Members of Perry’s City Departments met for a public, overview meeting to discuss annual reports within each section. Department heads presented in front of one another, detailing budgets, potential projects, and an overall review of the year.
City Administrator, Sven Peterson spoke on behalf of the Perry’s Administration.
Throughout the fiscal-year, Perry has passed Local Options Sales Tax, and introduced new ordinances including the Urban Chicken Ordinance, Fireworks Ordinance, the Stop Signs at 16th and North and 18th and North, the Alliant Energy franchise fee.
Perry saw new projects in the city: pending Soccer Complex, Sally Port next to the Police Department, the completion of North St. project, asphalt overlay project, downtown site furnishings, and Town Craft Co-working Center.
“With the passage of Local Options Sales tax, you can expect project in 2020, so that will be decided,” Peterson said.
Flight training is now a possibility for the Perry Airport, according to new manager, Jonathan Walter.
“I think this is something that as I talk to Sven, I think they’re really excited to see to bring to our airport for the first time in quite a while, we do specialize in a variety of different training programs,” Walter said. “We can teach anybody from primary pilot all the way up through advanced air-transport pilot.”
“So basically if you want to go commercial route, or recreational route, we can help you, and we specialize in some advanced training that’s kind of unique to our company.”
According to Walter, the airport is in need of hanger space in order to bring house more air-crafts at the airport.
“Right now, just in the last month, we have 10 people on the waiting list for just private individual aircraft, we’ve also got a couple of different companies that want corporate hanger space and that’s just from people making phone calls,” Walter said.”
There was a total of 238 write-ups in the year, according to Department Head, Abraham Cardenas.
According to Cardenas, the biggest struggles with the department included habitual offenders and car dealers.
Perry currently has a total of 1,043 rental units in its community and only 78 units are left to be inspected by the end of the year.
Seventy percent of rentals are in good condition, Cardenas reports, meaning the only improvement consisted of needing a fire extinguisher, a smoke detector, or a handrail.
New and future developments include the following: Sunflower Street - 2114 and 2205 Sunflower homes; 3 open lots with plans for 3 potential homes, Casalina Chateau - 3 duplexes on 8th st. by the Perry Elementary, Sally Port Addition at the Perry Police Station, 2707 Fritz & 14366 K Ave. homes, Hamlin Bell & Willis Ave. Apartments.
According to Josh Wuebker, Deputy Public Works Director, the following totals were collected from both garage, yard waste, and recycle this year: Garbage - 3,445.36 tons or 6,890,720 lbs, Yard Waste - 68.36 tons or 136,720 lbs, Recycle - 49.74 tons or 99,480 lbs.
There are four garbage employees, two employees per truck; once finished with their route, one employee will assist the Park Dept., and in the other truck, one employee will help the Rec Center. The remaining two employees in service trucks respond to extra pick ups and help haul material to Des Moines Recycle Center, according to information provided by the department.
The Public Works Department has completed the following projects this year: 5th and Bateman intersection overlay, completed phases 2, 3, 8, 9 and Working phases 6, 10, 11 on Sanitary Sewer cleaning and televising, North Street construction project from 16th and 18th, driving range drainage, several sanitary sewer repairs, 2 new plow trucks.
In the future, the joint departments are interested in a new garbage truck, a replacement for the current pick up truck, and a potential shift of Spring Clean Up Week.
“Instead of us taking a week [Spring Clean Up Week], maybe doing one in the spring and one in the fall,” Wuebker said.
Parks and Recreation
According to Parks and Recreation Director, John Anderson, the McCreary Center has around $100,000 dollars worth of fitness equipment in its facility.
The total count of membership for the center is 669, with around 100,000 people in the door each year.
“Recently the Wiese Foundation decided to give the Department [additional] $10,000 dollars to invest in the Wiese Park,”Anderson said. “We also had a generous donation of $50,000 dollars which is to be spent on the inside of the walls on the rec center for aesthetically pleasing things inside of the rec.”
“We plan to utilize the donated money to use it as matching funds for grants in an effort to grow that $50,000 dollars, I think a good number to strive for would be about $75,000.”
The park department now has a tree nursery containing 1,000 trees. The trees will be used as replacements of trees cut down with ash in the future.
Perry Public Library
“The library appreciates all the funding that we receive, I think we do a really good job with those funds and I try to focus, all of us, in serving the community,” said Library Director, Mary Murphy.
According to information provided by Murphy, 83.9 percent of the library’s budget comes from Perry, followed by the second largest, 7 percent, deriving from donations.
In addition, 9.7 percent of expenditures from the library goes to library materials.
The 2016-2017 fiscal-year attendance has increased to 17,660 attendants from 2015-2016’s total of 13,644 participants.
This year, the library held 758 programs, an increase from 440 programs in the 2015-2016 fiscal-year.
Costs for renting the large meeting room has increased from $25 a session to $50. Now, the additional $25 will go specifically towards the room’s maintenance.
Chief Eric Vaughn spoke on behalf of the Perry Police Department.
Today, the department is fully staffed at 12 officers. Three officers left this last year, followed by the addition of three new officers: Caleb Wallace, Erna Mujakic, and Trevor Hickey.
The Department has had 497 arrest this year, as well as a total 836 investigations. In addition, 9,572 calls have been made to the Police Department, with around 432 calls, or 4.5 percent of calls, pertaining to animals.
“I can tell you that by the time we go out, find a dog, pick it up, take it to the shelter, feed it, water it, and leave, anywhere from half-hour to forty-five minutes of the officer’s time,” Vaughn said.
Chief Vaughn discussed Perry’s two large crimes within the past year: Carlos Marlo Hernandez-Ventura’s triple-homicide in Oct. of 2016, and the death of sixteen-year-old Sabrina Ray in May of 2017.
“Our department was praised several times by the DCI about cooperation we gave them, the expertise that we brought tot hem and assisted them with,” Vaughn described about the Oct. 2016 case. “This is one of those cases where the egos get thrown out the window and everyone works together to complete the task; I have a lot of respect for the officers that were there, it was a horrible scene and I know that some of the officers are still working through some of the things that the officers saw.”
Vaughn praised his department for their hard work during
“This is one of the things that we don’t run into everyday,” Vaughn described about Ray’s case. “Officers did a good job of recognizing immediately that something was wrong; as many of you know, Sabrina was sixteen years of age, after her autopsy she was weighed fifty-six pounds.”
“Again, another scene that the officers are dealing with, have done a great job up to this point, [and] did a great job that day with reconizing the situation other than just having a non-responsive sixteen-year-old female.”
A DNR representative visited the department and did an inspection on Tuesday, Nov. 28, according to Dave Gliem, Superintendent of Water Pollution Control.
The DNR complimented the plant on its clean, neat, and well cared for facility.
According to information provided by Gliem, the water water has three return pumps with closed impellers: “Each pump is run for about a week before it is clogged and needs to be closed out. There is a plan to replace one of the closed impellers with an open impeller to be used on a trial basis to see if there is a difference on the impellers clogging.”
Superintendent of Perry Water Works, Hank Schmidt, delivered the Water Works department update.
Upcoming projects for the Water Department include a new 10” water main on Willis Ave. from West 4th to West 10th to replace an aging and undersized water main, new 6” water main on Diagonal Road, sand blasting and painting of the pipes in the filter gallery of the water plant, replace the roof on the north end of the water plant, as well as complete the last payment of the 2011 revenue bond in June 2018.
The facility has seen a new roof installment on the center section of the plant, and has also purchased two new work trucks and installed a new lime feeder and slaker.