Members of the Canton City Council reviewed the city ordinance regarding farm animals within city limits at the regular November meeting held last Wednesday evening.

Jamie Knutson had contacted the city office about raising 100 chickens within Canton city limits. Although Knutson was not present at the meeting, Mayor Donivee Johnson informed the council of the request and current policy was reviewed.

According to the ordinance, farm animals are restricted to agricultural areas of the city or on a residential lot of at least 10 acres. In addition, any animal shelter is required to be over 300 feet of an adjoining piece of property. The only exceptions to the requirements would be for animals brought into the city as a part of an operating zoo, veterinarian clinic, scientific research laboratory or for a licensed show or exhibition.

The property owned by Knutson does not meet the 10-acre requirement, being around three acres, and also does not have adequate distance of 300 feet from adjoining property.

Council members were in agreement, based upon the existing ordinance, that should Knutson approach the city regarding this request, it would be denied.

Constructing handicapped entrance to Pub

Nick Prestby was in attendance to speak to the council about the possibility of constructing a handicap accessible entrance to the Canton Pub. Prestby told the council that he has been approached regarding the possibility and wanted to discuss his options.

Given that the Main Street entrance is also a county road; the handicap ramp would most likely be better located on the north side of the building, according to the discussion.

Prestby inquired about any possible economic development organizations in Canton.

He also expressed an interest in helping with the bike trail, having had some experience in his prior state of residence.

Mayor Johnson advised Prestby to go ahead and get quotes and a construction plan. Due to Canton being such a small city, no EDA within the city has been formed. Johnson also stated that Kathie Haynes should be contacted regarding the bike trail committee.

No hunting in Canton

Council member Carl Ernst brought up the issue of hunting within city limits. Ernst reported he had recently observed hunters on the former nursery property moving towards town rather than away from town. There was concern about potential damage to property or possible injury should a hunter fire toward Canton.

The possibility of drafting a special hunting ordinance prohibiting firearms and requiring bow hunting only was discussed.

Currently, any discharge of a firearm within the city is prohibited. The Fillmore County Sheriff's office and the game warden will be made aware of the potential problem and will be patrolling to enforce the ordinance. The lease holder will also be contacted to ensure that permission has been granted to those hunting on the nursery property.

The city attorney will be consulted about possible rezoning of some of the nursery property to residential property.

Change meeting date

Johnson initiated discussion regarding changing the regular meeting date to the second Wednesday of the month, starting in January of 2013.

According to the mayor, the current scheduled meeting date originated in or around 1932.

Changing the meeting date by one week would allow for city bills to be received and presented to the council. As the meeting sits now, there are frequently some bills that have not been received by the first Wednesday of the month.

No decision was made; the matter was tabled until the December meeting, to be held on December 5th.

Maintenance issues

The Waste Water Treatment Plant permit was reviewed by the council. According to Jon Nordsving, from the city maintenance department, there were no major changes with the exception of additional required samplings for monitoring purposes. The additional tests will add to the current $400 bi-monthly charge, but the amount of the increased costs was not known at the time of the meeting.

Nordsving also led the discussion regarding the eventual replacement of water meters in the city. Nordsving had secured one bid from Minnesota Pipe and Equipment for a monitoring system, but stated that he wanted to explore other options as well as talk to area communities regarding their systems. Some options include installation of meters that could be monitored within the city office by computer or be read from a vehicle on the street. Discussion on the various options also included possible ways to defray the cost of any new system. The possibility of extending the $5 monthly street light fee and amending the purpose to apply to the water meter costs was discussed. The street light fee is due to end in June of 2013. No action was taken on this matter.

The quote from McCarty Well Company for checking the pump on well number one was reviewed. Since the actual quote did not appear to include televising the well and the costs were unclear, the matter was tabled until a clarification of the quote could be received.

Nordsving also informed the council that a $2,500 grant had been received from AgStar to be used to help pay for pagers for the Canton Fire Department. An additional grant request had been submitted to the Arlin Falck Foundation for additional funds; no word has been received as to the status of that grant request.

Canvassing of the 2012 City Council and Mayoral election results was set for Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 4 p.m., to meet the seven day waiting requirement. Following the meeting, certificates will be issued to the elected members and mayor. Mayor Donivee Johnson and council members Carl Ernst and Cindy Shanks will be returning to their offices.