Waukon City Council awards Industrial Park Sidewalk Project, approves purchase of sewer camera and new police firearms

by Joe Moses

The Waukon City Council met in regular session Monday, June 3 to address a full agenda of items including the appointment of Library Trustees, an agreement for consultation fees for former City employees and awarding a contract for the Waukon Industrial Park Sidewalk Project.

The council individually held four Public Hearings, all without any written or verbal comments received and without comment from the public in attendance. These Public Hearings included the proposed change in zoning district classification for certain property in the Green Valley Subdivision, proposed specifications and estimated costs of the Tennis Court Project through the Waukon Park and Recreation Wellness Department, proposed disposition of interest in real property relating to the West Side Subdivision Lot 8, and proposed plans, specifications, form of contract and estimated cost of the Waukon Industrial Park Sidewalk Project.

There was no Public Comment and the council moved into Departmental Reports. Police Chief Phil Young discussed the interview process to fill vacancies in the Waukon Police Department. Pat Egan with the Street Department discussed maintenance and repair projects. Water and Sewer Superintendent Jim Cooper provided an update on a recent Department of Natural Resources (DNR) inspection, which went well without any violations. Park and Recreation Wellness Director Jeremy Strub indicated that the swimming pool is open for the season, the summer recreation program has started and that the Music in the Park performances each Wednesday have begun with the Toe Tappers as the first scheduled performance last Wednesday.

City Manager Dean Hilgerson discussed a potential streambank stabilization project, upcoming meetings and that the ongoing Department of Transportation (DOT) Street and Sidewalk Project has recently involved work with sod and landscaping. Hilgerson indicated that the full-time city manager position has been posted with the search process beginning. Hilgerson also discussed prioritizing the new police department building project.

Under Regular Business, the Ordinance changing the zoning district classification from A-agricultural district to R1-single family residence district for a portion of the Green Valley Subdivision was approved. Other resolutions were individually reviewed and approved including plans and specifications for the Tennis Court Project and conveyance of interest in real property for the West Side Subdivision Lot 8.

The council discussed the Resolution approving and confirming plans, specifications and form of contract for the Waukon Industrial Park Sidewalk Project. Council member Arvid Hatlan and Brooke Troendle of the Walk-On Waukon group discussed the need to move the Industrial Park Sidewalk Project to be within the street lights rather than next to the street curb for safety reasons. Following discussion with Jesse Delaney of Skyline Construction relating to the revised bidding form, the council approved Skyline Construction for the Industrial Park Sidewalk Project with the project to be moved within the street lights.

The Resolution amending Resolution Number 3148 regarding vegetation nuisance abatement was discussed by City Attorney Jim Garrett, indicating that the amendment clarifies that the ordinance is notice in itself and does not require written notice with grass six inches or higher being in violation. The amendment to Resolution Number 3148 was approved.

As routine financial matters, resolutions were individually approved for transfer from the Sewer Revenue Fund to the Sewer Revenue Bond Sinking Fund and the transfer from the Sewer Revenue Fund to the Sewer Revenue Bond Surplus Fund.
Cooper discussed that a contractor is painting the inside of a water tower and that painting the outside of the tower would be advisable with the contractor in place, presenting an opportunity for cost savings. The council reviewed the bid of $27,500 for the work and discussed that some hail damage to the exterior paint has created the need to move this project ahead of schedule. The bid was approved.

The public hearing for the Brian Sweeney rezoning request was set as July 1, 2019.

The Maury Regan Green Valley Subdivision plat was discussed by Hilgerson and the council. Hilgerson indicated that the Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended that a cul de sac be approved with 100 feet of right of way and 80 feet of turnaround which will not affect a neighboring property owner. The council approved the plat request.

Executive Director Stephanie Dugan of the Waukon Chamber of Commerce discussed the Welcome to Waukon signage placed east of Waukon which requires some maintenance and landscaping work. Following discussion with the council, Dugan and Hilgerson will be working together to receive additional requests for proposal (RFP) for the project.

The council reviewed and approved five Board of Adjustment variance requests for Wuebker, Osterhaus, Nagel, Treangen and AA Group of Waukon. The council also approved the three-year audit proposal with Hacker, Nelson and Co. P.C. covering fiscal years 2019, 2020 and 2021.

The mayor’s appointment of three Library Trustees was reviewed and approved by the council. These appointees are Kate Wooden, Connie Schneden and Ann Hagensick.

Cooper discussed the wastewater user agreement with Aveka Nutra Processing. Cooper indicated that Aveka had requested some modifications to testing requirements with that request denied by the DNR. The council approved the agreement with testing requirements the same as in the previous agreement.

Senior Project Manager Lyle TeKippe with Fehr Graham Engineering discussed the 2019 Fifth Street SW Improvements proposal. TeKippe indicated that roughly 500 feet of the street would be involved. Joe Cunningham with the Waukon Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) discussed that barrier curbs would be preferable instead of drive-over curbs for water flow and recommended that curbs would need to be cut out for driveway placement when lots are sold. The council approved the proposal.

Cooper discussed consultation fees for previous City employees with former Water and Sewer Superintendent Bob Campbell’s services as an example. Cooper indicated that he has relied on information from Campbell on several occasions in locating hidden curb stops and other water shut-offs, eliminating time consuming measures and expense. The council approved a one-year consultation agreement at $250 per month and $35 per phone call.

Egan discussed the need for using chip seal for street maintenance, which the council approved as a Fiscal-Year 2020 expense. The council also discussed Second Avenue SW between the St. Patrick School buildings, with one-sided parking on the north side being approved for improved safety.

Cooper discussed a sewer camera purchase request, with the council approving the EnviroSight Rovver X camera at a cost of $71,500 as an expense in the next fiscal year after July 1.

Young discussed the request to purchase new firearms for the Waukon Police Department. Young indicated that existing firearms are over ten years old and due for replacement and that the expense is within the Police Department’s budget. The council approved the firearms purchase.

Hilgerson provided an update on the DOT Street and Sidewalk Project indicating that weather conditions have caused some delays with work progressing well and that street resurfacing is scheduled to begin in early July.

The transient merchant license application from Bellino Fireworks, Inc. was approved. Hilgerson discussed the search for a full-time City Manager with an advertisement posted last week.

Hilgerson indicated that June 12 is being used as the deadline for employee evaluations and discussed potential wage increases for non-union and departmental employees. No action was taken by the council.

Hilgerson indicated that he would be moving forward with RFPs for the Plaza Project and plans to present project proposals at the next council meeting.

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