The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 21st day of December, 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: Jeff Blake, Steve Bowman, Lisa Rickertsen, and Tom Schirman.
Approval of Agenda. Jackie Puck moved and Latimer seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Koehler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from December 7, 2015, and the November 2015 financial reports. Motion carried.
Dave Meier – Iowa 80 Truckstop – Driveway Expansion/Realignment. Iowa 80 Truckstop representatives Dave Meier and Mike Hutchison were present to discuss their request to enlarge the north entrance radius of the parking lot to better accommodate special vehicles (wind turbines). Meier presented drawings of their proposed parking lot changes. The current center entrance/exit (across from Walker Street) would be closed but a new car exit is proposed to be installed (across from the regular driveway entrance at Pilot Truckstop). Discussion was held on a letter sent from the City Engineer, following a meeting he had with the Police Chief and Public Works Director, regarding their recommendations. The following is a list of their recommended conditions to accommodate Iowa 80 Truckstop’s request:
1. The southerly most entrance into the site (the first entrance north of the interstate off-ramp), be converted into an entrance only access. Vehicles trying to exit shall be deterred by additional curbing and signage.
2. Interior parking islands within the site shall be extended to help direct exiting vehicles to the north exit.
3. The current center entrance shall be closed off completely with curbing.
4. The applicant shall receive written correspondence from the Iowa DOT that they have reviewed the proposal and either issue a permit or declare that the improvements are outside of their jurisdiction.
5. Iowa 80 Truckstop shall issue to the City, a written timeline of when these improvements are to be installed.
Meier stated they prefer not to have the south entrance as an entrance only since larger vehicles occasionally enter there and he expressed concerns that it may cause more of a problem. Meier did agree to items 2 – 5 and to provide additional signage for the south entrance as listed in item #1. Mengler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve the request from Iowa 80 Truckstop as discussed (widen the north driveway, closure of current middle driveway, and signage at south entrance). Motion carried.
Rita Stender – Rowe Street Right-of-Way (ROW). Bowman reported the surveyor, hired by Rita Stender, has located her property pins. During the May 18, 2015 meeting Stender requested the City also recommended that the City retain 20 feet from the nearest city utility located in the ROW for maintenance purposes. Bowman stated the City could allow Stender to have approximately 37 feet, of the 80’ ROW, which would still allow retainage of 20 feet from the nearest city utility line. Attorney Schirman reported on the process to transfer the property and questioned if there is any future city use of the property. Discussion was held on other requests for transfer of ROW property and that the current decision does not affect outcomes on other requests. Following receipt of the survey documents, the next steps include drafting an offer to purchase which will contain restrictions on the use of property (no parking or buildings).
Main Street Streetscape Enhancement Project – Approval of Payment #4. Rickertsen reported payment #4 was for work completed thru December 3, 2015, less a 5% retainage, for a total of $111,909.05. The pay request was reviewed and recommended for approval by Missman, Inc. and Linda Rivers. Koehler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve payment #4, based on Rivers’ approval, to Brandt Construction in the amount of $111,909.05. Motion carried.
Snow Emergency Declarations/Parking. Bowman explained the difficulties in effectively plowing city streets when vehicles remain parked on the streets. It was stated that some residents do not have driveways and are not able to move their vehicles off the street. Discussion ensued that if the snow emergency parking regulations were followed, it would allow the Public Works Department to effectively remove the snowfall. City ordinance, Chapter 69.10 (1) states the following:
• Snow Emergency Declaration. In the event of extreme snowfall, as determined by the Police Chief, the Police Chief is hereby empowered to declare a “snow emergency”. Upon the declaration of a snow emergency, all vehicles and equipment shall be parked on the odd-numbered side of the street for odd-numbered calendar dates and on the even numbered side of the street for even-numbered calendar dates. Snow emergencies shall commence on 6:00 p.m. on the day the snow emergency is declared and shall continue until 6:00 p.m. of the next day. The applicable calendar date for designated parking sides shall be the date the snow emergency is declared.
Further discussion was held that snow emergencies need to be declared and the odd/even parking requirements be enforced. Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to keep the current snow emergency ordinance as is. Motion carried.
City ROW tree at 324 E. Durant Street. Bowman stated he was notified by the adjacent property owner regarding removing the tree located in City ROW that is split down the middle. Attorney Schirman stated that both state and city codes state the owner of the abutting property is responsible for trimming trees in the ROW, unless it is suspected to be dead, diseased or damaged then is removed by the City. Bowman stated the left side of the tree is dead. Koehler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to have Bowman obtain quotes on tree removal. Motion carried.
Resolution 2015-43, Amending Fees for Appliance & Electronic Disposals and Additional Refuse Collections. The proposed Resolution increases the disposal fee for appliances and electronic items from $7.50 to $10.00 and changes the bulky waste pick up from to a per trip fee of $10.00 – $25.00 instead of just $25.00 per trip. Following discussion, Section 2 of the Resolution will be modified to be more descriptive. When small items are collected with a regular City vehicle (pickup truck) the cost will be $10.00 per trip and larger bulky waste items collected with the tractor would be charged $25.00 per trip. Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to approve Resolution 2015-43 with the changes as discussed. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Latimer, Koehler, Jacob Puck, and Jackie Puck. Motion carried. Fees for monitors, televisions, and copiers will remain at $15.00 per item. Residents are reminded they can drop off electronic items at the Electronic Demanufacturing Facility in Davenport at no charge.
Public Works Department Report. Bowman presented a list of 17 stop signs that he is requesting to be placed at intersections throughout the city, primarily on the south side of the railroad tracks. Chief Blake stated he has never responded to any accidents at any uncontrolled intersections. Mengler stated she has never seen any accidents either. Jacob Puck stated he has seen a few close calls on W. Durant Street. Following discussion, Jacob Puck moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve adding 6 stop signs to the first four intersections on the list. Motion carried. The intersections are as follows:
1. W. Durant Street at S. Parker Street – 2 stop signs on S. Parker Street
2. W. Durant Street at S. Rowe Street – 2 stop signs on S. Rowe Street
3. W. Bryant Street at S. Parker Street – 1 stop sign on S. Parker Street
4. W. Bryant Street at S. Rowe Street – 1 stop sign on S. Rowe Street
Rickertsen will prepare an ordinance amending Chapter 65 of the City Code to add the six stop signs. The ordinance amendment requires three readings and will be presented for the first reading during the January 4th meeting. Koehler questioned a few items (effluent limitations and self-monitoring reports) listed on the wastewater inspection report recently received from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Bowman responded that the only recommendation was to continue identifying and eliminating the sources of infiltration and inflow.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen reported on the following:
• Presented information regarding the fire department roof and recent repairs to it in August, 2015. Bowman reported it was repaired again last week, at a different location.
• Recent vandalism at Welcome Park regarding a concrete bench and theft of lights.
• Park Board updates – The Board is recommending allowing fishing at the pond at Prairie View Park from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This will be placed on a future council agenda. The Board and Bowman are looking into options, following a request, for some lighting near the west bridge area at Prairie View Park.
Jackie Puck moved and Latimer seconded to adjourn at 7:42 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.