Waukon City Council approves the hiring of Waukon Park, Recreation and Wellness Program Director

The Waukon City Council met in regular session Monday evening, March 21 to address a number of agenda items. Councilman Ben Rausch was not in attendance at the meeting.
During the Public Comment session that typically opens such meetings, resident Wayne Martin asked for the Council's assistance in determining how to handle a property access issue with his new neighbors for his seemingly landlocked property once accessed via the dead end portion of Eighth Street NW. Having had no such issues with previous neighbors in his 50 years of residing in that same location, the Martins are now met with No Trespassing signs on access property that, in essence, belongs to the new neighbors.
Council members Dewey Jones and John Lydon said they would like to visit the area to become more educated on the situation, and also suggested placing the item on the agenda for a future meeting so more direct discussion and possible assistance could take place.


Under Departmental Reports, Water Superintendent Bob Campbell updated the Council on the motor situation at Well #5, and also advised the Council of a manhole along Rossville Road that has begun to cave in. Campbell has gotten an estimate of $8,500 from Skyline Construction to fix the manhole and has that funding remaining in his budget, so the Council gave him the go-ahead to make the necessary repair.
Chief of Police Phil Young reported that St. Patrick's Day festivities in Waukon "went pretty smoothly," reasoning that the slightly rainy weather and the EARL Transit System offering free rides this year helped keep things a little more in control. Keith Burrett from the City's Street Department advised the Council that the street light at the intersection of Allamakee Street and Main Street that had been damaged this winter during snow removal is now fully repaired. He also advised of a drain within the City Street Department shop that has been in need of repair, providing an estimate of $1,350 for the concrete work and another $600 for the drain cover. Funding for such shop repairs remains in the Street Department budget, and the Council gave its approval to have the drain fixed before it becomes worse and threatens City vehicles driving into and out of the shop.
Park, Recreation and Wellness Director Jeremy Strub said that his department's youth soccer program will be starting soon, and that this Saturday the City Park will be the site of an Easter egg hunt again this year. He also advised the Council that his department, in conjunction with the Waukon Lions Club, was awarded grant funding from the Allamakee County Community Foundation to help fund construction of a new restroom/concession stand/warming house facility in closer proximity to the Waukon City Park ball diamond and adjacent shelter house.

Under a later agenda item, Strub also advised that the Park, Recreation and Wellness Department has offered its Program Director position to Kimberly Kraus, a Postville native who is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa with a degree in Park and Recreation Management. She is scheduled to begin employment Wednesday, March 23 at an hourly rate equivalent to a $28,000 annual salary.
Waukon High School senior Emily Hammel was seeking permission to host a Tough Color 5K Run April 30 of this year as a 4-H leadership project. The event was held last year, and all details seem to be in order once again, according to Police Chief Young, so the Council gave its approval.
A public hearing for the voluntary annexation of a portion of Green Valley Road was scheduled for Monday, April 4 at 7 p.m. The Council also approved a pair of resolutions ordering preparations of detailed plans, specifications, notice of hearing, notice to bidders and form of contract for the detention basin planned for the northwest corner of Waukon, and then approving those same items.
Approval was also given to a pay estimate of $38,712.50 to Jim Hanson Construction as partial payment for the ongoing dredging project at Indian Springs Pond. Although some issues with bedrock and other challenges have been encountered, the project is still slated for an April 15 completion date for the dredging and May 1 date for the final seeding.
The Council addressed the Superintendent and another vacant position within the City Street Department, advising Waukon City Clerk Al Lyon to advertise the vacant employee position but to wait on the Superintendent position until further discussion could take place. The Street Superintendent position is slated to be further discussed at a special Council session scheduled for Monday, March 28.

Under the agenda item labeled "Streets," the Council first requested that City Engineer Lyle TeKippe of Fehr Graham Engineering attempt to locate plans for the City street light electrical system along the first two blocks of West Street, as two street lights are no longer operational along that location. The Council then approved the bid from Visu-Sewer introduced at a special session last Monday of $7,500 for videoing the main sewer line and $12,400 for videoing the connecting sewer lines of up to 40 adjacent properties along Third Avenue SW in an effort to determine such infrastructure needs prior to any possible street work being done on Third Avenue SW.
The Council then began discussion on an estimate compiled by Engineer TeKippe in regard to repair/replacement work on the seven intersections of Third Avenue SW. In light of that estimate and all the other factors within that Third Avenue SW project, it was suggested and agreed to schedule a special work session for Monday, March 28 for more in-depth discussion of Third Avenue SW and other street project considerations. The Street Superintendent vacancy and a couple other items from this March 21 meeting were slated for further discussion at that same March 28 special session due to further research or information needing to be gathered in order to make a decision.
One of those agenda items rescheduled for that March 28 special session involves a large storm sewer line that is beginning to cave in and show additional evidence of its nearly 50 years of existence underneath the large parking lot area that extends from the Casey's location south behind Mulligan's and underneath Seventh Avenue SW near the City Street Department shop. TeKippe provided estimates of replacing the line, but it was determined that more information was needed in regard to easements and access to the line, along with the logistics of completing such a project.
Burrett also advised the Council of three quotes he received for several City sidewalks, parking lot entrances and storm sewer intakes throughout the downtown area, including at the City parking lot located to the south of Howards Home Furnishings, as well as the City parking lot adjacent to the initial block of First Avenue NW. The quotes ranged from $15,630 from Kelly Concrete, $25,189.75 from Matt Benda Concrete, and $32,400 from Rolling Hills Concrete, with the Council approving the bid from Kelly Concrete for the work to be completed.
Agenda items for the Hotel/Motel Tax and Capital Improvement Fund Levy funding measures were tabled for further research. Another funding measure of local vehicle taxation was also tabled, as City Clerk Lyon is awaiting additional information from the Iowa Department of Transportation.
City Clerk Lyon brought to the attention of the Council that the City's checks have no expiration date on them, and that he has discovered on the City's books uncashed checks dating as far back as November of 2012 and totaling nearly $25,000. He requested approval to have "Void after 60 days" printed on the City's checks when those checks are next scheduled to be printed in order to alleviate any further such issues, a request the Council unanimously approved.
In final action, three resolutions for funding transfers were also approved prior to the meeting being adjourned. They included a transfer of $14,000 from the Special Revenue Employment Benefit Fund to the Library General Fund, a transfer of $1,151.27 from the Hotel/Motel (Park Improvements) Fund to the 2013 Flood Fund, and a transfer of $38,712.50 from the 2016 Capital Improvements Fund to the 2013 Flood Fund.