The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 20th day of May 2019, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: John Brockmann, Lisa Mengler, Jacob Puck, Larry Smith, and Tim Koehler. Absent: None. City staff present: Jeff Blake, Paul Stagg, Lisa Rickertsen, and Tom Schirman.
Approval of Agenda. Smith moved and Puck seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. Larry Seiler reported on maintenance concerns with the graveled portion of Memorial Road and that the barricades for the alley, between N. Century and N. Grove Streets, are gone. The alley barricades were relocated to another project last week and were moved back earlier today. Bridget Geigle questioned Seiler if he had a dark truck with tool boxes, as she observed it drive through the grass alley adjacent to her residence, between N. Century and N. Grove Streets, twice today and two weeks ago. Seiler confirmed it was him and she stated that Seiler driving in the grass alley has caused it to be in a deteriorated condition, including mud-covered sidewalks where he exited. She also expressed her frustration with Seiler regarding concerns with the safety of children at her child care facility and that the adjacent property owners maintain the grass alley. Attorney Schirman stated that he cannot intentionally damage or destroy public property. Josh Geigle also expressed concerns with Seiler driving through the grass alley and that this is the first time there has been a problem with the alley in the thirteen years he has lived there. Stagg stated it was never his intention to open the alley but the barricades were needed for an emergency project. Kevin Foss stated he would like to see the barricades permanently remain in the alley behind his residence on W. Durant Street and he expressed issues he has with the requirement for him to install a sidewalk at his residence and placement requirements for a new shed he would like to put up.
Public Hearing. The public hearing was opened on the changes to Chapter 167 pertaining to the separation distance requirements from primary structures for accessory buildings in residential zoning areas. Rickertsen stated a change was made in 2011 to require new accessory buildings be located fifteen feet from primary structures but it has made it impossible for some property owners with easements to locate a small accessory building on their property. The Planning & Zoning Commission held a public hearing on May 13th and recommended a five feet separation requirement for accessory buildings 288 square feet or less. No written comments were received. Resident Melissa McCourt stated she cannot locate an accessory building in her back yard with the current fifteen feet separation requirement. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to close the hearing and resume the regular meeting. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Koehler moved and Puck seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from May 6, 2019, April 2019 financial reports, fireworks permit for Iowa 80 Truckers Jamboree on July 11th & 12th, new Class E Liquor & Sunday Sales license for Casey’s General Store #1922, and Resolution 2019-23, Transfer of Funds (from Road Use Tax and Local Option Sales Tax Funds to W. Otis Street Project Fund). Roll call ayes: Koehler, Puck, Brockmann, Mengler, and Smith. Motion carried.
Kirk Koberg – Sewer Issues. Kirk Koberg reported that he has resided at his house on E. James Street since 1996 and has had sewage backup in his basement on three different occasions. He reported that the sewer main in the alley adjacent to his residence has needed to be replaced/repaired for years and he hopes it gets done soon. Discussion was held on the issue causing the recent backup, sizing of the sanitary sewer main, and tree roots in the main. Stagg stated the roots were addressed last summer as part of the sewer televising project and this main is his next sewer project priority, following completion of the W. Bryant Street sewer project and contingent upon funding.
W. Otis Street Improvements Project.
- Approval of Payment #7 to Cornerstone Excavating, Inc.. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve payment number seven to Cornerstone Excavating, Inc. for $73,474.72. Motion carried.
- Resolution 2019-24, Approving Change Order for the West Otis Street Improvements Project. Smith moved and Puck seconded to approve the change order in the amount of $7,467.86. Roll call ayes: Smith, Puck, Brockmann, Mengler, and Koehler. Motion carried.
Ordinance 504-19, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. This Ordinance will increase the water rates 3% and establish a base fee beginning with the June 1st bills. The base fee will be $3.00/month and the usage rate increases from $5.03 to $5.18 per 1,000 gallons of water. Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to approve the third and final reading of Ordinance 504-19, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Koehler, Smith, Puck, and Brockmann. Motion carried.
Ordinance 505-19, Amending Chapter 167 Pertaining to Accessory Buildings. Mengler introduced and moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 505-19. Seconded by Smith. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Smith, Koehler, Brockmann, and Puck. Motion carried. The separation distance requirement from primary structures will be five feet, for accessory buildings 288 square feet or less as recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Ordinance 506-19, Amending Chapter 106 Pertaining to Solid Waste Collection Fees. Koehler introduced and moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 506-19, Amending Chapter 106 Pertaining to Solid Waste Collection Fees. Seconded by Puck. Roll call ayes: Koehler, Puck, Brockmann, Mengler, and Smith. Motion carried. This ordinance increases the garbage rate 2%, from $12.87 to $13.12 beginning with the July 1st bills.
Council Member Comments. Brockmann had concerns including the following: the Building Official’s car is parked and blocking the sidewalk in front of City Hall on weekends and evenings and the City of Durant had an issue with a contractor that is currently being utilized by Walcott. It was explained that the Building Official’s car will be kept inside once the transfer of the police squad is completed and staff has researched the issues Durant had with the contractor and will be mindful of those concerns. Koehler questioned the next steps to address the sewer issue in the alley by Kirk Koberg’s residence. Stagg responded that he will discuss the options for that sewer main with a contractor. Mengler questioned the timeframe regarding the Splash Pad project. Stagg responded that it is delayed due to the weather conditions.
Smith moved and Mengler seconded to adjourn at 6:35 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.