June 6, 2022 Minutes

The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 6th day of June, 2022, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present: Everett Bieri, Harry Knutsen, Kirk Koberg, Lisa Mengler, and Jacob Puck. Staff present: Lisa Rickertsen and Paul Stagg.

Approval of Agenda. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve the agenda with deletion of item five, 107 E. Walcott Road Easement.  Motion carried.

Consent Agenda. Mengler moved and Knutsen seconded to approve the consent agenda, including the invoices, renewal of Class A Liquor license with Sunday and Outdoor Service for Walcott Legion Post #548 , May 2022 financial reports, minutes from May 16th and 23rd, fireworks permit for Walcott Day display at Prairie View Park on July 15th (rain date July 16th), and annual cigarette permit renewals for Casey’s, Dolgencorp LLC, Iowa 80 Truckstop, and Pilot Travel Centers #043 and #268. Motion carried.

Hearts and Hands Foundation – Community Beautification Awards. Brent Puck was present on behalf of the Hearts and Hands Foundation to discuss past and proposed community beautification awards to commercial/industrial property owners. Puck reported 2015 was the last year awards were presented and the Foundation is proposing six properties that have made renovations/enhancements since 2015. Puck suggested making this an annual award. Koberg moved and Knutsen seconded to approve proceeding with the six community beautification awards, as proposed by the Hearts and Hands Foundation. Motion carried. The Hearts and Hands Foundation will contact the six property owners and an award presentation will be scheduled at a future meeting. Puck reported on a proposed community event the Foundation is working on to promote Walcott civic organizations.

Resolution 2022-29, Authoring and approving a certain Loan Agreement, providing for the issuance of $1,700,000 General Obligation Corporate Purpose Bonds, Series 2022A and providing the levy of taxes to pay the same. Rickertsen reported this is borrowing for a portion of the E. Lincoln Street Project. She reported although it provides for levying of taxes to pay the principal and interest, the City intends to use tax increment financing funds to repay the loan.  Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to approve Resolution 2022-29. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Bieri, Puck, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried.

Resolution 2022-30, Resolution Amending the Fire Service Fees Charged by the Walcott Volunteer Fire Department. Rickertsen reported the Fire Department has proposed increasing the hourly vehicle fees for fire protection and other emergency response services to the non-residents of Scott County and Benefited Fire District No. 6 in Muscatine County. Mengler moved and Knutsen seconded to approve Resolution 2022-30. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Knutsen, Koberg, Puck, and Bieri. Motion carried.

Ordinance 525-22, Adopting the Code of Ordinances of the City of Walcott. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve the third and final reading of Ordinance 525-22. Roll call ayes: Puck, Bieri, Mengler, Koberg, and Knutsen. Motion carried.

Ordinance 526-22, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. Effective with the July 1st billing, each customer shall pay a minimum bill of $17.00 per month (increase of $1.25/month), which includes usage up to 1,400 gallons. All usage over 1,400 gallons shall be $5.82 per 1,000 gallons (4 % increase = $.22/1,000 gallons). The rate increase is needed to pay for improvements to the aging water system. Bieri moved and Mengler seconded to approve the second reading. Roll call ayes: Bieri, Mengler, Puck, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried.

Ordinance 527-22, Amending Chapter 99 Regarding Sewer Rates. Effective with the July 1st billing, the usage rate will increase 2% ($.13/1,000 gallons) to $6.46 per 1,000 gallons of water used per month for all usage over 1,400 gallons. The rate increase is needed to pay for improvements. Koberg moved and Knutsen seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 527-22. Roll call ayes: Koberg, Knutsen, Bieri, Mengler, and Puck. Motion carried.

Ordinance 528-22, Amending Chapter 106 Pertaining to Solid Waste Collection Fees. Effective with the July 1st billing, the monthly garbage rate increases from $14.18 to $14.89. The City pays an increase each year per the contract with the hauler. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the second reading. Roll call ayes: Roll call ayes: Mengler, Puck, Bieri, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried.

City Engineer Report – W. Otis Street Construction Resolution. City Engineer, Jason Holodorf, and Kirk Nelson, both representatives of IMEG, were present to discuss the proposed resolution of the W. Otis Street project deficiencies. Nelson reported the cracking and heaving of concrete panels and sidewalk appear to be near underground utilities. IMEG evaluated possible contributing factors and reported that the general contractor used slag, which was not in the original specifications but was an approved substitution, for the trench backfill and they believe there was some expansion in the material over the deep utility trenches. He also reported there was no soil exploration completed prior to the design of this project. IMEG proposes to coordinate and pay for the replacement of faulted sidewalk sections and one or two street panels during this 2022 construction season. They will monitor it over the next year to see how it performs and if it is stable they will coordinate replacement of other cracked panels in 2023 and cover the costs. Nelson stated there may be further discovery once a full panel is removed and if their proposal doesn’t work they will continue to do further exploration. Further discussion ensued, including concerns with the underground utility pipe and responsibility if the panels would crack again. Nelson stated the movement would be above the pipe and the pipe would be fine. IMEG will research and report to the City on any additional maintenance bonds. Koberg moved and Mengler seconded to accept IMEG’S proposal to remedy the problems on W. Otis Street as discussed and outlined in a letter, dated June 1, 2022. Motion carried. Stagg commented that the concrete subcontractor was not at fault for the concrete deficiencies with this project.     

Public Works Department Report. Stagg presented a project worksheet to eliminate the overhead electric service at Wescott Park and replace with an underground service. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the Wescott Park electrical upgrade project. Motion carried. The project cost is $10,846, per the proposal from LMI (Lighting Maintenance Inc.). Stagg reported the City’s wastewater lab received a rating of 100% proficiency on their lab tests. He also reported on updates on the E. Lincoln Street project and an inquiry received on reserving the picnic tables for an out of town event. Council consensus was to not allow city-owned picnic tables be reserved/removed for events not within city limits.

Mengler moved and Knutsen seconded to adjourn at 6:56 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.