The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 6th 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, 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 Puck seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. None.
Consent Agenda. Smith moved and Mengler seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, Class B beer permits and Sunday licenses for Walcott Unified Fund for Victory and Wescott Parks, final TIF rebate payment per agreement to Iowa 80 Truckstop, Inc. for Morton Building Project for $678.51, and Resolution 2020-13-Transfer of Funds. Roll call ayes: Smith, Mengler, Puck, Bieri, and Brockmann. Motion carried.
Minutes from March 16, 2020. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the minutes from March 16, 2020. Motion carried with Brockmann abstaining due to absence from meeting.
Minutes from March 30, 2020. Bieri moved and Mengler seconded to approve the minutes from March 30, 2020. Motion carried with Smith abstaining due to absence from meeting.
Ordinance 511-20, Amending the Code of Ordinances Concerning Livestock. Ordinance 511-20 was introduced, which modifies section 55.05 concerning livestock. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the first reading of Ordinance 511-20. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Smith, Bieri, Brockmann, and Puck. 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
Policy and Administration Committee Recommendations. Mengler reported that the Policy and Administration Committee (Mengler and Puck) met twice in March regarding wages. The Committee recommended a wage increase for Sergeant Hill, retroactive to March 16, 2020, and wage increases for employees beginning July 1, 2020. Following discussion, Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2020-14, Approving Hourly Wage Increase for Sergeant Hill. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Puck, Brockmann, Smith, and Bieri. Motion carried. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve Resolution 2020-15, Setting Wages for Employees for Fiscal Year Beginning July 1, 2020. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Smith, Bieri, Puck, and Brockmann. Motion carried.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg reported on the recent park closures but noted that the recreational trail is still open. Stagg reported on the competitive quotes received for the proposed parking lot project and he recommended proceeding with the lowest bidder, which was under the engineer’s estimate. Brockmann expressed concerns regarding proceeding with the project at this time due to the current health emergency crisis. Brockmann moved to delay awarding the project until the next meeting. Discussion was held that delaying the acceptance of the bid could affect the goal of the project being completed by Walcott Day, as defined in the project documents. Members expressed concerns about rejecting all bids and requoting the project at a later date and their desires to support a local business. The motion by Brockmann died due to a lack of a second. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve Resolution 2020-16, Awarding Contract for the Parking Lot Improvements Project. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Smith, Bieri, and Puck. Nays: Brockmann. Motion carried. The contract is awarded to the low bidder, Aero Concrete, Ltd from Blue Grass, in the amount of $86,215.87. Stagg also reported on a water main break on the north side of town he was currently working on.
Mayor’s Report. Mayor Kostichek stated he is requesting monthly or quarterly call reports from the Police Department.
Council Comments. Council also requested monthly or quarterly permit reports from the Building Inspector.
Smith moved and Bieri seconded to adjourn at 6:31 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.