Recreational Vehicles Ordinance Tabled by Morrison City Council
By LYNNETTE FORTH | For The Prairie Advocate News
MORRISON – Morrison City council members met in the Whiteside County board room on November 28 for a regular meeting. Alderman Leo Sullivan and Scott Connelly were absent.
Resident Mark Zinnen addressed the council during the public comment portion of the meeting, in regard to the issue of not having enough No Parking signs in the 100 and 200 blocks of Wall Street. Zinnen made reference to September 21, during the Paint the Town event, in which five parking violations were issued.
“We need to get this issue resolved before the Christmas Walk,” Zinnen stated. “I want to make sure the council is aware of the situation. There is a risk of additional citations being issued because the signage is not adequate. I have lived in that block for thirty four plus years. There have been numerous times that people have parked on that block without getting a ticket. I suggest that the council make restitution to those individuals that had to pay a fine during Paint the Town.”
Mayor Pannier informed Zinnen that he believed that Alderman Bender had implied that signs will be put in place by the end of the week, and that there has been some discussion about whether or not a $50.00 fine is too severe for the first offense. “We will probably be looking at the fee and fine schedule,” Pannier added.
Bender replied, “I think the addition of a couple of signs and the replacement of another would be suitable.”
A second citizen also addressed the council during the meeting. John Kuehl thanked Mayor Pannier for allowing him to pursue the possibility of allowing recreational vehicles on local streets.
“I know seat belts are a concern with safety,” Kuehl said. “Safety begins with the operator. If this were to come into effect, there are some grants that we could look at. I thank everyone for their thoughts and time on this issue.”
Mayor Pannier reported to the council that the DCEO grant that the city had been applied for to be used for the sewer lining was not approved. “We will be reapplying after the first of the year.”
Pannier also stated that he felt that a good job had been done on the work of the trail, with some finishing up left to do, and commented on the fact that he had recently visited the Port Byron waste water plant, and that it was pretty impressive.
“The plant is very clean. It is in its third year of operation. If the council would like to see it, I would suggest you do so. It was a good visit, and very informative.”
The consent agenda was approved including November 12, 2013 regular session council meeting minutes; Bills Payable ($309,678.59 Alderman Blean questioned check number 47996 in the amount of $5,782.00, and was advised by clerk Schroeder that the amount is for unemployment fees for the previous City Administrator Jim Wise, and that the payments could continue for up to eighteen months); Approve first and final payment-Market Street parking lot-Civil Constructors ($54,917.80); Cancel December 23rd, 2013 council meeting.
Street RV Ordinance
Ordinance #13-47-Recreational Vehicles on local streets was discussed. Mayor Pannier commented that the council has several options on the issue. Alderman Dave Eizenga stated, “I am not in a hurry to vote it up or down. Maybe tabling it would be better. We need to put something in the ordinance about seat belts. We need more feedback from residents.”
Curt Bender replied, “I agree. We need to hear from more residents”. Aldermen Michael Blean and David Helms agreed, with Helms adding “The ordinance doesn’t address the safety issue. We need to look at it closer, and get more feedback.”
Alderman Marti Wood offered her opinion, stating “I have had no feedback from residents so far. I think it is a good idea to table it.”
Harvey Zuidema informed the council that he had spoken to approximately fifteen residents in his ward, and most of them were against the ordinance. Council members agreed unanimously to table the issue to allow for further feedback from city residents.
Mayor Pannier concluded by thanking Mr. Kuehl and other residents that were involved in obtaining information. “Continue your study. Notify me when you are ready to look at it again.”
Council members then moved on with the agenda, approving Risk Management Insurance with AJ Gallagher. City Administrator Barry Dykhuzen informed council members that the annual policy expires on December 31. The price for the insurance has increased $5,000.00 from last year. Dykhuzen complimented city staff members on their low number of injuries.
Other items for consideration, discussion, and information included:
Mayor Pannier informed Aldermen that he has been in contact with Mr. Jennings, and they have come to an agreement that the city may use the parking area near his building during the Christmas Walk.
Also, the Mayor commented on a recent letter to the editor, saying “I believe in the first amendment right to comment, but I am disturbed at the accusations made that are not true. I have the utmost confidence in our public works crew and its director. No one is happy with the water levels; especially the public works. The problems were unforeseen. We will do an autopsy to go back through the and analyze the problem. It’s a pain for those that have to deal with it. If you are impacted, it makes an issue for you. We will continue to work on the problems.”
The next scheduled City council meeting will be on December 9, 2013. Public members are encouraged to attend.