The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 20th day of February, 2023 at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present: Everett Bieri, Lisa Mengler, Harry Knutsen, and Jacob Puck. Absent: Kirk Koberg. Staff present: Jeff Blake and Lisa Rickertsen.
Approval of Agenda. Knutsen moved and Bieri seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from February 13, 2023, and annual insurance renewal with EMC Insurance with Arp Insurance being the local agent. Motion carried.
Approval of Minutes from February 6, 2023. Knutsen moved and Bieri seconded to approve the minutes from February 6, 2023. Motion carried.
Hearts & Hands Foundation Updates. Brent Puck and Austin Burt were present on behalf of the Hearts & Hands Foundation. Puck questioned if the City was interested in moving forward with phase two of the recreational trail. This would go from the current trail, behind the homes on the north side of Michelle Lane, and run along the creek to W. Otis Street. Following discussion, the potential trail project will be placed a future council agenda. Puck also expressed concerns with the need for future residential growth and offered their assistance. Burt presented three options on wayfinding signs, an idea that came out of the 2019 Community Visioning Program. The options include using the same decorative poles as on N. Main Street, either with or without the light fixture. The signage would indicate direction of amenities, such as parks and public facilities. The preliminary proposal is for seven poles, located at three Main Street intersections. Burt will obtain updated costs on options for the poles and signage. Mengler thanked the Hearts & Hands Foundation members and expressed appreciation for everything they do for the City.
E. Lincoln Street Improvements Project. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve payment #6 to Needham Excavating in the amount of $803,671.39. Motion carried.
Resolution 2023-8, Amending and Approving the Rental Housing Guide for the City of Walcott. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve Resolution 2023-8. Roll call ayes: Puck, Bieri, Mengler, and Knutsen. Motion carried.
Resolution 2023-9, Amending and Approving the Investment Policy for the City of Walcott. Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to approve Resolution 2023-9. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Bieri, Knutsen, and Puck. Motion carried.
Ordinance 533-23, Amending Chapter 162 Pertaining to Requirements for Rental Property. The proposed change references the City’s Rental Housing Guide, which will exclude single family homes occupied by children or parents of the owner from rental housing inspections. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 533-23. Roll call ayes: Puck, Bieri, Mengler, and Knutsen. Motion carried.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen presented her report including an update on senate study bill (SSB 1124) and the impact it may have to the City. She also reported on a notice from the County Assessor regarding a valuation litigation settlement on a parcel located in the City.
- FYE 2024 Budget Update. Rickertsen reported on recent state legislation which reduces the residential taxable valuations in the next budget, FYE 2024. The budget deadline has been extended in order for Counties to recalculate the taxable valuations. Further budget discussions will resume in March.
- Urban Renewal Area Changes. Discussion was held on changes to the current urban renewal area and potential projects. Council consensus was to proceed with area changes as presented.
Mayor Report. Mayor Kostichek thanked the Hearts & Hands Foundation members for their efforts in providing the preliminary work on potential City projects.
Knutsen moved and Bieri seconded to adjourn at 7:02 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.