The Waverly City Council approved a development agreement with the proprietors of the town’s newest ice cream shop that includes the purchase of the riverbank for future bike trail improvements.
4 Queens Real Estate LLC, which is owned by Mark Nagle and also operates 4 Queens Dairy Cream in Evansdale, Waterloo and Cedar Falls, will open a fourth location sometime this week in the historic depot building at the intersection of First Street Southwest and West Bremer Avenue.
According to a memo from City Attorney Bill Werger, the city has been working with Nagle to ensure safe traffic flow into and out of the new store, which will include a drive-thru. The City also wants to redo the sidewalks around 4 Queens that were not worked on during the Bremer Avenue construction project and reconstruct the curb on First Street. The sidewalk also isn’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
As part of the agreement, 0.35 acres along the river will be deeded to the city, while the city will pay Nagle $7,100 to help with the replacement of the sidewalk. The memo was written before the development of 4 Queens, and Werger told the council that the sidewalks and curbs have been installed.
“Today (Monday), I saw an email that said, ‘Would you please get the paint on the curb and get the new striping?’” Werger said. “It was done within an hour or two. I think that it’ll be safer for that intersection.
“On the back side, the parking lot has now been poured or put in.”
Initially, Werger said the city was going to install steel bollards, but he said city staff felt it wasn’t a good look for that riverfront. Instead, they will install 24-inch limestone blocks along the lot to block cars from going down the riverbank.
“We may not leave them in place when we do the rest of the development of the (bike) path, because they may be used in different ways,” he said. “They could be used to stack or create different things. The black bollards didn’t seem to fit into the design there.”
Most of the work on the riverbank won’t be done until the Iowa Department of Transportation reconstructs the Bremer Avenue Bridge in the 2023-2024 timeframe.
Werger said that the parcel being acquired from 4 Queens is a much better place to install sidewalks to the river than where the city was considering further south toward South Riverside Park.
“We think it’ll ultimately be a better way of continuing access to the river,” he said. “There’s a trail right there now that the fishermen use quite regularly.”
He added that Nagle has restored some historical elements to the depot. The developer had someone create replica doors for the south side of the building.
“He’s getting all of the painting done, trying to open this week sometime,” Werger said. “He’s not saying when, because he wants to soft-open, but I don’t think it’s going to happen very well.
“There’s already people standing there that have walked in saying, ‘Are you open?’ I think it’ll be a nice development on that particular property, and he’s been very cooperative and very helpful with connecting for later development of that waterfront area.”
Ward 3 Councilman Rod Drenkow said that the city made a definite decision on parking along that block of First Street.
“That’s always has been an issue,” Drenkow said.
Werger said with the way the traffic flow around the building, with an entrance on the south side of the building and exit to the north to accommodate for the drive-thru, the city didn’t want to see cars parked in front of the building for safety sake.
“We didn’t want them any closer to Bremer Avenue,” the city attorney said. “I think everybody would rather have the in-and-out traffic and have it safer.
“The right-turn lane is already marked. The straight lane is the middle lane that goes straight and left. It should work well for the traffic flow.”
Mayor Dean Soash remarked that having the lanes marked is an improvement.
“There were a lot of unofficial usage,” Soash said. “You never knew what somebody was going to do.”
Ward 2 Councilman Dan McKenzie asked how many vehicles could be stacked in the drive-thru. Werger thought there could be five that could be in line before getting to the ordering kiosk in the middle of the building, and then another three before the pick-up window.
“I just had a few people comment that it’s not unusual when they go to the one in Cedar Falls to see vehicles 15 to 20 deep,” McKenzie said, referring to West First Street there, which is also Iowa Highway 57, “and they were wondering how it was going to work with the fire department entrance.”
“We’ll have to see how it works,” Werger replied. “Maybe the first month, the first couple of weeks, it’s going to be that way, and maybe it’ll settle down to a more manageable (flow). We’ll see how that traffic goes, and we’ll see what we have to do.”
In other business, the council approved multiple resolutions concerning the $3.5 million bond sale that was OK’d on June 3. The first was a bond disclosure policy.
City Administrator James Bronner told the council it was recommended by the bond attorneys from Ahlers & Cooney to have that passed to protect its rating, which is currently at Aa3, the fourth-best possible with AAA being tops.
Next, it approved a bond servicing agreement with UMB Bank of Kansas City, Missouri, handle the payback of the bond funds to Country Club Bank, of Prairie Village, Kansas, which is co-sponsored by First National Bank, of Waverly. After that, the council approved an amended bond issue resolution that involved UMB.