FAQ

Phone Numbers

City Government

Emergency – 911

City Hall 385-1470

Police Department 385-3511

Building & Zoning 385-1474

Water & Electric 385-2121

Library 385-1490

Park & Recreation 385-1475

Street Shop/Public Works 385-1480

Henry County

Sheriff 385-2712

Assessor 385-0750

Auditor 385-0756

Clerk of Cour t385-2632

Motor Vehicle 385-0764

Supervisors 385-0759

Treasurer 385-0763

Zoning Official 385-0746

Others

Chamber of Commerce 385-3101

Post Office 385-2641

Zoning - Building, Property, and Land Use

Zoning – what is it and how does affect my property

Zoning affects every property in Mt. Pleasant. Zoning regulates the types and sizes of structures, how far back they must be from property lines, and their uses. Zoning also regulates all uses of properties – everything from factories to pets. If you are thinking about buying a property, using a property, starting a business, building anything, installing a sign, etc., it is a good idea to call and make sure the idea is compatible with zoning. No question is a bad question!

Zoning regulations exist for several reasons: to preserve property values by ensuring that nearby property uses are compatible with each other, to ensure property owner’s ability to use, enjoy, and sell their property is not damaged by activities of neighboring properties, to promote new development that is compatible with the character of the community and the new or existing infrastructure of the community.

To use any property, a certificate of zoning compliance is required. These certificates are issued when proposed uses are compatible with zoning regulations.

Zoning Map

Regulations/Zoning

Can the city make exceptions (give variances) to the rules?

Exceptions to zoning rules, called variances, are considered on a case by case basis by the Board of Adjustment. Variances are granted in cases where zoning ordinances deprive a particular property, because of features unique to it, of rights commonly enjoyed by most other properties.

Variances

Buildings Codes, Permits, Safety

Permits - When do I need one?

Permits are required for most additions, and for new structures, buildings, fences, signs, swimming pools, etc.

Permits are usually required for changing the use of any buildings. For example – if you want to change an office building to a restaurant, or change a house to a business, or move a business into a family home, permits are required. This is because building code safety requirements differ based on the use of the building. Also, zoning requirements differ based on location. The permits ensure that buildings will be safe to use and comply with zoning regulations.

A Certificate of Zoning Compliance is required for all properties and businesses. This certificate ensures that all building and land uses are compatible with the zoning ordinance.

Permits are required for most repair work, roofing, siding and door replacement, alterations and remodeling work. Building permits are not required for interior remodeling, or replacement of siding, windows, doors, and roofs of one and two family dwellings. Electrical and plumbing permits are required for almost all plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work, except minor repairs. Plumbing permits are required for replacement of equipment like water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps (mini splits), grease traps, and sump pumps.

Permits are also needed whenever sidewalks are repaired or installed, whenever driveways are repaired on installed, and whenever work is performed in the Righy-of-Way (area close to the street).

Permits & Fees

Taxes - Will property taxes go up if I improve my property?

Often, improvements to properties cause the assessed value to increase, which can increase property taxes. To encourage new construction and improvements to existing properties, property tax abatements (property tax breaks) are available. The Building and Zoning Administrator, or the Henry County Assessor (319-385-0750) can help your with questions about property taxes and the tax abatement program.

Tax Abatement

Building maintenance - Are there any rules?

The International Property Maintenance Code regulates the maintenance and basic safety of buildings. In general, all buildings and structures must be maintained in good repair, structurally sound, weather tight, safe, and sanitary. Exterior surfaces must be treated to prevent rot or oxidation. Flaking paint must be removed and repainted. Dilapidated buildings or structures must be removed or repaired.

Grass and weeds must not exceed 6 inches in height. Other trees and bushes must be maintained in a safe condition.

Decks - What are the rules for building decks?

Decks almost always require building permits. Only decks built on one and two family dwellings, in the back yard, less than 30inches tall, less than 200 square feet, unattached to the house, can be built without a building permit.

Other decks can be located on any side of a house as long as setback requirements from the property lines are met. Front yards are usually 25ft from the right-of-way line, side yards are 10ft, and rear yards are 30ft.

There are many rules to follow when building a deck – see the PDF link below.

Decks

Decks, Handrails, Steps PDF form

Garages and sheds, and other accessory buildings - What are the rules?

Unattached garages and sheds need to be located in rear yards. If they are not attached they can be located 4ft from property lines, five feet from alleys. If they are attached to houses, they need to follow setback rules for the house – generally 25ft front yards, 10ft side yards, and 30ft rear yards. Permits are required for accessory buildings exceeding 120sq/ft. Heights are limited to 12ft, measured from grade to the center (average) height of the roof.

Garages and Sheds Regulations

Garages and Sheds PDF form

Do I need a permit to remodel my house?

Building permits are not required for interior remodeling or repairs of one or two family dwellings. Plumbing and electric permits are required for all plumbing and electric work, except very minor repairs. Building permits are required for any exterior additions, including steps and decks, to single and two family dwellings. Building permits are required for all work to all other buildings, except very minor repairs, and interior finishes such as paint, carpet, trim work, and interior partitions not exceeding 5 feet 9 inches tall.

