The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 4th day of June, 2018, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: John Brockmann, Tim Koehler, Lisa Mengler, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith. Absent: None. City staff present: Jeff Blake (arrived late), Jackie Huston, Scott Bengfort, Josh Geigle, Tom Schirman, and Paul Stagg.
Approval of Agenda. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. Kim Varner from Blue Grass presented a fact sheet and reported on the West Scott School District Project, which is a proposal to combine Walcott, Blue Grass, and Buffalo into a separate school district. They are in the petition gathering phase that needs to be presented to the AEA prior to a feasibility study. The committee is meeting with the Davenport School District this week.
Consent Agenda. Puck moved and Smith seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from May 21, 2018, and Fireworks Permit for Iowa 80 Truckers Jamboree Displays on July 12th & 13th. Motion carried.
Randy Scott – America’s Road Trip. Mr. Scott was not in attendance, so no action was taken.
Chris Hebbel-Rental Property Code Nuisance Proposal. Mr. Hebbel, a Walcott resident, has been a Davenport Police Officer for 8 years and stated that Davenport has an ordinance that provides for fines for landlords that rent to tenants that have repeated police calls and can eventually lead to eviction. He would suggest starting slowly with an ordinance that would require background checks. The officer that runs the program in Davenport would be willing to help tailor the program for Walcott. Huston stated that Chief Blake had mentioned he is working with the City Attorney on an ordinance for this.
Nuisance Abatement Hearing – Mike Reynolds, 247 W. Durant Street. Mr. Reynolds has placed landscaping including concrete blocks, flowers, and a windmill in the right-of-way and in the path of the sidewalk if it is installed. The Building Inspector had informed Mr. Reynolds when he put the blocks in that he would have to move them to private property, but he continued to add additional items. Mr. Reynolds asked if the landscaping could stay in the ROW and the sidewalk be routed around it. Puck spoke in favor of that idea. Koehler, Mengler, and Smith stated that he should have moved the blocks instead of adding more landscaping when informed by the Building Inspector. Council Members and the Mayor expressed their appreciation for and complimented Mr. Reynolds on the rehabilitation of the house and property. Following a lengthy discussion, Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to give Mr. Reynolds 60 days to move the landscaping off of the ROW to private property. Motion carried.
Resolution 2018-19, Providing for a Notice of Hearing on Proposed Plans, Specifications, Forms of Contract and Estimate of Cost for the W. Otis Street Reconstruction Project. Huston reported that the Public Hearing would be on June 18th and the bids will be accepted until 2 p.m. on July 19th. Plans will be uploaded on or around July 2nd. Mengled moved and Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2018-19. The motion passed on a unanimous roll call vote.
Ordinance 499-18, Amending the Official Zoning Map. Puck moved and Koehler seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 499-18. Motion carried with a unanimous roll call vote. This rezones parcel #912555005 from SA Suburban Agricultural District to C-3 Interstate Highway Commercial District.
Ordinance 500-18, Amending Chapter 106 Regarding Solid Waste Collection Fees. This ordinance increases the garbage rates from $12.33 to $12.87. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 500-18. Motion carried with unanimous roll call vote.
Building Department Report – FYE 2019 Sidewalk Repair Reimbursement Program. Stagg presented the proposed list for indentified deficiencies and new sidewalks. He stated that Bengfort had examined all sidewalks for deficiencies and they were proposing three properties for installing sidewalks in gap situations that would complete sidewalks in neighborhoods or on a main route to school. The approved properties would be eligible for the program which provides a 50% reimbursement for the homeowner upon completion. Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to approve the proposed list. Motion carried with Brockmann opposed. The approved property owners will be contacted by the Building Inspector. Upon questioning, Stagg stated that the Council had not budgeted the money to construct all of the gap properties at one time and that is why he prioritized them and intends to continue that process on a yearly basis. Brockmann stated that if we couldn’t afford to construct sidewalks for all the properties that don’t have them, then we shouldn’t do any.
Fire Department. Puck moved and Mengler seconded to purchase 2 replacement nozzles for $880. Motion carried. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to purchase a grain auger rescue tube for $835. Motion carried. Puck moved and Mengler seconded to purchase 28 new helmets from Sandry Fire for $8,624. from the Donation Fund. Motion carried. Chief Geigle requested that Fire Department Members be allowed to keep their old helmets if they chose to. Council consensus was to allow this.
Police Department Report. Chief Blake had arrived and stated that he was working on the landlord nuisance program with the City Attorney.
Public Works Department Report.
Prairie View Park Tree Plan: Stagg presented the plan for tree planting that was recommended for approval by the Park Board, having been prepared by a member of Trees Forever who is a landscape architect. He reported that he intended to apply for a “Branching Out” grant through Alliant Energy that would involve Trees Forever personnel and school children from Durant and Walcott in the planting. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the plan. Motion carried.
Council Member Comments. Bonnie Jackson and Glen Houghton were in attendance and the Mayor and Bengfort both stated that a lot of progress had been made in the cleanup of their property. In response to questions, Stagg reported that the City Hall renovation would wait until winter due to increased foot traffic at this time and the manholes that had been uncovered for the sewer televising and GIS projects would be raised level with the streets when the projects are complete.
Smith moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 7:13 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.