The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 7th day of December, 2020, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present: Everett Bieri, John Brockmann, Lisa Mengler, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith. City staff present: Jeff Blake, Lisa Rickertsen, and Paul Stagg. Due to COVID-19, this meeting was held electronically via 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. Smith moved and Puck seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, reappointment of Josh Geigle as Fire Chief for a one-year term ending December 31, 2021, and the November 2020 financial reports. Motion carried.
Minutes from November 16, 2020. Bieri moved and Mengler seconded to approve the minutes from November 16, 2020. Motion carried with Brockmann and Smith abstaining due to absence from meeting.
Capital Improvements Plan Review. Projects listed in the capital improvements plan for the current and next fiscal year were reviewed and discussed. Stagg provided updates on projects the City Engineer is working on. Council asked Stagg to obtain budget figures on a few potential projects.
Police Department Report. On behalf of the Fire and Police Departments, Blake expressed thanks to the Walcott American Legion for their recent donations to the departments. Blake also reported on an incident earlier in the afternoon where an unidentified person posed as a city utility worker to gain entrance into someone’s home. Residents should be vigilant and immediately report any suspicious individuals or activity.
Public Works Department Report.
- Locust tree at Wescott Park. Stagg reported that the volunteers making improvements at Wescott Park requested removal of the tree located on the SE corner of Wescott Park. This tree sustained some damage in the derecho but not enough to justify removing it so the City hired a contractor to trim it. The volunteers requested it be removed so they can properly grade the area. Stagg reported the insurance agent stated the volunteers cannot remove the tree but they could hire someone to remove it, provided they submit a certificate of liability insurance to the City. Following discussion, Brockmann moved and Smith seconded to allow the tree to be removed, provided the volunteers hire a contractor and proper insurance is submitted to the City. Motion carried.
- Stagg also reported the Fire Department attempted to burn areas at Prairie View Park but there was a lot of green undergrowth and wet conditions that prevented a good burn. He stated his department will attempt to mow the area. Brockmann stated it would be better to do a burn in the spring.
Mayor’s Report. Mayor Kostichek also expressed thanks to the Walcott American Legion for their recent donations and to all the volunteers who have donated their time and equipment at Wescott Park.
Council Members Comments. Brockmann reported on several items, including the following:
- Stated the Walcott Historical Society wants the City to gift the 1949 fire truck to them. Rickertsen stated that the City cannot gift real property, except to another governmental entity, but she would contact the City Attorney.
- Inquired if the Public Works Department could do a rough grade for the new sidewalk location on the east side of Wescott Park and have the City provide a few loads of infield material for the improvements. Council consensus was to have the City provide two loads of material as requested and have Stagg coordinate with Tim Hamann regarding the grading.
- Stated he had received complaints of discolored water. Residents experiencing water discoloration should contact City staff when it happens.
- Inquired about a beaver dam in the creek behind the mobile home park. Stagg responded that he is aware of and taking care of it.
- Questioned the remaining clean-up of Victory Park. Stagg responded he has contractors authorized to perform work at the park and they have agreed to have it completed by spring.
Mengler moved and Smith seconded to adjourn at 7:11 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.