The semi-monthly meeting of the City Council of Walcott, Iowa, was held on Tuesday, the 6th day of September, 2022, at Walcott City Hall. Mayor John Kostichek called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Council members present: Everett Bieri, Harry Knutsen, Kirk Koberg, Lisa Mengler, and Jacob Puck. Staff present: Jeff Blake and Lisa Rickertsen.
Approval of Agenda. Puck moved and Mengler seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Introduction of Audience/Public Comments. Several residents were in attendance regarding the proposed letter to the Davenport Community School District.
Consent Agenda. Knutsen moved and Koberg seconded to approve the consent agenda including the invoices, minutes from August 15, 2022, and Resolution 2022-35 – Approval of FYE 2022 Annual Urban Renewal Report. Roll call ayes: Knutsen, Koberg, Bieri, Mengler, and Puck. Motion carried.
Fall Clean-up Day – October 8th. Koberg moved and Bieri seconded to set fall clean-up day for residents on October 8th from 2 – 5 p.m. with the dumpsters to be located at the compost area. Motion carried.
Inflatables in City Parks. Rickertsen stated it has been past policy to not allow inflatables in city parks. She reported one was recently placed in a park without permission but without language in the City Code it makes it difficult for the police department to enforce the policy. Following discussion, council consensus was to have Park Board review the topic during their next meeting on September 14th.
Purchase New Server & Email Service. Rickertsen presented a project worksheet to purchase a new server in order to upgrade the server platform and upgrade the email service to Microsoft 365 from our current IT provider. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to replace the server ($2,003.95) and upgrade email service from Platinum Information Services. Motion carried.
Davenport Community School District Long Range Plan Letter. Rickertsen stated city staff prepared a letter addressing the concerns expressed during the last council meeting regarding Davenport Community School District’s long-range facilities planning study proposals, which includes converting the Walcott K-8 school into a middle school. Several residents in attendance stated their opposition to the proposed plan. Discussion ensued between council and those in attendance regarding some of the following concerns: long term impact and future of Walcott without an elementary school, busing to other elementary schools, open enrolling to other districts, and potential increase of policing services. Austin Burt reported an online petition was created and a local committee is hosting a Town Hall meeting at the Walcott American Legion on Tuesday, September 13th at 6:00 p.m. The Mayor and City Council encouraged residents to express their opinions to the school board and state legislators. Koberg moved and Bieri seconded to send the letter as presented to the Davenport Community School District regarding their opposition to the school district’s Facilities Master Planning Committee’s proposals. Motion carried. Koberg thanked those in attendance for attending the meeting.
Lincoln Street Improvements Project. Mengler moved and Knutsen seconded to approve payment #3 to Needham Excavating, as recommended by the project engineer. Motion carried. Karla Burt questioned why the road closed signs on Walcott Road were still up since Main Street is now open. Rickertsen was asked to contact the project engineer regarding the signage.
Ordinance 529-22, Amending Provisions Pertaining to Alcoholic Beverage Control. The ordinance amends provisions regarding retail alcohol licenses and changes in terminology that impact sections of the Walcott City Code, due to recent state legislature changes. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 529-22. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Puck, Bieri, Knutsen, and Koberg. Motion carried. This is the second of three required readings.
Ordinance 530-22, Amending Provisions Pertaining to ATVs and UTVs. The ordinance amends Chapter 75 of the Walcott City Code, including removal of the City permit and fee requirements due to recent state legislature changes. The proposed ordinance does not include any changes to Section 75.05, which requires them to have a slow-moving vehicle sign and a bicycle safety flag. Koberg expressed concerns since our rules are different, requiring the slow-moving sign and flag, which are not state requirements, and some other local communities are not requiring them. Mengler feels these two items provide more safety in town. Mengler moved and Puck seconded to approve the second reading of Ordinance 530-22. Roll call ayes: Mengler, Puck, Bieri, and Knutsen. Nays: Koberg. Motion carried. This is the second of three required readings.
Police Department Report. Chief Blake presented his report including the status of repairs to the Dodge Durango squad, which is still out of service. Mayor Kostichek questioned Titan’s (K9) status. Chief Blake stated the dog is eleven years old and he will probably retire him by the end of the year.
Council Comments. Knutsen reported the Street Committee (Knutsen and Puck) met and have a list, which will be placed on the next agenda, of dead and/or diseased trees within the community. Mengler thanked the audience members for attending and voicing their opinions.
Knutsen moved and Puck seconded to adjourn at 6:56 p.m. Motion carried. All votes on motions were unanimous, unless noted.