On November 9, the Wykoff City Council met in regular session. All council members were in attendance (Lyle Morey, Richard Gleason, Mayor Al Williams, Mary Tjepkes and Mary Sackett) as well as City Clerk Becky Schmidt and Deputy Clerk Luann Hare. The meeting was held at the community center, which allowed for social distancing. All in attendance wore face masks.
The council heard from three citizens regarding areas of concern. Mark Burmeister spoke on behalf of Wykoff Commons, saying that the city has previously voiced interest in having an ice skating rink during the cold winter months, as a way to offer kids and families a healthy activity in town. Burmeister stated, “Wykoff Commons is interested in working with the city to provide ice skating this winter. So we have the school property… we have the building. That could be used for warming, but we could use assistance from the city in providing the ice skating rink, maintaining it and so on.”
Council members discussed insurance liability questions. Council members were generally in favor of the idea, as long as liability wasn’t a deal-breaker. Becky Schmidt said she will check with the city’s insurer, and if there are no major snags, she will then put Burmeister in touch with the city’s Park/Rec staff to discuss the idea further.
Mike Sogla, owner of Main Street Properties, spoke to the council about his concern with the recent change in downtown parking rules. Sogla stated that he only found out about the change “through the grapevine” and he said, “I feel I’m getting targeted a little bit here,” since his tenants have previously been able to park on Main Street right in front of their apartments, but now must either move their vehicles every two hours, or find parking elsewhere.
Sogla asked, “Is parking really a problem downtown?” Mary Sackett replied, “We do have a problem, in front of businesses” and she said other than during the current pandemic, there are frequently times that all or nearly all of the parking spots downtown are filled. Sogla stated his opinion that parking rules must be enforceable and must apply to everyone equally. He added, “If you can’t enforce it, don’t make a rule.”
Josh Jones addressed the council regarding vehicles on his lawn. He said he’s received a notice about unlicensed vehicles, which are a violation of the city ordinance, and stated, “I’m working on it.”
Schmidt informed the council that, “During our election time here, we had numerous complaints from our senior citizens on the distance they had to walk from the new handicapped ramp up to the doors. Some of them tried to walk through the grass.” She explained that due to ADA compliance rules, the best solution would be to put in a concrete “loading zone” on the boulevard. She said the city is already in compliance, but she understands the need to address the concern, adding, “It’s a work in progress.”
The council discussed a possible use for remaining CARES Act funding. Schmidt said one possible use could be to again help out businesses in town which have suffered due to the pandemic. The council approved offering $500 to each qualifying business in town that applies and is approved.
Mary Sackett informed the council of a request to allow a Nativity scene outside the community center. She said, if approved, it would be up from December 5 through Christmas, and it could be a “live” display, or not. The council approved this request.
The council’s next regular meeting will be Monday, December 14, at 7 p.m. The public, as always, is welcomed.