The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, April 3, 2023, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present: Everett Bieri, Kirk Koberg, Harry Knutsen, Lisa Mengler, and Jacob Puck. Staff present: Lisa Rickertsen and Paul Stagg.
Approval of Agenda. Puck moved and Knutsen seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. Bridget Geigle, Megan & Ben McKibbin, and Korry Kraft were present on behalf of the Fire Department and Lesa Puck was present on behalf of Walcott Women. Megan McKibbin reported on a fundraiser opportunity through her employer, Front Street Brewery, for the Fire Department. Council had no opposition with the fundraiser for the Fire Department as presented but requested future communication regarding the event details.
Consent Agenda. Mengler moved and Koberg seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from March 20, 2023, and Resolution 2023-12, Transfer of Funds. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Koberg, Knutsen, Puck, and Bieri. Motion carried.
Special Class C License including Outdoor & Sunday Sales for Walcott Unified Fund at Victory Park. Mengler moved and Koberg seconded to approve the Special Class C license for Walcott Unified Fund at Victory Park, pending submittal of insurance. Motion carried.
Special Class C License including Outdoor & Sunday Sales for Walcott Unified Fund at Wescott Park. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve the Special Class C license for Walcott Unified Fund at Wescott Park, pending submittal of insurance. Motion carried.
Walcott Women – Street Closure Request for Summer Fest. Lesa Puck reported on the request to close either a portion of W. Otis Street, or N. Henry Street, on June 11th for a summer celebration for the kids. Puck stated that a Kona Ice truck will be there and Walcott Women will be providing the shaved ice to the kids. Discussion was held on the potential closure of W. Otis Street around this date due to street deficiencies. Koberg moved and Bieri seconded to approve the closure of N. Henry Street, between James and Otis Streets, on June 11th from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Motion carried.
Resolution 2023-13, Approving Muscatine County Mutual Aid Fire Protection Agreement. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2023-13. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Puck, Bieri, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried.
Resolution 2023-14, Setting Date for Public Hearing on Designation of the Expanded Consolidated Walcott Urban Renewal Area and Urban Renewal Plan Amendment. This Resolution is to set a public hearing date on the proposal to amend the boundaries of the urban renewal area and the urban renewal plan. Bieri moved the adoption of Resolution 2023-14 and the motion was seconded by Puck. Roll call ayes: Bieri, Puck, Mengler, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried. The public hearing will be on May 1st at 6:00 p.m. The expansion is to add lot 1 of the Iowa 80 9th Addition to the urban renewal area.
Ordinance 534-23, Amending Provisions Pertaining to Chapter 160, Building Codes. The proposed ordinance amends Chapter 160 by adopting the State of Iowa plumbing, electrical, and mechanical codes, which will align with Scott County and other local communities. Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 534-23. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Bieri, Puck, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried.
Ordinance 535-23, Amending Chapter 47 Prohibiting Bounce Houses and Other Inflatables. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 535-23. Roll call ayes: Puck, Bieri, Mengler, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried.
Ordinance 536-23, Deleting Property from the Tax Increment Financing District. The initial consideration to Ordinance 536-23 was given on March 20, 2023. It was moved by Puck and seconded by Mengler that the statutory rule requiring an ordinance to be considered and voted on for passage at two Council meetings prior to the meeting at which it is to be finally passed be suspended (waive the 2nd reading) for Ordinance 536-23. Roll call ayes: Puck, Mengler, Bieri, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried. Bieri moved and Puck seconded that Ordinance 536-23 be put upon its final consideration and adoption (3rd reading). Roll call ayes: Bieri, Puck, Mengler, Koberg, and Knutsen. Motion carried.
Policy & Administration Committee (Bieri and Mengler) Recommendations.
- Resolution 2023-15, Approving Amendments to the Personnel Policy Handbook for the City of Walcott. Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to approve Resolution 2023-15. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Bieri, Puck, Koberg, and Knutsen. Motion carried.
- Resolution 2023-16, Setting Wages for Employees for Fiscal Year Beginning July 1, 2023. Bieri moved and Mengler seconded to approve Resolution 2023-16 as presented. Roll call ayes: Bieri, Mengler, Koberg, Knutsen, and Puck. Motion carried. Koberg felt the Police Chief’s wage should be higher and he questioned why the Chief is no longer allowed to take a squad home. It was reported the use of the squad to and from his personal residence was allowed due to the K9 dog, which is now retired, and policy prohibits employees using vehicles to travel to and from their personal residence (with exceptions).
Lincoln Street Improvements Project. Stagg stated he (and the project engineer) recommends approval of payment #7 and the change orders as stated in Resolution 2023-17. Koberg questioned if the street concrete depth is 8” and felt the drive over curb at Liquid Grow is too steep. Stagg responded he will verify the concrete depth and stated the sloped curb in front of Liquid Grow was poured per the plans and specifications, which were discussed during the meeting with two representatives from Liquid Grow in attendance. Koberg expressed concerns with the curb around the concrete containment area and the narrow width of the street. Stagg will obtain a cost to grind the curb by Liquid Grow.
- Payment #7 – Needham Excavating Inc. Mengler moved and Koberg seconded to approve payment #7 to Needham Excavating in the amount of $71,686.64. Motion carried.
- Resolution 2023-17, Approving Change Orders for the E. Lincoln Street Improvements Project. Stagg reported on the change order additions and deletion, which total $5,630.36. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve Resolution 2023-17. Roll call aye: Puck, Bieri, Mengler, Koberg, and Knutsen. Motion carried.
- Sidewalk Modifications for Property from Century Street to School. Stagg reported on a request to move the sidewalk from 1’ to 4’ from the property line (from Century St to school) due to trees, drainage, and matching the sidewalk west of Century Street. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the sidewalk modification as presented (locate the sidewalk 4’ from property line instead of 1’). Motion carried.
Stagg also reported on a request to seed the south side of E. Lincoln Street instead of using sod per the plan. Council consensus was to move forward with the proposed change to seed the area as presented. Stagg also reminded council that E. Lincoln Street is not open for traffic until the project is completed and accepted by the City.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg reported he submitted a request for quotes (RFQ) for a sewer lining project but only received one bid. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to reject the bid. Motion carried. Stagg will reissue the RFQ with a later project completion date of December 2023. Stagg reported on the recent wastewater inspection by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen presented her report which included that unfortunately the YMCA Camp Abe Lincoln is unable to administer the City of Walcott’s Summer Youth Recreation program in 2023.
Mayor’s Report. Mayor Kostichek thanked the Fire Department members for pursuing other funding opportunities. He also expressed thanks to the members of the Walcott Women organization for sponsoring community events for the youth.
Council Member Comments. Mengler thanked the Walcott Women organization for sponsoring the recent Easter Egg Hunt.
Koberg moved and Puck seconded to adjourn at 6:53 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.