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Preston City Council Report: Back to normal issues here

Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Comparatively mundane business occupied the Preston City Council at it's regular Monday night meeting. Few citizens were in attendance as the controversial issues of the past several months were not being discussed.

Greg Johnson requested the council vacate a portion of Mill Street for the construction of a miniature golf course. His plans for the course include a historical image of the mill in Preston as an obstacle. He originally asked the council for the street to be vacated in the year 2000. At that time the council requested that prior to their decision they would need a more detailed physical plan, as well as a financial plan. Johnson has since legally organized his company under the name of Pappy's Place, LLC.

In a letter to the council, Johnson stressed that the trail location is excellent and that the business would be good for the city both for economic growth and for the provision of a healthy activity for citizens. Johnson said that he planned to develop the lots with or without the vacation of Mill Street.

Council member Heath Mensink said that he would like a 'conceptual drawing' before abandoning the street. David Joerg, city attorney, asked about the time frame for building the course. Johnson replied that he would like to do the landscaping this year and open by next year. Council members were concerned about the prospect of vacating the street and the course not being completed in a timely fashion.

The mayor wanted Johnson to present a clear business plan with a set date for opening. Council member Jerry Scheevel asked if a two year time frame would work and Johnson replied that it would. Johnson explained that this part of Mill Street has been grass for the seventeen years he has owned it and that the "street runs into the river."

Joerg suggested Johnson bring a business plan to the public hearing and it should include cleaning up his property. A citizen representing the Preston Dental Clinic was concerned about parking and maintenance of the remaining part of Mill Street. She was assured that the city would still maintain the remaining portion of the street. Council members reassured Johnson that they were not against his plan but encouraged him to go back to Planning and Zoning with a conceptual drawing showing the lay-out to them first.

Nuisance Ordinance

Police Officer Jesse Grabau presented pictures to the council taken by a private citizen of old unlicensed vehicles and trash. Mayor Pechulis clarified the concern that trash invited rodent and mosquito infestations. Council member Mike Gartner asked Joerg if the ordinance covering illegal dumping 'has good teeth' in it? Joerg said that it did, but it has never really been enforced. Citizen Kurt Reicks remarked that the county is proposing closing the landfill and that the closing may result in more illegal dumping. Pechulis requested that a note be put in each citizen's utility bill stating that "this is the ordinance and it will be enforced."

Bonding for Spring Street and Ridge Road

The Mayor questioned whether the city could legally bond Spring Street and Ridge Road together since the council voted to keep the projects separate.

City Attorney David Joerg said that it is "too expensive and is inappropriate to not combine bonding." Scheevel noted that the bid was already combined. The council approved the bonding to be combined.

Karen Reisner can be contacted at news@fillmorecountyjournal.com

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