The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 19th day of March, 2018, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: John Brockmann, Tim Koehler, Lisa Mengler, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith. Absent: None. City staff present: Jeff Blake, Lisa Rickertsen, Tom Schirman, and Paul Stagg.
Approval of Agenda. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. No comments.
Consent Agenda. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from March 5, 2018, February 2018 financial reports, and Class B beer permits and Sunday licenses at Victory and Wescott Parks for Walcott Unified Fund. Motion carried.
Splash Pad Project – Review of Bids. Bryce Johnson, Project Engineer, reported on the bids received for the Splash Pad Project. The bids include the base bid and four alternates, one for furniture (benches/tables/trash receptacles) and three for different types of surfacing, all of which were higher than the engineer’s estimates. Rickertsen stated that the Splash Pad Committee fundraised based on the engineer’s original estimate from August 2015, and with the base bid and furniture the cost is $69,288 higher than the funds that were raised. Smith stated this type of project is not common. Brockmann questioned what happens if rubbish is found under the project site. Johnson stated that if we run into unsuitable material, it will need to be removed. Brian Mengler, Park Board Chairperson, questioned if the proposed splash pad site is a known trash area and why it wasn’t brought up earlier (property was purchased in 2013 and a Splash Pad Committee was established in February, 2014). Brockmann stated he didn’t know how far east the area went but knew it was under the tennis courts. Discussion was held on having a portion of the project area trenched to determine if there is unsuitable material. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to accept the base bid from the low bidder, Centennial Contractors, for $160,629. The City Engineer is currently preparing cost estimates on the W. Otis Street Reconstruction Project and discussion was held on the possibility of including the Splash Pad Project with that project. Discussion was also held on having the project engineer talk to the low bidder regarding clarification on a few items and project costs. Rickertsen will submit another grant request for the project. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to rescind the previous motion and place the Splash Pad Project on the April 2nd agenda. Motion carried. Johnson will contact the contractor and Stagg will have a section of the area excavated to determine if there is any unsuitable material at the project site.
Hearts & Hands Foundation – Austin Burt. Burt presented information on the proposed electronic sign to be located at the NW corner of Main Street & West Parkview Drive. Burt stated the City will own the sign and be responsible for maintenance of the sign. He reported that the Foundation is working on an electronic sign policy/procedures which will be presented to the City at a future meeting. The sign placement will be staked and will be discussed again during the April 2nd meeting.
Virgil Latimer – Home Delivery Mailboxes on City ROW – Adjacent to Prairie View Park. Latimer stated he submitted a home delivery request form to the Post Office and questioned if he and the neighbors in his block, up to eight residences, would be allowed to place mailboxes in the City Right-of-Way (ROW), adjacent to Prairie View Park. He stated they would maintain the ROW area where the mailboxes are located. Rickertsen stated she was notified earlier in the day by the Postmaster regarding the following:
- The United States Postal Service (USPS) did extend the deadline to May 1st, as requested by the City, for residents that received a letter from the USPS in early February requiring residents to pay box rent (which had been free) or request and receive approval for curbside delivery.
- The Postmaster thought the curbside delivery location proposed by Latimer would be approved by USPS.
- Residents wanting curbside delivery must complete a USPS form requesting the service.
Questions arose on the status of locating a cluster box unit (CBU) for interested residents. Stagg stated he spoke with resident Billy Brown after the February 19th meeting and told him to locate an area and bring it to the Building Official so he can determine if it meets ADA regulations. It was reported that there have been no location proposals for a CBU brought to the City. Discussion was held on several concerns regarding the request from Latimer, including maintenance, aesthetics, and route approval by the USPS. Following further discussion, Koehler moved and Brockmann seconded to table the request until further information is provided and that the Post Office determines it to be a City problem. Motion carried.
Ordinance 497-18, Amending Chapter 99 Regarding Sewer Rates – 2nd Reading. Rickertsen stated this Ordinance will increase the sewer base rate from $9.00 to $10.00/month and the usage rate by $.35 from $5.80 to $6.15 per 1,000 gallons of water. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 497-18, Amending Chapter 99 Regarding Sewer Rates. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Puck, Brockmann, Koehler, and Smith. Motion carried.
Mayor’s Report. Mayor Kostichek stated he understands the frustration from citizens regarding the postal service delivery issues but the City is not part of the federal government and does not have the ability to influence their decisions.
Council Member Comments. Brockmann questioned when the County will be back to maintain the gravel road on West Memorial Road. Stagg replied that he wasn’t sure what the County’s maintenance schedule is and Brockmann stated that Stagg should restore the City’s 1967 Maintainer to provide maintenance to the gravel road.
Smith moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 7:28 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.