Regular Council Meeting
Wednesday, September 9, 2009 7:00 p.m. 714 Main (North Entrance) The purpose of the Agenda is to assist the Council and interested citizens in the conduct of the public meeting. Careful review of the Agenda is encouraged. Testimony from the public will be solicited for any item or issue listed under the category of Public Hearings. Any individual who wishes to address the Council on any other subject should plan to speak when Item 6– Public Comments is identified by the Mayor. The Mayor will not normally allow audience participation at any other time. Idaho Law prohibits council action on items brought under this section except in an emergency circumstance.
CALL TO ORDER & WELCOME PRAYER OFFERED BY: Matt Brady
PLEDGE LED BY: Teddy Stronks
Present: Mayor Stronks, Councilwoman Janssen, Councilman Huntsman, Councilman Pincock and Councilman Brady.
Also Present: City Clerk Cathy Stegelmeier, City Attorney Joette Lookabaugh, Steve Lookabaugh, Willie Teuscher, Kevin Harris, Sara Reinke, Nancy Bergman, Sara Etheridge, Sheryl Hill, Linda Schenk, and Penny Vasquez.
Mayor Stronks opened the meeting at 7:00 PM.
Mayor Stronks welcomed everyone to the meeting.
1. AMEND AGENDA: Any items added less than forty eight (48) hours prior to the meeting are added by Council motion at this time.
A. Signage & Construction Concerns – Jeff Hamilton – added to New Business item C.
B. Pool Committee Marketing – Linda Janssen – added to Unfinished Business item B.
C. Items of Discussion Added to City Business: Community Center Fees, Election Information, Land Ap Site Fence, City Entrance Grant Easement, Progress Report on Main Street Water Project, Dyer Group Invoice, Crown Vic Bid, Zion’s Bank and the ICCTFOA Conference.
2. CONSENT AGENDA: Being considered routine by the City Council, these items will be enacted by one motion unless requested by a Councilman or a citizen that one or more items be removed for later discussion.
A. Minutes – Approval of Regular Council Meeting 8-12-2009 and Public Hearing 8-27-2009
B. Treasurers Report & Financial Statement– As Submitted
C. Payables – Bills for Council approval as a result of City expenditures
D. Employee Expenses – As Submitted
Councilman Brady made a motion to accept the amended agenda and the consent agenda as presented. Councilman Pincock seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously
4. NEW BUSINESS/PETITIONS:
Linda Schenk was not present at the time for her presentation.
Councilwoman Janssen made a motion to go out of agenda order. Councilman Brady seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
A. Recycling – Anne Schenk. Ann apologized for her tardiness. She is here to speak to the council and present information about a recycling program. Ann has been working with the Horizon’s Downtown Revitalization group and from there became interested in trying to get a recycling program going. Sheryl Hill has also been working with her and Ann asked that Sheryl be able to give a presentation. Sheryl is at council to present what other communities are doing. Idaho Falls, Pocatello and Rexburg all have recycling programs. Rexburg and Idaho Falls are drop off programs where you you’re your recyclables to a location and leave it. Pocatello now offers a curbside pickup as well as a drop off program. One of the biggest concerns with all the programs has been the economics. The truth is that these cities do not expect a return – they are making an investment. This is not going to come without a cost. The City of Idaho Falls started the program primarily because of people who moved in and expected a recycling program. Sheryl also spoke with Public Works Director Marla Vic at Fremont County. There is a recycling program at the landfill. Sheryl would like to see Ashton set the example to the other cities in the county by starting a recycling program. Sheryl did speak to Steve Smart ant the High Country RC&D. Steve liked the idea and thought a recycling program would fit nicely in their mission statement. Steve would help identify and develop grant opportunities. That was all the information Sheryl had to share. Ann Schenk then presented the council with 3 proposals for equipment. Ann had spoken with Stoney Tucker at PSI and Tony Eckhart with the City of Idaho Falls garbage collection. Tony was especially helpful in that he notified Ann of a grant through the AIC that the city would be eligible for. This would allow for the purchase of equipment for recycling. Ann then she contacted several companies with recycling equipment and prepared the proposals for the council. (The three proposals are attached to the minutes.) Proposal one is basically the city purchasing bins and contracting the emptying of them. The second proposal is that the city purchases the bins as well as the truck to haul them. The third proposal is a pull type bin which could be pulled by a city pickup. City Clerk Stegelmeier asked what most cities’ average for income from the recyclables. Ann was told that most average $15 for a full load on the large trailers. Councilwoman Janssen stated that in essence the city would be paying the company to take the recyclables away. There was concern that the citizens of the city would be footing the bill for the communities recycling. Councilwoman Janssen did add that this would be another way for the City to lead the way but that more information about the grant opportunities is needed. Mayor Stronks expressed the council’s appreciation to Ann and Sheryl for their investigation into recycling.
