March 5, 2018 Minutes

The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 5th 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, and Paul Stagg.   

Approval of Agenda. Puck moved and Smith seconded to approve the agenda.  Motion carried.

Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. There was no audience in attendance.

Public Hearing on Fiscal Year Ending (FYE) 2019 Budget.  The public hearing was opened on the FYE 2019 Budget.  Rickertsen stated the tax levy will be at $10.08263 per $1,000 taxable valuation on regular property.  She stated the total taxable property valuation decreased so there is a slight decrease in property tax revenue.  The budget includes utility rate increases to cover costs associated with the operation, maintenance, and future improvements to the water and sewer systems and a garbage rate increase for the annual increase from the garbage contractor.  No written or oral comments were received.  Mengler moved and Puck seconded to close the public hearing and resume the regular meeting.  Motion carried.

Consent Agenda.  Rickertsen reported on Resolution 2018-9 which provides an hourly wage increase of 50 cents for the Building Official, per Personnel Policy, for obtaining the ICC Commercial Electrical Inspector Certification.  Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from February 19, 2018, Spring Clean-Up Day on May 5, 2018, from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Resolution 2018-9, Approving Building Official Wage Increase for Commercial Electrical Inspector Certification.  Roll call ayes: Puck, Mengler, Smith, Koehler, and Brockmann.  Motion carried.

Resolution 2018-10, Approving the Adoption of the FYE 2019 Budget.  Smith moved and Koehler seconded to approve Resolution 2018-10, Approving the Adoption of the FYE 2019 Budget.  Roll call ayes:  Smith, Koehler, Mengler, Brockmann, and Puck.  Motion carried.

Ordinance 497-18, Amending Chapter 99 Regarding Sewer Rates – Introduction & 1st 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.   Koehler introduced and moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 497-18, Amending Chapter 99 Regarding Sewer Rates. Seconded by Puck.  Roll call ayes:  Koehler, Puck, Brockmann, Mengler, and Smith.  Motion carried.

Police Department Report.  Chief Blake reported on staffing issues including lack of a crossing guard which will result in only the stop signs being utilized at the school crosswalk at the intersection of Main & James Streets.

Public Works Department Report.  Stagg requested to dispose of the 1990 dump truck which was being utilized at the wastewater plant for sludge handling but was recently replaced with a dump trailer.  Brockmann stated his objection to the truck being as it has low mileage.  Stagg responded the truck is nearly 30 years old and Mayor Kostichek stated he is aware of some prior maintenance issues.  Mengler moved and Puck seconded to proceed with placing the truck out for bid.  Motion carried with Brockmann opposed.

City Clerk Report.  Rickertsen reported on exploring available systems to enable processing credit and debit card payments securely online and in the office.  The convenience fees would be passed on to the card users.

Council Member Comments.  Brockmann expressed concerns including the condition of Main Street that he brought up last year and stated nothing had been done.  Mayor Kostichek replied that Brockmann reported on a pothole by the bank nearly a year ago but the sunken panels (intersection of Main & Bryant Street) only became more evident after the first of the year.  Stagg stated that he has been watching the area and that he placed a safety cone on the street last month.  Stagg asked Brockmann what was previously done at the area and Brockmann replied that new bolts were placed on an old valve which was leaking.  Another concern he expressed was the condition of the graveled portion of the West Memorial Road.  Stagg responded that the County maintains that section of the gravel road. Following further discussion, Smith stated he would like the Street Committee (Smith & Puck) to schedule a meeting.

Puck moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 6:26 p.m. Motion carried.  All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.