The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 20th day of February, 2017, 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, and Jackie Puck. Absent: Jacob Puck. City employees present: Scott Bengfort, Jeff Blake, Lisa Rickertsen, Tom Schirman, and Paul Stagg.
Approval of Agenda. Jackie Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Public Comments. John Brockmann expressed concerns about the removal of a portion of sidewalk on North Main Street and he also stated there is a bump on the Main Street bridge approach.
Consent Agenda. Latimer moved and Koehler seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from February 6, 2017, and the January 2017 financial reports. Motion carried.
Larry Seiler – Alley Maintenance. Larry Seiler questioned the maintenance of the alley behind his property. Following the last meeting, Attorney Schirman drafted a memo that states the City has complied with state code requirements addressing the closing of alleys for specified conditions. City policy states that existing platted alleys may be improved by property owners, at their expense. Seiler stated he wants the bushes trimmed that are hanging in the alley right-of-way.
Karolyn Williams – 211 N. Parker Street. Karolyn Williams stated she was informed she had to remove some of her landscaping that is located in the City right-of-way (ROW), adjacent to the curb in front of her house. It acts as a public sidewalk and was installed without a permit and does not meet city sidewalk standards. Williams stated that it was never intended to be a sidewalk. She stated she spoke to two former employees and that she was told a permit was not needed. Kendall Mattson spoke about the improvements made to Williams’ property and noted that there are sidewalks next to the curb in various areas within the City. The City Code states that public sidewalks shall be located six feet from the curb line, unless Council establishes a different distance due to special circumstances, and must be constructed with concrete. It was stated that sidewalks placed adjacent to the curb cause snow removal problems and are no longer permitted. Koehler reported on differing information from a former employee who stated that she did not say a permit was not needed for the sidewalk located in City ROW. Council stated the property looks attractive but it is not compliant with City Code and they directed Bengfort to communicate with Williams to discuss a resolution and report back at the next meeting.
Dave Meier – Iowa 80 Group. Dave Meier stated they would like to reroute the water main at the Truckstop for future building expansion. Stagg stated he met with Meier on site and does not have any issues with the relocation request. Discussion included the need to vacate the existing easement for the water main and a new easement will be required. Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to move forward with the easement vacation process, allowing Iowa 80 Group to reroute the water main at their expense, following verification that no other utilities are in the existing easement. Motion carried.
Liability/Property/Worker’s Compensation Insurance Renewal. Rickertsen reported on the benefits of participating in the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities Safety Group Insurance Program with EMC Insurance and recommended renewing the IAMU Safety Group Insurance Program with EMC Insurance Company, utilizing local agent, Brent Arp. Koehler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to renew the insurance with EMC Insurance Company. Motion carried.
Spring Clean-Up Day – May 6, 2017. Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to schedule spring clean-up day on Saturday, May 6th from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Motion carried. This will be located at the Public Works building for Walcott residents only. No electronic, business, or household hazardous waste. Tires, appliances, and bulky items will be accepted at no charge.
Personnel Policy Changes. Proposed changes to the personnel policy were reviewed. Rickertsen will prepare a resolution for the next meeting to incorporate the changes to the policy.
Ordinance 490-17, Amending Chapter 99 Regarding Sewer Rates. Rickertsen stated an increase is needed to cover costs associated with the operation, maintenance, and improvements to both the water and sewer systems. This ordinance increases the sewer base rate from $3.00 to $9.00/month and the usage rate by $.15 (3%) from $5.65 to $5.80 per 1,000 gallons of water used. Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to introduce and approve the 1st reading of Ordinance 490-17. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Koehler, Jackie Puck, and Latimer. Motion carried. This is the 1st of three readings of the ordinance.
Ordinance 491-17, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. This ordinance increases the water usage rate by $.14 (3%), from $4.75 to $4.88 per 1,000 gallons of water used. Jackie Puck moved and Mengler seconded to introduce and approve the 1st reading of Ordinance 491-17. Roll call ayes: Jackie Puck, Mengler, Koehler, and Latimer. Motion carried.
Building Department Report. Bengfort introduced himself to the audience and provided an update on his department activities.
Police Department Report. Chief Blake requested approval to purchase and install in-car printers and scanners in the three squads. Koehler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to purchase the equipment as requested at a cost of $2,629.19. Motion carried.
Public Works Department Report.
- Disposal of Lab Equipment. Stagg reported the City has three working meters to perform daily water tests. He stated one is more expensive to operate and he would like to try to sell it. Mengler moved and Jackie seconded to proceed with disposing of the unnecessary lab equipment. Motion carried.
- Water Tower Interior/Exterior (Divers) Inspection/Cleaning. Resident John Brockmann suggested the City drain the tower to inspect it instead of utilizing divers. Stagg stated utilizing divers is a common practice and it will allow the 500,000 gallon tower to remain in-service during the process with no adverse effect to the system. The inspection includes cleaning the interior of the tower and the wet well reservoir. Following discussion, Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve the low bid from MidCo Diving and Marine Services, Inc. to perform the inspection and cleaning services on the north water tower at a cost of $2,675. Motion carried. The services will be paid from the Water Tower Reserve Fund.
- Lift Station Pump Repairs. Stagg recommended repairing the backup lift station pump that provides relief to the main lift station when overwhelmed by peak flows. Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the low bid from Electric Pump, at a cost of $6,225, to repair the lift station pump. Motion carried. The services will be paid from the Lift Station Reserve Fund.
City Clerk Report.
- Public Hearing Date for FYE 2017 Budget Amendment. Rickertsen reported on the proposed budget amendment for the FYE 2017 Budget. Koehler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to set the public hearing date for the FYE 2017 budget amendment for March 20th at 6:00 p.m. Motion carried.
- FYE 2017 Examination. Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to request the State Auditor’s Office perform an annual examination for FYE 2017. Motion carried.
Attorney Report. Schirman stated all sign easements have been recorded and he provided an update regarding the purchase offer for the city property located at 1113 N. Main Street.
Council Member Comments. Koehler questioned the status of the property lines pertaining to the location of the entrance signs. Rickertsen stated the survey had been completed to verify the correct placement of signs.
Jackie Puck moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 7:16 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.