B. 2010 Liquor License Approval – Cathy Stegelmeier. City Clerk Stegelmeier explained that all the applications had been received but that two, Jackson’s Food Store and Ott’s Place, hadn’t received both their state & county licenses yet.
Councilman Brady made a motion to approve all liquor licenses upon completion of the paper work required. Councilman Pincock seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously
C. Signage & Construction Concerns – Jeff Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton expressed his appreciation for the local support of his business. His business has had a good year. He has come before council to explain a problem he has had with the sign ordinance. Mr. Hamilton started the sign process by calling the City Building. He was given some information and was told to contact "the sign czar" for more information. He tried to call several times with no success. He ordered some signs made in the meantime to put on some property on which he had secured permission to put them. Mr. Hamilton finally did get in touch with the P & Z Administrator and was told that his sign would not be permitted as the sign ordinance specifically prohibits off site signs. Mr. Hamilton is surprised that such an ordinance passed in a community where there are so many people deeply concerned about personal property rights. Mr. Hamilton feels that his sign follows spirit of the law and that his rights were not upheld because of the delay in timing. Mr. Hamilton then attended a P & Z Meeting to inquire further about the signs. The P & Z Commission did not have a quorum the night he attended and he was told that it had been quite a while since a quorum had been in attendance. He was also told that there were signs already in existence which are in violation of the sign ordinance and they have not been dealt with. Mr. Hamilton suggested that a sign committee might be a solution to some of the administration problems concerning the ordinance. He came to council in hopes that in hearing his story, the council would be aware of the problems and work on them. Mr. Hamilton would like the council to fix the ordinance to reflect the intent of the law. Councilman Brady apologized for the problem. He feels that the council can work with Mr. Hamilton on the ordinance and work it out. Councilwoman Janssen disagrees in that the P&Z Commission is well established and has worked for many years. Volunteers are hard to find to serve on the Commission and other city committees. She does concede that sometimes it is hard to get a quorum for a meeting. The sign ordinance has been through the fire and she resents Mr. Hamilton’s representation the Administrator as a ‘P&Z Czar’. The City’s P & Z Administrator has been working with this ordinance and on this ordinance for a while. Mr. Hamilton expressed that there are still signs out of compliance. Councilwoman Janssen replied by saying that fact doesn’t mean that more signs can be put up. Mr. Hamilton said he understands that but would like consistency. Councilman Brady added that the City does not want to be seen as arbitrary and capricious. He also added that it sounds like the City is not acting in a timely manner. The P & Z Commission should at least be having a quarterly meeting. City Attorney Joette Lookabaugh appreciates Mr. Hamilton’s presentation and from his testimony has come to the conclusion that due process, in his case, has not been met. She seriously recommends that pending a resolution that a variance be granted for Mr. Hamilton to put up his sign as he planned.
Councilman Brady made a motion to allow a variance on Mr. Hamilton’s sign.
Councilwoman Janssen is concerned that this kind of action could lead to many in the community deciding that it is easier to ask forgiveness after putting up a sign than permission before hand. She feels that the council’s next course is to work on the Commission and get it going well than to give out variances without the commission’s input. Councilman Brady explained that perhaps a time limited variance would be more workable.
Councilman Brady amended the motion for a variance to a motion for a 60 day from today variance to order to give time to work out things.
