Three things to know from Aug. 10 Dysart Council

Sunnycrest closure, new public works employee discussed

Members of the Dysart City Council including Mayor Tim Glenn listen as the bids for the Connell Street drainage project are opened and read aloud on Aug. 10. -Photo by Soren M. Peterson

1. A total of four bids for the Connell Street drainage project were opened and reviewed following a public hearing during which no public comments were received for or against the project. The project involves storm sewer work on the east end of Connell Street. The city engineer’s estimate of construction costs for the 45-day project was $244,000. A motion was unanimously approved by the council to award the project to the lowest bidder, Lodge Construction of Clarksville, for $185,000 – significantly under budget – pending the city engineer’s review. The remaining bids were: Pearce Tobin $206,000; Hatch Grading & Construction $194,000; J & K Contracting $275,00. Work on the project is estimated to begin as early as September 12 or as late as October 3.

2. Under Council Reports, councilmember Stacey Dabney addressed the impending closure of Sunnycrest Nursing Center located at 401 Crisman Street. Per previous Telegraph reporting, the facility is currently owned by QHC Facilities – an Iowa company that filed for bankruptcy last year. QHC is in the process of selling all 10 properties. After a planned sale to Cedar Healthgroup negotiated late last winter fell through, a subsequent possible sale to Blue Diamond Equities is now also in jeopardy due to several factors including unpaid federal fines. A little over a month ago, QHC gave notice it planned to close three of its facilities including Dysart. QHC cited Dysart’s low number of residents as the reason behind the closure. The Iowa Dept. of Inspection and Appeals has approved plans to close Sunnycrest. “I hate to see that sit there. I think if we can we need to get on it,” Dabney said during the meeting of Sunnycrest. “Depends on what the bankruptcy court says. We really can’t control that. I hope it doesn’t sit there forever either,” Mayor Time Glenn replied. The mayor then asked Dabney if she would like to take “the lead” on the issue and investigate further to which Dabney responded she would continue to look into it. Julie Scadden, the director of Dysart Ambulance, then addressed the council, stating that to the best of her understanding, once the last resident moves out, the facility will be chain locked and an auction of the facility’s contents will take place. One employee will remain on staff to monitor the location periodically and prevent anyone from possibly entering the building. Scadden also indicated the company still plans to sell the facility as soon as possible but such a sale will have to be approved by the bankruptcy court.

3. Also under Council Reports, councilmember Mary Wankowicz announced that the city now has a full public works staff. After Superintendent Shawn Fisher resigned in June in order to take a job as Street Dept. Director with the City of Waterloo, public works employee David Schneider was promoted to the position of superintendent. Jon Griswold was recently hired to replace Schneider. Griswold began work Tuesday, August 9.