The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 4th day of December, 2017, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: Virgil Wayne Latimer, Tim Koehler, Lisa Mengler, Jackie Puck, and Jacob Puck. Absent: None. City staff present: Scott Bengfort, Jeff Blake, Lisa Rickertsen, Tom Schirman, and Paul Stagg.
Approval of Agenda. Mengler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. There were no public comments from the audience at this time.
Public Hearing on Proposed Amendment of the Urban Renewal Plan for the Consolidated Walcott Urban Renewal Area. Rickertsen reported the public hearing notice was published in the North Scott Press on November 22, 2017, and that the plan amendment authorizes the undertaking of a new urban renewal project in the Urban Renewal area consisting of providing tax increment financing (TIF) support to Iowa 80 Truckstop, Inc. in connection with the expansion and renovations of the existing truck stop facilities. The only written comment was from the Scott County Supervisors. Their letter stated that while they support the use of TIF when it is used as an economic development incentive for businesses that strengthen the local and regional economy and this project appears to do that, they oppose the use of TIF for businesses that compete with other local businesses in the retail or service sectors. Mengler stated she was disappointed with the letter, especially following their comments during the City Council meeting they attended in October. Jackie Puck moved and Mengler seconded to close the public hearing and open the public hearing on the proposed development agreement with Iowa 80 Truckstop, Inc. Motion carried.
Public Hearing on the Proposed Development Agreement with Iowa 80 Truckstop, Inc. Rickertsen reported the public hearing notice was published in the North Scott Press on November 22, 2017, and no written comments were received. The development agreement between the City and Iowa 80 Truckstop, Inc. is in regards to the expansion and renovation of the existing truck stop facilities. The City would provide annual appropriation TIF rebate payments in a total amount not to exceed $500,000 over a five-year period. Iowa 80 Truckstop, Inc. would be responsible for reimbursing the City for legal fees in connection with the development agreement. Jacob Puck moved and Latimer seconded to close the public hearing and resume the regular meeting. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from November 20, 2017, and minutes from special meeting on November 20, 2017. Jackie Puck abstained due to absence from meetings. Motion carried.
Resolution 2017-42, Approving Urban Renewal Plan Amendment for the Consolidated Walcott Urban Renewal Area. Koehler stated he was advised by counsel to abstain from items relating to Iowa 80 Truckstop, Inc. due to a conflict of interest with his company currently working there. Jacob Puck moved and Latimer seconded to approve Resolution 2017-42. Roll call ayes: Jacob Puck, Latimer, Mengler, and Jackie Puck. Koehler abstained due to conflict of interest. Motion carried.
Resolution 2017-43, Approving Development Agreement with Iowa 80 Truckstop, Inc. Authorizing Annual Appropriation Tax Increment Payments and Pledging Certain Tax Increment Revenue to the Payment of the Agreement. Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2017-43. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Jackie Puck, Latimer, and Jacob Puck. Koehler abstained due to conflict of interest. Motion carried.
Resolution 2017-44, Declaring Necessity and Providing for Notice of Hearing on the Proposed Urban Revitalization Plan. Rickertsen stated this is to designate an area as an economic development area which is related to new single family housing and residential development. The public hearing is scheduled for December 18th at 6:00 p.m. Jacob Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve Resolution 2017-44. Roll call ayes: Jacob Puck, Mengler, Koehler, Jackie Puck, and Latimer. Motion carried.
Local Union 150 – Signs/Use of Public Right-of-Way. Bengfort reported that large signs were staked in the City right-of-way (ROW) along Plainview Road. He informed the individuals with the signs that they are not to be placed in City ROW unless approved by Council. Attorney Schirman stated that federal law supercedes local ordinances when union labor disputes are involved and allows unions to use a City ROW for a peaceful protest. Concerns were expressed regarding hours, underground utilities, sign language, safety, and visibility. Shannon Vickers, Local 150 Union representative, stated they have stands for the signs and can weigh down the large inflatable and they are always attended to and are taken down each day after working hours. He also stated he would like to thank Iowa 80 Truckstop, Inc. for utilizing local contractors but this protest is a labor dispute with Ryan & Associates, Inc. Following further discussion, Mengler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to grant approval to Local 150, per counsel recommendation, based on federal law allowing use of ROW for union labor disputes. Koehler abstained due to conflict of interest. Motion carried.
Building Department Report. Bengfort reported on his meeting regarding the nuisance abatement on the Jackson property. He questioned if the owner would be allowed to only fence 2 or 3 sides of the property. Council stated they felt there are safety issues on the property and if they remain the entire property should be fenced.
Fire Department Report.
- Scott Air Pack Bottles. Chief Geigle presented a project worksheet to replace tanks that are over 15 years old and can no longer be hydro tested. Mengler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve the purchase of new Scott air pack bottles as submitted, from Feld Fire at a cost of $9,450 plus freight. Motion carried.
- Appointment of Fire Chief. Geigle stated the Fire Department held officer elections for 2018 and he was re-elected as Chief. Koehler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the appointment of Josh Geigle as Fire Chief, term ending 12/31/2018. Motion carried. Koehler thanked Geigle for serving as the Chief.
Police Department Report. Chief Blake reported on a complaint received about a vehicle/trailer parked in a driveway that overhangs across the public sidewalk. Attorney Schirman stated that state and local law clearly states you are not allowed to park over public sidewalks. Chief Blake stated he will ask the property owner to move the vehicle and trailer.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg presented a project worksheet for the purchase of a 2018 Ford F550. He stated this would replace one of the four dump trucks and it will be easier to maneuver during snow removal and can be utilized throughout the year, especially for leaf/brush collection. Jackie Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the purchase of a new Ford F550 as submitted from Ron Alpen Ford at a cost of $43,645. Motion carried. John Brockmann questioned if the price includes a box and plow. Stagg stated it did not include either. He is waiting for a second bid on a box and since the truck won’t arrive until next spring he would proceed with purchase of a snow plow in the next fiscal year. Koehler suggested that the total cost of vehicle and equipment should be presented at one time.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen reported on a letter from Mediacom regarding their rate increases effective January 1, 2018. She also reported on the proposed updates to the Governing Body Rules and Procedures Policy. The policy will be presented at the next meeting for final approval.
Mayor’s Report. Mayor Kosticheck appointed Kelly Quick to fill the vacancy on the Park Board with a term ending 12/31/2021. Mengler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve the Mayor’s appointment of Kelly Quick to the Park Board. Motion carried.
Council Member Comments. Mengler congratulated Chief Geigle and expressed her thanks to all of the fire department members. Jackie Puck questioned Chief Blake about covering day time shifts during absences.
Koehler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to adjourn at 7:02 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.