Waukon City Council brought up to date on a variety of matters by department heads, discusses noise complaint and next action regarding infraction of City dog ordinance

by Joe Moses

The Waukon City Council met in regular session Monday, July 6 to discuss noise complaints from a resident, a request to have a pitbull dog as a service animal at a residence, and approval of Park and Recreation Wellness Board appointments.

There was no Public Comment and the council moved into Departmental Reports. Street Superintendent Keith Burrett reported on the new garbage containers placed along portions of Main Street and Rossville Road in downtown Waukon and advised that chip sealing has been completed on several city streets as of last week. Burrett also discussed the potential of having contractor Prairie Road Builders return next year to perform additional chip sealing.

Water and Sewer Superintendent Jim Cooper provided an update relating to the Hidden Creek lift station. He also discussed sewer maintenance including the viewing of areas in need of repair with a sewer camera.

Park and Recreation Wellness Director Jeremy Strub updated the council about youth activities which he said started last month and will be wrapping up in the next few weeks. Strub also advised that adult sports have begun and continue throughout the summer. Strub said that the Music in the Park events at the amphitheater in the Waukon City Park have been well attended with no music scheduled this week in the City Park due to the Thursday evening music performance of The Caminos at the Allamakee County Fair. Strub also provided an update about the Waukon Wellness Center’s HVAC system.

Library Director Cate St. Clair of Robey Memorial Library reported that this was the first day of the Summer Reading Program. St. Clair discussed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act which provided additional funding for cleaning and sanitizing supplies. She also advised that the June circulation of library materials was at 1,634 during the current pandemic in comparison to 3,099 materials last year for that same month.

Police Chief Paul Wagner advised that Assistant Allamakee County Attorney Jill Kistler recently informed him that a countywide grant has been awarded which will fund mobile hot spots in law enforcement vehicles for one year as well as fund the purchase of computers and docking stations.

City Manager Gary Boden provided an update relating to the demolition of a nuisance property structure. Boden discussed a variety of other matters including the potential of fiber optic availability and the sale of the mobile home park on the south side of Waukon.

The council approved July 20 at 7 p.m. as the date and time for the public hearing on a proposal to enter into a loan agreement and borrow money in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $700,000 for Veterans Memorial Hospital. The first reading, waiving of additional readings and passage were approved for the Ordinance amending flood plain management regulations.

Maureen Garin of Waukon discussed noise related concerns near her residence indicating that loud motorcycles and engine revving is taking place at Side Street Cycles periodically. Kent Sweeney, owner of Side Street Cycles, indicated that he was not aware of noise issues outside of the repair shop and that he does not intentionally rev up motorcycle engines in the course of performing repairs. Stone added that some street traffic may be contributing to noise levels. The council discussed options available in identifying sources of excessive noise including decibel meters.

Garin addressed a recommendation from the council to immediately report these incidents to identify offenders, which she indicated may not be effective due to response times by law enforcement. Council member John Ellingson recommended that Garin continue to monitor the situation while recording specific times and dates of incidents to aid in further investigation.

The council moved into the next agenda item relating to Kolby Martin and Shiloh Green’s request to have a service dog at their residence in Waukon. At the June 16 City Council meeting, Green and Martin discussed their request to keep a pit bull mix dog at their residence as an emotional support and service animal. At that time, City Attorney Jim Garrett advised that if the dog meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) definition of a service animal, the City may need to make an exception to its existing ordinance banning pitbulls, even if not purebred.

At the July 6 meeting, Garrett advised that Martin and Green were notified of the Monday night meeting, but they were not in attendance at that night’s meeting to answer questions relating to their dog’s certification and role as a service animal under the ADA. Garrett discussed the next steps in this matter including a final letter for this municipal infraction with the dog to be removed from the city within three days.

Boden provided a brief update about the progress of the duplex subdivision on the former Bresnahan property in the northwest corner of town, advising that preliminary plats will likely be available for review at the July 20 or August 3 council meetings.

Boden also advised that the architect involved with the plans and specifications for the Police Department building improvements project was not available to attend the Monday night meeting. Boden reported that the plans and specifications will be presented at the July 20 meeting instead.

The council approved the reappointment of Dennis Lyons to the Park and Recreation Wellness Board with a term to expire July 20, 2023, as recommended by Mayor Stone. The appointment of Jennifer Garin to that same board, as recommended by the Allamakee Community School District, was also approved.

Mayor Stone recused himself before the next matter was addressed with Mayor Pro-Tem Gayle Decker assuming leadership of the meeting. The council approved the plat for a lot to be purchased by Stone. The council and Garrett discussed the next step in this matter to include the conveyance of the lot after the plat is recorded.

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