Waukon City Council discusses combining Waukon Wellness Center with Park & Recreation Department

by Bob Beach

The Waukon City Council made quick work of a short agenda Monday night, February 2, first passing a resolution to set a public hearing regarding adding the Aveka property and the old Iowa Department of Transportation building on the north edge of Waukon to the City's urban renewal area. City Attorney Jim Garrett explained that adding the properties to those areas would make tax increment revenues available there. The hearing on the proposed change is scheduled for Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m.
The Council also discussed plans to merge the Waukon Wellness Center and Park and Recreation Department, beginning with Councilman Trent Mitchell saying that he believes the Council should do the hiring and firing of the Director and Assistant Director positions since the new director position would be similar to the Street and Water and Sewer Departments, for example. He added that if the Council were in charge of hiring and firing, it would take some pressure off of the members of the volunteer board.
Representing the Wellness Center and Park and Recreation Boards, Dennis Lyons said that he doesn't believe there would be any problem with the Council being involved in the hiring process and that is something that should be discussed as the transition to the combined departments moves forward. Lyons also presented the Council with job descriptions for the new Director position, overseeing both Wellness Center and Park and Recreation operations, and the Assistant Director position, which Lyons said would be filled by current Park and Recreation Director Jeff Snitker.
In other business, City Clerk Diane Sweeney presented the Council with a letter from the Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission requesting that the Council appoint a representative to the Upper Explorerland Regional Housing Authority Board. Councilman Steve Wiedner volunteered to serve on the Board and the Council voted unanimously to appoint him as the City's representative.