Waukon City Council approves ordinance limiting departure direction from Waukon High School parking lot after school, discusses another relating to weed and lawn maintenance

by Joe Moses

The Waukon City Council met in regular session Monday, July 1 to address a full agenda of items including discussion of changing the Ordinance relating to Nuisance Abatement for Vegetation, the Ordinance: Amending City Code by changing the direction of traffic at the Waukon High School during certain hours, and discussion of the City Parking Lot Project and the related change order associated with an abandoned box culvert behind Cunningham Hardware.

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Arvid Hatlan. There was no Public Comment with the meeting moving into Department Reports.

Park, Recreation and Wellness Director Jeremy Strub noted that June was a busy month for the City Park, swimming pool and recreation programs. Strub advised that three weeks of Music in the Park performances remain for this summer. He noted the impact recent rainfall and weather conditions have had upon Music in the Park attendance.

Water and Sewer Superintendent Jim Cooper noted that there have been some complaints relating to a sewer odor at several business and other locations which is being investigated. He invited council members to discuss this matter further as this research and process moves forward. Cooper recognized the efforts of Water and Sewer Department employees and the positive feedback relating to the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s operation and cleanliness provided during a recent contractor visit.

Street Superintendent Keith Burrett discussed ongoing maintenance projects including tree trimming and tree removal, among other matters.

Police Chief Paul Wagner advised that some weapon expenses are included in claims with these updates scheduled and budgeted every five years. He also noted that the speed trailer/signage has not been working with the availability of replacement parts being an issue due to the age of this equipment. Wagner advised that grants and funding options are being explored relating to the potential purchase of a new speed trailer with repair not being a feasible option.

Engineer Sam Ertl with Fehr Graham Engineering provided an update relating to the Pladsen Addition and seeding process. Ertl noted ongoing communications with Family Dollar/Dollar Tree relating to run-off from that location. He also discussed recent meetings with Cooper and City Manager Gary Boden relating to capital improvement projects, among other matters.

City Clerk Sarah Snitker advised that as of July 1, utility bill payments can be made online with information relating to this option on the City’s Facebook page and website. Snitker noted that, per City Ordinance and starting July 1, a scheduled 2.5-percent increase to water rates will be in place. City Clerk Snitker recognized the efforts of Utility Billing Clerk Shana Breasure and Finance Director Lana Snitker in working with a vendor in getting the online utility bill payment option to work.

Finance Director Snitker noted that three payments at a total of $17,000 are still due to the Allamakee Clayton Electric Cooperative relating to the Waukon Fire Station with no payments remaining due to FreedomBank. She advised that these payments will be completed by September.
Assistant City Attorney Kevin Stinn advised that he did not have new information to report but would be available to provide feedback relating to other agenda items.

City Manager Gary Boden made note of recent meetings coordinated by Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) relating to the development of child daycare options throughout the county. Boden noted that Waukon City Hall will be closed Thursday, July 4 for the Independence Day holiday and that City Hall offices will also close at noon Friday, July 5.

For the City Council Report, via Zoom web-conferencing council member Kevin Johnson made note of a few phone calls from citizens relating to tree branches and brush at the City Dump Site. Burrett confirmed that the branches and brush have been pushed back and are no longer an issue. Council member Steve Wiedner noted feedback he received from a visitor to Waukon relating to a dilapidated house, signage in need of repair and a building facade in need of improvement. Council members Nicholas Engrav and John Lydon did not have new information to report.

Mayor Hatlan provided an update in which he discussed water run-off and erosion at the Family Dollar/Dollar Tree location. He noted that a new construction manager position with Family Dollar in the Chicago area has been filled with this person serving as the contact that is working to resolve the drainage/erosion issue. Hatlan advised that the Family Dollar/Dollar Tree building and property is leased with responsibility relating to these matters to be determined.

Hatlan also discussed a recent meeting with Steve Pladsen relating to erosion and water run-off at the Pladsen Addition. Hatlan advised that a small retention pond and other measures including recent dirt work are in place to resolve these issues at the Pladsen Addition. Hatlan also made note of ongoing work by Street Department employees relating to tree and weed maintenance on City property.

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