The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 4th day of May, 2020, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: Lisa Mengler, with Everett Bieri, John Brockmann, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith participating remotely by phone. City Clerk, Lisa Rickertsen, was present and Public Works Director, Paul Stagg participated remotely. Due to COVID-19, this meeting was held electronically via a conference call, permitted under the Iowa Code, Chapter 21.8, which allows an electronic meeting where members 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 Puck seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. None.
Consent Agenda. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from April 20, 2020, and Class E liquor and Sunday sales license renewal for Casey’s General Store #1922. Motion carried.
Summer Youth Program. Rickertsen stated the program is scheduled to start on June 15th but if it’s held the program could have changes and participant limits. Discussion was held on seeing if there is still an interest in the program this summer. Interested parents should call City Hall by May 18th.
Solid Waste Collection & Regulations. Rickertsen reported on possible future changes to Chapters 105 & 106 regarding solid waste collection, including adding a section regarding the compost/yard waste area. An amendment will be drafted for the next meeting for the 4% garbage rate increase, per the contract with the hauler, and other changes will be incorporated into a future amendment.
Ordinance 511-20, Amending the Code of Ordinances Concerning Livestock. Smith moved and Puck seconded to approve the third reading of Ordinance 511-20. Roll call ayes: Smith, Puck, Brockmann, Bieri, and Mengler. Motion carried. This change would allow chickens (but not roosters) in Suburban Agricultural zoning districts, with the following restrictions: limit of twenty-five chickens, must be confined to a coop at all times, and coops may only be located in rear yards and at least 500 feet from all other zoning districts.
Ordinance 512-20, Amending Chapter 92 Pertaining to Water Rates. Ordinance 512-20 was introduced. Effective with the July 1st billing, each customer shall pay a minimum bill of $12.00 per month (increase of $1.75/month), which includes usage up to 1,400 gallons. All usage over 1,400 gallons shall be $5.31 per 1,000 gallons (increase of $.13/1,000 gallons). Effective with the October 1st billing, the minimum rate shall increase by $1.75 per month (total of $13.75/month) and the usage over 1,400 gallons shall increase $.13 per 1,000 gallons (total of $5.44/1,000 gallons). Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to approve the first reading of Ordinance 512-20. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Bieri, Brockmann, and Puck. Nays: Smith. Motion carried. The rate increase is needed to pay for improvements to the water system.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg reported on the closure of 200th Street from Walcott to Durant and presented project worksheets for street maintenance and manhole replacements and installation. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the street maintenance project as presented. Motion carried. This includes spot repairs and seal coating on W. Cedar Lane Drive and portions of N. Henry and N. Downey Streets at a cost of $29,819.25, from LL Pelling. Smith moved and Puck seconded to approve the manhole project as presented. Motion carried. This includes installing three manholes at a bid price of $15,850.00 from Needham Excavating. Stagg also reported on the water system flushing and stated that during flushing operations only strategic hydrants are operated to flush the mains, not every hydrant in the system.
City Clerk’s Report. Rickertsen reported on the City’s 2020 Census return rate which is lower than the county-wide rate and stressed the importance that everyone’s response matters. All residents are encouraged to complete the 2020 Census.
Mayor’s Report. Mayor Kostichek thanked the community for their recent yard clean-up efforts. A letter was sent to the Iowa Interstate Railroad regarding overgrown areas in the ditch on their property which is impeding the natural drainage flow.
Council Comments. Mengler reported on the recent cancelation of youth league ball games, thanked the police department for their quick response to recent calls, and reminds residents to lock their property (vehicles, garages, and homes). Brockmann reported on heavy use of the gravel road going west out of town due to the road closure on 200th Street and expressed visibility concerns, due to the dust, from the City limits to the west. Stagg will relay the concerns to Muscatine County.
Smith moved and Bieri seconded to adjourn at 6:27 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.