The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 3rd day of August, 2015, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: Tim Koehler, Virgil Wayne Latimer, Lisa Mengler, Jackie Puck, and Jacob Puck. Absent: None. City employees present: John Brockmann, Josh Geigle, Lisa Rickertsen, and Tom Schirman.
Approval of Agenda. Jackie Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Audience. Kent Arp, Gene Meyer, Randy Moeller, Jill Hernandez, Andy Brus, Alan Dale, Andrew Snyder, William Belz, Dennis Siebel, Brian Mengler, Janice Dawson, Joe Hahn, Bryce Johnson, and Brad Roeth. Employees Jody Siebel and Randy Reimers were also in the audience.
Consent Agenda. Koehler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from July 20, 2015, and the Casey’s General Store #1922 Class C beer permit renewal. Motion carried.
Splash Pad Project. Bryce Johnson (J&M Civil Design) presented a concept plan for the proposed splash pad area including the preliminary design of the Otis Street reconstruction and elevations of the entire project area. Discussion was held on the recommendations from Brad Roeth (Watersmith Engineering) regarding the steps for the applicable project permitting requirements with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and US Army Corps of Engineers. Discussion was also held on the possible project phases (splash pad and required infrastructure/drainage, W. Otis Street reconstruction, diagonal parking areas, and W. Otis St. turnabout : west of Rowe Lane). Following the Mayor’s request, Johnson will break down the costs for the different phases. Mengler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve Watersmith Engineering proceed with step one of his recommendation (submit water quality test results to IDNR and request a Waste Load Allocation). Motion carried.
William Belz : Rowe Street Right-of-Way (ROW). Belz, property owner of 302 W. Lincoln Street, was present to request a portion of the adjacent Rowe Street ROW. City utilities (sanitary and storm sewer) are located in the Rowe Street ROW and Brockmann stated he needs 10′-15′ on both sides of the utilities for access. Brockmann will locate the sanitary sewer and storm sewer lines in the ROW. Attorney Schirman stated that past ROW conveyances to adjoining property owners included having the property owner be responsible for surveying their property lines.
Iowa American Water. A letter was received from Iowa American Water requesting a meeting to discuss the possibility of privatization of Walcott’s water and or wastewater systems. Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to send a letter to Iowa American Water, denying their request for a meeting. Motion carried.
Sewer Inflow & Infiltration Study. At an earlier meeting, Stanley Consultants was present and reported on the results of the phase one sewer inflow and infiltration study. Brockmann stated work needs to be done a little at a time and he feels there are two areas on the east side where a larger sanitary sewer pipe could be installed to eliminate the back-up problem in those areas. He also suggested replacing some manhole covers and rings. Brockmann introduced the City’s certified wastewater operator, Randy Reimers, who stated the laboratory at the sewer plant is completed and he is submitting the application to the IDNR to get the lab certified. Following further discussion, Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to have Brockmann obtain estimates to install the larger piping on the two sections as he suggested. Motion carried.
Municipal Building Project/Property. Koehler stated he would like to see a drawing of the proposed building on the lot at 101 S. Main Street (SE corner of Lincoln & Main) to see if something can be worked out with Cen-Pe-Co regarding their concerns. Jill Hernandez, neighboring property owner, expressed her frustration with the lengthy process of determining a location for the potential municipal building. Mayor Kostichek stated they just recently had the opportunity to meet in person with the owner of Cen-Pe-Co. Discussion continued and it was stated that constructing a new building next to the current city hall location would be more costly, due to property acquisitions and demolition costs.
Fire Department Report. Chief Geigle presented a project worksheet to install new emergency lights and striping on Rescue Unit #6. Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the new lights and striping on unit #6. Motion carried. The work will be done by Alexis Fire Equipment at a cost of $11,902.
Public Work’s Department Report.
