March 16, 2020

The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 16th day of March, 2020, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  Council members present were: Everett Bieri, Lisa Mengler, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith. Absent: John Brockmann. City staff present: Jeff Blake, Paul Stagg, and Lisa Rickertsen.

Approval of Agenda. Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.

Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. No comments at this time.

Public Hearing. Mayor Kostichek opened the public hearing on the budget for fiscal year ending June 30, 2021 (FYE 2021). Rickertsen stated the tax levy will be at $10.08240 per 1,000 taxable valuation on regular property. The budget includes utility rate increases to cover costs associated with the maintenance and future improvements to the water system and a garbage rate increase to cover the annual rate increase from the garbage contractor. No written or oral comments were received. Smith moved and Puck seconded to close the public hearing and resume the regular meeting. Motion carried.

Consent Agenda. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, February 2020 financial reports, Resolution 2020-9-Approving the Adoption of the FYE 2021 Budget, IMEG engineering proposal for the Downey Street Water Main project ($13,450), and Night Owl Wireless right-of-way permit. Roll call ayes: Puck, Bieri, Mengler, and Smith. Motion carried.

Minutes from March 2, 2020. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the minutes from March 2, 2020. Motion carried with Bieri abstaining due to absence from meeting.

Request for Chickens in Suburban Agriculture Zoning. Angela Felsing was present to request the regulations be changed to allow chickens in SA (Suburban Agricultural) zoning for properties that are located at least 500’ from other residences. Concerns were discussed regarding enclosures, size of flock, and future development. Following discussion, Smith moved and Mengler seconded to have Attorney Schirman proceed with an ordinance change to allow chickens (no roosters) in SA zoning, only to be located at least 500’ from other zoning classifications, require enclosures, and limit the flock to 25. Motion carried.

Resolution 2020-10, Approving Burts’ Second Addition Preliminary Plat. Rickertsen stated that the Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of the preliminary and final plats during their meeting on March 9, 2020. Smith moved and Mengler seconded to approve Resolution 2020-10. Roll call ayes: Smith, Mengler, Bieri, and Smith. Motion carried.

Resolution 2020-11, Certificate of Acceptance – Approving Burts’ Second Addition Final Plat. Rickertsen stated that all documents have been reviewed and approved by Attorney Schirman. The City is waiting on one original document to be submitted, although an electronic copy has been received. Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve Resolution 2020-11, pending receipt of the final original document. Roll call ayes: Puck, Mengler, Bieri, and Smith. Motion carried.

Public Works Department Report. Stagg presented information from the City Engineer regarding concerns on utilizing the ductile iron pipe (DIP), which has been stored next to the Public Works building for many years, for the proposed Downey Street water main replacement project. The amount of existing pipe is not enough for the entire project and the cost to purchase additional DIP (to keep the same material for entire project) is approximately three times more than the PVC that is planned for the project. Utilizing the existing pipe would not result in a cost savings and it could result in a liability by the City supplying the material. He further suggested the best use of the existing supply is to utilize it for small water main repairs.

City Clerk’s Report. Rickertsen reported on the recent briefings with county and state officials regarding COVID-19.Discussion was held on the possibility of restricting public access at City buildings and waiving policy requirements regarding a doctor’s note if an employee is absent for a period of three consecutive days or more. Council consensus was to restrict public access as needed and waive the doctor’s note requirement at this time.

Bieri moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 6:38 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.