The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 16th day of May, 2022, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present: Everett Bieri, Harry Knutsen, Kirk Koberg, Lisa Mengler, and Jacob Puck. Staff present: Jeff Blake, Lisa Rickertsen, and Paul Stagg.
Approval of Agenda. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. Kendall Mattson expressed concerns with the blocked sidewalks along W. Otis Street and questioned the plan and timeline. Stagg responded the sidewalks should be repaired during this construction season. The City Engineer will be present at the next meeting to provide information on the W. Otis Street project deficiencies. Chip Schultz, Northland Securities, Inc., and Laura Martin, Walcott Women, were also in attendance.
- Proposed Amendment to the Consolidated Walcott Urban Renewal Area. Mayor Kostichek opened the public hearing on the Urban Renewal Plan Amendment. Rickertsen reported the hearing notice had been published according to law and as directed by the City Council and that this is the time and place at which the City Council shall receive oral or written objections from any resident or property owner. The amendment includes adding the E. Lincoln Street Improvements project to the urban renewal plan and using tax increment financing to pay for a portion of the project. A letter was received from the Scott County Board of Supervisors, opposing the use of tax increment financing for this project. No other written or oral comments were received. Mengler moved and Koberg seconded to close the public hearing and open the public hearing on the proposal to enter into a General Obligation loan agreement. Motion carried.
- Proposal to enter into a General Obligation Loan Agreement. Rickertsen reported this is a proposal to enter into a Loan Agreement to borrow money in a principal amount not to exceed $1,750,000. A hearing notice was published according to law and no written or oral objections have been placed on filed. Chip Schultz, Northland Securities, Inc. presented information on the proposed bonds, including estimated interest rate, preliminary repayment schedule, and bond issuance. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to close the public hearing and resume the regular meeting. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Rickertsen reported on Resolution 2022-22, which changes the limits of city funds deposited at specific financial institutions. Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to approve the consent agenda, including the invoices, renewal of Class E Liquor & Sunday sales license for Casey’s General Store #1922, April 2022 financial reports, Resolution 2022-22 Designating Institutions as Depositories, and fireworks permit for the Iowa 80 Group Truckers Jamboree display on July 14th and 15th. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Bieri, Puck, Koberg, and Knutsen. Motion carried.
Minutes from May 2, 2022. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve the minutes from May 2, 2022. Motion carried with Koberg abstaining due to absence from meeting.
Resolution 2022-23, Resolution to Approve Urban Renewal Plan Amendment for the Consolidated Walcott Urban Renewal Area. Bieri moved and Koberg seconded to approve Resolution 2022-23. Roll call ayes: Bieri, Koberg, Knutsen, Mengler, and Puck. Motion carried.
Resolution 2022-24, Resolution Adopting and Approving Tax Compliance Procedures Relating to Tax-Exempt Bonds. Koberg moved and Mengler seconded to approve Resolution 2022-24. Roll call ayes: Koberg, Mengler, Puck, Bieri, and Knutsen. Motion carried.
Resolution 2022-25, Taking additional action to enter into General Obligation Loan Agreement and authorizing the use of a preliminary official statement for the sale of Bonds. Schultz reported on the preliminary official statement, which is a set of factual information about the City. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve Resolution 2022-25. Roll call ayes: Puck, Bieri, Mengler, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried.
Walcott Women – Street Closure Request – June 5th from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. – W. Otis Street between Parker and Rowe. Laura Martin reported on the request to close a portion of W. Otis Street on June 5th for an end of summer celebration for the kids. Martin stated that a Kona Ice truck will be there and Walcott Women will be providing the shaved ice to the kids. Following discussion, Mengler moved and Koberg seconded to approve the closure of W. Otis Street, between Parker and Rowe, on June 5th from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., with the understanding there will not be any individual sales from Kona Ice. Motion carried.