Remodeling houses

Do I need a permit to put an addition on my house?

Building permits are not required for interior remodeling or repairs of one or two family dwellings. Plumbing and electric permits are required for all plumbing and electric work, except very minor repairs. Building permits are required for any exterior additions, including steps and decks, to single and two family dwellings. Building permits are required for all work to all other buildings, except very minor repairs, and interior finishes such as paint, carpet, trim work, and interior partitions not exceeding 5 feet 9 inches tall.

Remodeling houses

Do I need a permit to remodel a commercial building?

Building permits are required for all work (unless exceptions are listed below) to commercial and industrial buildings, and to all dwellings that have three or more dwelling units. Building permits are not required for very minor repairs, interior finishes such as paint, carpet, trim work, and interior partitions not exceeding 5 feet 9 inches tall. Plumbing and electric permits are required for all plumbing and electric work, except very minor repairs.

Remodeling commercial buildings

Do I need a permit to tear down a building?

A demolition permit is required to demolish any building or structure, including small accessory buildings. Small signs and decorations are exempt. Demolition permits cost $5 for small structures and $20 for large structures. Permits are required to ensure safety, to ensure that utilities have been properly disconnected, and to ensure debris is legally disposed.

Demolition Permit Requirements

What is the Building Code in Mt. Pleasant?

Mt Pleasant has adopted the entire 2012 International Code Council Code Set, and the 2014 National Electric Code, as modified by the State of Iowa. The State of Iowa has adopted the 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code.

Building Code Regulations

What are common building code violations?

When do I need architects or engineers for my building project?

State law mandates that engineers and architects be used for design work on certain projects, typically large buildings, or certain types of buildings where a lot of people gather, like churches, schools or hospitals. The Building and Zoning Administrator can assist you in determining whether or not your project will require a design professional.

Architect/Engineer requirements

Where can I put a swimming pool?

Swimming pools that have the ability to contain more than 24 inches of water are not allowed in front yards. In rear and side yards, swimming pools must be 10 feet from property lines. In side yards along the street, the pool must be back from the property line the same distance that the house is required to be set back from the property line. Building permits are required for all permanent swimming pools, whether in ground or above ground.

Swimming pools that have the ability to contain more than 24 inches of water are not allowed in front yards. In rear and side yards, swimming pools must be 10 feet from property lines. In side yards along the street, the pool must be back from the property line the same distance that the house is required to be set back from the property line. Building permits are required for all permanent swimming pools, whether in ground or above ground.

Swimming Pools Regulations

Do I need a permit for a swimming pool?

Building permits are required for all permanent swimming pools, whether in ground or above ground.

Swimming Pools Regulations

Can I run my sump pump down the sewer?

No. Sump pumps must pump ground water outside, unless approved by the Director of Public Works to be directly connected to a storm sewer, but never to a sanitary sewer in the house. When ground water is pumped into the sanitary sewer, the water must be treated at the City’s waste water treatment plant. This greatly increases treatment costs, which are paid for by the tax payers and utility customers of Mt. Pleasant. It also burdens the sanitary sewer during rain fall events, increasing the likelihood of sanitary sewer backups into basements. If your sanitary sewer was to back up during a rainfall event, and your sump pump was pumping into the sanitary sewer, it would be impossible for your sump pump to remove water out of your basement.

Sump pumps Regulations

My property has a storm water retention pond. What are the rules for it?

Water retention ponds that are required by city ordinances must be permanently maintained in working condition, as originally approved by the city. Any modifications must be approved by the city.

Storm water retention Regulations

Do I need an address on my property?

Addresses must be clearly displayed on all properties. Addresses may be displayed in Arabic numbers or alphabetical letters. Characters must be at least 4 inches tall, displayed on the main structure, and must contrast with the background on which they are displayed. If the main structure is too far from the road for the address to be easily seen, a sign which displays the address may be placed closer to the road.

Addresses Regulations

Can I put an awning or sign over or on the city sidewalk or city street right-of-way?

An A-frame sign, no bigger than 2 feet wide and 4 feet tall, may be placed on a city sidewalk, directly in front of the business for which it advertises, without a permit. Such A-frame signs must not create congestion, and must be compliant with any ADA requirements. An encroachment permit is required to place all other signs, awnings, or any other structure over or on a city sidewalk or right-of-way.

Use of City Sidewalk

Electric Codes, Permits

Who can do electrical work?

Homeowners can perform electrical work on their principle dwelling and accessory buildings less than 3000 sq/ft in size only, but they must obtain an electric permit to do so. An electric permit is required for all electrical work performed by a homeowner. With the exception of homeowners working on their principle dwelling, and some maintenance employees for factories, hospitals, educational institutions, etc., who perform maintenance and repair work, only electricians properly licensed by the State of Iowa may perform electrical work. Landlords and business owners are prohibited from performing electrical work on rental or business properties.

