The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 18th day of May, 2015, 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. Absent: None. City employees present: Jeff Blake, John Brockmann, Lisa Rickertsen, and Tom Schirman.
Approval of Agenda. Mengler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Audience. Several audience members were in attendance.
Public Hearings. Mayor Kostichek opened the public hearing on the proposed Urban Renewal Plan Amendment for the Consolidated Walcott Urban Renewal Area. The proposed plan amendment is to undertake a new urban renewal project regarding the development agreement with Eugene Meyer. Rickertsen stated the notice was published according to law and a consultation meeting was held on April 30th but no one attended the meeting. The City was required to send a copy of the urban renewal plan amendment and an invitation to attend a consultation meeting to discuss the urban renewal plan amendment to Scott County and the Davenport Community School District. Rickertsen stated a letter was received from the Scott County Supervisors. The letter states the Board supports the use of Tax Increment Financing when it is used to remove blight and revitalize our Main Street. No other written or oral comments were received. Jackie Puck moved and Latimer seconded to close the public hearing and open the hearing on the Development Agreement with Eugene Meyer. Motion carried. Rickertsen stated the notice was published as required and no written comments have been filed. The agreement is in connection with the development of Geno’s Ice Cream & Subs and it pledges annual appropriation tax increment payments to the developer in an amount not to exceed $17,000. No oral comments were received. Jacob Puck moved and Latimer seconded to close the public hearing and open the public hearing on the Budget Amendment for FYE 2015. Motion carried. Rickertsen stated the expenditure increases are due to the splash pad/Otis Street engineering, Wescott Park water line repairs, architect fees, and the sewer inflow and infiltration study. No written or oral comments were received. Koehler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to close the public hearing and resume the regular meeting. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Koehler moved and Mengler seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices and April financial reports. Motion carried.
Minutes from May 4, 2015. Mengler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve the minutes from May 4, 2015. Jackie Puck abstained due to absence from meeting. Motion carried.
Rita Stender : Rowe Street Right-of-Way. Rita Stender reported she has maintained the S. Rowe Street right-of-way (ROW), adjacent to her property, for several years and requested the city deed her 40′ (half of the ROW). Stender stated she would not place buildings or temporary structures on the property. Jackie Puck stated to have Stender pay $1.00 for the ROW and all attorney costs incurred with the transfer, as done with a similar situation in the past. Brockmann stated city utilities (sanitary and storm sewer) are in the S. Rowe Street ROW and the City needs 20′ on both sides of the sanitary sewer for access. Discussion was held on having Stender obtain a survey to locate her property lines first. Council had no objections on transferring a portion of the ROW to Stender. Attorney Schirman stated following a survey, a written offer with any restrictions and a public hearing is needed before final council approval.
Blake Selby : Quad Cities Fitness. Blake Selby presented information to the council and stated he would like to offer a free fitness class every Saturday throughout the summer at 1:00 p.m. at Watertower Park, starting May 30th. He stated his gym is located in Bettendorf but has been seeking a second location and is offering the free classes to test the market, to make sure there is enough interest for a fitness center where people can exercise using a Science Based Six Pack program. He requested approval for the event to be sponsored by the City and discussed the liability waivers he presented. Attorney Schirman questioned the council if the City wants to co-sponsor an event for a private enterprise. During discussion, council members stated the free classes at the park are a great idea and they support him having the classes but can’t co-sponsor/allow use of the city logo on the advertisements and forms. Mengler commended Selby for offering the classes and supports him but moved to not allow him to utilize the City’s name and logo on all advertisement and forms. Seconded by Koehler. Motion carried. Attorney Schirman offered to speak to his attorney regarding the waiver and release of liability.
Vision Committee Report : 501C.3. Committee Chair Larry Koberg reported on the minutes from the last Vision Committee meeting. The Committee intends to pursue a 501C.3 tax exemption status to allow for private funds to be received and recognized as a tax deduction. When that process is completed, the committee would hope to dissolve from the City as they would be their own entity. Council members had no objections. Jacob Puck moved and Latimer seconded to have the Committee proceed with creating a 501C.3 status. Motion carried. Mayor Kostichek questioned the status on the beautification awards. Committee members Josie Dietz and Karla Burt are preparing recommendations on properties for the beautification awards and it will be reviewed further with the Vision Committee prior to being presented to the council.
