Council OKs two zoning requests

By: 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

The Chatfield City Council addressed a zoning request during its first November meeting, which was held on Tuesday, Nov. 12, instead of Monday, Nov. 11, due to the Veterans Day holiday.

City clerk Joel Young shared information regarding the rezoning of 403 Winona Street from R-2 to R-1 residential, as Kristi Trisko, Chatfield’s Planning and Zoning Commission coordinator, was unable to attend the meeting.  He stated that the property is large enough to accommodate a twin home and had been rezoned R-2 in recent weeks.  However, changes to the zoning ordinance allowed that it be rezoned once more to R-1. The councilors agreed.

 The councilors also heard information related to 1596 Enterprise Drive’s being granted a conditional use permit (CUP). The parcel is on the edge of a residential area along Enterprise Drive in Chatfield’s newest industrial park being developed for light industrial businesses to locate there.  Young identified the owner as Councilor Josh Broadwater and remarked that “findings in the packet show that the conditional use permit is not going to create any excessive burden on (neighbors)…it is sufficiently away from single-family houses.” 

A vote was taken and passed for the CUP’s granting, but Broadwater abstained due to conflict of interest.

Maintenance request

City maintenance supervisor Brian Burkholder came before the council with a request to increase the per-truckload amount charged for snow hauling from $85 to $100, as currently, the city charges $85 per load and requires a minimum of three hours’ work.  He observed that others – owners of silage trucks, specifically – have twice the hauling capacity at their disposal and that they charge at least $100 per load. 

He listed that Chatfield hauled snow for six snow events during the 2016-2017 winter, and taking into account the $15 less per load, there was an $825 difference in what the city could have collected and what it actually did collect. 

“We don’t want to lose this – it’s valuable,” he told the council.

Burkholder also spoke of the citizens’ alert system that allows for electronic notifications to be sent to residents via cell phone text message or other means, pointing out that the service has proven itself useful in letting the public know when his crew is planning to plow and to remove their cars from the streets.  Broadwater added a reminder for residents to mind their parking habits because he, too, had overlooked plowing. 

“I’m just as guilty,” he said. “It’s just a friendly reminder.”

Other business

Other business included voting to approve the final payment of $10,883 to Ricchio, the construction company that worked on the new swimming pool, appointing Kay Spangler to the city’s charter commission, and hearing a committee report from Councilor Paul Novotny, who spoke briefly about the continuing conversation about whether street vendors should be allowed to sell their food in Chatfield – and when and where.

Also, there was an update on the ambulance budget and the city’s entire budget.  Of the city’s budget, Novotny said, “We’re trying to get it as close to 6 percent as we can, but there are things we don’t have control over, like buying new streetlights.” 

In his mayoral report, Russ Smith stated that there had been concerns expressed by residents who received letters for a utility warranty program that uses the city’s letterhead.  The program is not one sponsored by the city but is allowed to use the letterhead. 

Young remarked that if any resident does not wish to receive offers from the warranty program, they should call the phone number listed on the letter and request to be placed on a “do not call” list.       

The consent agenda included approving the minutes of prior meetings, payment of claims, a one-step pay increase for officer Scott Keigley effective Nov. 15, and continuation of the use of Community and Economic Development Associates’ (CEDA) services for 2020.