The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 17th day of August, 2015, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: Tim Koehler, Virgil Wayne Latimer, Lisa Mengler, Jackie Puck, and Jacob Puck. Absent: None. City employees present: Jeff Blake, John Brockmann, Josh Geigle, Adam Hill, Lisa Rickertsen, and Tom Schirman.
Approval of Agenda. Jackie Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
In honor of his 48 years of service to the community, Mayor Kostichek presented John Brockmann with an engraved wall clock and thanked him for his service. Mayor Kostichek offered to have the City sponsor an open house for his retirement, but Brockmann declined.
Audience. There were approximately 33 people in attendance, including citizens, non-residents and vendors. North Scott Press reporter Alan Dale and city employees Scott Brockmann, Neal Krebs, and Jody Siebel were also in the audience.
Consent Agenda. Koehler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from August 3, 2015, minutes from August 5, 2015, minutes from August 10, 2015, and the July 2015 financial reports. Motion carried.
Minutes from August 14, 2015. Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve the minutes from August 14, 2015. Jacob Puck abstained due to absence from meeting. Motion carried.
Splash Pad Project. Bryce Johnson (J&M Civil Design) presented a phasing plan and associated cost estimates for the proposed splash pad area and reconstruction of West Otis Street. Johnson distributed additional information to the council and stated the breakdown of multiple phases would increase the overall costs. Questions arose from audience members regarding the project, maintenance, and costs. The Splash Pad Committee was formed (in February 2014) to assist in planning and pursuing grants and fundraising for the splash pad area. The street reconstruction would be a future street improvements project. Koehler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to table any action (on the phasing plans/costs estimates) until they review the information further. Motion carried. Brockmann will investigate the chain link fence and posts location (installed in May 2014) at the proposed splash pad site, following questions from resident Mike Engler.
S. Downey Street Improvements Project. Brockmann stated he has not received a second engineering bid, as requested by council. He felt it was unfair to take another bid since the first engineer's bid had been reported at a previous council meeting. No action was taken.
Rowe Street Right-of-Way (ROW). Following a request at the last meeting from William Belz, property owner of 302 W. Lincoln Street, Brockmann reconfirmed there are city utilities (sanitary and storm sewer) in the ROW and cautioned the City Council about selling portions of the ROW. Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to not sell the ROW to Belz. Motion carried.
Municipal Building Project – Relocating Poles at 101 S. Main Street. Rickertsen reported the architect stated the posts located on the southwest side of the lot could be moved 10 : 15' due west. Discussion was held that moving the poles would allow delivery trucks to turn from Henry Street into the drive on the south side of CenPeCo. Iowa Interstate Railroad has not yet been contacted regarding the poles that carry power to the crossing arms. It was stated the council would not be paying the costs to relocate any of the poles.
Public Works Director Position : Resolution 2015-30, Establishing Hourly Wage and Vacation Leave. Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2015-30. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Jackie Puck, Jacob Puck, Latimer, and Koehler. Motion carried. A lengthy discussion was held on the questions/comments that arose regarding the resolution details, job qualifications/requirements, and the hiring process. The resolution approved the appointment of Steve Bowman as the Public Works Director, effective August 24, 2015, at a rate of $27.00/hour with two weeks of vacation granted at the start of employment.
Fire Department Report. Chief Geigle reported he is pursuing additional information on the hose tower that he had requested to be on the agenda.
Police Department Report. Chief Blake reported on the multi-jurisdiction event, funded by the Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau, the department is participating with on August 19th.
Public Work's Department Report. Brockmann stated he wanted the public to know that CenPeCo offered the City $160,000, to be used to purchase and demolish the adjacent residential property. He questioned the costs reported at the last meeting and Koehler stated the information he presented was the value of all land and demolition costs (related to the Municipal Building Project). Brockmann reported on the following:
He spoke with an Alliant Energy representative that stated they welcome city banners on their poles.
Others also had trouble hearing the council at the last regular meeting.
Expressed his frustration with the farm lease eviction notice he received.
Thanked his family, employees, and vendors present and congratulated Bowman on getting the job.
City Clerk's Department Report. Rickertsen stated she was contacted by a Mediacom representative who stated they will indeed proceed, in conjunction with the Main Street Streetscape Enhancement project, with extending their services north of the bridge.
Mayor's Report. Mayor Kostichek thanked the residents in attendance at the meeting.
Questions/Concerns. Some concerns expressed included the following:
Ruth Siebke, resident, expressed her frustration with the sidewalk and handicap ramp repairs done near her property. She questioned the inspection process and Rickertsen reported the Building Official inspects the sidewalk and the Public Works Director inspects the handicap ramp area.
Andrew Snyder, property owner, expressed his concerns about communication issues with the Building Official regarding the Main Street Streetscape Enhancement project.
Jackie Puck moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 7:35 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.