Waukon City Council approves RAGBRAI Ordinance, hiring of additional police for RAGBRAI; Family Aquatic reportedly opening Tuesday after Memorial Day

by Joe Moses

The Waukon City Council met in regular session Monday, May 16. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pat Stone. Prior to approval of the consent agenda, council member Arvid Hatlan and Senior Project Manager Lyle TeKippe of Fehr Graham Engineering discussed a small asphalt area near the corner of First Avenue SW and Second Street that has yet to be repaired as part of the 2021 Street Improvement Project. Hatlan and TeKippe further discussed drainage issues to be addressed, with the Resolution accepting work covering the 2021 Street Improvement Project and the 2021 Street Improvement Project, Skyline Construction approval of Final Pay Estimate #7 consent agenda items both being moved to later in the meeting agenda to allow for discussion. The amended consent agenda was approved.

There was no Public Comment and the meeting moved into Department Reports with Police Chief Paul Wagner providing an update. Wagner indicated that seven applicants will be tested May 27 relating to a patrol officer vacancy. He noted that two of the applicants are certified officers. Wagner said that he is working to schedule the installation of a camera in the Ford Explorer patrol vehicle with that camera purchase being reimbursed in the amount of $4,500 by the Iowa Governor’s Safety Bureau, similar to the sTEP program in the past. Wagner added that the new camera has cloud-based storage which is saving storage space in the Police Department’s computer network and also is increasing the integrity of those video recordings.

Water and Sewer Superintendent Jim Cooper and Street Superintendent Keith Burrett both indicated that they will be addressing specific matters later in the agenda.

Waukon Park, Recreation and Wellness Director Jeremy Strub indicated that the last week of soccer is coming up with it having been a good season thus far. Strub advised that the City Park is fully open and that the campground has been busier in comparison to the last couple years. Strub noted that summer recreation will be starting after Memorial Day and that a couple more lifeguards have been hired. He indicated that classroom training for new lifeguards is scheduled for this Saturday with additional training at the swimming pool to take place. Strub added that he anticipates the swimming pool will open the Tuesday following Memorial Day with cool evening temperatures likely to not allow an opening prior to that date with some pool chemicals requiring a temperature of 70 degrees for application.

City Clerk Sarah Snitker discussed a recent meeting with Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) representatives relating to planning for Waukon as a pass-through community during the July 2022 event. Snitker added that a RAGBRAI vendor application has been added to the City of Waukon’s website with a $250 commercial non-local vendor fee and a $100 local or non-profit fee being requirements for vendors selling food or products. Snitker indicated that signage was another matter discussed during the meeting with RAGBRAI representatives.

City Attorney Jeff Swartz indicated that he did not have a report but will be addressing matters during the Closed Session later in the meeting agenda.

City Manager Gary Boden briefly discussed some Planning Commission matters relating to the sale of the former C-Mart property on Main Street and 6th Street SW, which has been requested for rezoning from business to residential with a Public Hearing relating to that matter scheduled for 6 p.m. May 24. Boden added that this recommendation will then be brought before the council at the June 6 City Council meeting.

Boden also provided an update relating to fiber optic installation plans to include City Hall and the downtown area in Phase 2 to begin in July with the north and south sections of town and remaining areas to be included in the next phases of this installation. Boden indicated that the ad hoc committee relating to City Code revisions has met, with that committee expected to continue to work on City Code updates with proposed changes to be presented to the council for review and approval.

There was no report from Mayor Stone or the City Council with the meeting moving into four separate Public Hearings including the Public Hearing Proposing Disposition of Interest in Real Property - Airplane Hangar, Public Hearing Proposing Disposition of Interest  in Real Property - 520 West Main Street and 4 6th Street SW, Public Hearing for Budget Amending the Current Budget for the City of Waukon for the Fiscal-Year Ending (FYE) June 30, 2022 and the Public Hearing for the Proposed Temporary Ordinance for RAGBRAI. All four Public Hearings were opened and closed with Snitker advising that no comments have been received.

The Resolution approving and directing the conveyance of interest in real property - Airplane Hangar was approved. The Resolution approving and directing the conveyance of interest in real property 520 West Main Street and 4 6th Street SW was approved. The Resolution for the Budget Amending the Current Budget for the City of Waukon for FYE June 30, 2022 was approved. The Resolution authorizing and approving a certain Loan Agreement, providing for the issuance of $2,500,000 General Obligation Corporate Purpose Bonds, Series 2022 and providing for the levy of taxes to pay the same was also approved.

The Resolution accepting work covering the 2021 Street Improvement Project and the 2021 Street Improvement Project, Skyline Construction approval of Final Pay Estimate #7 were next addressed by TeKippe, who advised that the repair yet to be made relating to the small asphalt area near the corner of First Avenue SW and Second Street SW will be covered under the maintenance bond associated with that payment to be part of the current fiscal year. Following discussion with TeKippe, both matters were approved by the council.

The meeting moved into the  Ordinance - Amending the code of ordinances for the purpose of assisting city officials, law enforcement officers and the RAGBRAI committee to deal with the public health and safety issues created when RAGBRAI arrives in Waukon July 30 of this year. Snitker provided an overview of this matter which covers safety measures and vendor fees during RAGBRAI. She noted that the Ordinance will be in effect July 30 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the time Waukon will be a pass-through community on the RAGBRAI route. The council approved the first reading, waiving additional readings with adoption of the Ordinance.

Wagner addressed the next matter relating to the Waukon Police Department’s special employment during RAGBRAI. He discussed an estimated six-hour window during the July 30 event where additional officers will be needed dependent upon the number of streets being closed. Wagner discussed a recommendation of $40 per hour as a pay rate for additional officers and that he will be coordinating with Burrett regarding the number and which streets will be closed during RAGBRAI. The council approved to move forward with the hiring process.

Cooper discussed an electric pump quote that had been previously approved. Cooper noted that the pump vendor has notified him of their clerical error relating to the price of an electric pump. He further advised that the vendor has indicated that they will still deliver and honor the original price quoted but are requesting that the City of Waukon consider a price correction of an additional $2,500. Following discussion, the council approved to pay half of the price correction at $1,250.

Cooper also addressed the next matter relating to Water and Sewer Department summer help. He discussed a request to hire a temporary part-time summer employee for mowing and other projects with a 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. work schedule. The council approved the request for summer help.

Burrett discussed a Street Department truck purchase with Boden providing a recommendation for this matter to be added to the next meeting agenda. Burrett provided an overview of price quotes received from two dealerships. Boden and the council discussed the need for clarification and an itemized breakdown to better allow for comparison of the quotes. Burrett will be following up with the dealerships, with this matter tabled until the next council meeting.

Swartz and the council discussed the Plaza Lease Agreement with the council approving to set June 6 for the Public Hearing on the matter. Snitker also discussed the Tyler Software Online Payment Quote agenda item. She indicated that media outlets and social media were used to reach out to residents regarding an online survey relating to their interest in an online payment option and the use of credit cards in making utility payments. Snitker provided an overview of the survey results with the council approving to accept those results.

Prior to adjournment, the council moved into Closed Session: Per Iowa Code Section 21.5 (1)(c) to discuss strategy with counsel in matters that are presently in litigation or where litigation is imminent where its disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the position of the governmental body in that litigation.