The following notable action was taken by Dubuque City Council members on Monday.
Action: Council members voted, 7-0, to begin the process of entering into a professional services agreement with Parsons for the development of the city’s Smart Traffic Routing with Efficient & Effective Traffic System.
Background: The city’s STREETS program will be a traffic management and control system using advanced technology to create dynamic traffic routing capabilities and improve overall traffic flow. When initially implemented, the system will manage 42 intersections in the city. The project is estimated to cost $3.7 million, with the city responsible for funding $575,00 of the project. The remainder will be paid with state and federal funds.
The city is seeking to hire a vendor to help design and implement the STREETS project. After analyzing six candidates, city staff ultimately recommended the hiring of Parsons.
What’s next: City staff will begin the process of negotiating a professional services agreement contract that will direct Parsons to develop a team that will work to implement the STREETS project. Once the contract is finalized, city staff estimated that it will take 24 to 30 months to complete the project.
Planning services fees
Action: Council members voted, 7-0, to approve a 4% increase to Planning Services Department fees in fiscal year 2022, which starts on July 1.
Background: The increase in fees was proposed after Planning Services Department staff reviewed the fees charged for applications that are processed for various zoning requests or are reviewed by development services staff, including requests for final plat, conditional-use permits and site plans.
The review found that the city’s fees would remain competitive if increased, in comparison to other large cities in the state.
What’s next: The 4% fee increase, which will go into effect on July 1, is anticipated to result in $1,895 in additional revenue in the fiscal year for the city.
Window code amendment
Action: Council members voted, 7-0, to amend the city’s building code ordinances to change the required sill heights for windows used as emergency escape and rescue openings from 44 inches to 48 inches.
Background: In September, the city amended its building codes to specify that windows used as emergency escape and rescue openings be no more than 44 inches from the floor to the openable area of the window. Anticipating that some homes would have windows that did not meet the new requirement, the code amendment included the option to install a permanently affixed platform that would allow the window to meet the 44-inch maximum.
Further review of the building code change found that the installation of such a platform would create space issues for tenants and likely would result in them being covered or removed. It also was determined that about 2,000 housing units built from 1964 to 1979 would have 48-inch sill heights that were code compliant at the time but now would require the installation of a platform.
What’s next: With the change, those homes with 48-inch windowsills remain code compliant.