The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 6th day of March, 2017, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor Pro Tem Jacob Puck called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Other council members present were: Tim Koehler, Virgil Wayne Latimer, Lisa Mengler, and Jackie Puck. Absent: Mayor John Kostichek. City employees present: Scott Bengfort, Jeff Blake, Josh Geigle, Lisa Rickertsen, Tom Schirman, and Paul Stagg.
Approval of Agenda. Jackie Puck moved and Latimer seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Public Comments. John Brockmann questioned the employee grievance procedures. Rickertsen stated it is in the employee personnel policy, which employees have a copy of.
Public Hearing on FYE 2018 Budget. The public hearing was opened on the FYE 2018 Budget. Rickertsen stated the tax levy will decrease to $10.08258 per $1,000 taxable valuation on regular property. She stated the budget includes the proposed splash pad project and rate increases to cover costs associated with the operation maintenance and improvements, including regulatory requirements, to the water and sewer systems. No written or other oral comments were received. Koehler moved and Mengler seconded to close the public hearing and resume the regular meeting. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from February 20, 2017, and the February 2017 financial reports. Motion carried.
Resolution 2017-14, Approving the Adoption of the Budget for FYE 2018. Koehler moved and Mengler seconded to approve Resolution 2017-14. Roll call ayes: Koehler, Mengler, Jackie Puck, Latimer, and Jacob Puck. Motion carried.
Karolyn Williams – 211 N. Parker Street. Bengfort reported on the landscaping that is located in the city right-of-way (ROW), adjacent to the curb in front of her house, which acts as a public sidewalk and was installed without a permit and does not meet city sidewalk standards. His proposal was to have Williams remove the stone and gravel in the first 6’ from the curb in the ROW but allow her to leave the concrete retaining wall for now, with the understanding if the City (or other utilities) need to work in the ROW area the retaining wall and may need to be removed. Bengfort suggested the portion of the private walkway (that runs from the house to the curb) that lies in the ROW must be poured concrete, as per City Code. Williams stated she would remove the small wall on the south end from the curb to the retaining wall, and said she would remove the stone but would like to leave the mulch and rock areas (between the curb and retaining wall) and would like to place flower pots in the area and/or annuals, therefore not appearing, or to be utilized, as a sidewalk. Following further discussion with the property owner, Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to allow 45 days for the owner to remove the stone and edging located in city ROW, install concrete walkway from property line to curb (with a permit), allow the owner to plant flowers and soft landscaping in the ROW, and to allow the retaining wall to remain where placed with the understanding that if any city work is ever done in the ROW and the retaining wall is damaged, the City is not responsible for its repair. Motion carried.
Hearts & Hands Foundation – Austin Burt. Austin Burt provided an update on the entrance and community sign project timelines. He also questioned budget protocol for additional funding and Rickertsen responded that funding requests should be submitted to the City prior to January 15th each year.
Ordinance 490-17, Amending Chapter 99 Regarding Sewer Rates. Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve the 2nd reading of Ordinance 490-17. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Jackie Puck, Koehler, Latimer, and Jacob Puck. Motion carried. This is the 2nd of three readings of the ordinance. This ordinance increases the sewer base rate from $3.00 to $9.00/month and the usage rate by $.15 (3%) from $5.65 to $5.80 per 1,000 gallons of water used.
Ordinance 491-17, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. Latimer moved and Koehler seconded to approve the 2nd reading of Ordinance 491-17. Roll call ayes: Latimer, Koehler, Mengler, Jackie Puck, and Jacob Puck. Motion carried. This ordinance increases the water usage rate by $.14 (3%), from $4.75 to $4.88 per 1,000 gallons of water used.
Fire Department Report. Chief Geigle reported on the request to purchase new EMS suction units for the two rescue vehicles. Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the purchase of the new EMS suction units from Emergency Medical Products at a cost of $1,958.50. Motion carried. Chief Geigle stated the new fire truck should be here in mid-April and questioned if he could place an advertisement for bid for the 1993 mini-pumper. Council had no objections to advertise for sealed bids. Geigle also questioned the use of the city-owned house adjacent to the fire station for training purposes. This will be placed on the next agenda.
Public Works Department Report.
- ½ Ton Truck Purchase. Koehler stated he would like more detailed comparisons of the bids received. Stagg stated he had prepared a more detailed specification sheet and he will present it to council for the next meeting. Koehler moved and Mengler seconded to table the purchase, until a copy of the detailed specifications is received. Motion carried.
- Disposal of 1983 Ford F-700. Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to obtain sealed bids on the 1983 Ford F-700. Motion carried.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen stated a public hearing will be held at the next meeting for changes to the sign chapter and zoning regulations. These changes would allow certain signs in zoning classifications and restrictions for front yard fences.
Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to adjourn at 6:47 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.