The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 16th day of May, 2016, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: Tim Koehler, Virgil Wayne Latimer, Lisa Mengler, Jackie Puck, and Jacob Puck. City employees present: Jeff Blake, Steve Bowman, Jackie Huston, Randy Reimers, Linda Rivers, and Tom Schirman.
Approval of Agenda. Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Jacob Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, April 2016 Financial Reports, Class C liquor license renewal for Foley Entertainment d/b/a Walcott Coliseum , participation with Scott County in the 2016 pavement marking. Motion carried.
Approval of Minutes from May 2, 2016. Jackie Puck moved and Latimer seconded to approve minutes from May 2, 2016. Motion carried, with Mengler and Koehler abstaining due to absence.
Larry Seiler, 200 W. Flagg Street, Alley Maintenance. Seiler stated that he was here to complain about the maintenance of the alley behind his property. He reported that it had been blocked off at times, not plowed during the winter, and that overgrown bushes were scratching his trucks when he uses the alley. He stated that he had reported these complaints to City staff, but could not get a resolution to the problem. Discussion was held regarding: responsibility of alley maintenance, type of vehicles using the alley, weight limits, grass/gravel alleys, and costs of maintenance. Jackie Puck commented that in the past they have paid to gravel the alley since they own a home there. John Brockmann stated that in the past homeowners paid for the gravel and city staff would truck it in and also fill holes and trim trees/bushes that had grown into the alleys. Bowman stated that the alley was closed at times because of damage by large vehicles. He requested a policy on maintenance by the City. Attorney Schirman stated that the Council is not obligated to maintain alleys, but could establish an alley maintenance policy. Council consensus was to have Rivers contact the owner of the bushes to have them trimmed, use waste material from the S. Downey Street project on the alley in question, and to place alley maintenance on the next agenda to establish a policy.
South Downey Street Improvements Project.
Resolution 2016-22, Approving Contract and Performance and Payment Bonds for the South Downey Street Improvements Project. Koehler moved and Mengler seconded to approve Resolution 2016-22. Motion passed by unanimous roll call vote.
Resolution 2016-23, Establishing Project Fund and Authorizing Transfer – $100,000 from Road Use Tax Fund to Project Fund. Jacob Puck moved and Latimer seconded to approve Resolution 2016-23. Motion passed by unanimous roll call vote.
Scott County Library Funding Request. Cal Werner, Walcott Trust & Savings Bank, stated that the bank supports many community projects and considers this library renovation to be a quality of life issue and is requesting that the City support the project financially. Discussion included: period of time for financial commitments, percentage of the City’s participation in other similar projects, and deadline for commitment. Koehler requested that the issue be placed on the next agenda when the City Clerk would be available for budgeting questions.
Ordinance 483-16, Amending Chapter 160 Pertaining to Building Codes. Mengler stated that the City needed to update their current building codes to maintain their insurance rating. A lengthy discussion was held on adopting the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) for all properties, not just rental, as it is currently. Attorney Schirman stated that language could be added that mandatory inspections of owner-occupied homes would not be required. Audience members had concerns that issues such as lack of screens would be cause for inspections. Rivers explained the inspection process, which would require a warrant if the home owner refused entry. The Mayor stated that he thought it should be for rental properties only. Rivers explained that this code would keep properties from falling into disarray and cited an abandoned house as an example. Others felt that a home’s deteriorating condition would be the owner’s responsibility. Koehler asked if we could update the codes, but wait to make changes to the Property Maintenance Code. Rivers responded that the codes may have to be adopted in their entirety. Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve the 1st reading of Ordinance 483-16, adding the exemption that the IPMC would only apply to rental and commercial properties. Motion passed by unanimous roll call vote. This is the 1st of three readings of this ordinance.
Discussion of Weight Limit Concerns on Streets & Alleys. Koehler read a prepared statement which included: only a small portion of property taxes go to maintaining streets, damage to streets should not be allowed by private citizens and weight limits would be helpful. Bowman stated that the cost to repair the damage on S. Main Street from heavy truck traffic due to construction would be approximately $22,000. Discussion regarding weight limits included: which streets would require limits, would damage be the same by more truck traffic weighing less, seasonal limits, difficulty in proving damages, and damages to other streets. Koehler stated that the City should require more planning when development occurs on poor quality streets. Nick Needham stated that he did not intend to build a home on S. Main Street until next year, but that the fill needed had already been brought in. Koehler moved and Mengler seconded to pursue establishing a weight limit on S. Main Street after construction of the home was complete. Motion carried.
Ordinance 484-16, Adding Chapter 74 Pertaining to Golf Carts on City Streets. Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to approve the 2nd reading of Ordinance 484-16, Adding Chapter 74 Pertaining to Golf Carts. Motion passed by unanimous roll call vote. This ordinance will allow golf carts on most city streets, with restrictions and following permit approval. This is the 2nd of three readings of the Ordinance.
Ordinance 485-16, Adding Chapter 75 Pertaining to UTV’s on City Streets. Jacob Puck moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve the 2nd reading of Ordinance 485-16, Adding Chapter 75 Pertaining to UTVs. Motion passed by unanimous roll call vote. This ordinance will allow UTVs on most city streets, with restrictions and following permit approval. This is the 2nd of three readings of the Ordinance. Mengler questioned if the ordinance allowing ATVs on city streets would be available for the next meeting and Attorney Schirman responded that it would.
Ordinance 486-16, Amending Prohibited Activities at Prairie View Park. Koehler moved and Mengler seconded to approve the 2nd reading of Ordinance 486-16, Amending Chapter 47, Amending Prohibited Activities at Prairie View Park. This ordinance will allow fishing (not ice fishing) at the park by persons age 16 and older holding a valid Iowa fishing license or persons under age 16 accompanied by a person age 16 or older holding a valid Iowa fishing license. Motion passed by unanimous roll call vote This is the 2nd of three readings of the ordinance.
Ordinance 487-16, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Sewer Rates. This ordinance increases sewer rates by $1 per 1,000 gallons from $4.65 to $5.65. Koehler moved and Mengler seconded to introduce and approve the 1st reading of Ordinance 487-16. Motion passed by unanimous roll call vote. This is the 1st of three readings of the ordinance.
Ordinance 488-16, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. This ordinance increases water rates by $.50 per 1,000 gallons from $4.25 to $4.75. Jackie Puck moved and Latimer seconded to introduce and approve the 1st reading of Ordinance 488-16. Motion passed by unanimous roll call vote. This is the 1st of three readings of the ordinance.
Policy & Administration Committee Recommendation – FYE 2017 Wages. Koehler moved and Mengler seconded to increase all City staff wages by 2%. Motion carried.
Public Works Department Report. Bowman reported that he was working on the compost area situation. Reimers reported on the letter received from IDNR that is requiring a Treatment Agreement with the Blue Beacon Truck Wash. He noted they contribute a significant amount of particulate matter that is entering the sewer system. Jay Brady, the engineer that has been working on this issue, will offer a proposal for preparing the Treatment Agreement at the next meeting. The damage at the sanitary sewer plant from a lightning strike was discussed.
City Clerk Report. Huston reported on a recent Planning & Zoning meeting and asked that the issue of front yard fencing be placed on the next agenda.
Audience Comments. Brockmann asked if N. Downey Street could be cleaned to eliminate the excess gravel from sealcoating.
Latimer moved and Koehler seconded to adjourn at 8:15 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.