The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 21st day of June, 2021, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present: Everett Bieri, Kirk Koberg, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith. Absent: Lisa Mengler. City staff present: Jeff Blake, Lisa Rickertsen, and Paul Stagg.
Approval of Agenda. Puck moved and Smith seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. Elaine Arp was present on behalf of the Legion and inquired about getting a water connection closer to the Veteran’s memorial garden on the north side of Welcome Park. Stagg will obtain a cost estimate to run a water line to the area. Jim Paulsen reported on concerns regarding dust on the graveled portion of W. Memorial Road and suggested seal coating the road. Cost estimates for sealcoating were obtained in the past and the council did not feel the expense was justified and applying dust control was a better option for now. Following further discussion, W. Memorial Road will be placed on the next agenda. Paulsen also suggested placing red flags on the speed limit signs along Memorial Road.
Consent Agenda. Puck moved and Koberg seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from June 7, 2021, Resolution 2021-24 – Transfer of Funds, Resolution 2021-25 – Acceptance of 5’ Easement Dedication from CDN Investments, LC, Resolution 2021-26 – Establish New Fund & Transfer, renewal of Class C Beer Permit for Pilot #043, renewal of Class C Liquor License & Sunday License for the New Walcott Coliseum, Inc., and annual cigarette permit renewals for Casey’s, Dolgencorp (Dollar General), Iowa 80 Truckstop, and Pilot Travel Centers #043 and #268. Roll call ayes: Puck, Koberg, Smith, and Bieri. Motion carried.
Police Department Report. Blake reported a grant of $1,200 was awarded from the Iowa 80/Cat Scale Go Iowa Fund towards temporary portable fencing at the parks.
Burt Clinic – Request to Allow Sign in City Right-of-Way (ROW). Mickey Burt requested permission to locate a two-post panel sign in the ROW east of their parking lot between the sidewalk and row of trees. Burt stated Rock Valley Therapy will be moving into a portion of Suite B and the sign will direct patients to the parking lot and the entrance door on the east side of the building. Mayor Kostichek and Smith expressed concerns regarding setting a precedent allowing structures in the ROW. City code prohibits signs in the City ROW or on City property unless specifically approved by the Council. A memo from Attorney Schirman was reviewed which included a historical background, City Code provisions, practical and factual concerns, liability exposure, and setting a precedent for future requests. It was questioned if the City could abandon some ROW. The Street Committee, Bieri and Mengler, will meet with Stagg and Burt and the subject will be placed on the July 6th meeting agenda.
City Hall/Fire Department. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to direct Stagg to obtain bids on replacing the rubber flat roof on the Fire Station and obtain bids for tuckpointing the front and east side of City Hall. Motion carried.
Downey Street Water Main Improvements Project. Stagg recommended payment to Hagerty Earthworks, LLC for the portion of the project completed and Smith commended the crew for an excellent job. Smith moved and Koberg seconded to approve payment #1, in the amount of $92,630.94, to Hagerty Earthworks, LLC. Motion carried.
Parking Lot Improvements Project. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve Resolution 2021-27, Accepting Improvements and Authorizing Final Payment to Aero Concrete, LTD, in the amount of $3,861.00. Roll call ayes: Puck, Bieri, Smith, and Koberg. Motion carried.
Resolution 2021-28, Setting a Public Hearing on Proposed Plans, and Specifications, Form of Contract and Cost Estimate for the Wescott & Victory Parks Concrete Project. Smith moved and Bieri seconded to approve Resolution 2021-28, setting a hearing date for July 6th at 6:00 p.m. Roll call ayes: Smith, Bieri, Smith, and Koberg. Motion carried.
Resolution 2021-29, Requesting Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Puck moved and Smith seconded to approve Resolution 2021-29. Roll call ayes: Puck, Smith, Bieri, and Koberg. Motion carried.
Ordinance 519-21, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. Bieri moved and Koberg seconded to approve the third and final reading of Ordinance 519-21. Roll call ayes: Bieri, Koberg, and Puck. Nays: Smith. Motion carried. Effective with the July 1st billing, each customer shall pay a minimum bill of $15.75 per month (increase of $2.00/month), which includes usage up to 1,400 gallons. All usage over 1,400 gallons shall be $5.60 per 1,000 gallons (increase of $.16/1,000 gallons). The rate increase is needed to pay for improvements to the aging water system.
Smith left the meeting for another meeting obligation.
Ordinance 520-21, Amending Chapter 106 Pertaining to Solid Waste Collection Fees. Koberg moved and Puck seconded to approve the third and final reading of Ordinance 520-21. Roll call ayes: Koberg, Puck, and Bieri. Motion carried. Effective with the July 1st billing, the monthly garbage rate increases from $13.64 to $14.18, which is a 4% increase the City pays to the collector each contract year.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg presented project worksheets for the following equipment:
- John Deere X739 Lawn Tractor. Discussion was held on the proposed tractor purchase with attachments (snow blower, tiller, bagger, and bar mower). This purchase will consolidate functions and replace four tractors. Puck moved and Koberg seconded to approve the purchase as presented and budgeted, from Sinclair Tractor, at a cost of $27,283.51. Motion carried. The current tractors will be advertised for bids at a later date.
- John Deere Zero Turn Mower. Stagg reported this mower will assist in mowing approximately twenty-three acres of city property and will allow a mower to be kept at the water plant so staff isn’t trailering a mower back and forth which is time consuming. Koberg moved and Puck seconded to approve the purchase as presented and budgeted, from Sinclair Tractor, at a cost of $17,200. Motion carried.
- GPS System and Training. Stagg reported this purchase will ensure utility maps remain up to date as infrastructure is added or replaced and will allow the ability to map additional assets. Koberg moved and Bieri seconded to approve the purchase as presented and budgeted, from Seiler Geospatial for $6,109 for the GPS equipment and $2,500 from SAM Companies for the training. Motion carried.
Stagg reported on and presented a certificate of excellence for sewer lab testing proficiency. Council commended Stagg and the Public Works staff, particularly Justin Richardson who performs the testing.
Mayor’s Report. Mayor Kostichek reported he received a letter from someone traveling through and they expressed their thanks to Chief Blake for his dedication, sensitivity, and willingness to help those in need.
Koberg moved and Puck seconded to adjourn at 7:17 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.