Des Moines Metropolis Council members accredited bids for 2 building initiatives Monday night time, together with its first photo voltaic discipline that can energy two future metropolis buildings on the southeast aspect of city.
The council additionally accredited wage will increase for Des Moines’ mayor and metropolis council members and a research to find out whether or not town ought to transfer to the Nationwide constructing downtown.
The assembly additionally included a controversial dialogue a few proposal to require rental properties to check for lead within the water as a part of upcoming modifications to town’s housing code, which was in the end accredited. .
Listed below are a few of the highlights of the assembly:
Des Moines’ first photo voltaic panel discipline will energy 2 future metropolis buildings
Des Moines is on its option to housing the primary photo voltaic fields that can energy two future metropolis buildings.
Council members accredited a contract and funding bid to construct a $1.9 million, 6-acre photo voltaic discipline that can exchange a landfill web site east of Southeast fifteenth Avenue and north of Harriet Avenue. As soon as full, the 2 photo voltaic panel arrays will present electrical energy to an animal management facility at 1441 Harriet St. and a greenhouse at 1553 Maury St. on Des Moines’ Southeast aspect.
Town already has roof-mounted photo voltaic arrays on some newer buildings, reminiscent of Des Moines Fireplace Station No. 11, however the discipline is the primary “ground-mounted” array, metropolis architect Ann Sobiech-Munson instructed the Des Moines Register.
The challenge additionally brings town one step nearer to assembly “clear power objectives,” Sobiech-Munson stated.
“Within the manufacturing mannequin, these arrays will produce greater than we count on the whole annual electrical energy demand for the 2 buildings,” he stated.
Town additionally planted a “pollinator garden” on the property to develop native crops, Sobiech-Munson stated.
The challenge shall be funded by the American Rescue Act Plan, and town expects to obtain credit from the Inflation Discount Act. Newton, Iowa-based Van Maanen Electrical Inc.
Building is scheduled to be accomplished earlier than the summer time of 2024.
The 101-year-old Drake Observatory is due for main basis repairs
Council members accredited a bid for basis repairs to guard the 101-year-old Drake College Municipal Observatory from flooding.
The observatory, positioned on the best land within the metropolis between the seventeenth inexperienced and 18th tee of the Waveland Golf Course, serves as a staple for stargazing and public astronomy lectures.
However the constructing is in want of structural restore and upkeep due, partially, to water harm over time, in addition to upgrading the dome that homes the historic telescope. In a research to evaluate the constructing’s situation final yr, metropolis employees discovered that repairs would value $2 million to $2.5 million.
With out funding to deal with your complete challenge, town started probably the most important repairs wanted to maintain the constructing going, Sobiech-Munson stated.
The $360,940 first part accredited Monday consists of repairs to the constructing’s exterior drainage across the basis and brick masonry within the inside basis wall.
Preliminary funding comes from Municipal Constructing Enchancment bonds. Des Moines-based Gruss Building LLC will lead the renovation.
Sobiech-Munson stated preserving the observatory is defending a bit of Des Moines historical past.
“There are a lot of individuals who have sturdy and fond recollections of public applications on the observatory,” he stated. “And it is a distinctive form of piece of our architectural historical past.”
The inspiration renovation is anticipated to be accomplished in the summertime of 2023.
The research was accredited to find out if town ought to transfer to the Nationwide constructing
The Des Moines Metropolis Council accredited a research Monday to find out whether or not town can purchase the vacant Nationwide Mutual Insurance coverage Co. downtown.
Council members accredited a $30 million improvement settlement in September to buy the five-story, 360,000-square-foot workplace constructing at 1200 Locust St. -old Argonne Armory, 602 Robert D. Ray Drive, on the east financial institution of the Des Moines River.
The $528,000 research, performed by OPN Architects Inc., will decide the feasibility of accommodating metropolis workers within the new constructing. The research must be accomplished in June.
Whereas town’s cope with Nationwide will put extra employees downtown — a win for shops and eating places which have seen an exodus of weekday site visitors for the reason that pandemic started — it’ll additionally give hungry builders to revive the river within the East Village. .
As well as:Des Moines appears to be like to purchase Nationwide constructing in transfer that might rework downtown, riverfront
Salaries for Des Moines mayor, council members to rise 21% by 2024
Des Moines’ mayor and Metropolis Council members have accredited a 21% pay improve by 2024.
Within the first pay elevate since 2020, Mayor Frank Cownie will earn $70,000 a yr, up from his present $57,760 wage. The annual earnings of council members will improve to $35,000 from $28,880.
Additionally they get a $100 weekly allowance – up from $75 – to spend on bills incurred in doing enterprise within the metropolis reminiscent of cellphone payments, transportation and conferences.
Council members accredited the primary vote for an ordinance to contemplate the brand new wage Monday night time and waived the second and third readings. Council Speaker Carl Voss stated this led to a pledge that wage will increase ought to happen each two years as a substitute of each 4 years.
The brand new wage will begin in January 2024.
Virginia Barreda is the Des Moines metropolis authorities reporter for the Register. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Observe him on Twitter at @vbarreda2.