Main Street Streetscape Enhancement Project. Mengler moved to approve Resolution 2015-17, Awarding Contract for the Main Street Streetscape Enhancement to Brandt Construction. Some audience members questioned the benefits of the project, project costs versus value, necessity of decorative lighting, costs and maintenance of hanging flower baskets, and the use of tax increment financing (TIF). Other comments were made regarding the benefits of the project including safety of sidewalks on both sides of Main Street, extension of Mediacom service to businesses, and the visual enhancement of N. Main Street. Mengler stated she supports the project and the intention to visually enhance N. Main Street. Koehler reported on his concerns with the project being over budget and stated the electrical items (decorative lighting) could be pulled from the project and installed sometime in the future. This deletion would bring the project costs under the budgeted amount. Jackie Puck expressed her frustration with the lack of audience input during the planning stages and her disappointment in expending funds to begin projects and not complete them. Puck also stated this project originated from the Vision Community (Which Way Walcott) meeting held at the Walcott Coliseum in 2012. She questioned Rickertsen on how the project is being funded. Rickertsen responded $600,000 was being paid by TIF funds and the remaining costs by Local Option Sales Tax Fund. It was noted that the sidewalk maintenance would be the responsibility of the abutting property owner, per state and local codes. Mengler reiterated her motion to approve Resolution 2015-17, Awarding Contract for the Main Street Streetscape Enhancement Project, to Brandt Construction in the amount of $680,516.10. Seconded by Jackie Puck. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Jackie Puck, and Jacob Puck. Nays: Latimer and Koehler. Motion carried.
Resolution 2015-18, Approving Urban Renewal Plan Amendment for the Consolidated Walcott Urban Renewal Area. Mengler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2015-18. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Jacob Puck, Jackie Puck, Latimer, and Koehler. Motion carried.
Resolution 2015-19, Approving Development Agreement with Eugene Meyer, Authorizing Annual Appropriation Tax Increments Payments and Pledging Certain Tax Increment Revenues to the Payment of the Agreement. Jackie Puck moved and Latimer seconded to approve Resolution 2015-19. Roll call ayes: Jackie Puck, Latimer, Mengler, Koehler, and Jacob Puck. Motion carried.
Resolution 2015-20, Approving Budget Amendment for FYE 2015. Mengler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2015-20. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Jackie Puck, Jacob Puck, Koehler, and Latimer. Motion carried.
Ordinance 479-15, Amending Chapter 99 Regarding Sewer Rates. Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 479-15. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Koehler, Latimer, Jackie Puck, and Jacob Puck. Motion carried. The rate will increase by $.50 per 1,000 gallons, beginning with the July 1, 2015 billing.
Ordinance 480-15, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. Koehler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 480-15. Roll call ayes: Koehler, Latimer, Mengler, Jackie Puck, and Jacob Puck. Motion carried. The rate will increase by $.50 per 1,000 gallons, beginning with the July 1, 2015 billing.
Municipal Building Project. Brockmann presented cost estimates as requested regarding adjoining City Hall properties. He stated there would be enough room for a one-way exit between the salt shed and creek so the salt shed will be able to remain. Following discussion with the adjoining property owner, it was stated the council was obtaining facts before meeting with the owner of CenPeCo.
FYE 2016 Wages. Policy & Administration Committee Members, Mengler & Jacob Puck, moved and seconded to table the FYE 2016 wages until the next meeting. Motion carried.
Police Department Report. Chief Blake reported on recent car burglaries in surrounding areas.
Public Works Report. Brockmann requested extra police patrol at the compost area. He stated that two neighboring communities have closed their compost areas and Walcott’s compost area is only available for Walcott residents. He presented information from the engineer on the preliminary cost estimates for W. Otis Street reconstruction, in connection with a future splash pad area. He also reported on cost estimates for refurbishing the north water tower and presented project worksheets on two tree removals. Koehler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to approve the low bid on each tree removal as presented. Motion carried. Brockmann stated he is announcing his resignation. He suggested the City look for a replacement and stated he will remain on staff until a replacement is found. In regards to the Main Street Streetscape Enhancement Project, he stated the City will need to hire an engineer for construction observation as he can’t be fair to the contractor since he doesn’t believe in the project.
Attorney’s Report. Discussion was held on the oil and grease violation that resulted in a sewer surcharge to Blue Beacon Truckwash, which they want to appeal. Attorney Schirman stated he will work with Brockmann to gather more information.
Mayor’s Report. Mayor Kostichek stated he was glad to see so many citizens at the meeting and thanked them for their input.
Questions/Concerns. The Public Works Department was thanked for the work done at the parks, getting ready for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend tournament.
Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to adjourn at 7:55 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.