The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 1st day of June, 2020, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: Lisa Mengler, with Everett Bieri, John Brockmann, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith participating remotely by phone. City staff present were Jeff Blake and Lisa Rickertsen with Paul Stagg participating remotely by phone. 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. Puck moved and Smith seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from May 18, 2020, and renewal of Class A liquor license renewal for Walcott Legion Post #548. Motion carried.
Review/Deactivate Sections of Public Health Disaster Emergency Policy. Rickertsen reviewed the current public health disaster emergency policy. Following discussion, Smith moved and Mengler seconded to deactivate sections 1, 4, 5, and 7(H). Motion carried. City Hall will reopen to the public, water disconnects are no longer placed in moratorium, communication with staff is encouraged through phone and email, and staff is allowed to take full week vacations. The fire meeting room will remained closed due to construction of the parking lot.
Ordinance 512-20, Amending Chapter 92 Pertaining to Water Rates. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the third reading of Ordinance 512-20. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Puck, and Bieri. Nays: Smith and Brockmann. Motion carried. Effective with the July 1st billing, each customer shall pay a minimum bill of $12.00 per month (increase of $1.75/month), which includes usage up to 1,400 gallons. All usage over 1,400 gallons shall be $5.31 per 1,000 gallons (increase of $.13/1,000 gallons). Effective with the October 1st billing, the minimum rate shall increase by $1.75 per month (total of $13.75/month) and the usage over 1,400 gallons shall increase $.13 per 1,000 gallons (total of $5.44/1,000 gallons). The rate increase is needed to pay for improvements to the water system.
Ordinance 513-20, Amending Chapter 106 Pertaining to Solid Waste Collection Fees. Smith moved and Mengler seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 513-20. Roll call ayes: Smith, Mengler, Bieri, Puck, and Brockmann. Effective with the July 1st billing, the monthly garbage rate increases from $13.12 to $13.64, which is the 4% increase the City pays to the collector.
Joe Quick – Ball Tournaments. Joe Quick reported on three tournaments planned for this summer. A softball youth tournament is scheduled for June 12th – 14th, the Iowa Area ISC Qualifier Men’s Fastpitch Tournament June 26th – 28th, and a softball youth tournament August 14th – 16th. Discussion was held on the current proclamation by Governor Reynolds which allows sporting gatherings/events of more than ten people as long as the gathering organizer ensures compliance with the 6’ social distancing, increased hygiene practices, and limits permanent seating to 50% of normal capacity. Quick reported on plans on how to comply with current regulations and also requested to temporarily fence Wescott and Victory Parks for the tournaments. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to allow temporary fences to be installed at Wescott and Victory Parks from June 10th – June 30th and August 12th – August 18th. Motion carried.
Police Department Report. Chief Blake reminds residents to lock vehicles and doors and not to keep valuables in vehicles. He also reported on recent equipment donations from Officer Kevin Takacs.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg reported that the parks were opened today and several signs were posted throughout the parks, mainly regarding social distancing and increased hygiene practices. The playground is opened but not sanitized but the splash pad remains closed due to the Governor’s proclamation. Mengler reported on concerns with the park maintenance and Stagg responded that he will have staff continue to work on it.
Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to adjourn at 6:37 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.