The Canton City Council continued discussions regarding the wording and function of several of its ordinances during its meeting on Wednesday, June 14. The council specifically discussed traffic patterns and parking restrictions with recommendations for new wording and clarifications.
Councilor Jason Magnuson presented some changes he felt were necessary during the May meeting, and fellow council members had contributed ideas for clarification. Clerk Anne Koliha had drafted the wording changes, which were presented at Wednesday night’s meeting.
The first change was removing language that prohibited U-turns within the “business district” to limiting U-turns to areas where there is adequate visibility and space.
Secondly, language prohibiting parking on streets for more than 72 hours was removed and updated to read that restricted parking would be designated by signs, marks or painting of streets and curbs.
The ordinance regarding the declaration of a snow emergency was suggested to be removed altogether as the city utilizes the even/odd parking system during winter.
Concerns were also discussed regarding car repairs that take place on city streets, such as oil changes or other fluid changes. While the ordinances had allowed such activities in the past, the council felt this causes the potential for fluids to pollute the streets.
Finally, the council addressed the ordinance that prohibited the “front part of any lot” being used to park vehicles – both autos and recreational – for any length of time. Amended wording added a limit of 48 hours, but did not limit time when RVs or campers were parked in driveways or in the back yard.
In a related matter, the council reviewed the updated personnel policy handbook, presented by Koliha, that had incorporated updates and language changes suggested by the council over the past several months. The final version was approved.
Mayor Josh Nordsving reported that there had been some issues with the lights at the ballfield, but the Canton American Legion was taking the lead on getting these fixed. Koliha interjected that the issues had already been resolved with new bulbs being installed.
He also updated the council on the accessory building that was built on the Lindsey Poppe property without proper setbacks and permits. She was notified through a certified letter, as well as a letter sent through regular mail, that the proper permits and adjustments needed to be made prior to July 12 or the building will have to be removed. Koliha noted that she had not responded to those letters as of the meeting Wednesday evening.
Deputy Clerk Barb Kerns noted that painting and electrical work on the park shelter has been completed. She will take photos and provide an update to the Arlin Falck Foundation as they provided funding for those projects.
Kerns also noted a change in procedure regarding residents facing a utility disconnect. She stated city staff will no longer go to their door to post notices about impending disconnects. When sending utility bills, the past due amount will be highlighted and residents will have until the 10th of the month to pay that amount. If payment is not received, they will be disconnected.
Koliha updated the council on two ordinance violation letters that were sent from the city, one to Joel Pfeffer, owner of the former Canton school, and the other to Danny Whalen. The council discussed safety issues regarding the deteriorating conditions of the Canton school and Koliha explained Pfeffer has until August to address those structural issues.
She also noted she and Jon Nordsving had met with a state employee regarding review of the wellhead protection plan, which needs to be reviewed and updated.
The council approved a building permit for Lori Hudson who will be building a house in the exact location of her current home. Nordsving explained that her plan meets all setbacks and she has had a property survey done with everything looking to be in order.
The council approved several street closures for Canton Day Off festivities to take place Aug. 18-20. Additional permission from the county will be needed for the Main Street closure as it is a county roadway as well as city street.
Finally, the council approved a temporary liquor license for the Canton American Legion for Canton Day Off weekend.
The next Canton City Council meeting will be held on July 12 at 6 p.m. in the Canton Town Hall.