The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 3rd 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, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith. 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. Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the agenda with the deletion of item two, Oath of Office. Motion carried. The Oath of Office was given to Council Member Kirk Koberg at the end of the last meeting.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. None.
Consent Agenda. Puck moved and Smith seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from April 19, 2021, and Class C liquor license renewal including outdoor and Sunday sales for the Lampliter. Motion carried.
Ordinance 518-21, Amending Chapter 155 Pertaining to Above Ground Storage Tanks. Smith moved and Mengler seconded to approve the third reading of Ordinance 518-21. Roll call ayes: Smith, Mengler, Koberg, Puck, and Bieri. Motion carried. As discussed at prior meetings, changes included in the ordinance are to align more with the Code of Iowa and fire codes.
Fire Department Steak Fry. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve closing a portion of W. Durant Street (west side of bank ATM to the west side of Legion property) on May 15th. Motion carried. Puck moved and Bieri seconded to approve the payment to Kalmes Catering in the amount of $9,500 for the Fire Department Steak Fry fundraiser. Motion carried.
Badger Beacon Software & Training. Stagg presented a project worksheet to upgrade the current meter reading software and devices (endpoints) since the current remote meter reading devices are no longer available. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to transition to the Badger Meter Beacon software for new meter reading devices at a cost of $7,400. Motion carried. This cost includes software training and ten new endpoints, which are compatible with the current meters and registers.
Purchase Approval – Rock Around Pond. A project worksheet was presented to place 12” depth rock around the north and west sides of the pond at Prairie View Park. This was recommended by the Park Board and the Council requested Stagg to pursue bids at an earlier meeting. It was mentioned that it is difficult to mow close to the pond so the rock will help with weed growth around the pond. Following discussion, Mengler moved and Smith seconded to accept the low bid of $6,500 from Needham Excavating. Motion carried.
Review of Proposed Code Changes – Chapters 90 – 125. Proposed City Code changes to chapters 90 – 125 were reviewed. These changes will be incorporated in the City Code recodification process.
Park Tournament Fences. Koberg reported that the installation and removal of the temporary fences for the tournaments are labor intensive for volunteers. At a prior meeting, the Council allowed temporary fences to be installed at Wescott and Victory Parks from April 28th – May 5th and again from May 26th – June 30th for the four scheduled ball tournaments. Koberg requested postponing the fence removal and questioned installing a permanent perimeter fence. Discussion included the following: current temporary fence condition, new temporary fencing, recent donated improvement, park expenses, and that the parks provide an open space for the public to enjoy. Park fencing will be discussed at the next Park Board meeting. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to allow the fences to remain up until Friday, May 7th. Motion carried with Koberg opposing.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg provided updates on the Downey Street water main improvements project and reported a resident was interested in the merry-go-round that was removed from Water Tower Park. Following discussion, Council consensus was to post a notice to accept sealed bids. Stagg was asked about the opening of the splash pad and he noted it would open around Memorial Day.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen reviewed the proposed water and garbage rate increases. The minimum water bill (up to 1,400 gallons) is proposed to increase $2.00/month and a 3% increase on the usage rate above 1,400 gallons. Rate increases are needed to pay for water system improvements. The garbage rate will increase 4%, per the contract with the hauler. Ordinances will be prepared for the next meeting. Rickertsen reported that the Iowa 80 Truckstop will be hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic next week. Discussion was held on participating with the Scott County Emergency Management Agency regarding a county-wide messaging alert system, at no cost to the community.
Mayor Report. Mayor Kostichek stated he has recently received many positive comments regarding the latest park improvements. He expressed thanks to the individuals, businesses, and local clubs and organizations who were involved with donated funds and labor.
Council Member Comments. Council comments include the possibility of transforming the old water plant at Water Tower Park to restrooms and relocating clean-up day dumpsters to the compost area.
Puck moved and Smith seconded to adjourn at 7:35 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.