December 16, 2019 Minutes

The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 16th day of December, 2019, at Walcott City Hall.  Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  Council members present were: Everett Bieri, John Brockmann, Lisa Mengler, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith.  Absent:  None.  City staff present:  Jeff Blake, Lisa Rickertsen, and Paul Stagg.

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

Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. No public comments at this time.

Public Hearing.  Mayor Kostichek opened the public hearing on the rezoning request for 210 & 230 W. Flagg Street from R-3 (Multiple Family Dwelling District) to R-1 (Single Family Dwelling District).  Rickertsen stated the Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of the zoning change.  Currently, 210 W. Flagg Street is a vacant lot and 230 W. Flagg Street is a single family home.  To the north of these lots, across the alley, the entire 200 block of W. Durant St is zoned R-1.  No written or other oral comments were received. Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to close the public hearing and resume the regular meeting.  Motion carried.

Consent Agenda.  Puck moved and Smith seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, November 2019 financial reports, Resolution 2019 – Approving Applications for Residential Tax Abatement within the 2017 Walcott Urban Revitalization Area, and ITC Midwest LLC right-of-way permit.  Roll call ayes:  Puck, Smith, Mengler, Bieri, and Brockmann.  Motion carried.

Minutes from December 2, 2019.  Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to approve the minutes from December 2, 2019.  Motion carried with Brockmann abstaining due to absence from the meeting.

Rezoning Request for 210 and 230 W. Flagg Street.  Smith introduced and moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 510-19, Amending the Official Zoning Map.  Seconded by Mengler.  Roll call ayes:  Smith, Mengler, Bieri, and Brockmann.  Motion carried with Puck abstaining due to conflict of interest. This Ordinance changes the zoning for 210 and 230 W. Flagg Street from R-3 to R-1.

Joe Aubry – Water Concerns. Aubry reported on concerns expressed on a local Facebook group regarding occasional water discoloration.  Other residents in attendance, including Kari Arivett, stated she notices discoloration periodically when running bath water and David Trees provided water samples and a picture of a whole house filter in his home.  Stagg stated that naturally occurring minerals and sediments can be stirred up in City mains or internal plumbing (private lines/pipes, softeners, and heaters) by high flows (bulk water sales, hydrant flushing, and water main breaks).  Stagg reported that the water is tested on a daily basis to ensure that it is safe to drink and he presented information on testing results indicating that iron and manganese levels are well below the recommended action levels.  Earlier this year Stagg implemented a unidirectional flushing program to proactively remove any mineral or sediment deposits within the system.  After further discussion, it was recommended by the Mayor and Council that residents should contact the appropriate City staff directly anytime they have questions or concerns related to City issues, rather than posting on social media.

Ordinance 509-19, Concerning Parking Regulations.  Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the third reading of Ordinance 509-19, Concerning Parking Regulations, with no parking on both sides of Walker Street and on the south and west sides of Sterling Drive.  Roll call ayes:  Puck, Mengler, Smith, and Bieri. Nays:  Brockmann.  Motion carried.

Police Department Report.  Chief Blake reported the Police Department received a $1,000 grant from Iowa 80/CAT Scale GO Iowa Endowment for load bearing tactical vests.

City Clerk’s Report.  Rickertsen reported the Planning & Zoning Commission supports changes to the accessory building code section.  The changes include prohibiting shipping containers and requiring accessory buildings to have weather resistant material treatment, both in single family and two family dwelling districts.  Council consensus was to move forward with the proposed code changes. Both the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council will have future public hearings on the proposed changes. 

Council Member Comments.  Brockmann questioned why all City vehicles do not have City of Walcott decals on them.  Stagg responded that he is more getting decals.  Mengler questioned when restoration of the easement, along the south side of Memorial Road, would be completed.  Stagg stated the restoration work will be completed in the spring.

Smith moved and Puck seconded to adjourn at 6:43 p.m.  Motion carried.  All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.