Monticello City hires new manager, purchases equipment for Hideout

by David Boyle
News Director
At their latest meeting members of the Monticello City Council talked future planning with their new city manager, and approved purchases of equipment for the Hideout golf course.
At the November 29 meeting it was announced that acting city manager Kaeden Kulow had been named as the newest city manager for Monticello. 
City Mayor Mayor Bayley Hedglin said she was excited to make the announcement.
“He has proven himself more than worthy over the last two months and we want to thank him for the work.”
Kulow was hired as the assistant city manager in Monticello in July, and served as the acting city manager following the resignation of Evan Bolts in early October.
With Kulow’s internal promotion Monticello is now looking to hire a new assistant city manager. 
At the meeting council also discussed long term planning for the city as well as priortization of more immediate needs. Hedglin handed each of the council members a one page strategic planning sheet and asked them to fill it out ahead of planning to begin in January.
Hedglin added her hope that the city will be able to make continuous one, three and five year plans outlining goals and how to complete and fund them.
“It gives us no matter who’s on council or who’s in the (city) office there’s a plan set so it’s not started again (...) so we can really become that proactive city that we’ve been talking about for a long time.”
As part of strategic planning Kulow also presented the first draft of a working document to prioritize building and equipment needs in the city.
Kulow mentioned long-term planning for the garbage truck, new pumps needed for the water treatment plan along with a new roof for the Welcome Center as just a few of the identified needs by city staff.
Kulow reported that city staff will soon be taking a look at buildings the city owns to evaluate needs. With the council also encouraged to add any needs they are aware of to the list.
When asked how to prioritize the list council members generally seemed supportive of priotizing the most urgent needs while also adding priority to repairs that will save money in the long-run. Additional drafts of the needs will come before the council in future meetings. 
At the November 29 meeting members of the council also approved two different purchases for the Hideout golf course. 
Council unanimously approved the purchase of a $52,000 utility tractor that will serve several functions including as a rough mower, sprayer and aerator.
Golf Superintendent Caleb Bailey explained the purchase is more cost effective than paying $80,000 for a new rough mower.
“With this price, we’ll be getting an aerator attachment, a seeding attachment, (...) a mower attachment to keep the course up to date on all of our mowing.”
The tractor will also be usable at the city ball fields. The city is also working to purchase two push tee mowers at around $4,000.
Bailey explained the course could then convert one of their tee mowers to a greens mower.
As part of the purchase Bailey says the city considered buying used equipment which they have done in the past but comparable equipment would still be around $30,000. Additionally used equipment is harder to come by and staff reports the new tractor is currently in stock.
Council member George Rice added, “Sometimes when you buy used you buy somebody else’s problems.”
The approved purchase means the course will go over its earlier approved budget. However Kulow says they’ve looked at the budget and feel confident excess funds in other budgets will cover the expenses with some additional room to address any emergency needs that may arise. 
Members of the council also approved a 72-month lease for 50 new golf carts at $3,325 a month. The carts are anticipated to arrive late next summer and come with a 4-year factory warranty.
Also at the meeting members of the council approved amendments to the city zoning ordinances concluding several months of work. Among the approved zone change includes the limiting of short-term rentals such as Airbnb’s and VRBO’s to the R2 zone.
Current short-term renters in the R1 zone will be grandfathered in and allowed to continue opperation, although ceasing to list a property as a short-term rental will void future use of a short-term rental. Ownership changes of properties also void future short-term rental use at grandfathered locations.
At the meeting members of the council also approved entering into Jones & DeMille engineering to create a pavement management plan.
The $15,800 project will provide inventoary and analysis of the state of pavement in the city while also providing a five-to-seven year maintenance plan and provide estimates for recommendations. 
During public comment Rotarian Doug Allen updated the council on the project to replace the fence at Pioneer Park.
Allen reported that the Rotary Club completed about one-fourth of the fence, with the rest of the materials stored in a private citizens shed. 

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