At the Wykoff City Council meeting on April 8, possible uses for the vacant school building were discussed. Council members in attendance included Lyle Morey, Mary Tjepkes, City Clerk Becky Schmidt, Mary Sackett and Richard Gleason. Mayor Al Williams was absent, so the meeting was led by Gleason.
Rod Thompson addressed the council, explaining what he and his brother Rick had in mind when they purchased the property. He stated that even though no firm plans have been finalized yet regarding how the building will be used, “I guess I just wanted to clarify… where Rick and I stand on the school project… It’s our intention to act as caretakers to make sure it is ready for a good idea… We didn’t really purchase it to make a profit… we really just didn’t want it to fall and get scrapped out.” He went on to suggest that some type of board or committee be formed to oversee potential uses of the building, and to explore the wide array of funding options available.
Eva Barr then spoke, saying, “I’m representing this group we call Wykoff By Design… and I’m here in the capacity to invite the city to assume a more official role in some of the work that we’re doing.” She explained that many grants require a municipality to apply, so she asked the city council to consider having Wykoff be “on board” for this purpose. She reminded the council that, “This is all economic revitalization, over time.”
Barr also asked if the city could waive the Community Center usage fee for Wykoff By Design, but Becky Schmidt suggested another possibility. She said the group could possibly hold their meetings in the council meeting room, since it is cheaper to heat/cool and clean. Barr also asked if the city could put something in the newsletter asking citizens for their input or suggestions for the school building usage.
Shirl Boelter spoke to the council regarding the Ed’s Museum building. She said the window frames need to be stabilized so that windows won’t break from the strain, which would allow rain/snow/wind into the building and damage items inside. The council voted to seek bids for stabilizing the window frames.
Rick Whitney addressed the recent high-water event that occurred at the waste water treatment plant. He said when the water level rose, it brought up silt, sand and sludge which created a mess within the plant, and he suggests the city either install tiling around the plant, or at least install sump pump baskets in the plant. The council chose to seek bids for tiling, and Whitney will check into the cost of installing sump pumps in the meantime.
The council discussed bids on the work to be done to bring the water tower back into compliance with regulations. The council chose to accept the lowest price bid, from McGuire Iron, to do only the required tasks to come into compliance.
There was discussion about the possibility of increasing the sewer base rate by $5 per month. It was explained that this does not require a public hearing. The council voted to make the increase effective beginning July 1. Next, Becky Schmidt summarized a newspaper article that stated how some cities use a process of estimating summer water usage, so that citizens who water their yards or gardens will not see such a significant increase in their bills. Council members said it didn’t make sense to consider such a plan since the city was increasing the base rate to cover costs. The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m. The council’s next regular meeting will be Monday, May 13 at 7 p.m.