Council approves snow cone stand; renovation of red iron structure near Wells Fargo, 820

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by A.C. Hall

The City Council met Tuesday with a brief agenda that saw council approving a new Snow Cone stand as well as taking steps to see the long unfinished red iron building behind Wells Fargo completed.  Council member Mike Arnold was given an excused absence from the meeting, as he is in Montana.

Those traveling along White Settlement Road or Las Vegas Trail have likely seen the new snow cone stand at the intersection of the two streets.  While the stand is not yet opened, it received unanimous approval of a special use permit from the council that should be the final hurdle to doing business.  A public hearing was held on this matter, but with no one in the audience wishing to speak, it was promptly closed.

Council was told that the snow cone stand has met every requirement and that the special use permit was approved unanimously by the Planning and Zoning board.  One concern brought up by council was the lack of a restroom, but they were informed that this has already been addressed.  The stand is in the parking lot of an existing business, and that business has granted the stand use of the restroom.

Discussed in more detail earlier in the night at the Economic Development Corporation meeting, Council also approved the final plat for the red iron building behind Wells Fargo.  Standing half finished for well over a decade, city staff have been in talks with possible tenants for the building for some time.  With council unanimously approving the final plat, this clears the way for one such tenant to complete the building and move in.  With an expected completion date for later this year, the building will become an indoor storage facility.

“This is a good step towards getting rid of that big ugly red frame that’s been here for twenty years and actually getting some use out of it,” Council member Danny Anderson said.

CITY RECEIVES FINANCE AWARDS

  Finance Director Phil Bray addressed the council, taking a moment to recognize the hard work and excellence of all members of the finance department before introducing Bret Starr.  Starr was on hand to present two awards to the city.  The first is a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting, making this the twenty eighth year the city has received the award.  Starr also presented the city with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, marking the twenty-seventh year the city has received that award.

“It’s a pleasure to know our money’s well taken care of,” Mayor Burns said.

OTHER BUSINESS

July 15, 16, and 17 were tentatively set for the council to hold budget workshops.  City Manager Linda Ryan coordinated with council members and their summer schedules to try to set dates that work for everyone.  The meeting dates will be discussed again at the July 8 council meeting.

Council unanimously approved an ordinance that will allow citizens to serve on two city boards at a time.  The only restriction will be that citizens can’t serve on the Planning and Zoning commission and the Board of Adjustments and Appeals simultaneously, as one board acts as oversight for the other.  Before this, citizens were allowed to serve on only one board at a time.  The change was made mainly due to a lack of applicants that made it difficult for council to fill all the positions on all the boards.

Council voted to reject offers to purchase two city properties.  The first offer came in well underneath the appraised value of the property, prompting city staff to recommend not selling.  Council heeded that recommendation and denied the offer by a vote of 3 to 1, with Anderson against the motion to deny.

The second property was previously appraised at $30,000, but that reflected a structure that’s no longer present on the property.  City staff informed council that a new appraisal hasn’t been done since the structure was removed.  Several council members voiced apprehension over selling a property without knowing what it’s valued at, with a worry about losing money also being mentioned.

“We’ve lost money on every piece of property we ever purchased,” Clements said.

Ultimately a motion was made to deny the offer.  That motion passed 3 to 1, with Clements against.

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