Waukon City Council approves donation of police officers' comp time to fellow officer, addresses pair of project surprises

by Bob Beach

The Waukon City Council began its regular meeting Monday, August 3 by approving a street dance on Main Street in front of Good Fellas Bar Saturday, August 15 as part of the community's annual Corn Days celebration. Good Fellas owner Jason Fish said that activities would begin at 5 p.m. and continue until 12:30 a.m. with a performance by the Corey Farley Band.
The Council then discussed the Logan Street project, the bills for which turned out to be roughly double the cost of what was proposed by Bruening Rock Products. After some discussion and grumbling over project specifics, the Council agreed to pay for the project out of the City’s Economic Development Fund.
Moving on to another project, the Council awarded a contract to Blazek Corporation of Lawler to replace the water main on Second Street SE for $17,835.00.
The Council also addressed two matters related to the Police Department, first approving a procedure by which Waukon Police officers could donate some of their accumulated comp time to fellow officer Jeremy Wicks, who was injured in a jet ski accident earlier this summer. The Council also approved payment of $7,500 from the Police Department’s Equipment Fund for a laptop computer for one of the Department’s squad cars, an addition mandated by the State of Iowa, but not funded by the State of Iowa.
City Clerk and Zoning Administrator Al Lyon announced that because of two recent resignations there are two vacancies on the Board of Adjustment. Mayor Loren Beneke said that candidates to fill the vacancies must not be in the real estate business and at least one of the two candidates would need to be female to satisfy gender balance rules. Lyon said that he would work with The Standard Newspaper to have an appropriate notice of the vacancies posted.
In closing, the Council discussed internet service at the newly constructed fire station, specifically the lack thereof. Mayor Beneke said that internet and television service to the old fire station is included in the franchise agreement with Mediacom, but that the agreement, according to Mediacom, does not extend to the new station and extension of service to that part of town would cost around $18,000. After some discussion, the Council agreed to look into getting internet service from another provider.
Prior to its regular meeting, the Council met in special session with Travis Squires of Piper Jaffray, who reviewed the City’s options with regard to refinancing the remaining debt on the Wellness Center. Squires said that refinancing the debt, currently financed by general obligation bonds at an average interest of 4.05%, would save the City a total of approximately $130,000 over ten years, with an annual savings on payments of around $10,000. The Council agreed to move forward with the refinancing by considering a date for a public hearing on the issue during its next regular meeting, scheduled for Monday, August 17.