11/21/2019 3:29:00 PM Stacy Council agrees to solar contract
Stacy city council met November 12 for a regular meeting. All members were present.
Resident Tim Sawatzky addressed the pothole situation on 311th Street. Sawatzky said the potholes are “out of control” and would like to see them fixed before winter. Sawatzky said some of the potholes are exceeding five inches deep and could do some “real damage” to vehicles. Mayor Utecht told Sawatzky he would discuss with the maintenance department and at the very least the potholes would be filled in the near future.
Next, the council heard from Carolyn Cagle, a Supervisor from Lent township. Cagle explained to the council that Lent has been having two very successful recycle days per year. Cagle mentioned that the day after the event the Lent Township maintenance department received multiple calls about recyclable items being dumped along ditches. Cagle told the council they have traced some items back to Stacy residents.
Cagle was there to propose a joint recycle day with Stacy to help Stacy residents with decluttering and preventing the dumping along ditches. Cagle said Lent usually fills two recycle day dumpsters and if Stacy agreed, the number should go up to at least four dumpsters. Cagle said Lent would like to see Stacy chip in half the cost. Utecht said he thought it would be a great idea and asked Cagle to come back with details.
City attorney James Monge was asked by the mayor if he had a chance to review the city’s public nuisance ordinance. Monge said he has and it looks enforceable. Utecht asked what caused a judge to rule against the ordinance. Monge told the council it wasn’t the wording of the ordinance that got the most recent case dismissed but the timing of the papers served.
Mayor Utecht told the council regarding Novell Energy’s proposal he was disinclined to put solar panels on any city structure because it would become the city’s property. Utecht said he would prefer to keep the city’s involvement in solar energy to solar gardens then if something were to happen it would be Novell’s responsibility to make repairs. Council member Mark Ness told the council he preferred Novell Energy’s proposal because the proposal allowed the city to terminate the contract after 12 years as opposed to others with required 20 to 25 year committments. The location of the solar garden is not determined but will be eventually built in Stacy.
The council then approved the solar garden contract with Novell Energy unanimously.
The council then heard from city finance director Patty Kettles of Baker Tilly. Kettles discussed the financial balances of the water and sewer funds. Kettles reminded the council if the general fund would drop below $500,000 the city’s credit rating could change. Kettle told the council the ideal amount for the general fund balance would be around $700,000. Kettles assured the council the city was in a good place and the only change the council could look at is a potential increase in water fund revenues. Kettles told the council an increase of 3.5 percent would be ideal. The council agreed to order a water rate study unanimously.
Council member Mark Ness then told the council there have been a few changes in policy regarding using city and public property for personal business. Ness stated it is no longer permitted for any city-owned property to be used for personal business nor is it permitted for the city to use personal property for official city business.
The council then was told the city was changing its pet licensing duration. The ordinance committee agreed to change the duration of a license to match the length of a pet’s vaccinations. Ness said puppies will start at one year and then licenses will be good for three years after the first year.
In new business, the council discussed at length the city’s issue with sidewalk snow removal, as well as dirt and rubbish. Ness told the council he would like to allow the city to remove those items from sidewalks to keep them clean and safe. Utecht said he did not support the proposal feeling it wasn’t the city’s responsibility. The council was told by city clerk Sharon Payne in the past when sidewalks have been cleaned by the city and bills passed to the residents that none of them have ever been paid.
The council then agreed to table the subject until it is learned if those bills could be certified to resident’s property taxes. It was also agreed to include nuisance lawn mowing as well.
The council then approved liquor licenses for the Rustic Inn and the Stacy Lions Club.