Downtown Parking Rates, RDF and Waste Stream Issues

Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen Photo

Bronwyn's Council Preview

The council meets as the Ames Conference Board at 5:30 p.m. this Tuesday at city hall. The Regular Meeting of the Ames City Council will immediately follow the Regular Meeting of the Ames Conference Board. The agenda includes (but is not limited to):

  • 4. Motion setting Council Goal Update Workshop for February 2, 2019.
    This workshop includes a review and update of Council's goals for the upcoming year. While public input isn't allowed during the workshop, it is an interesting and important meeting to observe.

  • 21. Downtown Parking Meters. Discussion of parking meter rates and Downtown Employee Hang-Tag System.

    • Council is considering downtown parking meter rates in response to feedback after rates increased last July. In the report, staff include current and projected revenue from meters post-increase, and estimate the further loss of revenue if we were to decrease meter costs. (Though the calculation staff used did not project for an increase in use if cost is decreased.)

    • Council is also being asked to approve the employee hang-tag system we directed staff to create. In the proposed system, Downtown employees can pay $10/month to get a tag that would allow them to park on the south side of the lots behind Main Street for their whole shift. Of the total 184 4-hour stalls, staff recommend selling somewhere around 100 tags.
      (Note agenda items 11 and 12 waive parking meter fees, at a cost of $7138.45 for two Ames Main Street events in January and February.)

  • 22. Follow-Up Report regarding parking enforcement in areas adjacent to Iowa State University Campus.
    • Last year, Council stepped up enforcement of parking regulations near campus with the addition of 5 parking staff. This year, Council is being asked if we'd like to maintain that level of staffing, or if we could save a little money in the parking fund by dropping to 3 additional staff, or discontinue the additional enforcement entirely.
  • 23. “Game Day Parking” Ordinance.
    • Council directed staff to develop this ordinance, which would assess higher penalties for game day parking violations in the locations highlighted in the following map. ($40 per infraction)

  • 24. 2019-2024 Capital Improvements Plan

    • This is the time for public input on any projects currently in the CIP, or any that citizens feel should be in it.

  • 26. Presentation of consultant study on Waste Diversion option for Story County to benefit RDF production at Resource Recovery Plant and maximize landfill diversion.

    • This report describes ways in which we might improve our waste disposal systems, both by improving the RDF we use in the power plant, and by decreasing the amount of additional landfilled material. This report also includes an assessment of recycling and composting opportunities. (Food waste and other organic material being the number one item we want to remove from our RDF stream.) 

  • 27. Flood Mitigation - River Flooding.

    • This item regarding the purchase of an easement at the Carney property was tabled at an earlier meeting, and is returning on this agenda.

  • 28. Request from Downtown Ames Fareway to lease remote parking spaces during construction of new store.

    • Fareway is requesting 20 parking spaces for use during their expansion, the staff report recommends approval at a rate of $1 per parking spot, for a total of $20 from Fareway.

  • 30. Hearing on Unit 7 Boiler Repair Project.

    • This repair is due to acids (created through the process by which we incinerate RDF (refuse-derived fuel) with natural gas) which eat through the metal pipes in the boiler. New tubes, coated with a substance called "Inconel" will be more resistant to increased acid contact. In the grand sense, this item relates to item 26 on this agenda, regarding improvements we can make to our current RDF and refuse disposal systems.

  • 31. Hearing on 2017/18 Accessibility Enhancement Program (Airport Road Sidewalk).
    • In this case, the City is following its own requirement to install a sidewalk along the Airport property, triggered by redevelopment and improvements at the Airport. While this project is costly, it is a case of the City following standards that any other developer would have to follow. Also, when sidewalks aren't installed (as along Mortensen west of South Dakota, or west segments of Lincoln Way), we always regret these gaps in infrastructure later. 


Non-Agenda Packet: The following items are requests and communications to the council that are not on the agenda.  This includes staff reports and communications/request from constituents/developers. By tradition the council can ask city staff for more information (a report), put the item on a future agenda for discussion or just accept the communication (taking no further action). This usually takes place at the end of the meeting during council comments.

  • Bicycle Parking Requirements.
    This memo from staff details some options Council might consider for requiring bike parking, or incentivizing it through car parking allowances. Council can decide to accept the report and/or to place this topic on a future agenda for discussion.
  • Inclusionary Zoning.
    Staff are reporting back on the concept of "inclusionary zoning", in which cities require some amount of affordable housing when approving certain types of development projects. Again, Council can decide to put this on a future agenda for discussion, or merely accept the report as informational.
  • Burgeson Referral Souther Annexation (attachment A and B).
    In this memo, staff are reporting back regarding a pre-annexation agreement for an annexation requested by Steve Burgason. If Council is interested in facilitating this request, an item could be put on a future agenda for discussion.

Thanks for reading,

Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen

At-Large Council Member