library to restore Library opening hours which were reduced last year.

Public hearings on the budget will be on Tuesday, February 25 and again on Tuesday, March 10. After those hearings, Council will make final decisions on the budget for the July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 fiscal year. 

January 28, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

Your Urbandale City Council met in regular session last night. Mayor Andeweg administered the Oath of Office for two new Urbandale police officers: Bryce Andrews and Carlos Pacheco-Meza. The Mayor welcomed these new officers and thanked them and their families for their service to the community. Urbandale’s budget reflects the City’s priority for public safety. Over a quarter of the City’s expenditures are for police, fire, emergency preparedness and animal control.

The City Council approved the installation of a yield sign at the intersection of 149th Street and Sheridan Avenue on the recommendation of the City Engineer. Traffic control signs and signals are governed in Urbandale on the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) which helps to ensure that the proper controls are in place for safe and efficient traffic flow. City staff worked with the neighbors to hear their concerns and address those using guidelines from the MUTCD.

City Council also made decisions on those routine but important items that keep the City going, including heating and air conditioning improvements at City Hall, agreements with neighboring cities and outfitting of police vehicles.

January 25, 2020 - Budget Worksession

All-day budget work session for Mayor and City Councilmembers where City Manager and staff presented a proposed budget for the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2020. The proposed budget would reduce the City of Urbandale property tax levy by 36 cents per thousand dollars of taxable valuation.

Major themes from the budget presentation and discussion included: Partnerships, Efficiency, Service and Technology. The Mayor and Council asked questions about every department and function with these following highlights from the day:

  • Inter-city Partnerships: Urbandale collaborates with West Des Moines and Clive to fund and operate WestPet, the animal control service for the three cities;
    Urbandale and Clive collaborate both on the closest unit response to send whichever City is best positioned to respond to an emergency and on the third fire station being built at 152nd Street and Meredith Drive.
  • Energy and Fuel Efficiencies:  Conversion of standard streetlights to LED’s will save another $6,000 this year and approximately $90,000 per year over conventional streetlights. Bulk fuel purchases save approximately 40 cents per gallon for fuel compared to the market price.
  • Quality of Life: The Council is focused on providing excellent services and amenities for the people of Urbandale, keeping in mind the needs of those with less means than others.
  • Leveraging Technology: Urbandale is moving to cloud-based services, eliminating vulnerable tape and conventional servers. Cameras, GPS and sensors allow Urbandale to monitor equipment, system performance, inventories and maintenance needs.

The next Council Meeting is Tuesday, February 4 to continue budget discussions. Two formal public hearings on the budget will be February 25 and March 10. Watch the Agenda Center for more information

January 14, 2020 - Regular Council Meeting

Last night the City Council approved the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) for 2020 through 2025. The CIP defines major infrastructure projects, building or equipment purchases over five years and how those are paid for. The City of Urbandale goes through a thorough process for developing the CIP: staff prepares a recommended plan which is forwarded to a CIP Committee made up of city elected officials, representatives of the Parks and Recreation Commission, Planning and Zoning Commission, school district representatives and citizens. The CIP Committee reviews every project in the plan and after a public hearing, makes a recommendation to the City Council on the projects and the timing of them. The City Council then considers approval of the CIP as they did last night.

The CIP is available online for review. A sample of projects slated for 2020 include:

  • Preliminary designs and citizen survey on potential community recreation, senior citizen and aquatic facilities for Urbandale
  • A Parks and Public Works Maintenance Facility on Hickman Road to consolidate currently separate operations into one efficient facility
  • Installations of a restroom, drinking fountain and utilities at Deer Ridge West Park
  • Construction of pickleball courts at Walker Johnston Park
  • A five-fold increase in creek and stream drainage improvements
  • $2 million in street rehabilitation
  • Improvements to Douglas Avenue between 100th Street and North Walnut Creek (near Walker Johnston Park)
  • Installation of a traffic signal at 112th Street and Meredith Drive
  • Various water main projects throughout Urbandale

City Council approved site plans for a Kwik Star convenience store at Plum Drive and 100th Street, a four-unit condominium townhouse project at 10112 Meredith Drive, an addition at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and a child daycare center at 128th Street and Meredith Drive.

City Council authorized the purchase of new equipment for the playground at Golfview West Park, one of over 50 parks available to Urbandale residents and visitors. 

The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 11. Watch for agendas and minutes for all meetings in the City’s Agenda Center.