The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 5th day of April, 2021, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present: Everett Bieri, Lisa Mengler, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith. Absent: None. City staff present: Jeff Blake, Lisa Rickertsen, and Paul Stagg. Due to COVID-19, this meeting was held electronically via conference call, permitted under the Iowa Code, Chapter 21.8, which allows an electronic meeting where individuals 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. Puck moved and Bieri 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 15, 2021, Class B beer permits with Sunday licenses for Walcott Unified Fund for Victory and Wescott Parks, and TIF rebate payment ($17,381.26) per agreement to Iowa 80 Truckstop, Inc. for main building expansion. Motion carried.
Ordinance 517-21, Amending the Official Zoning Map. Smith moved and Mengler seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 517-21. Roll call ayes: Smith, Mengler, Puck, and Bieri. Motion carried. This rezones a portion of property owned by Ossian, Inc, at 111 N. Blue Grass Road, from S-A, Suburban Agriculture, to M-1, Light Industrial.
Ordinance 518-21, Amending Chapter 155 Pertaining to Above Ground Storage Tanks. Bieri introduced and moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 518-21. Seconded by Puck. Roll call ayes: Bieri, Puck, Mengler, and Smith. Motion carried. As presented and discussed at the last meeting, changes included in the ordinance are to align more with the Code of Iowa and fire codes.
Resolution 2021-13, Accepting Improvements and Authorizing Final Payment for the 2019 Sanitary Sewer Repairs/Improvements Project on W. Bryant Street. Stagg recommended approval of the final payment and accepting the sanitary sewer improvements project. Smith moved and Mengler seconded to approve Resolution 2021-13, as recommended by Stagg. Roll call ayes: Smith, Mengler, Puck, and Bieri. Motion carried. Final payment will be made to BWC Excavating, L.C. in the amount of $19,924.48.
P&A Committee Recommendations. Puck reported the Policy Administration Committee met last week and recommends the following:
- Hourly wage increase for part-time public works laborer. The Policy Administration Committee, Bieri and Puck, moved and seconded to approve the hourly wage of $13.50/hour for a part-time public works laborer. Motion carried.
- Resolution 2021-14, Setting Wages for Employees for Fiscal Year Beginning July 2, 2021. The Policy Administration Committee, Bieri and Puck, moved and seconded to approve Resolution 2021-14. Roll call ayes: Bieri, Puck, Smith, and Mengler. Motion carried. This is a 2.5% wage increase.
- Resolution 2021-15, Approving Amendments to the Personnel Policy Handbook. The Policy Administration Committee, Bieri and Puck, moved and seconded to approve Resolution 2021-15 with changes as discussed. Roll call ayes: Bieri, Puck, Mengler, and Smith. Motion carried. Policy changes include minor clean-ups and changes to the leave of absence, medical reimbursements, and drug and alcohol free workplace sections.
Joe Quick – Tournaments and Fencing. Joe Quick reported there are four tournaments planned for this summer. There will be two girls softball tournaments, April 30 – May 2nd and June 11th – 13th, and the Fastpitch Invitational on May 28th – 30th and the Iowa Area ISC Qualifier Men’s Fastpitch Tournament June 25th – 27th. Quick requested approval to install temporary fencing at Wescott and Victory Parks beginning April 28th. Following discussion on the fencing, Council consensus was to allow temporary fences to be installed at Wescott and Victory Parks from April 28th – May 5th and again from May 26th – June 30th.
Review of Proposed Code Changes – Chapters 1 – 47. Proposed City Code changes to chapters 1 – 47 were reviewed and discussed. These changes will be incorporated in the City Code recodification process.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg reported on needed repairs on Walker Street, hydrant flushing during the month of April, and he provided updates on the Downey Street water main improvement project and Victory Park repairs. Smith reported on a water retention issue near the Century and Lincoln Streets intersection and landscape maintenance at Victory Park.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen reported on an expected payment to the City from the Federal Pandemic Relief funds to help offset the reduction in Road Use Tax payments last year due to the pandemic. She also reported on information from the Scott County Assessor, which was included in the meeting packet, regarding that a majority of Scott County property owners will see an increase in their 2021 property assessments due to the increase in real estate sales prices.
Council Member Comments. Mengler expressed thanks to the Hearts & Hands Foundation and community volunteers for their work and efforts at Wescott and Victory Parks. Smith stated the merry-go-round was removed from Victory Park several (20+) years ago due to safety concerns and he believes it was later relocated to Water Tower Park. Following discussion, council consensus was to remove the merry-go-round at Water Tower Park due to safety concerns.
Smith moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 7:10 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.