Bee Branch

View of the Bee Branch near Comiskey Park on Thursday, June 6, 2019.

Notable action taken Monday night by Dubuque City Council members included:

Lower Bee Branch security cameras

Action: Council members voted, 5-0, with Luis Del Toro and Jake Rios absent, to approve plans, specifications and an estimated cost of $350,217 to install 21 security cameras along the Lower Bee Branch Creek corridor.

Background: Council members awarded a nearly $11 million construction contract in June 2010 for the restoration of the Lower Bee Branch Creek as part of a multi-phased project to mitigate flooding, improve water quality and stimulate investment in Bee Branch Creek watershed. Plans for ancillary improvements such as a security camera network were delayed as the winning low bid exceeded an engineer's estimated cost for the project by 25%.

City officials budgeted $360,000 to be repaid by state sales tax revenue for the project.

What’s next: City officials will solicit bids and intend to award a construction contract in January, with final project completion slated for June.

Parking denials

Action: Council members voted, 5-0, to deny requests from residents to expand existing residential parking permit districts along Lea Lane from Pennsylvania Avenue to Key Corners; along Key Way Drive between Keymont Drive and Keystone Drive; and along Keymont Drive from Key Way Drive to Keymont Court.

Background: Council members in August amended the city’s ordinance for designating residential parking-permit districts intended to limit street congestion and obstruction of resident parking by nonresident vehicles.

Under the amended ordinance, at least 70% of curbside parking spaces must be utilized at peak hours, with 25% taken by nonresidents. However, four site visits by city staff in September and October for each requested area showed 12% to 69% of curbside spaces being utilized during peak hours.

What’s next: The amended ordinance also states residents can submit a petition for the creation or expansion of a residential parking-permit district only once per quarter. Residents of Lea Lane, Key Way Drive and Keymont Drive could start collecting signatures for new petitions on Jan. 1. 

Downtown rehabilitation grant

Action: Council members voted, 5-0, to approve a grant agreement for up to $40,000 for the redevelop of property at 84 Main St.

Background: Owners Brian and Tammy Lammers bought the building in August 2017 and have conducted extensive renovations to turn what had long served as a hotel and boarding house into four market-rate apartments atop a renovated storefront.

Brian Lammers' stepson Damian Waid and Waid's wife, Amanda, had planned to open an escape room to fill the building's storefront in spring 2019. But delays in receiving state and federal approval for renovations to the historic building and associated utility work postponed moving ahead with the business, Lammers said.

Escape rooms provide an interactive experience in which participants solve clues to exit a room in a predetermined amount of time.

What’s next: Lammers said plans call for three 2-bedroom and one 1-bedroom apartment with monthly rents of $750 to $800. He said he anticipates half the apartments opening mid-summer and the rest available for rent beginning in the fall, with Main Street Escape slated to open sometime in 2020.

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