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Chatfield looks forward to 2013

Fri, Jan 18th, 2013
Posted in Chatfield Government

The January 14 Chatfield City Council meeting began with the administration of the oath of office for re-elected Mayor Don Hainlen and newly elected councilor Robert Pederson and re-elected councilor Dave Frank. Councilor Ken Jacobson was absent.

Pederson was presented a plaque with the Athenian Oath, an oath of civic responsibility. Russ Smith was elected Vice-Mayor.

Mayor Hainlen reviewed the high points of 2012 and noted expected activities and opportunities for 2013. In 2012 the city had the sewer lines video taped to provide information for prioritizing necessary short- and long-term repairs. Hainlen said that there are new shops on Main Street and some planning for new construction expansions. A new policy for posting the city’s used equipment that is for sale on the Internet has resulted in more interest and higher sale prices. The use of iPads by the council has allowed for electronic and improved communications. The city was able to present a 2013 budget requiring a minimal tax increase.

In 2013 the Mayor noted the city will continue to work on sewer repairs. The boulevard trees are to be removed. What may be put in there place is still being discussed. Hainlen noted that the local motel has been sold and that there have been discussions on the possibility of a new motel. The Center for the Arts continues to be used for a wide variety of events, business meetings, celebrations, and so on. Hainlen referred to the Center as a quality of life asset. He concluded saying he was looking forward to opportunities in 2013.

Other Business In Brief

•Kristi Clarke, city planner, listed six recommended changes to the Zoning Ordinance. Language in the B-1 district for permitted uses is recommended to be changed from “reducing salons” to “fitness center, spa.” In the B-1 district conditional uses may include bed and breakfasts. In the RR district the words “Signs shall not exceed 25 feet” are recommended to be deleted. Also, the minimum standards of a lot width and depth are clarified. In the R-2 zone the words “Signs shall not exceed 25 feet” are recommended to be deleted. Sign standards are regulated in Section 109.

The council authorized City Attorney Fred Suhler to produce a draft of the changes.

•Tony Lammers reviewed proposed 2013 street and utility improvements. A top ten list of needed repairs to the city’s sanitary sewer system has been determined from the televising project. There are broken clay tile pipes causing back up problems and man holes shifting which make a catch point on the sewer lines. Proposed mill and overlay projects include Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Streets, one block east of Main Street. The council authorized the city engineer to move forward with plans and specifications.

•Lammers detailed the damage to the sidewalks from the boulevard trees which is causing a trip hazard. The removal of the trees, repair of the sidewalks, and possible planters to replace the trees were discussed. Councilor Paul Novotny said he had no problem with the removal of the trees and maintained that anything that is put there to replace them should remain above ground. The Public Works Committee will discuss options and work out details and bring back recommendations.

•Approval was given to appoint Dan Jaquith to be Emergency Management Consultant. Jaquith will be responsible for planning the city’s response to a catastrophic event. He has been trained for the position and will report to Mayor Hainlen. The council approved a payment of $5,000 for his 2012 contributions. For 2013 he will be compensated with $5,000 to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the EM Consultant. A maximum of $2,000 will be available for conference expenses, training, and office supplies.

•A Health/Resource Fair to be sponsored by Help Our Neighbors and Olmsted Medical Center will be held in the basement of St. Mary’s Church on Saturday, January 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

•The hiring of Nancy Timm to fill the EMS support position was approved. There had been ten applicants.

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