Waukon City Council sets public hearings on loan agreement proposals for new wastewater treatment plant for February 18

by Joe Moses

The Waukon City Council met in special session Monday, February 4 at 5:30 p.m. to conduct a budget review. Following adjournment of that special session, the council’s regular Monday session was called to order.

The Public Hearing on the proposed amendment to the Waukon zoning ordinance was opened and closed. Waukon City Clerk Lana Snitker indicated that no verbal or written comments were received regarding the matter. There was no Public Comment during that designated portion of the meeting, either.

Under Departmental Reports, Street Superintendent Keith Burrett discussed the replacement of a light pole and provided an update on the process used for removing and hauling away  large amounts of snow. Water and Sewer Superintendent Jim Cooper discussed monitoring temperatures within the water distribution system and the replacement of the pump house heater.

Park and Rec Wellness Director Jeremy Strub discussed a minor roof leak at the Wellness Center and that he will be working with Buildings and Grounds Director Bill Hennessy of the Allamakee Community School District regarding a warranty that may still be in place to assist with repairs.

City Manager Dean Hilgerson indicated that the sidewalk survey presentation has been postponed to the February 18 city council meeting. Hilgerson discussed a meeting regarding a broadband proposal for Waukon with a survey related to this ongoing. Hilgerson indicated that the contract for the new Wastewater Treatment Plant is expected to be signed prior to the next city council meeting.

Under Regular Business, the council approved an amendment to the City Ordinance repealing restrictions related to the occupancy of residential rental property based on familial or non-familial relationships. City Attorney Jim Garrett clarified that this change is a directive from the State of Iowa due to recent amendments to State Code. Hilgerson indicated that the Planning and Zoning Commission has reviewed the matter and recommended approval of the change. The second and third readings were waived with the amendment approved to be enacted.

February 18, during the next council meeting, was approved as the date for the Public Hearing on a proposal to enter into a Sewer Revenue Loan and Disbursement Agreement and to borrow money with a principal amount not to exceed $10,000,000. The Public Hearing date for a proposal to enter into a General Obligation Sewer Improvement Loan and Disbursement Agreement and to borrow money in a principal amount not to exceed $2,400,000 was also approved for February 18.

The Public Hearing date for the Fiscal-Year 2020 budget was approved for March 4. The council also discussed and approved the Police Wages Amendment to the Union Contract without extending the length of the current contract. Additional information on this matter discussed at a Thursday, January 31 special meeting of the council is available on page 4A in the February 6 print and e-edition of The Standard.

Police Chief Phil Young discussed the next agenda item requesting permission to hire a full-time officer at the recently amended wage to fill a vacancy. Young indicated that an additional reserve officer is needed in addition to a full-time officer with the council in agreement that the positions be advertised.

Contributions to three organizations were individually reviewed and discussed. Northeast Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund was approved a $4,000 contribution. Helping Services was approved a $100 contribution and Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation (NEICAC) was approved a $3,897 contribution based upon the population of Waukon at a $1 per person ratio.

Hilgerson discussed the proposal to sell an ambulance taken out of service and recommended working with Veterans Memorial Hospital (VMH) on the matter by accepting sealed bids. The council approved the proposal.

Cooper discussed the request to increase the charge to televise private sewer lines from $135 to $200. The increase to $200 was approved by the council.

Bidding results reported to the City from the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) for the 2019 Street and Sidewalk Improvement Project were discussed. Snitker indicated that Midwest Concrete, Inc. of Peosta was awarded the bid by the DOT at $4,484,224.78 with a bid also received from the joint venture of Wicks Construction, Inc. of Decorah and Skyline Construction, Inc. of Decorah at $4,837,287.49.

The council resumed the budget review process from the earlier special session by discussing specific budget items including the Waukon Municipal Airport, VMH, Robey Memorial Library, City Park, the former Tierney building and City Hall.

Under Other Matters, Mayor Pat Stone recommended adding tax abatements to the next meeting agenda. Council member John Ellingson discussed the use of development agreements as a tie-in with tax abatements. Hilgerson discussed the possibility of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) rebate development agreement.

For more complete coverage, pick up this week's print edition or subscribe to our e-edition by clicking here.

Rate this article: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)