July 20, 2020

The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 20th day of July, 2020, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: Everett Bieri, Lisa Mengler, and Larry Smith with John Brockmann participating remotely by phone. Absent: Jacob Puck. City staff present were Jeff Blake and Lisa Rickertsen with Paul Stagg participating remotely. Due to COVID-19, this meeting was held electronically via a 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 Bieri seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.

Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. No comments.

Consent Agenda. Smith moved and Mengler seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from July 6 2020, June 2020 financial reports, and the FYE 2020 investment report. Motion carried.

Kent Arp – Memorial Statues at Welcome Park. Kent Arp was present on behalf of the Walcott American Legion to discuss a donation of three life-sized memorial soldier statues they want to locate near the berms behind the Veteran’s Memorial at Welcome Park. Discussion included the potential location of each statue, brick walkway to statues, and the lighting and installation of statues. Arp stated he expects it would be completed sometime next summer, possibly by the Walcott Day celebration. Bieri moved and Smith seconded to approve the donation and placement of memorial statues at Welcome Park. Motion carried.

Austin Burt – Wescott Park Improvements. Austin Burt was present on behalf of the Walcott Hearts and Hands Foundation to present information on recommended ballfield improvements, including fencing replacement at Wescott Park. He reported that these improvements include moving the ballfield northwest 10-15 feet and new fencing, which could be paid for by volunteer organizations and private donations. He expressed his opinion that the recommended improvements should be completed prior to or in conjunction with the City’s planned concrete project at Wescott Park. The City is in the process of obtaining bids for the concrete project, which will be reviewed during the August 3rd meeting, and is planned to start after Labor Day due to games scheduled through Friday, September 4th. Safety concerns were expressed regarding the deteriorating blacktop conditions. Following further discussion, Council did not express any opposition to the proposed donated upgrades and improvements as presented, but requested the improvements be presented at a Park Board meeting for their recommendation. This topic will be discussed at a special Park Board meeting on July 29th and at the next Council meeting on August 3rd. Burt will bring additional information, including costs and funding commitments, to the meeting. Brockmann disconnected from the conference call.

Public Works Department Report. Stagg presented the written documentation from the safety specialist from Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities as requested, along with written communication from the City’s insurance company loss control manager that states if the problems aren’t corrected, which would be difficult, then the slide should be removed. During the June 10th Park Board meeting, concerns were expressed about the slide and Stagg was asked to have it inspected. Smith stated that if you misuse any playground equipment you could get hurt. Mengler questioned if the City could address the concerns listed in the inspection report. Stagg responded that some could be remedied, but not all. Following discussion, Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to have the Park Board review this for feasible remedies (as noted in the inspection report) and/or possible equipment replacement. Motion carried with Smith opposing. Mengler expressed concerns regarding the trip hazards on the sidewalk adjacent to the storm intakes along Memorial Road, splash pad equipment malfunctions, and the completion date for the parking lot project which has passed. Stagg replied that he will pursue solutions for the trip hazards and he reported on the ongoing issues with the splash pad equipment and the substantial completion of the parking lot project.

City Clerk’s Report. Rickertsen presented information she received from the North Scott Press regarding purchasing an ad for an upcoming issue (August 19th) that will feature Walcott. Council consensus was to not participate in purchasing an ad.

Mayor’s Report. Mayor Kostichek reported on the importance of all residents completing the 2020 Census.

Smith moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 7:00 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.