The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 20th day of March, 2017, 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, Lisa Rickertsen, Tom Schirman, and Paul Stagg.
Approval of Agenda. Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Public Comments. John Brockmann questioned who was in charge of the water system, prior to Stagg. He claimed that well #5 was out of service for ninety days, it was fixed after Stagg arrived, and questioned why it was never brought up to City Council. He also questioned why the City is paying for two certified operators. Mayor Kostichek stated he was not aware there was a problem and Stagg stated the well remained serviceable but there were issues with the telemetry equipment. Stagg was asked to gather information on a timeline of the issue and report back at the next meeting.
- FYE 2017 Budget Amendment. Mayor Kostichek opened the public hearing on the FYE 2017 budget amendment. Rickertsen reported the amendment includes increased transfers to capital project funds and an increase in the general government function for the purchase of property adjacent to city hall and legal fees. No written or other oral comments were received. Koehler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to close the public hearing and open the public hearing on the changes to Chapter 165, Signs, and Chapter 167, Zoning Regulations. Motion carried.
- Public Hearing on Changes to Chapter 165, Signs, and Chapter 167, Zoning Regulations. Rickertsen stated the proposed changes to Chapter 165 will allow electronic, freestanding, and monument signs in all commercial and industrial zoning classifications and the proposed changes to Chapter 167, Zoning Regulations, will allow front yard fences, with certain restrictions, not to exceed 3 ½ feet. The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended the changes to both chapters. No written or other oral comments were received. Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to close the hearing and resume the regular meeting. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices and minutes from March 6, 2017. Motion carried.
301 E. Lincoln Street Property Update. Brian Dawson was present to follow up with a nuisance abatement notice that was received last year. He stated he had not got much done over the winter months but reported on a large steel structure that was removed from the lot and his goals for the summer, which include re-blocking/repositioning all trailers. Mayor Kostichek stated he is glad they are making progress. Mengler asked for another follow-up at the first meeting in October.
Resolution 2017-15, Approving the Budget Amendment for FYE 2017. Koehler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2017-15. Roll call ayes: Koehler, Jacob Puck, Latimer, Mengler, and Jackie Puck. Motion carried.
Ordinance 490-17, Amending Chapter 99 Regarding Sewer Rates. Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the third and final reading of Ordinance 490-17. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Latimer, Jacob Puck, Koehler, and Jackie Puck . Motion carried. This ordinance increases the sewer base rate from $3.00 to $9.00/month and the usage rate by $.15 (3%) from $5.65 to $5.80 per 1,000 gallons of water used (for sewer customers), effective on the April 1st billing.
Ordinance 491-17, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. Jacob Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the third and final reading of Ordinance 491-17. Roll call ayes: Jacob Puck, Mengler, Jackie Puck, Koehler, and Latimer. Motion carried. This ordinance increases the water usage rate by $.13 (3%), from $4.75 to $4.88 per 1,000 gallons of water used, effective on the June 1st billing,
Ordinance 492-17, Amending Chapter 165 Pertaining to Signs. Jackie Puck introduced and moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 492-17. Mengler seconded. Roll call ayes: Jackie Puck, Mengler, Koehler, Latimer, and Jacob Puck. Motion carried. This ordinance will allow electronic, freestanding, and monument signs in all commercial and industrial zoning classifications.
Ordinance 493-17, Amending Chapter 167 Pertaining to Front Yard Fencing. Koehler stated two members of the Planning & Zoning Commission opposed this change. He expressed concerns with future deteriorated painted and iron fencing and how the City could require them to be maintained. Koehler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to table the ordinance until further review and research of maintenance enforcement. Motion carried.
Resolution 2017-16, Approving Amendments to the Personnel Policy Handbook. Rickertsen reported on the proposed provisions to the policy handbook. Koehler moved and Mengler seconded to approve Resolution 2017-16. Roll call ayes: Koehler, Mengler, Jackie Puck, Jacob Puck, and Latimer. Motion carried.
City Owned Property at 116 W. Lincoln Street. Rickertsen stated she spoke with Mike Sissel, who had earlier expressed interest in relocating the house, and he requested a few more weeks before the Council takes any action on the property. Karen Puck stated she felt the house is historic in a lot of ways and hopes that it would remain in town. Karla Burt reported on the collected historical items and the need for a place to store these artifacts. They asked the Council to keep them in mind for future space opportunities. Council consensus was to table any action at this time and they thanked Puck and Burt for their help with the Historical Society.
Public Works Department Report.
- ½ Ton Truck Purchase. Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to purchase a truck from Ron Alpen Ford at a cost of $26,554. Motion carried.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen reported that a grant was being prepared for the splash pad project and the Hearts and Hands Foundation intends to file a grant for the electronic sign, to be placed on the easement obtained for a city sign, adjacent to Casey’s. Austin Burt was present, on behalf of the Hearts & Hands Foundation, to inform them of their intent to apply for a grant and requested approval to place the sign in the sign easement. Council consensus was to preliminary approve the placement of an electronic sign in the easement and to allow the Foundation to remove the existing landscaping and sign.
Attorney Report. Attorney Schirman stated he was preparing documents to close on the city-owned property at 1113 N. Main Street.
Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to adjourn at 6:35 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.