Waukon City Council approves promotion of police officer Paul Wagner to Assistant Chief role

The Waukon City Council met in regular session Monday evening, December 1. In addition to the typical project and other agenda items of discussion and action that took place during the meeting, the Council approved the promotion of veteran Waukon police officer Paul Wagner to the position of Assistant Police Chief upon the recommendation of Waukon Police Chief Phil Young.

The promotion was made effective immediately upon the Council's unanimous approval Monday night. Discussion of a pay raise also took place in regard to the promotion, with the Council agreeing on an hourly increase of 34 cents per hour for now in light of upcoming budget considerations and union negotiations.

During the Public Comment portion of the meeting, local property developer Jeff Allison asked the Council about the possibility of a property tax abatement for a condominium project he currently has under construction in southwest Waukon. Waukon Mayor Loren Beneke advised that current tax abatement considerations typically revolve around jobs created by business projects and improvements, but Councilman Dave Sanderson further advised of a previous tax abatement the City once had in place on new home construction but discontinued several years ago. Allison was advised that the Council would look further into the matter and be back in touch with him with any further consideration.

Under departmental reports, Water Superintendent Robert Campbell sought the Council's approval to meet with City Engineer Lyle TeKippe to further assess the City's sewer system. Campbell said he would like to gather cost information for smoke testing and rental of flow recorders to assess where the sewer system's heaviest flows may be coming from at various times of  the year. In addition to helping determine where the City's storm sewer system may be infiltrating its sanitary sewer, Campbell feels the flow assessments may also service a purpose in future budget and other considerations for the City's water treatment plant.

The Council once again discussed the West Side Development Project, assessing where funding may be coming from and how that may help the project return to its original overall plan. No action was required or taken by the Council, but discussion will continue with project partner Waukon Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) on project deadlines and other specifics.

Engineer TeKippe then talked with the Council in regard to a pair of street items, the first being the timeline for property owner assessments being filed for the Third Street NW project completed earlier this year. In consideration of time constraints and requirements for filing such assessments once the engineer signs off on such a project, TeKippe wanted to make sure he was "on the same page" with the Council and City administration in accordance with the upcoming regular Council meeting schedule and approaching holidays, with anticipation of the assessments being implemented as early as mid-January of the new year.

TeKippe then sought, and received, the Council's authorization to have GIS information released to his firm that has been compiled by Iowa State University's Center for Transportation Research and Education in regard to the City's street network. The ISU organization worked with the Iowa Department of Transportation to compile the information for many northeast Iowa communities, with that information being available at no cost to those communities and TeKippe hoping to add that information to the City's existing street information, saying it will be "valuable information" that will help with budgeting and other considerations.

In two final agenda items, the Council approved payment to Kurth Plumbing & Heating for the installation work on the new furnace at the Waukon Police Department, as well as a resolution accepting the work completed on the expansion project for Robey Memorial Library. That Council approval was sought after the library's Foundation Board gave its approval to the completed project at its November meeting and was given unanimously by the Council.