The Wykoff City Council met on April 10 in regular session, with all members in attendance: Mary Tjepkes, Rocky Vreeman, Mayor Al Williams, Clerk Becky Schmidt, Mary Sackett, and Brody Mensink.
Daren Sikkink, representing WHKS, addressed the council regarding the sanitary sewer project on South Main Street. He explained that the sewer main there is substandard because it’s a six-inch pipe rather than eight inch, and that it extends for about one and a half blocks in that condition. He suggested that, “With the sanitary sewer being in the middle of the road, you would rebuild the road the entire width, you wouldn’t try to salvage any part of it.” He said his first question to the council is whether or not the city would choose to also widen the street and put in curb and gutter at the same time as replacing the sewer pipe. He also asked the council to consider whether to assess a portion of the project’s cost. He said in the past, Wykoff has generally assessed 20% of such projects to the property owners. Sikkink also asked the council to consider whether to also replace portions of other streets at the same time, stating that some other areas also have the substandard six-inch pipe. Members asked if that would be more economical over the long run, and he answered that, “Usually, the larger the project, the cheaper it is per household,” due to economy of scale. He also reminded the council that the most recent estimates on the costs were in 2011, so those estimates would need to be updated. Sikkink also suggested that whatever project parameters the council decides upon, they may wish to meet with Mike Bubany to discuss funding options. Mayor Williams shared his opinion, saying, “We need to have an idea of the cost,…To me, you shouldn’t fix the top if you’re not going to fix the bottom.”
About 7:45 p.m, Mayor Williams opened the public hearing on proposed amendments to the city’s zoning ordinance. Mike Holzer spoke up, giving his opinion that the city was not following correct procedure for the public meeting, reading from information he found from the League of Minnesota Cities, “The council may not act on such an amendment until it has received the recommendations of the Planning Commission, or until sixty days have passed from the date the amendment was referred to the Planning Commission, without report.” Holzer added, “I’m on the Planning Commission. Nobody has come to us and asked us about this.”
Mitch Grabau also addressed the council, saying that he stepped down from the Planning Commission four months ago, and the city should have replaced him, but hasn’t yet, so he asked the city to consider putting him back on. Mayor Williams said that can be added to the next month’s meeting agenda. After lengthy discussion, Mayor Williams said the zoning amendments will be tabled until further notice, so that the city can check with the League of Minnesota Cities and the city attorney to be sure the zoning concerns and public hearing are handled correctly.
Becky Schmidt informed the council that her office computer recently “crashed” due to the memory being full. She was able to get it working again, but it worried it may crash again. She shared a suggestion from Computer Dynamics for a computer with more memory, to alleviate this worry. The council asked her to find out how much more memory the suggested computer would have, and to check around for prices of similar equipment.
The council discussed the situation of needing an exterminator to eliminate the “ladybug” problem at the community center. Rocky Vreeman said he’s had services from an exterminator who was very effective and will guarantee his work. Rocky said he would provide the exterminator’s name and contact information to Becky. The council’s next regular meeting will be Wednesday, May 10 at 7 p.m. The public is welcome.