The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 4th 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, and Jacob Puck. Absent: Jackie Puck. City employees present: John Brockmann, Josh Geigle, Adam Hill, Lisa Rickertsen, and Tom Schirman.
Approval of Agenda. Mengler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Audience. Larry Koberg, Gene Meyer, Lon Warnecke, Nick Bert, Jason McKenzie, Bernard Brus, Chaz Schrupp, and Joe Hahn.
Consent Agenda. Koehler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from April 20, 2015, and Resolution 2015-16, Transfer of Funds. Roll call ayes: Koehler, Latimer, Mengler, and Jacob Puck. Motion carried.
Mel Foster Realtor Contract. Realtor Nick Bert stated he would like to continue to market the city owned property at 1113 N. Main Street. Bert expressed concerns from an interested party regarding the constant water running into the sump pump pit. Brockmann stated most homes have sump pumps in their basements due to the high water table in Walcott. Brockmann was asked to obtain a written opinion from a licensed plumber regarding the sump pump pit. Discussion was held on several items including reducing the price, building demolition, and keeping the lot for a future city building. Following further discussion, Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to reduce the sale price of the building at 1113 N. Main Street by $10,000 and extend the contract with Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate Services for another six months. Motion carried.
Main Street Streetscape Enhancement Project. Jason McKenzie reported on the bids received for the Main Street project. Discussion ensued regarding the base bid, three alternates, and bid tabulation items. The low base bid was $550,683.50 and the three alternates totaled $129,832.60, bringing the total bid to $680,516.10. Discussion was held on the total project costs including engineering services and project financing. Brockmann stated he had received comments from citizens regarding the project and Hahn questioned expending funds for this type of project. Mengler stated they have been working on this project for over a year with plenty of opportunities for citizens to comment on the project and is disappointed to hear complaints being voiced following the bid opening. Mayor Kostichek stated he has not received negative feedback about the project. The project costs would mainly be funded by Tax Increment Financing funds, as approved in the Urban Renewal Plan amendment in May, 2014, and remaining costs would be paid from Local Option Sales Tax Fund. Mengler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2015-17, Awarding Contract for the Main Street Streetscape Enhancement to Brandt Construction in the amount of $680,516.10. Roll call ayes: Mengler and Jacob Puck. Nays: Latimer and Koehler. Motion died due to lack of majority. Koehler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to place the item on the May 18th agenda. Motion carried. Rickertsen reported on the request from Central Scott Telephone Company of placing a duct into an open trench during construction, allowing them access into the city for a future fiber path. McKenzie stated the trench would get full and he was asked to contact them for further information.
Vision Committee Report : Welcome Signs. Committee Chair Larry Koberg stated the Vision Committee will continue to obtain more information on welcome signs and costs and asked the City Council to continue budgeting funds towards the signs.
Fire Department Report.
New Member. Chief Geigle introduced Chaz Schrupp and stated he has been approved for membership by the Fire Department. Mengler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve Chaz Schrupp as a member of the Walcott Volunteer Fire Department. Motion carried.
Outdoor Weather Siren. Chief Geigle stated that Fire Department members currently activate the sirens for severe weather and there have been concerns brought up at their department meeting that it should be done by Scott County. He stated that county protocol has changed, since this was last discussed with City Council in 2013, and they can set the sirens off for specific sections of the county. The sirens would be activated for weather warnings, winds in excess of 70 MPH and golf ball size hail. Following discussion, Chief Geigle was asked to look into the set-up costs and bring back to the next meeting.
Approval of 2nd Half TIF Rebate Payments. Mengler moved and Latimer seconded to approve the TIF rebate payments in the amount of $34,260.97 to the following: Iowa 80 Truckstop Inc. ($1,249.47), Ossian Walcott Investments LC ($7,261.71), JDW Holdings LLC ($4,196.55), T&C Storage ($359.60), Sterling Partners ($14,814.67) and Petersen Health Systems Inc. ($6,378.97). Motion carried.
Water & Sewer Rates. Rickertsen presented spreadsheets on estimated water and sewer expenditures for FYE 2016. Rate increases are needed due to operational costs and sanitary sewer studies. It was noted that in comparison with surrounding communities, even with the increased rates, Walcott's minimum and average monthly water and sewer bills still appear to be the lowest.
Ordinance 479-15, Amending Chapter 99 Regarding Sewer Rates. Mengler introduced and moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 479-15. Seconded by Koehler. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Koehler, Latimer, and Jacob Puck. Motion carried. The new rate will be $4.25 per 1,000 gallons of water used per month with a monthly minimum usage amount based on 1,400 gallons, an increase of $.50/1,000 gallons, beginning with the July 1, 2015 billing.
Ordinance 480-15, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. Jacob Puck introduced and moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 480-15. Seconded by Latimer. Roll call ayes: Jacob Puck, Latimer, Mengler, and Koehler. Motion carried. The new rate will be $4.65 per 1,000 gallons of water used per month with a monthly minimum usage amount based on 1,400 gallons, an increase of $.50/1,000 gallons, beginning with the July 1, 2015 billing.
RAGBRAI Committee Report. Volunteer forms can be printed from the City's website and are available at City Hall and Walcott Trust & Savings Bank.
Public Works Report. Brockmann presented his report including the following:
Park Volunteers. He expressed thanks to Brian Mengler, Larry Koberg, Karla Burt, and Sara Dietz for their recent volunteer labor at the parks.
W. Bryant Street Project. He stated that Alliant Energy adjusted the street light at the corner of Bryant & Parker Streets. He also stated he was disappointed in the project seeding and would be doing a final walkthrough.
James Street Water Main. He reported he would not be proceeding with the replacement of the water main until after the July events as it would not be done prior to mid-July if started now.
New Truck. Kostichek questioned the status of the new pickup truck and Brockmann replied it has been ordered but has not been delivered yet.
Clean-up Day. Brockmann reported on issues with the recent city clean-up day including illegal disposal of electronic items. Electronic items can be disposed of for free at the Electronic Demanufacturing Facility in Davenport for all Scott County residents.
Questions/Concerns. Koehler questioned the progress of obtaining demolition costs for the properties adjacent to City Hall. Brockmann stated he is working on them and stated he felt the salt shed does not need to be demolished. Brockmann also reported on a meeting he had with the owner of CenPeCo. Jacob Puck questioned if the guard rail for the culverts by CenPeCo needs to be replaced. Brockmann stated he will look into it.
Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to adjourn at 7:41 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.