The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Monday, the 3rd day of October, 2011. Mayor Jim Couper called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were: Larry Koberg, Tim Koehler, John Kostichek, Jackie Puck, and Jacob Puck. City employees present: J. Brockmann, L. Rickertsen, J. Hahn, T. Schirman, and A. Hill.
Koberg moved and Koehler seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Consent Agenda. Kostichek moved and Koehler seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices and minutes from 09/19/2011. Motion carried.
Audience. Joe Taylor, Chip Witt, Sam Witt, Brent Puck, Janice Dawson, Dick Hagen, and Mary Lincoln.
Joe Taylor, Quad Cities Convention Bureau. Joe Taylor was present to report on the RAGBRAI event. He stated there were approximately 18,000 riders from Coralville to Davenport and that they are requesting Davenport be the final day for the 2022 ride which will be RAGBRAI's 50th year. Mayor Couper & Koberg thanked him for his efforts in promoting Walcott as a pass-through town for RAGBRAI.
Fire Station Expansion Project Update. Brockmann and Project Contractor, Mike Sissel both provided updates on the project. Sissel also commented that the old roof is in need of repairs. Koehler questioned the material costs for the remaining items the fire department members intend to do relating to the expansion project. Chief Hahn was not present at the time so Rickertsen stated the Fire Chief is working on gathering costs.
Derelict Building Grant. Koberg stated the grant mainly relates to deconstruction costs, and not demolition. The grant deadline is November 1st and each project must have a landfill diversion component through the recycling and reuse of materials. Following further discussion, it was agreed to table the grant application at this time as the timing doesn't fit.
Real Estate Purchases.
- 106 W. Lincoln Street. Discussion was held on requiring a Phase 1 environmental study for the property. Following discussion, Koehler moved and Jacob Puck seconded to offer $22,000 for the property with the City paying for a Phase 1 study and that the offer is contingent upon the City acquiring the Witt property. Motion carried.
- Witt Property. Chip & Sam Witt were present to discuss the offer made on their property located at the north-west corner of Lincoln & Main Streets. Discussion was held on the City paying for the Phase 1 environmental study. Kostichek moved and Jacob Puck seconded to change the offer on the Witt property to include the City paying for the Phase 1 study, lowering the purchase price to $65,000, contingent upon the City acquiring the property at 106 and setting the closing date to no later than December 30, 2011. Motion carried.
- Purchases. Brockmann questioned why the council is tying the two properties together and suggested they not be. Koehler moved and Jacob Puck moved to reconsider the motion regarding the purchase of the property at 106 W. Lincoln Street. Motion carried. Kostichek moved and Jacob Puck seconded to reconsider the motion made on the Witt property. Motion carried. Jackie Puck moved and Kostichek seconded to combine the two reconsidered motions and amend as follows: offer $22,000 for the property at 106 W. Lincoln Street and $65,000 for the Witt property with the City to pay for the Phase 1 study of both parcels and a closing date by December 30, 2011. Motion carried.
- Sewer Lift Station Property Acquisition. Schirman reported on the appraised amount of the property and stated if the property was purchased through condemnation procedures, the total cost of everything, including property and legal, abstracting, and court fees, would be approximately $10,000. Following further discussion, Jackie Puck moved and Jacob Puck seconded to approve accepting the terms from Wilbert & Joyce Wulf for purchasing .238 acres of their property for $20,000. Motion carried. This property is needed for upgrading the sewer lift station near Wulf Road.
Recreational Trail & Park Project.
- Project Punch List. Brockmann reported on the progress of the punch list items. A few items still have not been completed. The contractor, McCarthy Improvements, notified the City that the seeding was on hold until the Council decides on how to proceed with the additional turf reinforcement matting along Rowe Lane.
- Rowe Lane : Turf Reinforcement Matting & Ditch Grading. Brockmann reported the cost for additional turf reinforcement matting (TRM) and grading the ditch to drain to the culvert along Rowe Lane would cost approximately $4,180. He stated he felt it needs to be done but the City shouldn't pay for it. Brent Puck stated the contractor did what was designed to be done. Further discussion was held that if it was designed correctly the items would have been in the original contract. Koberg moved and Jackie Puck seconded to proceed with the TRM & ditch grading at a cost not to exceed $4,200. Motion carried. Brockmann will obtain an additional cost estimate for the work. Brockmann was instructed to contact Engineer, Jon White, regarding the punch list items and obtain a date on when the remaining items will be completed.
- Gazebo & Seating Areas. Brockmann reported that the area where the gazebo is proposed to be located will flood so they will be faced with problems in cleaning it up. Brent Puck stated the Committee was aware that the area does occasionally flood but felt it could be easily cleaned up. Jackie Puck moved and Koberg seconded to accept the low bids and to approve hiring Hardy Lawn Furniture for the gazebo at a cost of $31,000 and Paustian Concrete for the concrete work (gazebo floor & 2 seating areas) at a cost of $14,534. Motion carried.
Flagg Street Paving Project. Jackie Puck moved and Kostichek seconded to approve Resolution 2011-48, Awarding Contract for the Flagg Street Paving Project. Roll call ayes: Jackie Puck, Kostichek, Koberg, Koehler, and Jacob Puck. Motion carried. The contract was awarded to the low bidder, N.J. Miller Inc., in the amount of $93,157.25. Brockmann will oversee the project.
Victory Park North Shelter Roof Project. Koberg moved and Koehler seconded to award the project to the low bidder, Brian Ganzer Roofing & Carpentry, at a total cost of $2,930. Motion carried.
Public Work's Report. Brockmann presented updates on current projects, including the North Downey Street and Blue Grass Road Bridge Project. He also stated they would be flushing fire hydrants in the next few weeks. Mayor Couper questioned power washing the water tower. Brockmann stated he is waiting on a contractor.
City Clerk's Report. Rickertsen reported an employee inquired about purchasing additional life insurance. The City currently pays for $20,000 term life insurance on each full-time employee. Koehler moved and Koberg seconded to allow employees to purchase additional life insurance, through the City's carrier, at the employee's cost. Motion carried.
Questions/Concerns. Brockmann presented information regarding purchase and renovation costs and advocated purchasing and using the building at 1113 N. Main Street to relocate City Hall/Police Department. Mayor Couper read the minutes from February 15, 2010, that stated the council discussed the building at 1113 N. Main Street for possible municipal use but following discussion of the age, layout, size, remodeling costs, and future planning, the council unanimously agreed not to pursue purchasing the building at that time. Mayor Couper stated he felt it is too costly to build new and he feels the Main Street property is in the center of town and would be a more central location and would benefit the City. Discussion was held on financing and renovation costs and expending funds at this time. Brockmann stated he felt some people are unwilling to consider the purchase because they just want to build a new City Hall. Rickertsen responded that she has heard it stated that she only wants to build a new building but she assured the council that is an inaccurate statement. Her concerns with the purchase or renovation of a municipal building at this time involve financial considerations, particularly due to a recent legislative attempt regarding cutting the commercial property valuations by 40% and it appears it will be attempted in the next legislative session. Mary Lincoln presented a petition for the City to attend the auction at 1113 N. Main Street on October 13th to purchase the building and renovate it for City Hall. Brent Puck stated a comprehensive look is needed for all city departments. Mayor Couper stated no action can be taken on the property as it is not listed on the agenda. Attorney Schirman questioned if he should proceed with the offers on the two properties near City Hall. A special meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 5th at 6:30 p.m. to discuss all proposed property purchases.
Review of City Code. Koehler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to table the review and discussion of the City Code. Motion carried.
Koehler moved and Jackie Puck seconded to adjourn at 8:17 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.