August 5, 2019 Minutes

The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 5th day of August 2019, at Walcott City Hall.  Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  Council members present were: John Brockmann, Tim Koehler, Lisa Mengler, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith.  Absent:  None.  City staff present:  Jeff Blake, Lisa Rickertsen, Tom Schirman, and Paul Stagg.        

Approval of Agenda. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the agenda.  Motion carried.

Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. No comments. 

Consent Agenda.  Puck moved and Koehler seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices and minutes from July 15, 2019.  Motion carried.

Petition Request for Alley Closure.  Jackie Puck presented a petition from neighboring property owners along W. Durant and Flagg Streets requesting that semi-permanent structures, which could be removed for City and/or utility use, be placed on a portion of the alley between S. Parker Street and Rowe Lane. The petition stated that the request was due to the continuing misuse and damage to private and public property.  Attorney Schirman stated that per the Iowa Code the City has an obligation to keep the alley open, with an exception that it can be temporarily closed when conditions warrant (overweight abuse, deterioration, rain, snow, ground condition or other climatic conditions that an alley can be seriously damaged by vehicular travel). Schirman stated the City can’t legally do what the petition requests but could discuss load limits and speed limits (currently alleys are 15 MPH) and that individuals caught intentionally damaging the alley or adjacent properties can be subject to criminal charges or municipal infractions.  There was some discussion about vacating an alley but it’s not feasible to do so in this area due to utilities and restricting access for property owners.  Attorney Schirman, Mayor Kostichek, and council members acknowledged the petitioners’ frustration with this unfortunate situation.  Due to legal restrictions, Mengler moved and Smith seconded to deny the request to permanently close the alley to through traffic.  Motion carried with Puck opposing.

Otis St Improvements Project.

  • Seeding & Clean-up Action Plan. A letter was submitted to the City with the contractors’ action plan to remove rocks and ensure seeding growth and establishment for this fall.  Following discussion, Mengler moved and Puck seconded to require the subcontractor to include surface tilling, removal of rocks and debris and to seed again during September.  Motion carried.
  • Approval of Payment #9 to Cornerstone Excavating, Inc. Smith moved and Mengler seconded to approve payment #9 to Cornerstone Excavating, Inc. for $9,087.25.  Motion carried. 

2019 Water Main Improvements Project.  Mayor Kostichek reported on a portion of the right-of-way along the project that hasn’t been restored yet.  Stagg stated he is aware of the area and he has a punch list that he will discuss with the project manager.  It was noted that all construction projects retain funds from the contractor until the City Council accepts the project.  Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve payment #1 to BWC Excavating, Inc. for $147,106.21.  Motion carried.

2019 Sanitary Sewer Repairs/Improvements Project.  Stagg stated he also has a punch list for this project.  Koehler moved and Puck seconded to approve payment #1 to BWC Excavating, Inc. for $193,885.02.  Motion carried.  

Council Vacancy.  Mengler stated that it is with a heavy heart that she moves to accept Tim Koehler’s resignation, effective August 19, 2019, and to fill the vacancy by appointment during the August 19th meeting.  Smith concurred and reluctantly seconded the motion.  Motion carried with Koehler abstaining and Brockmann expressing his regrets at Koehler’s resignation.  Koehler is resigning due to an upcoming move outside of City limits.        

Police Department Report.  Chief Blake had presented information that was provided to him by the Scott County Humane Society regarding a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program for cats.  Mengler moved and Smith seconded to not proceed with the TNR program since it would be returning feral cats to the community.  Motion carried.

Public Works Department Report.  Stagg stated that the splash pad equipment was installed today and that an official ribbon cutting ceremony will be at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7th 

Council Member Comments. Smith inquired about moving a sign post, located on the corner of E. James and N. Downey Streets, which was reinstalled on the opposite side of the street following the recent water main project.  Stagg will look into moving the sign.  Discussion was also held on a drainage area along Memorial Road between a residence on Memorial Road and S. Downey Street.  Stagg is looking into reconstructing the intake.

Smith moved and Koehler seconded to adjourn at 6:45 p.m.  Motion carried.  All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.