The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 1st day of February, 2021, 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. City Engineer, Jason Holdorf, participated remotely. 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. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. None.
Public Hearing. Mayor Kostichek opened the public hearing on the proposed plans, specifications, form of contract, and cost estimate for the N. Downey Street Water Main Improvements Project. This project is on N. Downey Street, between James and Otis Streets. No public comments were received. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to close the public hearing and resume the regular meeting. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from January 18, 2021, and January 25, 2021, and request for services from the State of Iowa Auditor’s Office for the FYE 2021 examination. Motion carried.
Resolution 2021-7, Approving Plans, Specifications, Form of Contract, and Cost Estimate for the N. Downey Street Water Main Improvements Project. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve Resolution 2021-7. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Smith, Puck, Brockmann, and Bieri. Motion carried.
Ordinance 516-21, Amending Chapter 167 Pertaining to Floodplain Management Overlay Districts and Standards. This Ordinance was drafted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the City needs to adopt it prior to FEMA’s adoption of the new floodplain maps. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 516-21.Roll call ayes: Puck, Bieri, Brockmann, Smith, and Mengler. Motion carried.
2021 Summer Youth Program. Rickertsen stated that a representative from the YMCA reported they feel confident they can provide an environment that meets CDC guidelines but due to the pandemic restrictions, the number of participants would be limited. The six-week program would be held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The cost remains at $196.45 per child from the YMCA, so the proposal is to charge $70 per child for Walcott and Fire District #6 residents and $196.45 for non-residents. Mengler questioned if the number of participants could be adjusted if pandemic restrictions would change. Rickertsen stated she would inquire about it. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the Summer Youth Program as presented. Motion carried. Program dates will be determined at a later date.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg presented his department report including an updated equipment list. Discussion was held on the quote to replace the Fire Department roof that Stagg was asked to obtain for budgeting purposes. The roof is currently leaking in multiple areas and has been patched several times in the past 10 – 15 years. Brockmann stated his objection to replacing the roof. He stated he felt the City could continue patching the current roof but felt a contractor should be hired to do all patching instead of utilizing city staff. The contractor that provided the current quote will be asked to inspect the roof and provide a recommendation.
Police Department Report. Chief Blake provided an update on K-9 Titan who has been out of service but is slowly improving.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen provided an update on the repair quotes and insurance reimbursement from the derecho last August. She also presented and discussed taxable property valuations in the City for the current and next fiscal year.
Council Member Comments. Brockmann recommended having staff clear snow from around the hydrants that may not be accessible. He also expressed concerns regarding the following: proposed tax levy rate, W. Otis Street project, and the overgrown areas in the ditch on railroad property impeding agriculture drainage. Rickertsen stated the City is required to publish a maximum levy rate but the City Council has not yet approved a tax levy rate for the next fiscal year. Stagg reported he recently met with the City Engineer and project contractor regarding the W. Otis Street project and the contractor is preparing a remedy proposal. Mayor Kostichek stated that Iowa Interstate Railroad responded to a letter sent by the City last year regarding drainage concerns. They indicated their engineers did not observe conditions on their property that would impede agriculture drainage.
Puck moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 6:32 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.