Electric work

Do I need a permit for electrical work?

The City of Mt. Pleasant enforces the State electrical code and permit requirements. Non-licensed homeowners must obtain an electrical permit and inspection for all maintenance, new work, extensions to circuits, modifications to circuits, repair work, and any work that involves work inside a panel. Licensed electrical contractors need permits for new work, but do not need permits for routine maintenance, extensions, alterations, or modifications to existing equipment if the work does not involve work inside a panel, is on a circuit of less than 30 amps, and is on a circuit of less than 277 volts.

Electric work

What are common building code violations?

Plumbing/HVAC Codes, Permits

Who can do plumbing work?

Homeowners can perform plumbing work on their principle dwelling and accessory buildings, but they must obtain a plumbing permit to do so. A plumbing permit is required for all electrical work performed by a homeowner. With the exception of homeowners working on their principle dwelling, and some maintenance employees for factories, hospitals, educational institutions, etc., who perform maintenance and repair work, only plumbers properly licensed by the State of Iowa may perform plumbing work. Landlords and business owners are prohibited from performing plumbing work on rental or business properties.

Plumbing work

Do I need a permit for plumbing work?

Plumbing permits are required for all new work, and extensions and modifications to plumbing systems. Because of hazards to occupants and the public water and sewer system, permits are required for the replacement of grease traps, sump pumps, water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, and mini-split/air source heat pumps. Plumbing permits are not required for routine repair work.

Plumbing work

Do I need a permit to put in a water heater, furnace, or air conditioner?

Because of hazards to occupants and to the public water and sewer system, permits are required for the replacement of grease traps, sump pumps, water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners, and mini-split/air source heat pumps. Plumbing permits are not required for routine repair work.

Water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners

Do I need to be licensed to put in a water heater, furnace, or air conditioner?

Homeowners do not need to be licensed to replace these appliances in their principle dwelling. It is a violation of state law and city ordinances for anyone other than a licensed plumbing or mechanical contractor perform plumbing and mechanical work in any structure, except for a homeowner in their principle dwelling.

Water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners

What are common building code violations?

House Safety/Rental Houses

What are the rules for rental dwellings?

Mt Pleasant does not license rental dwellings, but they still must comply with city ordinances. Rental properties used as dwellings must be maintained to meet the minimum requirements of a dwelling in the 2012 International Maintenance Code and the 2012 International Fire Code.  This code addresses the structure, the plumbing system, the electric system, the heating system, and safety elements such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and fire escape windows and doors. The code requires that all windows and doors be operational, that dwellings have specific emergency egress, that dwellings be kept in a sanitary condition, and that dwellings have sufficient plumbing, electrical, and heating systems. Dwellings can be declared unfit for occupancy if basic requirements of the code are not met.

Renting property

What are safety items my house should have?

Houses should have many safety items. Some major items are as follows: working smoke detectors in every sleeping room, immediately outside every sleeping room, and on every additional floor level; carbon monoxide detectors in houses with fuel-burning appliances or attached garages; working windows in every sleeping room with an open area no smaller than 24 inches tall by 20 inches wide; fire extinguishers are not required in single family homes but are a good item to have; fire extinguishers in each dwelling unit of triplexes or apartment buildings.

Safety features for buildings

My basement bedroom only has a small window. Can I use it?

Rooms in basements may only be used for sleeping if they have an egress window which is no smaller than 24 inches tall by 20 inches wide when opened, and not greater than 42 inches off the floor. Sleeping rooms also must have a smoke detector inside the room and immediately outside the room. It is very dangerous to sleep in a room without these

Safety features for buildings

Do I need smoke detectors?

Yes. Working smoke detectors are required in every sleeping room, immediately outside every sleeping room, and on every additional floor level. If possible, smoke detectors should be hard wired.

Safety features for buildings

Do I need carbon monoxide detectors?

Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in houses with fuel-burning appliances or attached garages. They should be installed immediately outside each sleeping room.

Safety features for buildings

Fences

What are the rules to install a fence?

Most fences require a fence permit.  Fences must be out of the right-of-way, setback from property lines enough to maintain both sides of the fence, and must not block the view of traffic. Chain link fences 4ft or less in height do not require a permit; all other fences 3ft or less in height do not require a permit.

Fences

Signs

What are the rules to install a sign?

Most signs require a sign permit. Many temporary signs do not require a sign permit, but limits in size do apply. Depending on the zoning district, signs are limited in size and height. All signs, whether permanent or temporary, that advertise  in a location that is off site from the business or goods being advertised must obtain a sign permit, and are only allowed in certain locations.

Signs

Business

What are requirements to open a business?

To open a business, the property must be zoned properly for the type of business. A certificate of zoning compliance must be issued for all property uses. Sign permits are required for all signs. If the occupancy classification of an existing building will change (for example – a change from an office to a restaurant or conference hall, a change from a business use to a residential use, etc.), a building permit is required to ensure that life safety, handicap accessibility, and fire exit requirements are met.

