Muscatine City Council to discuss pit bull enforcement, proposed amphitheater at tonight’s meeting

Local News

Presentations on a planned riverfront amphitheater and a moratorium on pit bulls are on the agenda for the Muscatine City Council in-depth session on tonight, Jan. 13, in the Council Chambers of Muscatine City Hall.

One of the conceptual designs for a new riverfront amphitheater in Muscatine, to be discussed at tonight’s City Council meeting.

A virtual meeting will be held in conjunction with the in-person meeting for those who want to view the proceedings or make a comment, but don’t feel comfortable in attending in person. Details for joining that meeting are listed below.

One of the first items on the agenda Thursday is a resolution establishing a moratorium on keeping of pit bull dogs. If approved by Council, the moratorium would be implemented immediately and expire on May 11, 2022.

City staff was directed by City Council at the Oct. 14, 2021, in-depth meeting to explore updating Title 6, Chapter 8 (Animal Regulations), and that presentation will be heard later in the council meeting. At that time, it was determined that changes to Chapter 8 needed to be made prior to addressing the pit bull dog ban.

A family in Muscatine is worried about their dog’s future after someone reported him as a pit bull.

The moratorium, if approved, would temporarily halt the enforcement on the Keeping of Pit Bull dogs ordinance.

The moratorium, once adopted, would not allow individuals to bring pit bulls within the corporate city limits, nor would it revoke any citations issued prior to the adoption of the moratorium. The moratorium also does not affect any section of Chapter 8 (Animal Regulations), including the enforcement of regulations regarding vicious and/or dangerous animals.

The presentation on Animal Regulations contained in Title 6, Chapter 8 of City Code will include staff insights and research conducted to date on animal control regulations, including proposed changes to regulations related to animal registration and licensing, animal care, irresponsible animal ownership, dangerous animals, tethering, and fine structure.

Long-planned development of riverfront amphitheater

The Council will also hear a presentation on the progress on the development of a riverfront amphitheater.

One of the conceptual designs for a new riverfront amphitheater.

A riverfront amphitheater was identified as a goal as early as 1997 upon completion of the Consensus Plan Mississippi Riverfront Study and was reaffirmed as a goal in the 2012 City Comprehensive Plan, the 2017 Riverside Park Master Plan, and by the City Council at its December 2021 Goal Setting Session.

In July 2021, City Council awarded a contract to RDG Planning & Design to develop a conceptual design for a riverfront amphitheater. The conceptual design has been completed by RDG with input from a committee of city staff, elected officials, amphitheater user groups, and citizens. A consensus was reached on the conceptual design, which will now move forward to the next phase of the project.

In Muscatine’s 2012 Comprehensive Plan, there was a goal to build a bandshell at Riverside Park that is aesthetically pleasing and consistent with the design of other developed amenities in Riverside Park.

One of the conceptual designs for a new Muscatine riverfront amphitheater.

The 2017 Riverside Park Master Plan included calling for a performance/entertainment venue within the park and increasing riverfront amenities.

“This vision articulates a concept for an unforgettable experience along the Mississippi—a concept
that showcases the community’s love for large community events and meaningful celebrations,” according to the RDG proposal in Thursday’s Council packet.

The city does not have cost estimates yet for the amphitheater project, said Kevin Jenison, communication manager for the city of Muscatine.

“The presentation tonight will feature several concepts that could be developed for the riverfront,” he said Thursday morning. “The next steps would be holding public information meetings, determining a design, and fundraising. This is a public-private partnership and grants could be a part of the city portion once we reach that point. Still a long way to go.”

How to participate in the meeting

Thursday’s 7 p.m. meeting is open to the public. Citizens attending the meeting are asked to follow current CDC recommendations for wearing a mask indoors whether vaccinated or not. The City of Muscatine does not require wearing a mask, but does urge the public to follow public health and CDC recommendations.

Citizens who do not want to attend the in-person meeting can watch and/or participate through the GoToMeeting virtual meeting portal. Information on joining the session and how to make a comment during the meeting is listed below. The session will also be broadcast live on the City of Muscatine YouTube channel and on Muscatine Power & Water Cable Channel 2.

Information on the presentations and other agenda items can be found by clicking AGENDA to download the Jan. 13 City Council agenda and/or attachments.

The best way for the public to participate is to dial in to the GoToMeeting session, mute your device, watch the session on YouTube or Cable Channel 2, and, at the appropriate time, unmute your device to ask a question or make a comment. Question and comments will only be accepted on “action” items. The public can also use the “chat” feature on the GoToMeeting virtual meeting to pose a question to the Mayor, Council, or staff member.

Join the meeting from your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone by clicking the following link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/322447925. You can also use your phone by dialing +1 (646) 749-3122, follow the prompts, and type in Access Code 322-447-925 when prompted.

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