Toughbook Laptops purchase. A project worksheet was presented for the purchase of two laptops for the Fire Department and one for the Police Department. Chief Blake reported the Fire Department’s laptops are outdated and not compatible with the new county software and he currently only has two squad laptops so a third laptop will eliminate moving laptops between squads. Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the purchase of three laptops from Platinum Information Services, in the amount of $11,078.17. Motion carried.
P&A Committee Recommendations. Bieri reported the Policy Administration Committee (Bieri and Mengler) met on May 4th and recommends the following:
- Hourly wage increase for part-time public works laborer. Bieri moved and Mengler seconded to approve the hourly wage of $15.00/hour for the part-time seasonal public works laborer with no pay increase on July 1, 2022. Motion carried.
- Resolution 2022-26, Setting Wages for Employees for Fiscal Year Beginning July 1, 2022. Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to approve Resolution 2022-26. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Bieri, Puck, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried. This is a 4% wage increase.
Discussion was also held on the committee recommendation to sponsor Stagg, per his request, at the next Certified Public Manager Program. This will be placed on the May 23rd special meeting agenda.
Ordinance 525-22, Adopting the Code of Ordinances of the City of Walcott. Puck moved and Koberg seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 525-22. Roll call ayes: Puck, Koberg, Knutsen, Bieri, and Mengler. Motion carried.
Ordinance 526-22, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. Ordinance 526-22 was introduced and Bieri moved and Puck seconded to approve the first reading. Roll call ayes: Roll call ayes: Bieri, Puck, Mengler, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried. Effective with the July 1st billing, each customer shall pay a minimum bill of $17.00 per month (increase of $1.25/month), which includes usage up to 1,400 gallons. All usage over 1,400 gallons shall be $5.82 per 1,000 gallons (4 % increase = $.22/1,000 gallons). The rate increase is needed to pay for improvements to the aging water system.
Ordinance 527-22, Amending Chapter 99 Regarding Sewer Rates. Ordinance 527-22 was introduced and Mengler moved and Koberg seconded to approve the first reading of Ordinance 527-22. Roll call ayes: Roll call ayes: Mengler, Koberg, Knutsen, Bieri, and Puck. Motion carried. Effective with the July 1st billing, the usage rate will increase 2% ($.13/1,000 gallons) to $6.46 per 1,000 gallons of water used per month for all usage over 1,400 gallons. The rate increase is needed to pay for improvements.
Ordinance 528-22, Amending Chapter 106 Pertaining to Solid Waste Collection Fees. Ordinance 528-22 was introduced and Bieri moved and Puck seconded to approve the first reading. Roll call ayes: Roll call ayes: Bieri, Puck, Mengler, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried. Effective with the July 1st billing, the monthly garbage rate increases from $14.18 to $14.89. The City pays an increase each year per the contract with the hauler.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg reported on several department activities, including updating of utility maps with GPS coordinates of all water shut-off locations. Koberg questioned who is responsible for the shut-off valves. Stagg responded that the Code states the property owners are responsible and the valves should be visible and even with the ground. Stagg also reported the city owned lot adjacent to the railroad tracks is being utilized for material storage for the E. Lincoln Street project.
City Clerk’s Report. Rickertsen reported on upcoming meetings on the Scott County Multi-Jurisdictional Local Hazard Mitigation Plan, which expires in 2023. By continuing to participate in the plan, Walcott is eligible for FEMA funds for hazard mitigation grant programs. She also reported only eighteen spots remain in the Summer Youth Recreation Program
Council Member Comments. Koberg stated he was not pleased with the restoration of the new sidewalk areas at Wescott Park. Knutsen reported on a potential trip hazard on the North Main Street sidewalk near the bridge. Stagg stated he is aware of it and will paint it yellow until the contractor can make the repairs. Mengler expressed thanks to all the volunteers that participated with the Wescott Park concession stand improvements.
Koberg moved and Knutsen seconded to adjourn at 6:59 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.