The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 1st day of March, 2021, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present: Everett Bieri, John Brockmann, Lisa Mengler, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith. City staff present: Jeff Blake, Lisa Rickertsen, and Paul Stagg. Due to COVID-19, this meeting was held electronically via conference call, 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. Smith moved and Puck seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. No comments.
Consent Agenda. Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from February 15, 2021, and the annual insurance renewal with Arp Insurance/EMC Insurance. Motion carried.
Walcott Day Committee – Approval of Food Trucks. Mengler reported that the Walcott Day Committee is exploring food serving options due to COVID concerns at Walcott Day this summer. One of the options is to have food trucks on the street and/or at the park during Walcott Day this year and she inquired if the Council would allow it. Following discussion, Puck moved and Smith seconded to allow the Walcott Day Committee to have food trucks on the street and/or at the park during Walcott Day this year. Motion carried.
Downey Street Water Main Improvements Project. Rickertsen reported there were eight bids received for the N. Downey Street Water Main Improvements Project and the City Engineer recommends the City accept the low bid from Hagerty Earthworks, LLC.
- Resolution 2021-9, Awarding Contract for the Downey Street Water Main Improvements Project. Smith moved and Bieri seconded to approve Resolution 2021-9. Roll call ayes: Smith, Bieri, Puck, Mengler, and Brockmann. Motion carried. The contract is awarded to Hagerty Earthworks, LLC, Muscatine, Iowa, for $130,082.35.
- IMEG Engineering Services. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the engineering proposal services with IMEG for $11,200. Motion carried. This is for the construction staking and administration services, and additional design of sanitary sewer for the Downey Street Water Main Improvements Project.
Police Department Report. Chief Blake presented his report including a project worksheet to replace the Dodge Ram squad. Blake stated he intends to apply for a grant this spring for the purchase; however, the squad needs to be ordered now and will not be ready or paid for until July. Blake will contact the dealer and inquire on trading in the current squad. Smith moved and Puck seconded to approve the request from Blake to order a Dodge Ram squad from Stew Hansen Dodge as presented. Motion carried. The cost presented is $32,477 from Stew Hansen Dodge.
Hearts and Hands Foundation. Austin Burt presented an update on the Wescott Park project, including project costs and donations from volunteer organizations and donated services from Tim Hamann/County Line Excavating and Needham Excavating. He also reviewed the next steps to finish the project, which include grading, seeding, and park signage. He stated their goal is to have the park improvements completed by April 30th. Rickertsen inquired if teams would be able to utilize the diamond for practices after April 1st. They will work to have them ready for practice but it will depend on the weather. A lengthy discussion ensued regarding installing the planned city sidewalk on the east side of the park now (along Parker Street), instead of early fall, so the area will not need to be seeded twice. Discussion was held on the request to install a walkway from the SE corner of the park to the bleacher pad. The sidewalk plans and specifications, which were prepared last year, do not include the walkway so it needs to be verified if the proposed walkway will be able to meet ADA requirements. Following further discussion, council consensus was to have Stagg check the grade and have the engineer see if it’s feasible to add a walkway from the SE corner of the park to the bleacher pad and obtain bids for the sidewalk along Parker Street.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg reported on a new business opening this month, S&V Fence, located south of the Dollar General along Main Street. He inquired if Council would entertain a change to the City Code section regarding above ground gas tanks, no greater than 1,000 gallons, to be more consistent with State and NFPA Codes. Stagg stated the City’s current chapter on above ground storage tanks is more restrictive than the other codes. Council consensus was to have staff research and present proposed code changes at a future meeting. Stagg provided an update on the park repairs/improvements at Victory Park.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen presented her report including the proposed budget for FYE 2022.
Council Member Comments. Brockmann stated he is resigning from the City Council at the end of his presentation tonight. He commented on several items including the following: his justification for vehicle and equipment purchases during his tenure that were mentioned at the last meeting; his past utilization of part-time help versus current use of a landscape contractor; his concerns regarding flaws with the culvert installed on Memorial Road and the city parking lot and W. Otis Street improvement projects; concerns with the fire department roof and single quote; and questioned why the crosswalk painting was not completed last year. Stagg responded to some of the project concerns and in regards to the crosswalk painting he noted there was a reduction in staff hours last spring due to the pandemic. It was mentioned that the fire department roof cost is for budgeting purposes and bids would be requested if the project proceeds. Brockmann again stated he is resigning from the City Council and left immediately at 7:21 p.m.
Bieri moved and Smith seconded to adjourn at 7:21 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.