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By Crystal Howerton
In a culmination of their efforts to resolve the ongoing Pit Bull issue, which has plagued Edina City Council the past couple of months, members adopted Ordinance No. 668 ultimately banning Pit Bull and Rottweiler dog breeds from the City of Edina on Monday night, June 9, 2008.
Prior to this action, citizens were given the opportunity to speak out. Pit Bull owner Jim Dick asked multiple questions pertaining to the ordinance, such as whether or not the City had contacted a licensed veterinarian in regard to attack statistics and if another breed of dog would be included in this ordinance in the event of an attack. City Council members responded to those questions and others at which time Edina Mayor Davey Strickler read Bill No. 668, Ordinance No. 668 in its entirety. A vote was conducted to hold the second reading by title only, and it was.
An ordinance amending Ordinance No. 659 and repealing ordinance No. 606, and governing the control of animals and for other purposes, Ordinance No. 668 has outlawed Pit Bull and Rottweiler dog breeds with the exception of those currently harbored within city limits providing that they abide by certain regulations including, but not limited to, registering of said animals with the City, confinement and confinement indoors, leash and muzzle, signs, insurance, identification photographs and reporting requirements. In addition, requirements have been set for any dog owner in possession of a “vicious animal” as defined in the ordinance. However, it is recommended that all pet owners familiarize themselves with the animal control ordinance, available at Edina City Hall, in order to avoid any possible violations
The ordinance will go into effect after a reasonable amount of time in which the City of Edina will notify citizens of this action by publishing notices in the local media and posting them at Edina City Hall, as well as notifying residents by mail.
Upon completion of this business, Jeanne Bailey, in the company of husband, Freddie and daughter, Lyndsey Leckbee, responded with heartfelt appreciation to the actions of City Council members regarding this issue.
In other business, the reading of the minutes and Collector’s report were heard from City Clerk Margaret Gibson and Collector Betty Morgret. City Treasurer Peggy Collinge was present to give her report.
Collinge stated that increased expenses were due to unusual items last month. She said that recent changes to fees were being reflected in the budget. Alderman Craig Miller questioned Collinge as to the effect high gas prices was having on the budget. She responded that so far they were “keeping up.” “We are not too far out of balance yet, but that could change,” admitted Collinge.
Gary Waite and Gary Parish approached City Council members on behalf of the Knox County Community Center board. “We are actively pursuing a community center and would appreciate support from the City Council,” said Waite.
Wastewater Superintendent Brad Eitel submitted a written report for the Wastewater Treatment Facility. The average daily flow for May was 160,000 gallons per day, or 72.7% of the design flow, a total of 4,953,000 gallons treated. The actual population equivalent for May was 1254 out of 2200. Eitel added that he was behind on sledge hauling having hauled last in October but at that time it was empty. In addition, the new fence at the baseball field has been completed and he reported numerous good comments.
Superintendent of Utilities Mike Wriedt met with the Board. He stated that he had addressed the areas near the post office and Farm & Home, which were mentioned during Alderman comments at the last month’s meeting. Wriedt stated that the lift stations were pumping over capacity due to continuous rains resulting in a broken pump. He is making inquiries to have it repaired. Wriedt said he is delaying the purchase of oil for street improvements until the rain slacks off.
City Council members discussed the possibility of hiring a temporary part-time employee. Wriedt was contacted by Mike Fox, of Kirksville, MO, recently who was interested in part-time employment. Alderman Albert Hagerla announced that he had was aware of Fox’s experience with grader work and other abilities. Wriedt stated that someone with that kind of knowledge would be a benefit to the City. Council members agreed that they had no objections to hiring Fox as temporary part-time employee to be used at Wriedt’s discretion, providing that he was conscientious about labor.
He announced that city employees have started keeping track of fuel usage and how much was being spent for mowing, trucks, etc.
Wriedt suggested the early purchase of pipe for future water line replacement projects to save on costs. He foresees the cost of PVC pipe rising significantly as gas prices continue to raise. In addition, he recommended that the cost of digging permits be raised from $50 to $100. According to Wriedt, the act of doubling the digging permit fee will still only barely cover the costs to the City for fuel and rock prices and hauling. It was the consensus of the Board to prepare an amendment for the Board’s approval next month.
Wriedt said that he had spoken with Knox County Presiding Commissioner Pete Mayfield and Larry Barnes regarding sidewalk and curb replacement on the west side of the courthouse. The City and County are in cooperation for this project, which will begin the week after the 4-H Fair. He discussed the need to purchase forms for the project, as well.
Little discussion was held concerning the demolition update; Police Chief Roger Waibel was absent due to an illness. However, Gibson did report that asbestos had been removed from the McCauley properties.
City Council members received two applications for building permits. Sam Smith has proposed another location for his rabbit operation, which was discussed at the May meeting. The new application is for 606 Marion Street. He proposes to purchase the property, owned by Caroline Adkins, and replace the existing trailer with a 14×70 foot mobile home. Although absent from the meeting, Smith had reportedly talked to the neighbors who were agreeable to this.
Alderman Donnie Davis commented that he was opposed to having this type of operation in the city limits. After some discussion, the permit was approved by a 4-2 vote. Yea: Gordon Edwards, Renee Edwards, Craig Miller and Albert Hagerla. Nay: Donnie Davis and Tom Morgret. Unanimously approved was M. (Sparky) Wenger’s application for a building permit to construct a 30×40 foot shop at 302 S. Fulton.
April LaJune addressed the Board regarding a liquor license. LaJune is anticipating the purchase of Sugar Bear’s Café in Edina on July 1. As a potential owner of the restaurant, which will be referred to as The Classic Cup, La June requested a liquor license to serve beer and wine to compliment her menu items. Aware that Edina Ordinance No. 582-L limits the number of City beer and liquor licenses to six, LaJune asked the Council to consider amending the ordinance to categorize businesses/events that can hold a liquor license as follows: Tavern/Bar & Grill, Hotel and Restaurant, Retail Liquor Store, Club and Optional Premises/Event.
City Council members did not feel that any harm would come from another restaurant possessing a liquor license but was adamant that they did not want any more bars in Edina. A special meeting will be held on Monday, June 23, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. to decide this issue.
Mayor Strickler read from minutes of the Clarence Cannon Wholesale Water Commission board meeting containing disturbing news. In essence, it is very likely that the City of Edina will soon be paying more for their water supply contract. CCWWC General Manager Liz Grove plans to attend the July meeting of the Council to discuss this.
Council members adopted City Resolution No. 669, a resolution of intent to participate in natural hazard mitigation and to work toward becoming a safer community.