Bronwyn’s Council Preview, August 8, 2017: Complete Streets Plan

Also on the agenda: Discussion of social services priorities, economic development review

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The Ames City Council meeting starts at 6 p.m. The agenda includes:

Item 27: Resolution awarding contract to RDG Planning & Design of Des Moines for healthy life center planning study in an amount not to exceed $93,450

At a recent council meeting, we directed staff to send out a request for proposals for a planning study regarding the healthy life center concept. These RFPs were evaluated by a team of representatives from some of the collaborating partners (Iowa State University, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Heartland Senior Services, the Ames Community School District, and the city), and the recommendation is to work with RDG.

Item 28: Resolution approving professional service agreement with Toole Design Group of Madison, Wisconsin, in an amount not to exceed $99,994 for development of Ames complete streets plan

In 2015, the council decided to move forward with a complete streets policy. Nearly two years later, we’re ready to move forward with a consultant who will work with city staff to draft an actual plan, which, when finished, will include specifics about how to improve all modes of transportation when designing Ames streets. As an advocate of complete streets, I am excited that we’re making progress on this, and will soon have a comprehensive plan. (Well, “soon” relative to the speed at which bureaucracy moves … we’re two years in already.)

Item 33: Discussion with Analysis of Social Services Evaluation Team volunteers regarding city ASSET priorities for the 2018-19 fiscal year

The ASSET process is one of the major ways Ames funds local human service agencies. The volunteers meet annually to review the goals and priorities of this program, and are recommending the same priorities as last year. The city’s priorities are to “meet basic needs” (for those with low or moderate income), “meet mental health and chemical dependency needs,” and support “youth development services and activities.”

Item 36: Development review presentation

Annually, the council hears a report on user surveys relating to the inspections and planning departments and the economic development process. Those who use inspections and planning (landlords, developers, etc.) had the option to fill out an online survey during January and February. Fifty-five users took the survey, and most graded the departments favorably.


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Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen is an at-large member of the Ames City Council. She is also a manager at Wheatsfield Cooperative and the co-owner of Cycles Recycling.