June 7, 2021 Minutes

The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 7th 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, Lisa Mengler, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith. City staff present: Jeff Blake, Lisa Rickertsen, and Paul Stagg. Due to COVID-19 and as permitted under the Iowa Code, Chapter 21.8, which allows an electronic meeting where individuals 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. None.

Consent Agenda. Smith moved and Bieri seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from May 17, 2021, renewal of Class A Liquor license including Sunday and outdoor service for the Walcott Legion Post #548, May 2021 financial reports, fireworks permit for Walcott Day Display at Prairie View Park on July 16th, and fireworks permit for Iowa 80 Group Truckers Jamboree display on July 8th and 9th. Motion carried with Puck abstaining due to absence from May 17, 2021, meeting.

Parks Concrete Project. Stagg reviewed the timeline for the concrete project this fall at Wescott and Victory Parks.  Council requested IMEG change the project location to reflect it’s for both Wescott and Victory Parks. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the engineering and surveying proposal with IMEG for the Wescott & Victory Park Improvements Project in the amount of $6,200. Motion carried.

Ordinance 519-21, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. Puck moved and Koberg seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 519-21. Roll call ayes: Puck, Koberg, Mengler, and Bieri. 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.     

Ordinance 520-21, Amending Chapter 106 Pertaining to Solid Waste Collection Fees. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 520-21. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Smith, Bieri, Koberg, and Puck. 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.

Resolution 2021-23, Establishing Hourly Wage for Kevin Raap, Public Works Laborer. Koberg moved and Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2021-23. Roll call ayes: Koberg, Puck, Mengler, Bieri, and Smith. Motion carried.

Review/Deactivate Public Health Disaster Emergency Policy. The Public Health Disaster Emergency Policy, which was approved on March 30, 2020, was reviewed. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to deactivate the Public Health Disaster Emergency Policy. Motion carried.  

City Credit Card Processing Fees. The Public Health Disaster Emergency Policy waived all credit/debit card and online electronic check processing fees during the declaration of the emergency. Since the policy has been deactivated, all electronic check and credit/debit card processing fees will revert to being charged to the customer, beginning July 1, 2021.

City Code Review. Proposed City Code changes to chapters 135 – 162 were reviewed. These changes will be incorporated in the City Code recodification process. Discussion was held on the request from the Planning & Zoning Commission to review the current garage size limits. Council consensus was that they were willing to increase the size of attached garages up to 1,250 square feet as long as thirty percent of the lot, including any accessory buildings, remains unused and open (green space). This will go back to the Planning & Zoning Commission for further review.

Police Department Report. Chief Blake reported he received a $17,000 grant from the Scott County Regional Authority for the purchase of a new squad.

Public Works Department Report. Stagg reported the splash pad is open daily from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. He also provided department updates including the Downey Street water main improvements project and upcoming county road and culvert projects.

City Clerk Report. Rickertsen reported on recent complaints about dogs in the parks, which is not allowed except for leashed dogs on the recreational trail. Mengler referred to a recent North Scott Press article regarding city audits and commended Rickertsen and staff for doing a great job with the city finances.

Smith moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 7:07 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.