5/20/2014 12:54:00 PM Dodge Center City Council
Citizens ask council
to solve neighborhood issues
By Larry Dobson
Dodge Center City Council's meeting Monday, May 12 addressed a number of issues but was unable to resolve the thorniest one, a problem among neighbors. Tom and Audrey Erwin and Wayne Runnells asked the council for help with neighbors on First St. SW who drive across the Erwin's lawn, park in front of mailboxes, have vehicles parked on their own lawn and on the street for extended periods of time, and have pigs who have wandered into Runnells' store. Mayor Ketchum advised them that the city is in the process of dealing with multiple issues involving this property but that the process is slow. City Attorney Tim Woessner said problems with the property are being addressed.
Other public participation at the meeting included a brief discussion with Brian Forcelle regarding his property at 11 NE Second Avenue where he plans to build a garage or shop. There is currently a house on the property which will be burned by the Dodge Center Fire Department on June 7. Forcelle is working with the city to address some building code issues so that he can get a variance allowing construction on the new structure.
Chad Behne asked for and was granted permission to close the Eighth St. NW in front of his home on Saturday, May 17 for a few hours for a neighborhood barbecue.
Ketchum addressed the council with a recommendation from the Dodge Center Ambulance Commission for a $100 increase in the rate for ambulance calls and a mileage rate increase of $2. He also presented three quotes for replacing the ambulance garage door, which is barely wide enough for the ambulance to enter, with a wider door. He said the commission recommended the bid of Vince Chico Construction of $5,055. The council approved the rate increases and the door bid.
Fire Chief Dave Kenworthy asked the council whether a decision had been made on his request for free pool passes to the city's aquatic center for emergency service volunteers, and the council took an immediate vote and approved the request.
In other business, the council approved:
a staff recommended pool punch card offering a ten-day pass to the aquatic center for $35, a savings of 50¢ daily. The pass is intended for grandparents who may have grandchildren for a few days and might spend time at the center but balk at the $4 per day charge. No formal action was taken but the council told staff to go ahead and try it out;
leasing a 100 x 150 foot lot to Scott Lampland to build a hangar. The annual lease rate is $1,875;
the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission for a 3 x 5 foot sign for Creative Café on the building on Main Street owned by Nadine Langworthy;
a recommendation by the Airport Board to proceed with the engineering work to prepare for bids for the dual fuel system project at the airport;
allowing $20,000 in federal funds for the airport the city has available to be used by another city, as the funds will be lost if not used.
City Administrator Lee Mattson also reviewed several items of business with the council that required no action:
the 2014 Reclaim Project which will reclaim street material to patch potholes and other damage to city streets. He said the project is expected to start in June or July and be completed in two weeks;
Main Street Project bid openings were held on May 14 and bid award will be held this Thursday, May 22 at 6 p.m.;
staff is still working on an updated Animal Regulations Ordinance;
the city housing study and the needs identified for assisted living, multi-family and other housing options. He said he has met with county staff at the nursing home to discuss housing.
The next council meeting will be Thursday, May 22 at 6 p.m. because next Monday, the regular meeting date, is Memorial Day.