City Council met in regular session on February 1, 2021 at 6:00 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Lester presided:
City employees present were City Administrator Kennedy, Public Works Director Mager and Attorney Green. Chief Newman attended via telephone.
MINUTES: The meeting was called to order and the Council minutes of January 19th were approved as presented by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Grant. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
VISITORS: Cindy Lane, Grangeville Farmer’s Market was present to provide last season’s update and to request use of Pioneer Park for the Farmer’s Market, June 19th – October 2nd (not including July 3rd for 2021. They saw a decrease in the number of vendors last year as other markets did not charge fees. They bought had washing stations last year and will have those available this year too. For 2021, they will not be charging a vendor fee. They just completed their 14th year. Mayor Lester stated we hope there are no new mandates that come out but the City will keep you apprised if they do. On motion by Councilor Grant, second by Councilor Canaday to approve the use of Pioneer Park for the Farmer’s Market, June 19th – October 2nd (not including July 3rd for 2021. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: On motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Canaday to accept the Library Minutes of January 21, 2021. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
On motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Winkler to accept the Planning and Zoning Minutes of January 26, 2021. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Peterson to grant the conditional use application submitted by Church of the Nazarene, 515 W North 2nd Street to add 6th – 8th grade at Cornerstone Christian Learning Center. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
On motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Lane to accept the Fire Minutes of January 25, 2021. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
SIDEWALK, CURB AND GUTTER REQUIREMENTS WITH BUILDING PERMITS: The first discussion on sidewalk, curb and gutter was at the May 18th Council meeting. The City has a list of sidewalk waivers from the 1990s forward; however any new owners aren’t obligated to install because the information was never recorded on the property. The City has started recording documents in the last 1-2 years. Discussion from May included increasing the dollar amount that triggers sidewalks.
Public Works Director Mager stated a lot of time, curb and gutter would be a better option than sidewalks. Currently, the City doesn’t have an ordinance that requires curb and gutter. Mager stated sometimes waivers would still need to be given. Councilor Winkler felt brand new builds should require curb and gutter and maybe the sidewalk requirements could be based upon valuation. Councilors Winkler and Grant both felt the valuation to trigger sidewalks should be higher. Councilor Grant felt new construction should require curb and gutter but raise the valuation for sidewalks. Mager stated it gets embarrassing waiving sidewalks but sometimes the City street just isn’t ready for sidewalks. Councilor Winkler felt maybe raising the valuation to $30,000 might be an option before requirement sidewalk, curb and gutter and then allow Mager to make a recommendation to do curb and gutter. Mager stated the department works with property owners on curb and gutter and helps on the project. The City helps haul away materials and brings gravel in so the City gets it done right. Councilor Farris has a hard time with sidewalk requirements. So many people want to fix their house. A lot of the sidewalks are bad and no one makes the homeowner fix them. It could prohibit homeowners from doing home maintenance.
Mager stated he’s not a fan of sidewalks. They cost a lot of money and they are a pain. Councilor Farris stated if curb and gutter is more beneficial than a sidewalk, maybe the City should do away
with the sidewalk requirement. Winkler stated curb and gutter poured in more recent years
doesn’t last as long. Mayor Lester questioned whether people would put in sidewalks if they aren’t required? Mager thinks some might. Mayor Lester could see tying all of it to new construction and just dropping everything else. Mager stated if a sidewalk is pre-existing and ripped out, it should still be required to replace so we don’t lose ground. Attorney Green stated it’s important to require it for new construction. Councilor Canaday felt it could be tied to new construction. Mayor Lester suggested staff do some research and maybe attach the work to a dollar amount and new construction and bring it back to the Council.
SIDEWALK WAIVER: Mager explained there is nowhere for the sidewalk to go. It’s on North Street and would be only on the lot where the loading dock is being installed. On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Canaday to approve the indefinite sidewalk waiver on North Street for the Norco building at 329 W Main, based upon public works recommendation. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
DOGS IN CITY PARKS: Mayor Lester brought up discussion on dogs in the parks. People bring their dogs to the parks for concerts, sporting games and we don’t know how to enforce it. We don’t have an ordinance officer and can’t really afford to hire one and the police department has higher ranking calls to attend a lot of times.
Councilor Farris stated to enforce you’d need an officer at the park all day long. She’s sees it every day she goes by. Let people clean up their crap and do away with the signs. Councilor Grant felt it was ridiculous to have when not enforced. Farris felt dog owners were more apt to clean up after themselves then to follow the signs. Councilor Winkler ask why the City doesn’t just leave it as is. Mayor Lester stated he doesn’t like having ordinances that don’t work. Chief Newman stated if the City can’t enforce it, it’s not a good idea to have the ordinance. He stated maybe the City could get compliance in cleaning up the dog’s mess through education.
Attorney Green stated in a philosophical way, no one can enforce laws 24 hours a day. They are guidelines for people who abide and punishments for those that choose to not follow. There is infraction of $300 if animal deposits feces. Councilor Canaday stated he doesn’t mind dogs in park if the owners clean up after them. Councilor Lester has a problem with having a law we don’t enforce because nobody has complained. It’s not right to only do it by complaints, nor is it good when bring it to our attention that we don’t enforce it. Councilors Farris and Canaday feel if we don’t enforce it, we shouldn’t have it on the books. Councilor Lane stated those that have dogs and respect others will bring bags to clean up after their pets. If we don’t enforce the ordinance, then get rid of it. Lane asked if we are enforcing it when we see it. Farris stated no.
Mayor Lester stated the City is not putting down the police; this is low on the priority list.
COMMUNICATION TOWERS IN THE CITY: City Administrator Kennedy brought up Planning and Zoning’s recommendation in their October minutes to modify city code requirements for communication towers in the City. P&Z recommended towers should be no more the 40 feet from the ground level and the word private should be added in the definition section under conditional uses. The current code states they cannot exceed by more the 25’ the height limits of the zone in which they are located and not more the 60’ from ground level.
Attorney Green stated he had a concern about regulating ham radio users. They were already upset previously when ham radios were regulated by FCC. The City do review this section several years ago and at that time determined not to address any changes. Discussion occurred in which it was stated internet is the current standard and everyone wants and needs it. It is difficult to determine at which point it is a commercial or private venture. The Council discussed if they wanted to address the towers and make changes. Currently, they were ok with leaving the code as is.
ITEMS TO NOTE: Mayor Lester received a request for a support letter for a grant for the Lewiston Airport to expand flights out of Lewiston to Seattle. He’ll be submitting a support letter.
Mayor Lester reminded the Council to think about how the community may respond to water and sewer bonds and be prepared to talk about it at the next meeting when JUB presents the master plan. He’s not sure how the community will react.
The meeting adjourned at 8:21 P.M.
Wes Lester – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – Clerk