Councilwoman Janssen is still concerned about allowing a variance. She inquired if 60 days would make a difference to Mr. Hamilton at this time in his season. Mr. Hamilton conceded that he is not sure that it would. Councilman Brady is concerned that the Council has received legal advice from the City Attorney and are failing to act on it. Councilman Brady reminds the Mayor that there is a motion on the table. Mayor Stronks asks if any of the Council would second the motion. Neither Councilman Pincock nor Councilman Huntsman are ready to second the motion. Councilman Pincock is concerned that changes to this ordinance would be a second full blown revision. Councilman Brady expressed concern is that the city’s position is legally actionable. He feels that council should take care of it for 60 days. Councilman Pincock asked Mr. Hamilton if he would take the sign down after the 60 days. Mr. Hamilton said yes. Councilwoman Janssen asked if Mr. Hamilton would be willing to serve on a committee to work on the sign grant which would bring customers into town and would be tasteful and large. Mr. Hamilton agreed to help on the committee but also added that it would be three months past the time for which he needed a sign. Councilman Brady reiterated that the council had received legal advice and are not heeding it. Councilwoman Janssen expressed that this is something the council does not have to make a decision at this time. Councilman Pincock expressed that the council has a responsibility to do something. Councilman Huntsman would like the council to take the matter under advisement and have further discussion. Councilman Pincock replied that there wouldn’t be any discussion until next month and we would need to work with the P & Z Commission to move on these things. MINUTES-CITY OF ASHTON REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Councilman Pincock seconded the motion. The Mayor called for a roll call vote. Councilman Pincock: for, Councilwoman Janssen: against, Councilman Brady: for and Councilman Huntsman: for. The motion carried 3 votes for and 1 against.
Councilwoman Janssen made a motion to go back in order. Councilman Brady seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
5. UNFINISHED / OLD BUSINESS:
A. Well Investigation – Forsgren & Associates. Kevin Harris came to city council to report the findings of the testing on the Reynolds well. This testing would be phase one of step one. (A copy of the report is included in these minutes.) Several tests were done according to what the DEQ would require. All were good results but of particular interest were the nitrate tests. The test done in July shows a 6.6 for nitrates, the test from August a 6.8. City Clerk Stegelmeier asked if there had been any test to show how much water the well would produce. Mr. Harris said that wasn’t part of the testing they had been asked to do but that it is used for irrigation. Willie Teuscher from the DEQ explained that the water study that the city has begun will look into that and that Marvin Fielding should be able to explain if the well will work to help alleviate the nitrate problem. Mr. Harris has spoken to the Reynolds and will continue to do more tests to see whether the nitrate findings change. They will also be performing a fluoride test. Mayor Stronks thanked both Kevin and Willie for their time.
B. Pool Committee Marketing – Linda Janssen Councilwoman Janssen explained that she met with the swimming pool committee last week. She feels that the committee could use some marketing assistance. She has spoken with a consultant and it will cost $ 50 for a marketing presentation for the committee. Councilman Brady and Pincock felt that this was a good idea. Mayor Stronks agreed that this would be a good start to promoting the city’s pool to the community.
6. STAFF AND COMMITTEE/SPECIAL REPORTS
A. Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee Report – Jennifer Hansen. Jennifer Hansen was not in attendance. B. Tree Committee – Penny Vasquez. Penny explained that Del had asked about removing some trees at the park last council meeting. Mayor Stronks had requested that Penny and the Tree Committee make a decision on the trees. As a committee, they would like dell to cut down the birch tree at the end of the small pavilion but ask that the others just be trimmed so that there is less mess after a storm. The Mayor asked Penny if she had gone to the park with Del to talk over the plans and asked if she hadn’t, that she would. Penny said she would meet with Del Friday. The Mayor thanked Penny for her time.
C. Community Center Committee Report – Sara Reinke. Sara is working with the Mayor in filling the Community Center Committee to get going. She is hoping to work with some support groups, etc. who would like to use the Center. Sara asked the Mayor is he had found time to look at the floor in the Center. He explained that he hadn’t and will go exploring soon to see what is happening. Mayor Stronks thanked Sara for her time.
