Waukon City Council appoints members to the new Park, Recreation and Wellness Board

by Bob Beach

The regular meeting of the Waukon City Council Monday evening, July 20 was brief, as the Council addressed an even dozen agenda items under regular business. The Council first gave its approval to Boy Scout Troop 64 member Dolan Jones to construct a new tin shed near the soccer fields by the high school as his Eagle Scout project. Jones said that he would raise the money to fund the project, an estimated $4,000.
The Council then approved the appointment of five members of the new seven-member Park, Recreation and Wellness Board. Arvid Hatland will begin his tenure on the new board with a three-year term; Stefanie Perkins will start with a two-year term; and Dennis Lyons, Anne Blocker and Beth Shafer will begin with one-year terms. The Allamakee Community School District is expected to appoint Joe Griffith to a three-year term and Patty Nordheim to a two-year term on the new board.
Waukon Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) spokesman Irv Fosaaen reported to the Council that WEDC had hired a contractor to inspect the former Tierney building downtown and that the building was found to be structurally sound. “It’s important to get a resolution after 15 years. In the end, we’ll all be proud,” Fosaaen said. The Council then passed resolutions to approve an economic development grant of up to $50,000 to WEDC to repair the roof of the former Tierney building. The funds will be initially borrowed from the City’s General Fund and transferred into the TIF Fund, to be repaid to the General Fund at a later date.
City Clerk Al Lyon presented the Council with information from Alliant Energy regarding a franchise agreement with the City. Lyon said that the City has the option to request a franchise fee from zero to five percent, noting that a one-percent franchise fee would replace the local option sales tax on customer bills and that the full one percent would be paid directly to the City, rather than be divided with the County as the local option sales tax funds are. The Council voted unanimously to begin the “discussion phase” with Alliant Energy regarding a one-percent franchise fee. Lyon said that the full process could take as long as six months.
Finally, the Council discussed a request from some members of the Waukon Police Department to donate their accumulated comp time to Jeremy Wicks, a fellow officer who was injured in an off-duty jet ski accident and has been unable to perform his full-time officer duties. Councilman Trent Mitchell said that he had spoken with the City’s labor attorney and the police union’s representative about making a one-time allowance for the gifting of comp time. The Council approved making the necessary changes to the union contract to allow officers to donate their comp time to Wicks, with the donation period ending December 31.