The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 20th day of April, 2020, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: Lisa Mengler, with Everett Bieri, John Brockmann, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith participating remotely by phone. City Clerk, Lisa Rickertsen, was present and Public Works Director, Paul Stagg, and Sergeant Hill participated remotely. Due to COVID-19, this meeting was held electronically via a conference call, permitted under the Iowa Code, Chapter 21.8, which allows an electronic meeting where members may participate remotely when an in-person meeting is impossible or impractical. Call-in information was provided to the public on the meeting agenda notice.
Approval of Agenda. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. No comments.
Consent Agenda. Smith moved and Puck seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, March 2020 financial reports, Class C liquor license renewal including outdoor and Sunday sales for Lampliter, and Resolution 2020-17-Approval of Official Zoning Map. Roll call ayes: Smith, Puck, Mengler, Bieri, and Brockmann. Motion carried.
Reschedule Clean-Up Day. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to reschedule clean-up day to coincide with the city-wide garage sales on June 6th. Motion carried.
Resolution 2020-18, Approving Contract and Bonds for Parking Lot Improvements Project. Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to approve Resolution 2020-18. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Bieri, Puck, and Smith. Nays: Brockmann. Motion carried.
Ordinance 511-20, Amending the Code of Ordinances Concerning Livestock. Smith moved and Puck seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 511-20. Roll call ayes: Smith, Puck, Brockmann, Bieri, and Mengler. Motion carried. This change would allow chickens (but not roosters) in Suburban Agricultural zoning districts, with the following restrictions: limit of twenty-five chickens, must be confined to a coop at all times, and coops may only be located in rear yards and at least 500 feet from all other zoning districts
Police Department Report. Squad Camera Purchase Approval. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the purchase of a squad camera system at a total cost of $5,135. Motion carried. Funds in the amount of $4,500 from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau will be used towards the purchase, with the remaining funds from the Forfeiture Fund
Public Works Department Report. Stagg reported that approximately 90 percent of the city-wide flushing has been completed in the past two weeks. Mengler questioned if there were still large draws from the system from commercial entities, which disrupt sediment in the pipes, and if he has had any recent calls regarding water complaints. Stagg responded there have been large commercial draws and he has not received any recent complaints.
City Clerk’s Report. Discussion was held on the proposed utility rate increases. Council consensus was to move forward with the increases but to stagger the water rate increase. Rickertsen will prepare ordinances for the garbage and water rate increases, with the increases effective on July 1, 2020 billing.
Mayor’s Report. Mayor Kostichek reported on weekly conference calls regarding COVID-19 and encourages residents to continue social distancing as recommended.
Council Comments. Smith reported that the lights are being turned on at Wescott and Victory Parks on Tuesday and Friday nights for fifteen minutes to show solidarity and support for the parks and community. Brockmann reported on concerns from property owners that overgrown areas in the ditch on the railroad property is impeding agriculture drainage. Discussion was held that this is private property but consensus was to have the City Attorney to write a letter to Iowa Interstate Railroad regarding the concerns.
Smith moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 6:32 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.