Waukon City Council approves State funding for Green Valley Road bridge replacement project

The Waukon City Council met in regular session Monday, February 1, with Councilman Steve Wiedner not in attendance right away but entering the meeting later on. No public comment was heard or read during the allotted time for such comment early in the meeting.
In departmental reports, Waukon Police Chief Phil Young reported that the lost data from the Police Department’s computer storage drive has been recovered, and that a new back-up system is already in place. Waukon City Clerk Al Lyon reported that the bill for the recovery efforts has also already been paid.
Waukon Park and Recreation Wellness Director Jeremy Strub advised the Council that his department has received eight applications for its open Recreation Program Director position, and asked if any council members would be interested in participating in the interview process for selected candidates. Council members Ben Rausch and Dwight Jones, along with Mayor Duane DeWalle, said they may be interested in participating, depending upon the timing of the interviews, which Strub said he hopes to have take place within a timeframe that allows for a recommendation of hire to be made to the Council at its next regular meeting in two weeks. Lyon also advised that the dredging project at the Waukon City Park has gotten underway.
Representatives from Hacker, Nelson & Co., P.C. were in attendance to present the City’s audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, reporting “no significant findings” and that there were no difficulties in completing the audit and no major adjustments needed to any financial statements. The only concern mentioned within the overall report was the general concern for lack of oversight within the City of Waukon administrative offices, which, the Hacker & Nelson representatives said is a common finding within small-town governments but has never resulted in any issues raised within its auditing process with the City of Waukon. The City was found to be in compliance with all requirements of the State of Iowa Auditor’s Office. The Council voted to approve the audit report as it was presented.
Discussion turned to the replacement project for the bridge located on Green Valley Road just north of Waukon, with Mayor DeWalle saying that he is anticipating meeting with City Engineer Lyle TeKippe and Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour in the near future to further discuss the specifics of the project. City Clerk Lyon presented a letter from the Iowa Department of Transportation stating that the bridge replacement project has been approved to receive funding from the State of Iowa in the amount of 80% of the estimated $247,000 cost of the project, with the City of Waukon and Allamakee County equally splitting the remaining 20% cost due to sharing ownership of the bridge. The Council approved acceptance of the funding offer.
Discussion took place in regard to parking on East Main Street in its initial block near the Good Samaritan Society and Midwest Dental locations, with concerns of limited visibility and the blocking of street-access sidewalks being expressed. A suggestion of one-hour parking was made, but Police Chief Young advised that parking expansion by Good Samaritan Society is anticipated in the near future, so the matter was tabled but will be monitored.
In other business, Councilman John Lydon was appointed as the City Council’s representative to the Waukon Economic Development Board of Directors. Fund transfers were also approved from the Hotel/Motel (Park Improvements) Fund to the 2013 Flood Fund and from the General (Property Taxes) Fund to the Library Fund to pay for library expenses.
Prior to adjournment, the City Clerk suggested a special meeting be scheduled for Tuesday, February 9 at 7 p.m. for budget discussion and the setting of a public hearing for the budget for March 7. Council members agreed to have that meeting scheduled.