Businesses

Moving a business into a new building

Can I run a business in my home?

Certain low impact businesses can be run from home. A certificate of zoning compliance must be issued for all home businesses. Regulations are in place to ensure that home businesses are compatible with residential neighborhoods. Examples of allowed home businesses are offices, studios, child care of no more than 6 children, homebound employment of the disabled, and shops for beauticians, barbers, tailors, etc. Signs are limited in size and content, retail display of goods are limited, and only one employee who is not a resident of the home may work in a home based business. Other regulations are also in place.

Business in your home

Animals

Chickens or other farm animals - Can I have them in town?

Chickens and other livestock are not allowed in most zoning districts. They are allowed in the agricultural reserve district, they must be kept 50ft away from any neighboring building, and a certificate of zoning compliance must be obtained. Please call the Building and Zoning Administrator for more details.

Chickens and other livestock

Who do I call for animal control?

For assistance with a stray or bothersome animal contact the police department’s Community Service Officer at 385-3511.

What are the rules about pets?

Pets do not need to be licensed with the city, but dogs and cats must have current rabies vaccinations, and must wear a rabies vaccination identification tag. All animals must  be confined on their owner’s property, confined on property to which permission  has been granted for the animal to be located, or confined on a leash or be under voice control of the owner.  All animals must be on a leash not exceeding 6 feet in length in city parks and the downtown area

Dogs, cats, and other pets

Do my pets have to be vaccinated?

Dogs and cats older than 6 months must have rabbis vaccinations, and must have a rabbis vaccination tag.

Dogs, cats, and other pets

What is the Leash Law (off premises)?

Dogs in the downtown area (B-2 Central Business District) and in city parks must be on a leash, or confined in a vehicle or carrier

In places other than the downtown area or city parks, animals must be accompanied by and obedient to commands of the owner or competent responsible person or on a leash, cord or chain not more than 6ft in length.

Breed of dog - Are there restriction on what you can have?

No restrictions; dogs must not bite or attack people or other animals without being provoked

Barking Dogs – What are the rules?

Will not be allowed to annoy or disturb other persons without justification by excessive barking or howling.

Grass, Trees

Mowing grass - What are the rules?

Grass and weeds must be no taller than 6 inches. If grass and weeds exceeds that height, the city may post an order on the property, giving the owner 7 days to mow. If the owner does not mow, the city will mow the grass and asses the cost to the owner. Blowing grass onto city streets is not allowed. Grass clippings plug the storm sewer, and are expensive to remove. Contact the Police Department (385-1450) for more information.

It is the adjoining property owners’ responsibility to maintain grass, sidewalks, trees, and driveways in the right-of-way (area along the street, or between the street and the sidewalk).

Grass, weeds, trees

Trees - Rules about planting, trimming, and maintaining

Trees on private property can be trimmed, removed, or planted at the discretion of property owners.  It is generally accepted that any portion of any tree, bush, etc., that hangs over a property line may be trimmed at the discretion of the owner of the property over which the tree or bush hangs.

Prior permission is required from the public works director before trimming, removing, or planting trees in the right-of-way.

City ordinances require that all trees be maintained in a safe condition. Dangerous trees can be ordered to be made safe or removed.

Grass, weeds, trees

Parking, Transportation, Vehicles

Can I park in my yard?

All residential parking must be on hard surfaces – concrete, asphalt, or gravel. All hard surfacing must be approved in advance. Hard surfacing in the right-of-way requires a driveway permit in advance.

Read more about Parking regulations

Is it allowed on the street?

Parking on the street is usually allowed on one side of the street for vehicles that are licensed and operable. Signs will be posted if parking is not allowed. Vehicles may not be parked on any City street for longer than 24 hours without moving. Storage of vehicles, campers, or boats is not allowed on any street. Parking tickets will be issued, and vehicles may be towed when these rules are broken.

Is there a rule about junk vehicles on your property?

See Code Section 13-9 thru 13-19 & 13-21 thru 13-30

All vehicles that are not stored in a building on private property must be licensed, have fully inflated tires, and must be able to move forward and reverse and turn under their own power.

Parking on the street after snowfall - Do I need to move my car?

If there is an accumulation of 2” of snow the City requests the residents remove vehicles parked along City streets. This will allow the snowplows to safely remove the snow from curb to curb.

Parking lots – Can they be used for things besides parking?

Parking lots must be used for parking only, unless prior approval is obtained for businesses which sell items that are appropriate to be displayed outside. Parking lots cannot be used for long term storage of vehicles, storage of other items, or repairing vehicles.

Read more about Parking regulations

Where do I pay traffic citations?

Traffic citations may be paid in person at the Henry County Courthouse or by mail to the Henry County Clerk of Courts.

Where do I pay parking tickets?

Parking Tickets must be paid at the Police Department. This can be done in the lobby or they may be deposited in the Courtesy box located outside the police department.

Does the City of Mount Pleasant have a taxi service?

Contact the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce at 319-385-3101.

Does the City of Mount Pleasant have public transportation?

