The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 17th day of May, 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, and Larry Smith. Absent: Jacob Puck. 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. Smith moved and Bieri seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. No comments.
Public Hearing. Mayor Kostichek opened the public hearing on the budget amendment for fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. Rickertsen reported the amendment includes expenditure increases attributable to expenses related to the derecho. No other oral or written comments were received. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to close the public hearing and resume the regular meeting. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Mengler moved and Koberg seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from May 3, 2021, Class E liquor license renewal including Sunday sales for the Casey’s General Store #1922, April 2021 financial reports, renewal of IDOT 5-year agreement for maintenance and repair of primary roads, and Resolution 2021-21, Approving the Adoption of the FYE 2021 Budget Amendment. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Koberg, Bieri, and Smith. Motion carried.
Ron Fick – Sidewalks at 302 N. Century Street. Ron Fick, owner of the vacant corner lot at 302 N. Century Street, was present to discuss the requirement for him to install a public sidewalk along E. James Street. Fick’s property was identified in 2018 as a sidewalk gap property and was prioritized for the Residential Sidewalk Reimbursement Program (RSRP) since it is the only property located on E. James Street, on the main route to school, without a public sidewalk. Following a previous two-year deferment, Fick was allowed until July 1, 2021, to install the public sidewalk along E. James Street. Potential buyer, James Medema, stated he is interested in building a house on the lot, possibly next year, and he requested to defer installing the sidewalk along James Street until after a home is built due to concerns with the sidewalk being damaged during construction. Discussion ensued that during home construction the equipment could enter off Century Street to avoid crossing the sidewalk on E. James Street. It was noted that the sidewalk installation during home construction is required but does not qualify for the RSRP. Following discussion, council consensus was to enforce the requirement for Fick to install a public sidewalk on his lot along E. James Street by July 1, 2021. Fick was advised that he needs to submit his application for the RSRP to the Building Official.
Park Board Recommendations.
- Dana Arp Family Bistro Bar Tables Donation. Rickertsen reported the Park Board recommended approval of the donation of eight tables, as presented, from the Dana Arp family. It was reported that during the last Park Board meeting the concession stand workers would be responsible for storing the tables in the concession stand each night after use. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the tables from the Dana Arp Family. Motion carried.
- Recreational Trail Surfacing. Stagg reported the Park Board had expressed concerns about cracks in the recreational trail and subsequently recommend proceeding with the repairs as presented. Stagg stated there are portions of the trail that don’t meet the City’s sidewalk regulations and reported the bids include crack sealing, asphalt overlay in three locations, and two coats of sealant over the entire trail. Smith moved and Mengler seconded to approve the recreational trail repairs and resurfacing as presented, with the low bid from Manatts at a total bid price of $19,971. Motion carried.
- Tournament Fences. Rickertsen reported the Park Board recommends pursuing portable fencing for tournaments, instead of permanent perimeter fences. Following discussion, Mengler moved and Smith seconded to allow Chief Blake to pursue grants (as offered) for portable fencing. Motion carried.
Sale of Merry-Go-Round. Rickertsen reported one bid was received for the sale of the merry-go-round. Smith moved and Bieri seconded to approve selling the merry-go-round to Joe Hahn, in the amount of $25. Motion carried.
Resolution 2021-22, Iowa 80 Truck Museum Expansion Site Plan. The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the Iowa 80 Truck Museum Expansion Site Plan, with detention basin/storm water modifications. Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to approve Resolution 2021-22. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Bieri, Koberg, and Smith. Motion carried. The detention basin/storm water modifications are listed in Resolution 2021-22.
Ordinance 519-21, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. Ordinance 519-21 was introduced and Koberg moved and Mengler seconded to approve the first reading. Roll call ayes: 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. Ordinance 520-21 was introduced and Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the first reading. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Smith, Koberg, and Bieri. 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.
City Code Review. Discussion was held on the request from the Planning & Zoning Commission to review the current garage size limits. Council will review this further at the next regular meeting. Chief Blake reported the Iowa Code states golf carts can only be operated on city streets from sunrise to sunset so our chapter will change accordingly.
Police Department Report. Chief Blake provided department updates including a project worksheet to prepare the new squad for use. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the quote from Karl Emergency Vehicles for $6,653.56 for the squad install/upfit. Motion carried.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg reported he extended an offer of employment to a local resident. Council had no objections to the starting wage offered. He also reported on updates for the Downey Street water main improvements projects.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen reported on the need to review the current public health disaster policy, including the waiving of electronic check and credit card processing fees. This will be on the next regular meeting agenda.
Council Member Comments. Smith thanked the public works department staff for monitoring the compost area. Mengler thanked the police department for addressing recent parking issues and questioned the status of the W. Otis Street project concerns. Stagg reported he met with the City Engineer last Monday who is following up with the contractor.
Smith moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 7:12 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.