Canton City Council sets annual appointments, fees

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The Jan. 8 regular Canton City Council meeting new business items included the annual determination of appointments and fees for the city for the upcoming year.

The resolution for annual appointments for 2020 included the following items.

Acting mayor: Cindy Shanks.

Official newspaper: News Leader.

Official depository: First Southeast Bank .

City attorney: Nethercut Schrieber.

City auditor: Hawkins & Ash.

Authorized signatures: Brock Bergey, Donivee Johnson, Cindy Shanks and Charlie Warner.

Fire chief: Ryan Lange.

Assistant fire chief: Bill Richardson.

Meeting night: second Wednesday of the month.

Official posting place: Canton City Hall, 106 N Main.

Personnel Committee: Randy Gossman and Carl Ernst.

Zoning administrator: Carl Ernst.

Zoning Committee: Jim Davis, Carl Ernst, Mike Shanks, George Hafner.

Animal Control: Carl Ernst.

The resolution was passed and adopted by the Canton City Council as presented.

The resolution for the 2020 fee schedule was also presented, including the following.

Town Hall rent/deposit: $200/day; $150 deposit.

Parking citation: $25.

Dog/cat license: $6.

Golf cart/UTV registration: $10.

On-sale/Sunday liquor: $610.

Off-sale liquor: $100.

Administrative charge: $25.

New water meter: $200.

Water monthly charge: $12.50 residential; $14.50 commercial.

Sewer monthly charge: $33 residential; $38 commercial.

Water rate per gallon: $0.003 ($3/thousand gallons).

Sewer rate per gallon: $0.0024 ($2.40/thousand gallons).

Monthly garbage charge: $10.49 small tote; $11.97 medium tote; $13.44 large tote.

Monthly recycling charge: $3.85.

Water reconnection: $75.

Sidewalk snow removal: $65/hour.

Land use permit: $7.50/100 sq. ft. of living space; $5/100 sq. ft. for other structures; $400 penalty for starting project without permit.

The resolution for 2020 fee schedule was also passed and adopted as presented with no changes from the 2019 fees and it noted that the land use permit ordinance would be reviewed at a future date. 

The Canton American Legion Post 400 offsite gambling ordinance was also approved.

Consent agenda matters approved was the acceptance of the monthly bill payments as presented, the donation of $2,000 from the Fire Relief Fund and distribution of the same amount for PERA contribution for the fire department and the transfer of $3,780 from the city fire department general checking account to the tanker/pumper loan.  These funds represent the total donations collected during the fire department annual public appeal. 

Monthly bill payments were also approved as a part of the consent agenda, following clarification of the bill from Kingsley Mercantile, which included a replacement faucet for the town hall.

The minutes of the December meeting were approved as submitted. 

Visitors question sign, building

There were two visitors present.

Dennis Clausen was in attendance, questioning the validity of the funds allocated on the radar speed sign.  Council members clarified that the grant has been applied for, but there is no assurance that the sign will be received.  The point that although the city would be responsible for $1,000 of the total cost, but that tax dollars are being spent on the remainder of the $2,000 was made by Clausen, who also questioned the effectiveness of the sign, stating that the drivers are responsible for their speed. 

The consensus of the council was that the electronic signs do make drivers aware of their speed, resulting in the slowing of their vehicles. 

Craig Fishel was present, requesting clarification as to what situation would result in a penalty for not obtaining a building permit.  He also questioned the need for a permit to remodel of the interior of a residential property if the exterior footprint was unchanged. 

The permit process was outlined in the monthly city newsletter included in the utility bill.  It was discussed that possibly there should be clarification as to the 2012 ordinance, which does not specify as to exterior or interior remodeling.

In the past, according to city clerk Brock Bergey, there has been discretion given regarding this issue.  Bergey also stated that one purpose of the permit is for determination of accurate tax value of the property and dollar amount invested in property changes. 

Fishel stated that he was also wondering if the permit process would require that inspections be made to determine that projects are in compliance with code.

It was decided that this ordinance should be revisited and clarification made as to what would require a permit as well as possible penalties.

Department reports

Bergey reported that the off-sale liquor inspection has been completed at ZZ Tap due to the improper licensing of the past year.  Bergey noted that the bar was closed one day as per council order. 

Bergey also stated that the city website is being established, with as the name of the new website.

In an update of city legal issues, Bergey stated that Joel Torgerson’s hearing is scheduled for Feb. 10 regarding the property owner’s nuisance ordinance violations.  Torgerson has opted for a jury trial to be held on Feb. 12 and 13.

Danny Whalen's requested jury trial is also scheduled for Feb. 12 and 13.

Former city clerk Lolly Melander returns to court at 1 p.m. on Jan. 27. Bergey stated that no additional communication has been received regarding Melander from the county attorney.

City maintenance Jon Nordsving reported that his end of the month testing has been completed and he is awaiting results.  Replacement of the failed meter has been completed.  This meter is required for daily testing. 

Nordsving stated that Decorah Ford had provided a quote for the cost of 14 ply aggressive tread tires for the city plow truck at $231 each, mounted and balanced.  This purchase was approved. 

A request had been made by Randy Gossman at the December meeting for Nordsving to obtain the cost of new rims for the truck to determine if it was cost effective to have a full set for each season, but at an additional cost of $155 for each rim, it was decided to not proceed with that idea. 

No fire report, no zoning or land use permits were submitted.  

There was no unfinished business. 

The monthly police report from Fillmore County was also acknowledged as received. 

It was noted that Nov. 11 will be Veterans Day and the regular meeting that day will need to be rescheduled; the meeting date will be determined closer to that holiday.