City council acts on requests, denies item tabled last month

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By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council at its regular monthly meeting on June 11 moved forward on a noise ordinance, denied a zoning request that was tabled last month and approved wages and contracts with non-union employees.  

Mayor Bill Frommelt led councilmembers Mick Pierce, Austin Greve, Fred Schaub, Virginia Saeugling and Jane Parker through the evening's agenda; also on hand were city manager Denise Schneider and city attorney Michael Schuster.

Zoning request

The council reviewed an item tabled last month regarding a zoning change from Ag to M-2 Industrial for the Don Schmitt property located off Acre Street, the former site of the Clinton Pallet Co. 

Noah Sadewasser spoke to the council about his hopes to open a  small steel fabrication business at the site. During discussion, council members expressed a desire to help him find a suitable alternative site for the business, and suggested some options. They also suggested he talk to the Guttenberg Industrial and Economic Development Commisison. The request was denied on a 4-1 vote with Pierce casting the nay vote.

Food truck

Dave Schlueter of the Guttenberg Economic and Industrial Development Commission addressed the council regarding a mobile food truck request made at last month's council meeting when Erin Potter of Buenie Bottoms Grill asked the council for a special zoning exception to place a mobile food truck in the parking lot at The Guttenberg Motel. The council responded by allowing the truck on a 60-day trial basis.

Schlueter told the council, "In the future we ask that you be more welcoming to new businesses,...We don't want to be a community that restricts free enterprise... I'd like you to take that into consideration the next time you get such a request."

Following up on discussion at last month's meeting, the council moved forward on updating zoning code by removing mobile food vendors as a special exception in the zoning code. The city attorney, with council input, will draw up a new ordinance for consideration that will address zoning and permitting issues for mobile food vendors. 

Contracts and agreements

The council approved contracts for Deputy City Clerk Jamie Blume and Public Works Director Dan Walke, reflecting a 45-cent per hour increase, effective July 1. 

The police chief's employment agreement was approved with a 3% increase. 

The cemetery sexton's wages were increased by $2.50  per hour.

Noise ordinance

Mayor Frommelt presented a new draft of a proposed noise ordinance that was discussed at last month's meeting. The council approved the first reading of the ordinance and will consider it again at next month's meeting. (See Mayor's Message on page 3).

SolSmart

Joleen Jansen from the Clayton County Energy District was on hand to explain the SolSmart program. The council agreed to sign a letter of intent for SolSmart status that she said would strengthen an application being pursued by Clayton County and neighboring energy districts.

Appointments

Al Ullerich, Becky Knudtson and Jane Parker were approved as volunteers for the Guttenberg swimming pool this season. 

Howard Hubbell and Tresa Devaney were appointed to the library board.

Dave Schlueter, Denise Schneider and Austin Coon were appointed to the GEIDC. 

Al Troester was appointed to the zoning board of adjustment. 

Spear fishing

Five boys, accompanied by Kevin Mommer, spoke to the council asking permission to bow and spear fish in ponds along highway 52 and in some places along the river levee. After receiving assurance about safety concerns, the council unanimously approved their request.

Other business

Pastor Shane Anderson of St. John's Lutheran Church was appointed to service as police department chaplain. He plans to take a course to become certified. The council voted compensation on the same basis as a reserve officer. 

Jean Green of Degnan Green Insurance spoke to the council regarding renewal of the city's insurance policies. She explained costs and coverage. The council decided to add the water tower to coverage. 

The council reviewed marina fees for the 2019 season with input from marina manager Jim Zerbe. The council decided to leave rates and sizes the same as 2018 rates; and to offer a special reduced rate for personal watercraft for the remainder of this season.

Discussion was held on requests from residents to prohibit smoking in outdoor parks and recreation areas. The council took no action on the request, pending any additional public input. 

The council approved alley improvements in Block 107.

A bid from Hacker Nelson was accepted for the city's annual financial exam. 

The council formally approved the Wellmark Foundation grant agreement for the pool project.

Kwik Star was awarded the fuel service bid for six months.

Police Chief George Morteo said the new squad car was expected to arrive the second week in July.

The mayor reported that a list of nuisance properties had been compiled and owners were sent letters.

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