The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 21st day of July, 2014, 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, Jackie Puck, and Jacob Puck. Absent: Lisa Mengler. City employees present: Jeff Blake, John Brockmann, Lisa Rickertsen, and Tom Schirman.
Jacob Puck moved and Latimer seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Koehler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from July 7, 2014, and the June 2014 financial reports. Motion carried.
Audience. Gary Lucht, Audrey & Duane Hinds, Donna Housley, Janice Dawson, Joe Quick, Bernard Brus, Lon Warnecke, Mitchel Sutherland, Veryln & Josie Dietz, Ruth Farley, Jackie Huston, Kevin Flack, and William Belz.
Driveway Width Requirement. Lon Warnecke was present to request the Council consider a change to the Driveway Chapter to allow for a wider curb cut. When the maximum garage size was increased to 864 sq. ft. in 2002 the driveway curb cut (twenty-four feet) was not changed. Koehler moved and Jacob seconded to have Rickertsen prepare an ordinance to amend Chapter 140, Driveways, to increase the maximum driveway width at the curb line to thirty-six feet. Motion carried.
William Belz : Pit Bulls. William Belz was present and questioned why a committee was not formed to review the Dangerous Animals Chapter (pit bull ban) as discussed during the June 16th meeting. Mayor Kostichek stated he spoke with the Police Chief, City's Insurance Agent, and local veterinarians and the majority felt the ban should stay in place. Mayor Kostichek stated the council voted during the July 7th meeting to keep the prohibition of pit bulls as currently adopted due to the overwhelming response by citizens to keep the ban in place. Belz voiced his objections to the ban and his frustration that he thought a committee would be formed. Other audience members responded that it was his responsibility to check on local regulations, prior to moving to Walcott, as several communities ban pit bulls. They also stressed that they understood his affection for his dog but their priority was the safety of the citizens. Belz presented a petition, "I Don't Support the Pit Bull Ban", that was signed by 86 people. Mayor Kostichek, Attorney Schirman, and Council Member Jackie Puck stated the council had voted to keep the ban in place and the issue has been decided.
Michael Rhine : Dangerous Animal Appeal Hearing. No discussion was held as Rhine, who requested a hearing, was not present.
N. Henry Street Sidewalk (SE Corner of Henry & Otis). Brockmann reported on his meeting with the Street Committee (Latimer and Jackie Puck) and stated the low bid for replacing 190 feet of sidewalk was $2,280 but it does not include handicap mats on the corner and the removal of current sidewalk. Discussion was held that a majority of the sidewalk was tilted, due to the heavy truck traffic over the past several years from the adjacent commercial property. Jackie Puck moved and Koehler seconded to replace the tilted sidewalk sections along N. Henry Street at 205 E. Otis Street and have the homeowner replace the sections previously marked by the Building Official. Motion carried.
W. Bryant Street Project. Attorney Schirman stated he called and requested easement language from Hawkeye Land Company, owner of the railroad right-of-way, but has not received a call back. Schirman stated the thirty-five day period is up at the end of the week and he will contact the project engineer and Iowa Utilities Board at that time.
Quad City Convention & Visitors Bureau Contribution Request. Jackie Puck moved and Latimer seconded to approve the $1,000 contribution request, as budgeted, to Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau. Motion carried.
Victory Park Outfield Fence. Discussion was held on the Park Board's recommendation to purchase 365' of 4' black fence for the outfield at Victory Park. The cost of the proposed fence, not to exceed $4,500, will be paid for with donations committed by Walcott Day Committee and Walcott Athletic Board. Rickertsen stated that because the proposed fence would be located in the right-of-way, an exception to the fence regulations should be made to Chapter 167, to permit the fence for the use, benefit, and protection of the public. This exception would be similar to the one already listed in the fence regulations for Wescott Park. Council had no objections to the proposed fence and an ordinance to amend Chapter 167.22 (3) (fences) will be prepared for the next regular meeting.
Resolution 2014-26, Approving Wage Increase for Building Official. Koehler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2014-26, Approving Wage Increase for Building Official. Roll call ayes: Koehler, Jackie Puck, Jacob Puck, and Latimer. Motion carried. The increase is for her recent ICC (International Code Council) Plumbing Inspector certification as specified in the Walcott Personnel Policy Handbook.
Police Department Report. Chief Blake presented his report including an update on the EMS (emergency medical services) classes the full-time officers are taking and stated that training is needed on the new tasers before using. Questions arose on the number of officers utilized on Walcott Day. Blake and Joe Quick, Walcott Day Chair, stated that Walcott Day Committee pays for four officers to pair up with the four officers hired by the City. Jackie Puck questioned how often Titan (K9) is walked through Gramma's Kitchen parking area. He stated he has not done it there yet as he needs permission from the property owner first.
Public Work's Report. Brockmann reported on the recent meetings with city consultants and representatives from Iowa 80 Truck Wash and Blue Beacon regarding the WET (Whole Effluent Toxicity) source identification tests and the perimeters outlined by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Brockmann also reported on the status of the W. Bryant Street project and the status of the sewer system infiltration and inflow study.
Mayor's Report. Mayor Kostichek stated he was glad to see so many citizens in attendance and encourages all citizens to attend.
Questions/Concerns/New Business. Donna Housley thanked Brockmann and his staff for placing gravel on a portion of an alley that was becoming dangerous. Gary Lucht questioned the parking regulations of recreational vehicles and parking near fire hydrants. Recreational vehicles are permitted on City streets for the purpose of loading and unloading only, not to exceed seventy-two hours, and parking is prohibited within five feet of a fire hydrant. Janice Dawson questioned, on behalf of ASHHS (American/Schleswig-Holstein Heritage Society), about a gift to Walcott's sister city, Bredenbek, Germany, for their 750 year anniversary this year. Discussion was held on ideas, shipping, and costs.
Jackie Puck moved and Koehler seconded to adjourn at 7:19 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.