Snow Plow. Brockmann presented a project worksheet for a 12′ steel snow plow. Questions arose on how the old plow will be disposed of. It was stated the old equipment should be sold as scrap. Latimer moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve the purchase of a snow plow as requested. Motion carried. The 12′ steel snow plow will be purchased from Bonnell Industries at a cost of $13,767.20.
S. Downey Street Improvements Project. Brockmann also presented a project worksheet for approximate engineering and surveying costs for the S. Downey Street Improvements project. Following discussion, Koehler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to obtain a second bid for engineering. Motion carried.
Other. Brockmann reported the sludge from the wastewater plant has previously been applied to his farm ground but he will no longer be allowing sludge on his ground and the City needs to find a new place to dispose of it. Discussion ensued regarding city-owned farm ground and the need for written lease agreements. Brockmann also expressed his frustration with not being able to hear everything during the meeting, which may have led to some miscommunication recently. Microphones or a PA system may need to be looked into. Brockmann also expressed his irritation that a project contractor was aware that he made a complaint against the contractor. Brockmann stated his retirement date will be August 21st.
City Clerk’s Department Report. Rickertsen presented the FYE 2015 investment report. Koehler moved and Jacob seconded to approve the FYE 2015 investment report. Motion carried. Rickertsen reported on the July Building Department report and stated Rivers (Building Official) has been working with IDNR and a few property owners just east of the Main Street bridge, who were asked to sign a document that acknowledges they understand that the backwater situation is not going to change, based on the modeling done by the project engineers. Andrew Snyder, property owner of 305 E. Walcott Road, was present and expressed his disapproval of the Main Street Streetscape Enhancement project, his frustration with not having advance notice of the project, and questioned if the City ever intends to dredge the creek. Rickertsen replied that Snyder was one of the property owners that recently received an acknowledgement letter/form regarding the project, which was just requested last week by the IDNR. The project has been in the planning stages for well over a year and has been listed on agendas and had the required hearings. Mengler stated the City is trying to enhance N. Main Street and provide a safe walking path for residents. Rickertsen will have the engineer’s water flow modeling/reports forwarded to Snyder.
City Attorney Report.
Solid Waste and Recycling Contract Renewal. Attorney Schirman reported all concerns with the proposed contract with Allied Waste d/b/a Republic Services have been addressed with an additional sentence added to the contract. Koehler moved and Mengler seconded to approve Resolution 2015-28, Solid Waste & Recycling Contract. Roll call ayes: Koehler, Mengler, Jackie Puck, Jacob Puck, and Latimer. Motion carried. The contract renewal is for a period of five years.
Farm Leases/Rent. Attorney Schirman reported this came up in a previous discussion and stated there are no written lease agreements. He will pursue notifying the current renters and prepare agreements. Brockmann stated he is no longer interested in farming the city-owned property.
Personnel Policy Changes. Koehler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2015-29, Approving an Amendment to the Personnel Policy Handbook. Roll call ayes: Koehler, Jackie Puck, Jacob Puck, Latimer, and Mengler. Motion carried. Full-time employees hired after August 1, 2015, will receive four hours of sick leave each month, compared to the current full-time employees who receive eight hours of sick leave each month.
Mayor’s Report. Mayor Kostichek stated he didn’t intend to cause any ill feelings regarding the farm lease and the only intent was to have the leases in writing to protect the city. He stated he received a letter from RAGBRAI organizers stating they received glowing reviews from the riders regarding the town and hospitality they received. He expressed thanks to all the volunteers during the Walcott Day and RAGBRAI celebrations.
Public Works Director Position. A special meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, August 5th at 5:30 p.m.
Questions/Concerns. Andy Brus questioned the status of the James Street water main project. Brockmann responded the work hasn’t been completed due to events and requests from neighboring properties and that it will be up to his successor to complete the project. Jackie Puck reported on her conversation with the homeowner in regards to heavy trucks on South Main Street.
Jackie Puck moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 7:54 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.