The SEIBUS is available to the general public and is wheelchair accessible. Transportation provided county-wide on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays.  Call 866-753-5107 or seirpc.com/seibus/route.html.

Streets, Sidewalks, Driveways, Right-of-Way (ROW)

How do I report stoplights that are out or missing street signs?

If a stoplight is out or malfunctioning, or if a street sign is missing or has been knocked down please call City Hall at 385-1470.

Right-of-Way (ROW) - What is it?

The city right-of-way is the land on which streets are located, and an additional strip of land on both sides of the street. Public utilities and sidewalks are usually located in the right-of-way. Privately owned structures and items are not allowed to be located in the right-of-way. Driveway permits and excavation permits are required to be issued before any work is performed in the right-of-way. Sometimes, a right-of-way exists without a street. It is the adjoining property owners’ responsibility to maintain grass, sidewalks, and driveways in the right-of-way.

Read more about ROW regulations

Sidewalks - Who is responsible for maintaining, removing snow, etc?

It is the adjoining property owners’ responsibility to maintain grass, sidewalks, and driveways in the right-of-way. property owners also must remove snow from adjoining sidewalks. Pushing snow into the street is not allowed, especially if the snow has already been cleared from the street.

Sidewalk permits are required to repair or replace sidewalks. Sidewalk permits may be obtained free of charge by calling the Public Works Department at 385-1480.

Read more about sidewalk regulations

Snow Shoveling - Do I have to clear snow from my sidewalks?

Property owners must remove snow from adjoining sidewalks. Pushing snow into the street is not allowed, especially if the snow has already been cleared from the street. It is the adjoining property owners’ responsibility to maintain grass, sidewalks, and driveways in the right-of-way.

Do I need a permit to put in a driveway or sidewalk?

Sidewalk permits are required to repair or replace sidewalks. Sidewalks must be installed to city specifications. Driveway/curb-cut permits are required for all driveways. Driveway/Curb-cut permits are required to install driveways in order to ensure driveways are installed to city specifications, because improperly installed driveways can significantly damage city streets, and because the location of driveways can create potentially dangerous traffic patterns. Sidewalk and Driveway/curb-cut permits may be obtained free of charge by calling the Public Works Department at 385-1480.

Read more about Parking sidewalk regulations

Can I put an awning or sign over or on the city sidewalk or city street right-of-way?

An encroachment permit is required to place all other signs, awnings, or any other structure over or on a city sidewalk or right-of-way.

Read more about sidewalk regulations

Can I display items for sale, or place other items on the city sidewalk?

A sidewalk use permit is required to display items on city sidewalks, to sell items or food on city sidewalks.

An A-frame sign, no bigger than 2 feet wide and 4 feet tall, may be placed on a city sidewalk, directly in front of the business for which it advertises, without a permit. Such A-frame signs must not create congestion, and must be compliant with any ADA requirements.

Read more about Parking sidewalk regulations

Salesman, Temporary Vendors, Solicitors, Food Trucks, etc.

Do I need a permit to sell items door-to-door?

A peddler’s permit or transient merchant permit is required to sell items door to door.

Read more about this

Peddler Permit

Do I need a permit to sell food from a food truck?

A peddler’s permit or transient merchant permit is required to sell food from a food truck if the food truck is operating from an off-site location. In other words, a restaurant or grocery store could set up a temporary food stand in its own parking lot. But if the restaurant sold food at an off-site location, it would be required to obtain a peddler’s permit.

Read more about permit requirements

Salesman and vendor temporary permit

Do I need a permit to sell items temporarily along the road?

A peddler’s permit or transient merchant permit is required to temporarily sell items along the road if the vendor is operating from an off-site location. In other words, a retailer could temporarily sell items from its own parking lot. But if the retailer sold items at an off-site location, it would be required to obtain a peddler’s permit.

Read more about Salesman and Temporary Vendors

Peddler Permit

RV, recreational vehicles, boats, trailers, etc

Can I sleep in my RV or travel trailer?

RV’s, recreational vehicles, travel trailers, etc., may be stored on private property, but sleeping in them is prohibited unless located at an approved RV park.

Can I empty my RV sewage tank into a city sewer?

Sewage tanks may not be emptied into any city sewer without permission from Public Works. Typically, Public Works will not allow sewage to be emptied in a city sewer. RV parks in town provide this service.

Read more about RV’s and travel trailers regulations

Where can I park my RV, boat or trailer?

RVs, boats, trailers, etc, are supposed to be parked on hard surfaces (gravel, concrete) in side or rear yards, and out of the Right-of-Way. A good rule of thumb is to keep them 15-20ft away from minor residential streets, farther for streets with heavier traffic.

Financial Aid

Is financial aid available to help fix my property?

Financial aid is available to help low income families make critical improvements to owner-occupied properties. Examples of eligible projects include roofs, siding, windows, furnaces, air conditioners, electric systems, plumbing systems, handicap accessibility, etc. For more information, contact the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission at 319-753-5107.

Read more about Financial Assistance

Is financial aid available to help pay my utility bills?

