Proposed ATV/Golf Cart Ordinance, several projects among items discussed by Waukon City Council

by Joe Moses

The Waukon City Council met in regular session Monday, June 6 at City Hall to discuss a full agenda of items including an ATV/Golf Cart Ordinance, the 2016 Street Program and the Alliant Franchise Renewal. There were no comments from the public in attendance during the public hearing for the rezoning of a portion of 641 Eighth Avenue NW from “A-1” to “R-2”. There were also no public comments heard or read during the general public comments portion of the meeting.

The City Council moved on to Department Reports and heard from Water/Sewer Superintendent Bob Campbell, who indicated that the comment period is winding down regarding the new permit for the wastewater treatment plant. He went into some detail about mineral levels and by-products involved in the wastewater process.

Waukon Police Chief Phil Young mentioned that the police department is gearing up for this weekend’s events, which include Tractorcade, Thunder in the Park, a motorcycle group, a pick-up group and two weddings. Reserve officers have been hired and are available as needed.

Street Superintendent Keith Burrett stated that he has received a bid for work on the retaining wall near City Hall. The department's new pick-up that was budgeted for will be ready by July 2. Burrett advised there is an old car trailer that has only been used sporadically and an old pick-up that may be advisable for the City to sell.

Park, Recreation and Wellness Director Jeremy Strub reported that the Summer Recreation program is off and running and the pool is open, with everything off to a good start. Strub also said this weekend will be a busy time, and advised that RVs and campers will be parked behind the Wellness Center and trailers will be parked by the high school in conjunction with the weekend full of activities. City Clerk Al Lyon discussed nuisance abatement and the process of cleaning up properties.

The City Council meeting moved on to regular business items. Dana Fish spoke with the City Council regarding the use of the City sidewalk in front of Goodfellas on Main Street to sell alcohol at the Corn Days Street Dance August 19-20. Fish provided paperwork and insurance information to the Council. The City Council approved the use of the sidewalk by Goodfellas.

Lyon provided his recommendation for the temporary employee in the City Clerk’s office to help with document transfers to digital format. He has interviewed two candidates and recommended hiring Carolyn Campbell at $10 per hour. The Council approved the hire. Lyon also discussed the vacant Street Department position. There were no applications received internally, and the Council approved advertising the position in the newspaper. Lyon would like to provide his recommendation for hire at the July 5 Council meeting.
Lyle TeKippe, Senior Project Manager with Fehr-Graham Engineering, provided an update on the Rossville Road-Seventh Avenue SE storm sewer project. He addressed concerns regarding the relining process of storm sewers. With the relining of corrugated metal storm sewer pipes, there may be a slight loss of diameter within the pipe, but water flow will not be decreased.

The Waukon Homecoming Parade route for September 30 from 2-3:20 p.m. was approved by the Council. The route will be from 610 Rossville Road (Hwy 9 & 76) north to the intersection of West Main Street, then west to the intersection of Sixth Street NW, then north to the intersection of Third Avenue NW, then west crossing Highway 76 to the high school parking lot.

The 2016 Street Program was discussed by Councilman Dewey Jones, who expressed improvements are greatly needed. The Council agreed to add the 2016 Street Program and the previously-proposed City Manager position to the agenda of the Council's next meeting for further discussion.

A proposed ATV/Golf Cart Ordinance was the next agenda item. Police Chief Young went into detail that the City would need to enforce that ATV drivers have proof of insurance and a driver’s license, and that no operation take place after dark. A speed limit of 15 mph would be advisable in town for safety. Currently, Waukon does not have an ordinance; ATV use for agriculture is an exception and is allowed. The Council discussed issues involving ATVs crossing State highways, and ultimately the ordinance was tabled until the next meeting.

An ordinance changing zoning from “A-1” to “R-2” on a portion of 641 Eighth Avenue NW was approved. The Alliant Energy franchise renewal was the next item for discussion. City Attorney Jim Garrett provided some of the history involved in the negotiation of this contract. He advised the Council that the next step would be a public hearing. In his discussions with Alliant’s attorney, they were hesitant to sign a contract for less than 25 years. Garrett has suggested a 10-year contract minimum renewed by the City every five years after, for a maximum of 25 years. The motion to schedule a public hearing was approved.

The amendment to the City Code of Ordinances Chapter 141 - Use of Public Right of Way was tabled. Variances were approved for Aaron and Sarah McCabe at 112 Tenth Avenue NW and Andy Thesing at 20 Ninth Street NW.

Burrett discussed the cracked concrete in the parking area near the ambulance garage by Veterans Memorial Hospital. The Council agreed the repair work is necessary and approved the repairs.

Campbell advised the Council about the Visu-Sewer project where a camera was used to inspect storm sewers. He advised there will be some challenges in making repairs discovered by the cameras while pumping around these areas to keep the storm sewer operational. Outside contractors may need to be used in this process.

Several accounting-related agenda items were discussed before the City Council meeting was adjourned. The Indian Springs Pond dredging project handled by Jim Hanson Construction had a change order, with a decrease in contract price of $12,776.60 and the partial pay estimate for $43,541.73 both approved. The resolution to transfer funds from the 2016 Capital Improvement Fund to the 2013 Flood Fund was approved. The resolution to transfer funds from the Hotel/Motel Park Improvement Fund to the 2013 Flood Fund was also approved. Both of these items were approved to meet financial obligations while waiting on FEMA reimbursements. A total of $2,500 was also approved for transfer from the General Fund to the Wellness Capital Fund.