All members of the Ostrander Council were present when the council held their regular monthly meeting on October 4. Also participating were City Clerk Wendy Brincks, Fire Chief Jason Rice, and Maintenance Director Jeremy Runkle. No other citizens were present to speak to the council on any topics.
Brincks updated the council on the status of several citizens with overdue fees. She stated, “There is the stack of four assessment letters… They have the right to appear in front of the council at the November 1 council meeting at 6:30 p.m., to request whatever they so choose that night. If they don’t show up, then assessments go on their 2023 taxes.”
Brincks outlined each of the four, saying, “Braeden Allen would be assessed $500 for failure to comply with his violation notice. He still burns his garbage in his backyard… Chad Hamersma, he’s at $400 for mowing his lawn… and Jeremy has been taking care of and maintaining that all summer. I would request Kyle Sears and Tasha Olsen for $270 for dog-at-large notice. They still continue to not follow… Last would be Nate and Megan Cole, in the amount of $1,000 for two of their properties.”
There was discussion about additional fines for citizens who do not comply, and continue to violate ordinances in cases such as these. Brincks summarized, “They all have the option to appear or pay the fine prior to that date (November 1).” The council voted to send the letters as proposed.
The council considered a Tobacco (cigarette) license request for Susie’s Roadhouse. Brincks explained that the council could approve or deny the request, and could add a fee if desired. The council approved the license request, with no added fee.
City Maintenance Director Jeremy Runkle updated the council on his department, and the water treatment plant. Regarding the plant, he stated, “Everything looks good.” Runkle also answered questions about some equipment he asked to purchase, including a “VEGA Radar Level Transmitter” and a heater for the plant. The price of the radar transmitter was quoted as $6,061, and the heater estimate was $1,213. After discussion of the need for these items, the council voted to approve the purchases. The written report from PeopleService, regarding the water plant operations, stated that monthly testing and sampling has been completed, and provided graphs showing precipitation and water usage trends over recent months.
Runkle also informed the council that the new street signs were received on September 29, and installation is ongoing. Brincks said that other signs, such as “Dead End” or “Children at Play” could be ordered in 2023, to allow the city to budget accordingly.
The council discussed the need to have a “workshop meeting” of the council, to work on issues including the 2023 budget, long range planning, and water meter issues. Brincks estimated the council would need roughly two hours for the meeting. Council members were asked to check their calendars, and a meeting date in November will be determined.
Mayor Pam Kunert brought up concerns regarding traffic speed in town. Several council members said they have also noticed a pattern of cars and trucks driving excessively fast within city limits. Kunert stated, “It’s unreal how bad it is.”
Vernon Thompson concurred, saying, “Just like a racetrack.” Brincks said she will check with the sheriff’s department about these concerns, and ask about possibly moving the “traffic calming readout sign” to a different location in town.
Thompson encouraged all pet owners to be sure their pets’ shots are up to date.
The council’s next regular meeting will be Tuesday, November 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the community center. The public is welcome at all meetings, other than special closed meetings.