Financial aid is available for qualified individuals to help pay utility bills. Call Mt. Pleasant Utilities at 319-385-2121 for more information.

Read more about Financial Assistance

Tax Abatement - Do I get a break on my taxes for fixing or improving my property?

If a construction project, either new construction or improvements to existing properties, adds value to a property, it is most likely eligible to receive a break on increased property taxes resulting from the improvements. This is called a property tax abatement. Projects that involve three or more dwelling units may be eligible to receive a tax abatement on 100% of the values added for 10 years. Improvements to commercial properties may be eligible to receive either a 3 year, 100% tax abatement, or a 10 year, graduated abatement. Improvements to single or two family residential dwellings may be eligible to receive a 5 year tax abatement for up to $75,000 in improvements. Applications are due February 1st of every year for improvements made in the previous year. Contact the Building and Zoning Administrator (319-385-1474) or the Henry County Assessor (319-385-0750) for more information.

Read more about Tax abatement

Garbage and Trash

Does the City provide Solid Waste Collection?

The City provides a curbside solid waste collection service for residential properties located within the corporate limits of Mount Pleasant. The City is divided into four route days. Your route day will depend upon your address. Solid waste is collected once each week-Monday through Thursday.

Can I burn my own trash?

No. “Trash” includes construction and demolition materials. All trash must be deposited in an approved landfill.

What is the trash sticker all about?

The Mount Pleasant residents have used a volume-based fee system to pay for their solid waste collection since October 1990. The volume-based system requires residents to put a “garbage sticker” on each 30-gallon bag of garbage to be collected or on each bag inside a 33-gallon can. Stickers are available for purchase at the grocery stores and convenience stores in Mount Pleasant.

Basic Rules for trash collection

Collection Rules & Regulations Uncollectible Items
Must be at curb by 7:00 a.m. Grass Clippings, branches & leaves
Must bear the sticker Sheet rock, dimension lumber, etc.
Maximum can size is 33 gallons Furniture
Maximum bag size is 30 gallons Oil-based paint
Cans must have handles Home & yard chemicals
Cannot weigh more than 45 lbs. Tires

What is the trash collection schedule?

How do City Holidays effect garbage collection?

Check the announcements for changes due to holidays observed by the City.

What is Spring Clean Up?

This service has been a favorite of Mount Pleasant residents for many years. Each year during April the City sponsors a community spring clean up during which residents can dispose of large and unusual items that cannot be accepted during the rest of the year. Your spring clean up day will be your regular garbage collection day. You must have your spring cleanup materials out to the curb by 7:00 a.m. Material must be piled up as orderly as possible. You may dispose of furniture, carpet, appliances, and other large items. You are required to use a minimum of six garbage stickers on your entire pile. If you have any questions, feel welcome to contact the Public Works Department at 385-1480 or City Hall at 385-1470.

What can I do with my large household appliance that I would like to dispose of?

Appliances are accepted at Area Recyclers in Des Moines County. Fees do apply, call for details and other information at 1-800-216-8126 or wastewrap.org.

You may also contact local recyclers and scrap metal services.

What can I do with my household hazardous waste (electronics, light bulbs, paint, tires)?

The HazChem Center of Southeast Iowa serves all of Des Moines County and the cities of Morning Sun, New London, Mount Pleasant, Salem, Rome, Westwood, Winfield and Mt. Union. Fees do apply, call for details and other information at 319-753-8758 or 1-877-HAZCHEM. The HazChem center is located inside the DMC Regional Landfill located at 13758 Washington Road, West Burlington, IA.

What can I do with my waste oil?

The City offers a waste oil collection service. Citizens may bring waste oil to the south side of the Public Works Maintenance Building located at 1201 North Broadway. The waste oil collection barrel is clearly marked. There is no additional cost for this service. The barrel is open to the public during the regular business hours of the Public Works Department. The hours are posted on a sign at the site. Other businesses in town, like auto parts stores, often accept used oil.

What can I do with my old Christmas tree?

The City’s Public Works Department coordinates a community Christmas tree collection during the second week of January each year. There is no sticker required for the service. The tree must be placed at the curb on your regular garbage collection day. Remember to take off all lights and decorations before taking the tree to the curb.

Can I use a private trash collection service?

There are several local private businesses that collect and dispose of solid waste. The City requires citizens to dispose of solid waste. Citizens are free to contract with a private waste hauler for service if the citizen does not wish to participate in the City’s garbage sticker program. All monthly fees, however, are assessed regardless of who collects the solid waste.

What is the landfill closure fee?

The City of Mount Pleasant is a member of the Henry County Solid Waste Commission. The Henry County Solid Waste Commission is currently charged with the task of closing and monitoring the former Henry County Landfill, which was closed in 1990. The City is assessed a percentage of the annual cost of the Henry County Solid Waste Commission. The $1.00 monthly landfill closure fee is charge to support these costs.

Can I burn my own trash?

No. “Trash” includes construction and demolition materials. All trash must be deposited in an approved landfill.

