The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 19th day of October, 2020, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: Everett Bieri, John Brockmann, Lisa Mengler, Jacob Puck, and Larry Smith. City staff present were Jeff Blake, Lisa Rickertsen, and Paul Stagg. Due to COVID-19, call-in information was provided to the public on the meeting agenda notice.
Approval of Agenda. Mengler moved and Bieri seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Public Hearing. Mayor Kostichek opened the public hearing on changes to Chapter 167.05 (5) regarding decks. Rickertsen reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the code change that would allow uncovered decks to extend up to ten feet into the rear yard setback in R-1 residential zoning and open-roof pergolas would be allowed, as they would not be considered a covering. No further discussion or written comments were received. Smith moved and Puck seconded to close the public hearing and resume the regular meeting. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from October 5, 2020 with a change that the Resolution listed in the minutes under the Clerk’s report should be Resolution 2020-26, September 2020 financial reports, and Resolution 2020-27, Acknowledging New Investment. Roll call ayes: Puck, Mengler, Smith, Brockmann, and Bieri. Motion carried.
Ordinance 515-20, Amending Provisions Pertaining to Decks – Chapter 167.05 (5). Smith introduced and moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 515-20. Seconded by Mengler. Roll call ayes: Smith, Mengler, Bieri, Brockmann, and Puck. Motion carried.
Westbrook Seventh Addition. Rickertsen reported the Planning and Zoning Commission recommends approval of both the preliminary and final plats for the Westbrook Seventh Addition. She also reported that Attorney Schirman requested the approval is to be effective upon transfer of the real estate from MG Investments to CDN Investments. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2020-28, Preliminary Plat of Westbrook Seventh Addition. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Puck, Brockmann, Bieri, and Smith. Motion carried. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve Resolution 2020-29, Final Plat of Westbrook Seventh Addition, upon receipt of change of ownership. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Puck, Brockmann, Bieri, and Smith. Motion carried. Nick Needham was thanked for platting the new residential development.
Hearts and Hands Foundation. Brent Puck and Mike Mosier were present on behalf of the Hearts and Hands Foundation. They provided a presentation regarding their foundation, community development, and questioned how they can assist the City with marketing and development in the community. Rickertsen reported on the success of the City’s residential tax abatement program and upcoming commercial development. Council consensus was to allow the Hearts and Hands Foundation to contact owners of undeveloped property and potential developers. The Hearts and Hands Foundation members were thanked for their volunteer work and commitment to the City.
Appointment of Fire Department Members. Puck moved and Bieri to approve the appointment of Ben McKibbin and Krystal Bolser to the Fire Department, as recommended by the department. Motion carried.
Police Department Report. Chief Blake presented a monthly call report and updated information on parking fines, which will be reviewed further during the periodic City Code recodification process.
Public Works Department Report. Stagg presented bids to replace the sideline and dugout fences at Victory Park. Mengler moved and Smith seconded to approve replacing the sideline and dugout fences at Victory Park with Sampson Fence, not to exceed $15,620. Motion carried. The backstop fence was damaged during the August 10th storm and will be replaced by Sampson Fence, the low bid, not to exceed $10,370, which will be reimbursed by the insurance company. Stagg reported on two light poles at Wescott Park that were found to be deteriorated and in need of replacement. Due to the urgency in replacing the poles in conjunction with the improvements project at Wescott Park, he obtained approval from Mayor Kostichek to remove and replace the poles, at an estimated cost of $8,500. He also reported on the recent watermain break on S. Main Street.
City Clerk Report. Rickertsen reported that Ossian, Inc. is planning another expansion and discussed the current assessment waiver for James Street. The company is asking if there would be objections to allowing them to pave a portion of James Street and have an assessment waiver for the remainder of the final platted area. The City Engineer, City Attorney, and Stagg all agreed the request seemed reasonable and Council had no objections to the proposal. Rickertsen reported on groups wanting to utilize the fire meeting room. The City’s public health disaster emergency policy activated in March does not currently allow individuals and groups, outside of city departments, to use the room. With the Governor’s ongoing health emergency restrictions and increasing COVID infection rate, consensus was to keep the policy as is.
Puck moved and Smith seconded to adjourn at 6:53 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.