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Council considers protocol queries


April 11, 2019

At Tuesday’s regular meeting, the Sundance City Council considered two questions of protocol, one that relates to zoning and the other to city speed limits.

The first question was raised by the Land Use Planning Committee’s monthly report, which included a request for a property on Cleveland Street. The zoning in that area is currently commercial, but there has been a residence on the property for many years.

The owner requested that the city rezone so that the property has a permanent designation. If something should happen to the building, it can be replaced with another residence without going against the zoning requirements.

Mayor Paul Brooks commented that a second home in the area is to be retained as a rental property, but shared his concern that the building is run down and asked for the council’s thoughts. Council Member Callie Hilty agreed that something needs to be done about the other building.

Brooks asked City Attorney Mark Hughes what can legally be done in the way of restrictions if the council agrees to move forward. Would it be within reason to say the city will agree to the request, but only if the second building is fixed up?

Hughes responded that conditions could be placed on a rezoning, such as that the building must meet the Uniform Building Code standards. However, he said, the code should apply anyway to a residential building, not to mention that enforcing the conditions would require committing resources to making sure it would be done.

As the matter is currently in the property owner’s hands because certain paperwork must be complete before moving forward, the council was not in a position to make a decision at the meeting. However, Hughes suggested inviting them to the work session before the next meeting to share the council’s expectations and see if it’s possible they could be met, which might affect the decision-making process.

The second question was raised by Council Member Joe Wilson, who was concerned about speed limit violations in the industrial part of town. Police Chief Marty Noonan did not feel there was any issue at present with speeding, however.

Wilson said that a company working out in that area last year tended to make their own speed limit and expressed concern for the safety of younger residents and also over the dust created. Mayor Paul Brooks commented that the city has in the past discussed lowering the city speed limit to 25 and it was not a popular suggestion, so he would prefer not to go that route.

Instead, he suggested that companies operating in the area be asked to use the lagoon road and Fuller Rd. instead of the residential neighborhood. He offered to speak with the company in question.

Also at the meeting, Clerk Treasurer Kathy Lenz informed the council that she will be attending an appointment with the Wyoming Business Council to go over the proposed Central Park project prior to the council making a decision to recommend the grant application.

She also reported that the city has been awarded a Placemaking Grant for $1000, which is to be spent over the summer months and puts the city in the pot to win a potential $10,000. The city is planning to create a parklet with artificial grass, lawn chairs and free games at the City Hall end of the street; the parklet can also be moved around and could therefore be used for events, she said.

Karla Greaser of Trihydro told the council that work is ongoing for the new Sundance West water tank. At present, she said, the city engineers are looking at easements and figuring out what will be needed to finalize the design, including the alignment changes that were suggested at the 50 percent design meeting.

Greaser also reported that the regular landfill monitoring scheduled for March was delayed by weather and will take place this week. A final closure report was also due to be submitted last week for the landfill closure project.

The planned new construction and debris pit is still undergoing review with the Department of Environmental Quality, she said. Public Works Director Mac Erickson said the chances of getting approval this summer are “not very good” and the latest update predicted September.

The council approved a change order for the Old Stoney renovation project to extend the completion date to June 14. No monetary increase was requested.

Lenz reported that the contractors are still having trouble with the elevator pit but seem optimistic.

Brooks stated there has been little movement on plans to bring natural gas to Sundance, though another meeting has been scheduled to continue the discussion. The city is a long way off being able to do this financially, he said.

“To say we’re unclear is probably not an exaggeration,” Brooks added.

The annual budget received its first reading. It does not yet balance, said Brooks, but city staff are confident that the departments will be able to meet the council’s requests.

In departmental reports, Erickson was given permission to rent a street sweeper with the option to purchase. The rent money will reduce the principle if the city decides to purchase the machine.

Noonan reported 31 calls in March, all of which were routine aside from a couple of crashes related to the blizzard and citizen assists.

Fire Chief Chris Tomford reported that Insurance Service Office representatives will be visiting town on April 27 to evaluate the city’s insurance rating. The fire department has presented all necessary information, he said, and will be contacting Trihydro for data on the water system; the evaluation should take three to four months.

Lenz told the council she has been approached by the Sundance Rod and Gun Club, which would like the city to approach the Core of Engineers for a permit to “pothole” the creek for silt to improve the health of Sundance Pond. The project is funded, she said, but requires a permit; Brooks asked Lenz to explore the estimated man hours that would be involved for the city.

The council also approved moving forward with advertising the sale of the old pantry building a second time. The building itself will be included in the sale, but not the land it sits on.

The next regular meeting of the council is scheduled for May 7.


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