Recycling

Does the City offer recycling of common household products?

Curbside recycling services are provided to the citizens of Mount Pleasant by the Des Moines County Regional Solid Waste Commission. The Solid Waste Commission assesses the City $3.45per household per month for recycling services. The City passes this cost along to you on your monthly utility bill. The service includes collection of plastics, metals, glass, cardboard and newsprint at the curb once every two weeks. If you live north of Washington Street, your recycling day is Tuesday. If you live south of Washington Street, your recycling day is Thursday. You must use the solid waste Commission’s official recycling container to receive recycling services. The containers are available from City Hall at the cost of $8.00. If you have any questions about the recycling services, you may contact the Solid Waste Commission at 1-800-216-8126 or wastewrap.org.

2016 Recycling Schedule

Yard Waste

Can I burn my own yard waste?

The City of Mount Pleasant allows open burning of yard waste, leaves, and small branches under the following requirements:

  • Fire must be 25’ from and structure, not on street, sidewalk, or other public property
  • Must have person standing by tending the fire
  • Required to have a working water hose
  • It must not be offensive to your neighbors
  • Trash, construction material, and demolition material may not be burned.

What can I do with my old Christmas tree?

The City’s Public Works Department coordinates a community Christmas tree collection during the second week of January each year. There is no sticker required for the service. The tree must be placed at the curb on your regular garbage collection day. Remember to take off all lights and decorations before taking the tree to the curb.

What do I do with all these leaves?

The City provides a free leaf pick-up program. Leaf pick up can vary depending when leaves are off the trees. All leaves must be bagged and placed at the curb during the designated week on your particular trash day. This service is available for all City residents, even those who do not utilize the City garbage collection. Pick up week will be advertised in the newspaper and on the local radio station (KILJ).

What can I do with my yard waste?

The City operates a yard waste collection area for the disposal of grass clippings, leaves, garden waste, apples, walnuts and other forms of organic wastes. Tree trimmings, branches and bushes may be disposed of using solid waste stickers. The collection area is located southwest of Saunders Park at the end of Yocum Lane and Hoaglin Drive. The site opens in early spring (specific dates will be announced in the paper and on local radio station KILJ) and closes in the late fall. Normal hours for this facility are Wednesday 1-6 P.M. and Saturday 8 A.M. – 5 P.M. If you have any questions about the service, you may contact Public Works Department at 385-1480 or City Hall at 385-1470.

Just a friendly reminder that in doing your lawn work, it is against City Code, “For any individual to discharge or cause to be discharged any solid or viscous substances in quantities or of such size capable of causing obstruction to the flow in sewers”. City ordinance states that you don’t blow grass clippings out into the streets, sidewalks, or alleys.

What can I do with my yard waste if I can’t get to the dump?

For residents who do not wish to dispose of their own yard waste, the City offers a curbside yard waste collection service. The service operates every Friday during the summer months. The service operates by request only. To get on the Friday collection route, you must call City Hall at 385-1470 Monday through Thursday from 8:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. The service requires a regular garbage sticker to be placed on each bag of grass or leaves.

Burning

Can I have recreational fires or a fire pit?

The City of Mount Pleasant allows fire pits under the following requirements:

  • Fire must be 25’ from and structure, not on street, sidewalk, or other public property.
  • Must have person standing by tending the fire
  • Required to have a working water hose
  • It must not be offensive to your neighbors
  • Trash, construction material, and demolition material may not be burned.

Can I burn my own trash?

No. “Trash” includes construction and demolition materials. All trash must be deposited in an approved landfill.

Can I burn my own yard waste?

The City of Mount Pleasant allows open burning of yard waste, leaves, and small branches under the following requirements:

        • Fire must be 25’ from and structure, and not on street, sidewalk, or other public property
        • Must have person standing by tending the fire
        • Required to have a working water hose
        • It must not be offensive to your neighbors
        • Trash, construction material, and demolition material may not be burned.

Park and Rec

How do I rent a Shelter House?

We have five shelter house you can reserve for different time frame. Check out our Rentals page for more information and for additional questions please contact us at 319-385-1475.

Check what’s available

Swim Passes – where do I purchase them?

You can only purchase an Individual, Family, or Daily Passes in our office Monday-Friday from 8:00-4:30pm.

Swimming Lessons – where do I sign up?

Click on the Aquatic Center Tab under the Park Rec and click on Programs to see what best fits you and then go to the class schedule. You will need to register in our office Monday-Friday from 8:00-4:30pm to hold your spot.

Aquatic class schedule

Can I fish in City Parks?

We do allow fishing in our City Park. We have three ponds in our City Parks. For any additional questions, please call our office 319-385-1475

Where can I host a sport tournament?

If you have an interest in hosting a softball, baseball, or basketball tournament please contact our Park and Rec Office 319-385-1475.

Where can I rent a City Facility?

If you are looking into reserving a gym, softball field, or our Performing Arts Center please contact our Park and Rec office at 319-385-1475.

How can I fulfill my Community Service hours?