D. City Business – Cathy Stegelmeier – City Clerk Stegelmeier explained to the Council that another gun show was coming up. The Community Center Committee had come up with a fee schedule but the schedule has not been used in that form concerning the gun show. City Clerk Stegelmeier is asking for some direction concerning the fee, etc. Most importantly, whether or not the gun show is a fundraiser directly affects the fee charged. The Mayor and Council directed City Clerk Stegelmeier to talk to Police Chief Mattingly for the fundraiser information and then discuss fees in employee meeting. City Clerk Stegelmeier asked the Council if they would designate the Council Chambers as the polling place for the November 3rd Municipal Election and gave them the list of 2009 candidates. City Clerk Stegelmeier inquired of the council and the City Attorney as to whether the city is willing to pay for the materials for interior fencing on the City’s property adjoining the Land Application Site. The Council talked about the possibility of a Council field trip to the site. City Attorney Lookabaugh explained that the Neilson’s are exceeding the scope of the fencing and she will speak to Ren concerning the issue. City Clerk Stegelmeier asked the council if they would be willing to set a date for a meeting with Brad Purcell to talk about an easement for a sign and finalize a decision on the tennis court. She was directed to talk to Brad, set a date and plan the meeting. City Clerk Stegelmeier reported that the work on the Main Street Water Main Replacement should be completed by next week and the ITD is now talking again about doing their project before the end of October. City Clerk Stegelmeier then asked for direction concerning an invoice received from the Dyer Group. The council directed her to hold the invoice until further notice. City Clerk Stegelmeier then directed the council’s attention to a bid received from a citizen who wanted to purchase the Crown Victoria at the Surplus Sale which was canceled. The council directed City Clerk Stegelmeier to contact the bidder and explain that all bids have to go through the Surplus process and they will not accept it. City Clerk Stegelmeier then went through a proposal from the Zion’s Bank concerning credit cards, employee direct deposit and savings. The council directed her to talk to our local banks to see if they can match the offer and then bring the information to council. City Clerk Stegelmeier then concluded the City Business by telling the council that the City Office would be closed September 22nd through 25th while she and the Deputy Clerk attend the state ICCTFOA Conference. Mayor Stronks inquired where the conference would be held. City Clerk Stegelmeier explained that it would be in Boise so there would be no long trips up to Northern Idaho this year.
Councilwoman Janssen made a motion to designate the Council Chambers at the City Building as the polling place for the 2009 Municipal Election. Councilman Pincock seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
7. PUBLIC COMMENTS: (Each speaker will be allowed a maximum of 3 minutes unless repeat testimony is requested by the Mayor/Council.)
Sara Reinke explained to the Council that she has been working with the Horizon’s Networking Committee on a resource listing for the Ashton Community. She had spoken with City Clerk Stegelmeier about the possibility of attaching it to the city’s website. City Clerk Stegelmeier replied that she had spoken to Jake about putting it on the City’s website and it would be included in the City’s monthly website fee. Councilwoman Janssen has seen the list and it is very nice. The council directed City Clerk Stegelmeier to have the list added to the website when it is completed.
Sheryl Hill would like to briefly ask the council about the RC&D proposal form. She would like to know if the council would be comfortable in having the RC&D (and specifically Steve Smart) collect information and begin to try to obtain funding. Steve Smart was enthusiastic about the idea of working on this project. The council was enthusiastic about letting him work on the project. Mayor Stronks explained that the City is a member of the RC&D and would love to use the resource.
I.C. 67-2345 Certain City-related matters may need to be discussed confidentially as a matter of law (Acquisition of real property, personnel matters, attorney-client communications) subject to applicable legal requirements, the Council may enter executive session by roll call vote to discuss such matters.
Advise Legal Counsel, Personnel.
Councilman Pincock made a motion to adjourn. Councilman Brady seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
NEXT MEETING Regular Council 7:00 p.m. – Wednesday, October 14th, 2009, Council Chambers. Questions concerning items appearing on this Agenda or requests for accommodation of special needs to participate in the meeting should be addressed to the Office of the City Clerk or call 208-652-3987.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Cathy Stegelmeier, City Clerk.
Cathy Stegelmeier Theo R. Stronks
City Clerk Mayor
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