City Council met in regular session on March 20, 2023 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, Chief Newman and Attorney Jessup.
MINUTES: The meeting was called to order and the Council minutes of March 6th were approved as presented by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Canaday. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
VISITORS: Terri Tackett, Animal Rescue Foundation submitted a letter asking for written permission for ARF to connect to city water and sewer without annexation and to request the city add a shelter and/or kennel as an allowed use in the industrial zone. ARF has multiple issues if they annex. Currently a shelter nor kennel is an allowed use in the industrial zone. The need for a shelter is growing. They are not ready to ask for annexation. In the next two years they want to get the parking area and utilities in. They would like to have a letter from the city for water and sewer to submit with their application for a variance from the subdivision rules to the county. They would prefer to hookup to city services instead of drilling a well or installing a septic system. One thing that would help with annexation is if the zoning allowed an animal shelter or kennel in industrial zone. The highway district believes the plan to bore under the truck route to connect sewer is the best plan. Mayor Lester asked when ARF plans to submit their plan to the county? Terri hopes to submit it within the next couple weeks however they are trying to get things in place before doing that. Councilor Peterson asked if they were looking for access to the property from the truck route or the future state street extension? Terri stated there is access by the fenced area that Anderson has said he’ll give an easement for, then if state street extended gets developed, they may move their access.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT: Public Works Director Mager stated he and Mike Tackett went to a conference to get CEUs. They are working on sweeping up leaves, rock from sanding, vehicle maintenance, and work on the access road including culvert to the steel tank.
POLICE AND ANIMAL CONTROL REPORT: Chief Newman reported the City had 79 calls for service and 16 reports taken for February 2023. Councilor Grant questioned how trailers on the street are going. Chief Newman stated there were a lot of trailers early on that received flyers but since then they’ve had good compliance. There were only a couple they had to revisit. He believes the social media push has helped.
BILLS: The bills, in the amount of $429,832.25 were approved and ordered paid out of their respective funds, on motion by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Canaday. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
ICDBG FUND REQUEST #8: On motion by Councilor Grant, second by Councilor Peterson to authorize the Mayor to sign ICDBG Fund request #8 in the amount of $13,842. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
SURPLUS: On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Farris to authorize the public works director to negotiate a sale on the 2007 GMC pickup as no bids were received during the sealed bid process. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
VARIANCE PROCESS: Attorney Jessup explained the difference between conditional uses and variances and how the city codes references them. The planning and zoning title allows for variances and conditional uses. Each section of the code has different procedures associated with it. Jessup’s position is if you don’t have a variance procedure in that section of code, you must set up a process on how to do it or it’s not allowed. In the case of ARF’s request for water and sewer without annexation, the code does not have a variance procedure in place. If the Council wants to allow a variance to that chapter, then the code would need to be amended with the procedure outlined.
Mayor Lester explained currently kennels and animal shelters aren’t listed as an allowed use in the city limits. If the city allows animal shelters or kennels in the industrial zone, ARF may not have an issue with annexation. What they want to do is not allowed and they don’t want to risk not getting approved. Annexation does not help the city with property tax revenue as they are applying for tax exempt status. If they remain outside the city limits, they would pay double the water and sewer rates.
Councilor Winkler stated if the code is changed to allow kennels in that zone, then they could go anywhere in the industrial zone. That may not work everywhere. Councilor Grant stated maybe there is a way to modify the code to make it work.
Administrator Kennedy stated part of the concern for an applicant with a conditional use or variance application is there is no guarantee the application will be approved.
Councilor Farris stated on the letter of support for ARF, the Council cannot grant the request, but the letter could say the city would grant water and sewer upon annexation.
Jessup then clarified in city code under zone A, the section titled conditional and prohibited uses. The way this section is written, it prohibits being able to submit a conditional use application to have livestock and poultry in zone A. Kennedy asked to have this clarified so the council is aware of this issue. If they want it changed, it would require a code change.
Discussion on industrial zoning uses and water and sewer variances will be on the next agenda.
WEMHOFF ARCHITECTURE: Administrator Kennedy stated the City had one response for the RFQ for architectures services. The Council completed ranking sheets and Wemhoff Architecture scored 99.29%. On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Grant to move forward with Wemhoff Architecture as the architect for the Snowhaven project based upon the request for qualifications process. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Farris, Winkler, Grant, Peterson, Lane, Canaday NO: none. The motion passed.
BUDGET HEARING: On motion by Councilor Canaday, second by Councilor Grant to set September 5, 2023 as the budget hearing for 2023-24. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
The meeting adjourned at 6:58 P.M.
Wes Lester – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – Clerk