Contact our Park and Rec office at 319-385-1475.

Where can I volunteer my time, talent, and energy?

Contact our Park and Rec office at 319-385-1475.

Where can I store my RVs, Boats, etc?

The city has limited space to rent for storing cars, boats, campers, etc. Please contact our Park and Rec office at 319-385-1476.

Where can I rent meeting rooms?

We have a meeting room that we rent. It is called the Civic Center Meeting Room. It seats 150. Please go to our Rentals page for more information.

Check Availability

Police Department

What are the parking regulations?

Please refer to 12-31 thru 12-60 of the Mount Pleasant Code of Ordinances.

Street parking – All motor vehicles must be moved every 24 hours. Signs will be posted if parking is not allowed.

Parking is not allowed in front of fire hydrants and curbs painted yellow, white, or blue.

Where can I pay a parking ticket?

Parking tickets can be paid by cash, money order or personal check. They can be paid in the office during normal business hours or mailed to the Mt. Pleasant Police Department at 204 E Washington, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa 52641. There is also a drop box outside of the Police Department.

Who can unlock a vehicle?

An officer can attempt to unlock your vehicle if you’ve been locked out. There is no fee for this service, but however you do have to sign a waiver of liability prior to the officer attempting to unlock your vehicle.  Call the Police Department at 319-385-3511 and give the dispatcher your name, location and vehicle information.

Criminal History – can I get a copy?

For all criminal history inquires, contact the Iowa Department of Public Safety at 515-281-4776 or visit their website.

Accident Report – can I get a copy?

If you want a copy of an accident report, call the office at 319-385-1450 during regular business hours. There is a $5.00 fee for this report.

Police Report – can I get a copy?

Criminal reports are not released to the public without a subpoena. The Initial Contact Report (call for service) may be released; there is a small fee for this report.

Fingerprinting – does the police department provide this service?

Yes, the Mt. Pleasant Police Department does do fingerprinting to the public for a $10.00 fee. Fingerprinting is available during regular business hours.  The Henry County Sheriff’s Office provides fingerprinting services; please contact their office for hours and fees.

Complaint – how do I file a complaint against an officer or the department?

If you are dissatisfied with the quality of service from the department or an officer, please contact our office at 319-385-1450 and ask for the on duty supervisor or the chief of police.

Reserve Officer Program

The Mt. Pleasant Police Department currently does not have a reserve program, but the Henry County Sheriff’s Office does.

Parking on a city street or parking lot

All motor vehicles must be moved every 24 hours.

All vehicles must be licensed and full operable

Community Service Officer

Carries out duties and assignments as prescribed by city code generally relating to enforcement of animal ordinances, parking ordinances, nuisance complaints and other municipal infractions.

What laws are there in regards to dogs?

Leash Law (off premises)

Dogs in the downtown area (B-2 Central Business District) and in city parks must be on a leash, or confined in a vehicle or carrier

In places other than parks or the downtown area, dogs must be accompanied by and obedient to commands of the owner or competent responsible person or on a leash, cord or chain not more than 6ft in length.

Breed

No restrictions

Barking Dogs

Will not be allowed to annoy or disturb other persons without justification by excessive barking or howling.

Are there rules about mowing?

Shall not operate mowing equipment adjacent to a public street to cause discharge of grass clippings or vegetative material to be disbursed or remain in the public street.

Grass/Weeds – Need to be kept trimmed, not to exceed 6inches in height. Placards will be placed on properties with grass/weeds longer than 6 inches, ordering that grass/weeds be mowed within 7 days. If not mowed within 7 days, the city will mow at the owner’s expense.

Do I have to remove snow from my sidewalk and driveway?

It is the duty of the owner to keep sidewalks abutting the property clear of natural accumulations of snow or ice within a reasonable time period. If the property owner does not remove snow within 48 hours, the city can remove the snow and assess the expense of snow removal to the property owner or to the property tax.

Do I have to trim my trees/shrubbery?

It is unlawful for any person owning or controlling property to cause or permit any tree, shrubbery plant or vine within any critical visibility zone to grow to a height greater than thirty-six inches above ground.

Can I put a sign in my yard?

May not place any signs (including garage/yard sale signs) within the city right of way without obtaining a permit through the Planning & Zoning Office.

Are there rules about burning?

It is unlawful to burn garbage or bulky rubbish in the city of Mt. Pleasant. Leaves, garden debris, tree & bush trimmings with a diameter no greater than two inches may be burned with the following restrictions: No burning on 1) Public sidewalks. 2) Public right of way, city parks, except where designated by the city. 3) Within twenty five feet of any buildings including, garages & storage sheds.

Any burning shall be attended by an adult with a charged water hose. Burning is permitted only when it can be done in a safe manner without smoke being blown beyond the property where the burning is being done.

Are there rules about junk cars?

See Code Section 13-9 thru 13-19 & 13-21 thru 13-30

All vehicles that are not stored in a building on private property must be licensed, have fully inflated tires, and must be able to move forward and reverse and turn under their own power