Ordinances and Formal Actions Dominate Council Meeting

The Beloit City Council met Tuesday night as a make up meeting for the one that had to be canceled due to weather last week. The Majority of the Business Agenda was made up of Ordinances and Formal Actions that needed the council's attention.

Ordinance #2139 was made to amend the minimum housing Code. Councilman Matt Otte had issues with the wording of the ordinance. This is the minimum housing code the council discussed earlier this year. As worded it allowed the city code enforcement officer to perform a bi-annual inspection of rental properties. Otte pointed out that the word bi-annual meaning semi-annually or twice a year was in error of the correct meaning of this ordinance. The motion was amended to read the inspection would take place every two years and passed 7 to 0 with Councilman Rick Brown being absent from the meeting.

Ordinance #2140 dealing with Snow Removal Routes in the city. This relates to the prohibition of parking vehicles on designated snow routes within the city and sets out specific penalties should this ordinance be broken. It shall be unlawful to park a vehicle on or fail to remove a parked vehicle from any street designated as a snow route. This is to be in force between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., every day regardless of whether snow, sleet or ice is present between November 15 and March 15.

Any vehicle parked in violation of Ordinance #2139 may be towed and impounded by members of the Beloit Police Department with all costs of the owner of the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle may be charged with violation of this ordinance, issued a traffic citation and be subject to a fine of $20, plus towing and impoundment fees. The ordinance was adopted by a vote of 7 to 0.

Ordinance #2141 was made to amend a prior ordinance and allows the city code officer to address dilapidated buildings within the city limits whether rented or privately owned. It makes certain acts unlawful that are injurious to the health, safety, welfare and aesthetic characteristics of the neighborhoods within the city. After discussion the council passed this ordinance by a vote of 7 to 0.

Passing the minimum housing checklist would Code Officer Chris Jones to enforce Ordinance 2001 that was passed in August 2011 and amended Ordinance #2139 that was presented at this meeting. This passed with the exclusion of the fee portion of the ordinance by a vote of 7 to 0.

Other formal actions taken by the council included passing the water pump bid for the Water/Waste Water Department Operations in the amount of $19,069 by a vote of 7 to 0. A water pipe bid from Municipal Supply Inc. for pipe to be used for the Silver Fox Estates, Ellenz Addition and the South Street project in the amount of $89,419.06 passed by a vote of 7 to 0. The developer will reimburse the material costs for use in the Ellenz addition. A bid on sewer pipe for the completion of the Airport Hangar and the Ellenz Addition in the amount of $4,063.36 passed by a vote of 7 to 0.

The council regretfully accepted the resignation letter of Water/Waster Director, Kendal Francis, by a vote of 7 to 0. After 23 years of service to the City of Beloit Francis has accepted the position of city administrator with the City of Lakin, Kansas. His last day will be March 1, 2014. City Administrator Glenn Rodden recommended the council appoint Adam Mosher as interim Water/Waste water Director. This passed by a vote of 6 to 1 with Councilman Bob Richards casting the no vote. Mayor Tom Naasz appointed a search committee consisting of the city administrator, the mayor and councilmen Rick Brown and Bob Richards.

Robert Severance, President of the Chautauqua Isle of Lights, gave his annual report to the council. Severance said this was probably the best year yet for the displays. They had no shut down dates due to the weather and no vandalism by two or four legged animals. He thanked the City of Beloit, the NCK Technical College and the volunteers who helped at the gates each night.

Attendance this year, was substantially down from 2012 especially from Beloit residents. Severance feels they need to do a better job of promoting the project via social media. The frozen ground made take down of the displays very challenging. Severance requested having the park released for use by the Isle of Lights committee from October 14 to January 23, next year. City Attorney Katie Cheney will draw up a new contract. Mayor Naasz and council members thanked Severance for the job he does each year.

A 10-minute closed session was held to discuss Attorney-Client Privileged Information. No action was taken.

Councilman Richards voiced a complaint about the equipment sitting on Mill Street in front of the new eye care center building. Mike Haeffele, Director of the Streets and Transportation Department, explained they need to cut out more of the cement and the cold weather has not allowed them to do that yet.

Attorney Cheney announced a new program being used in the Magistrate Court concerning child abuse offenders. They have to pay a fine but must also go to counseling now. Cheney invited the public to come in and observe the procedures used in Magistrate Court; which she said are different than District Court. The next court session is March 17.

Beloit Police Chief, Dave Elam, introduced Brian Culpepper, who has been hired as a new police officer. Culpepper was originally from Osborne and served in the U.S.

City Administrator, Rodden announced they have not heard back from the Housing Rehabilitation Grant they applied for but should know by the end of this month or the first part of March. They are optimistic about receiving the grant. The contractor has started work on the sewer line on the North Campus. They have presented a choice of two sites to Rolling Hills Electric but no decisions have been made yet.

During the work session Administrator Rodden discussed the City's Health Insurance renewal with Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The new BC/BS representative, Alejandra Juarez visited with the staff last week. She will hold an informational meeting for all city employees on Friday march 11, at 1 p.m. The city has requested their policy renewal date be changed from April to September each year to coincide with when they set up their budget. They plan to have a recommendation for health insurance renewal by the next council meeting. The new health care law is causing confusion and BCBS has to adjust some of their options, however Rodden said they think the premiums will be much lower than last year due to the lower than anticipated employee use of their insurance so this is good news, Rodden said.

City Code Enforcement Officer, Chris Jones reviewed Code Codification in chapters 12, 13 and 16, which focus on law enforcement regulations.

Councilman Richards explained a request from a business on second-street. They are having trouble getting supplies out of the Fuller Chevrolet building and are requesting a loading zone status to keep vehicles from parking in a designated area of that building. Mayor Naasz said they with look into this and place it on the agenda for the next meeting.

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