The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 6th 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. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. Joe Aubry questioned if the compost area could be open longer on the weekends. It was reported that the Police Department closes the gates, which is typically at sunset.
Consent Agenda. Rickertsen stated the effective date of the new liquor license for Cling Coliseum, Inc., DBA Walcott Coliseum, was recently changed and the dram shop insurance effective date has not yet been updated on the online system. Puck moved and Smith seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, Class C liquor license including outdoor and Sunday sales for Lampliter, Inc, new Class C liquor and Sunday sales license for Cling Coliseum, Inc. (pending date changes), and the utility permit application for Century Link. Motion carried.
April 15, 2019 Minutes. Koehler moved and Smith seconded to approve the minutes from April 15, 2019. Motion carried. Brockmann abstained due to absence from meeting.
April 25, 2019 Minutes. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the minutes from April 25, 2019. Motion carried. Brockmann abstained due to absence from meeting.
Platinum Information Services, Inc. – Computer Equipment and IT services. Rickertsen reported that following a Request for Proposal process with Bi-State Regional Commission and other Scott County communities, staff is recommending to proceed with Platinum Information Services, Inc. to assist the City with securing, protecting, and upgrading the City’s computer network system. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve the services and equipment purchases from Platinum Information Services, Inc., as proposed on the project worksheet. Motion carried. The project worksheet includes hardware purchasing for replacing the server and three desktops, SMART backup (local storage) device, other required networking hardware, and installation costs.
Resolution 2019-22, Approving Non-Potable Water Well Agreement with Iowa 80 Group. A new non-potable water well agreement with Iowa 80 Group was prepared, following a request at the April 15th meeting from Dave Meier, Iowa 80 Group. This agreement allows Iowa 80 Group to drill a well for the sole purpose of filling their decorative pond. Mengler moved and Koehler seconded to approve Resolution 2019-22. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Koehler, Smith, Brockmann, and Puck. Motion carried.
Larry Koberg – Fastpitch Tournaments. Larry Koberg reported there are three tournaments planned for this summer. The Fastpitch Invitational will be held May 25th & 26th, a softball youth tournament June 7th – 9th, and the Iowa Area ISC Qualifier Men’s Fastpitch Tournament June 21st – 23rd. This is the 35th consecutive year the Iowa Area ISC Qualifier Men’s Fastpitch Tournament will be held in Walcott. Koberg requested approval to install temporary fencing at Wescott and Victory Parks from May 22nd – June 25th. Puck moved and Koehler seconded to allow temporary fences to be installed at Wescott and Victory Parks from May 22nd – June 25th.
Larry Seiler – Streets and Alleys. Larry Seiler requested the rules and regulations of alleys and expressed his discontent that the alley behind his commercial property, located at 200 W. Flagg Street, has been barricaded to prevent through traffic. Seiler was given a copy of the alley maintenance policy following a reminder that a copy was also presented to him during the council meeting on February 6, 2017. The alley, between S. Parker and S. Rowe Streets, was closed to through traffic by the Public Works Director following complaints from adjacent property owners and observation of deteriorated conditions. Several of the adjacent residents on the block were in attendance and discussion included their agreement with the placement of the barricades due to alley deterioration, standing water, heavy vehicle traffic on alley and around barricades, and that two adjacent property owners have paid to apply gravel to the alley (as required per the policy). Resident Norman LeCompte expressed his frustration with the fact that there has never been a problem with the alley until a few years ago when heavy vehicles/equipment started driving through it, especially the grassed portion of the alley. Attorney Schirman stated that the City has a right/obligation to close an alley. The policy states that the Public Works Director may close an alley when it appears by reason of overweight abuse, deterioration, or climate conditions that an alley can be seriously damaged by vehicular travel. Seiler stated that the alley between N. Century and N. Grove Streets should also be closed. Resident Karolyn Williams stated that the alley behind her house (between W. James and W. Otis Streets) has had increased traffic due to the W. Otis Street project and now has a few large ruts. Stagg will look at the other two alleys mentioned. Seiler also complained about the condition of the graveled portion of Memorial Road.
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 rate 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 Puck seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 504-19, Amending Chapter 92 Regarding Water Rates. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Puck, Brockmann, Smith, and Koehler. Motion carried.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen stated a motion was made in August, 2018, to have the City hire a contractor to install a new sidewalk, to complete a gap, for a property owner that was sent a notice as part of the Residential Sidewalk Repair Program and to set-up a payment plan for the owner to reimburse the City for 50% of the cost. Rickertsen stated she was approached by another property owner in the same situation regarding installing a new sidewalk and council consensus was to offer the same agreement.
Council Member Comments. Brockmann expressed several concerns, which include the following: the hazards with the shoulders on Plainview Road (A.K.A. 60th Avenue); dissatisfaction with the condition of the graveled portion of Memorial Road; frequency of grass cutting and that he was told that no trimming is being done; and he feels that inspections are not being performed on construction projects. Stagg responded that the County will be performing maintenance on the shoulders on Plainview Road; staff is trimming and cuts grass as often as needed; and inspections are being done on projects. Smith stated he has observed Stagg at the water main project site many times. Puck thanked Stagg and Blake for closing the alley between S. Parker and Rowe Streets and he questioned who moved the porta potty from Water Tower Park to the Lampliter on May 4th. No one responded, except Stagg who stated no one had permission to move it. Mengler questioned the time frame on the W. Otis Street Project and Stagg stated the concrete is complete and the final grading is dependent on the weather. Smith had a few comments including an email, which he read, from Mike Hill, 571 S. Downey Street, in which Hill felt his yard was not entirely graded following the completion of the S. Downey Street project in 2016. Discussion was held on the email and council consensus was to allow Stagg to dump a few loads of dirt, per Hill’s request, on his property.
Mengler moved and Smith seconded to adjourn at 7:00 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.