City Council met in regular session on April 19, 2021 at 6:00 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Lester presided:
City employees present were City Administrator Kennedy, Chief Newman, Public Works Director Mager and Attorney Green.
MINUTES: The meeting was called to order and the Council minutes of April 5th were approved as presented by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Farris. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
OPEN MEETING LAW REFRESHER: Attorney Green provided an open meeting law refresher for the Council.
Public Works Director Mager stated the department installed the culvert by Partsway. PumpTech was here, work was completed at Myrtle Well with everything new except the shaft. The pump increased from 800 to 1100 gallons/minute. They’ll be back to finish Spencer well when they are done in Lewiston. Then all the wells will be completed. The department completed a big sewer job on Florence. The took the sander off the new 1-ton; it’s an amazing pickup.
POLICE AND ANIMAL CONTROL REPORT: The department had 96 calls for service and 17 cases written for March 2021. Officer Brown has passed his one year of service with the City. Debbie Urquhart received kudos from the Chief for putting all his furniture together. She went above and beyond and she always does. Thank you.
FIRE MINUTES: On motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Canaday to accept the Fire Minutes of March 8th and 22nd, 2021. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present. Mager stated the new SCBA’s are pretty nice; they’ve been busy training on them.
BILLS: The bills, in the amount of $254,681.13 were approved and ordered paid out of their respective funds, on motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Grant. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
SIDEWALK WAIVER: Public Works Director Mager stated the City has severe drainage issues on 4th, it’s gravel roads, and no sidewalks in area. On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Canaday to approve the sidewalk waiver recommendation from public works on Florence and E North 4th for Aminta Bruzas at 418 N Florence. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
DE-ANNEXATION: City Administrator Kennedy explained she attended the County Commissioner meeting at the request of Ted Lindsley, as he had placed discussion about Raj’s request on their agenda. The commissioners did not have any ideas or suggestions on how to keep the property in the City and make it work. However, much of the conversation dealt with area if impact requirements and if it was de-annexed, the County does not discriminate against county residents, so those in the area of impact would have the same rights as those outside the area of impact. It was also discussed if the City de-annexes, then the City is pushing their problem off on to the County.
Kennedy provided another option for thought to the Council which would be to come to an agreement with Raj through a negotiation process. Kennedy provided the Council with copies of the Lincoln West Agreement, during which negotiation happened between the City and owners of Lincoln West to meet in the middle with some concessions on roads and splits but to retain the property in the City.
Additional discussion occurred among the Council on the de-annexation request from Raj Chahal. Mayor Lester questioned zoning on the property. If the City makes an agreement with Raj, there could be wells and drain fields. Would the City need to create a new zone, allowing some of these things? Mayor Lester also questioned why the City would allow it. The City is about public infrastructure and connection to the city’s water and sewer systems.
Councilor Grant was reluctant to allow de-annexation. She read the packet of information and thought about it and would rather try to work with Raj to keep the property in the City. Councilors Farris and Winkler really don’t want to de-annex either.
Mager stated he doesn’t want it to go away, but it’s going nowhere right now. He’s concerned about fire protection. The closest fire hydrant is on E Street which is a long way away. If there are no roads built to specifications, how does it work for police and fire?
Attorney Green stated your final agreement would have to contain language that you don’t receive city services, such as police and fire without a street. Attorney Green stated the Mayor could set up a sub-committee to negotiate with Raj and if an agreement is reached, then the application would be sent to Planning and Zoning.
Councilor Farris felt there should be a way to hash it out. Maybe someone else would buy and develop it. Councilor Peterson asked if there were maps that showed where the roads were originally? Kennedy responded there are old maps; however those plats have all been vacated.
Mayor Lester asked if anyone wanted to move forward with de-annexation. The council did not, so Mayor Lester set up a committee with himself, Councilors Grant and Winkler, Mager and Kennedy to meet with Raj.
On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Grant to table the reading of the de-annexation ordinance of Raj Chahal indefinitely, for the property on the southwest side of the City. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
LIQUOR, BEER AND WINE LICENSES: On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Winkler to approve the transfer of the liquor license from CandT LLC d/b/a Seasons Restaurant to The Rib Guy and Gal LLC d/b/a The Rib Guy and Gal. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Peterson to approve the beer and wine license for CandT LLC d/b/a Seasons Restaurant. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
J-U-B ENGINEER AGREEMENT: On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Farris to authorize the signing of J-U-B agreement for professional services. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
GRANT ADMINISTRATOR COMMITTEE: Mayor Lester appointed Bob Mager, Tonya Kennedy, Amy Farris, Scott Winkler and himself to the Grant Administrator selection committee.
BUDGET ON WATER TANK DESIGN: City Administrator Kennedy explained when the budget was completed, she had budgeted the design as part of the whole budget with the costs being offset by SRF funding. She asked the Council if thought they budgeted for the design work, regardless of SRF funding. The Council felt they wanted to move forward with design so it was ready even if opening the budget was necessary.
KEN GORTSEMA: Retired Public Works Director Ken Gortsema passed away. The City reflected on Ken being a classy boss and always popping in on jobs and being present to represent the City well.
The meeting adjourned at 7:17 P.M.
Wes Lester – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – Clerk