A special Canton City Council meeting was held on Wednesday, April 10, prior to the regular meeting in order to allow for public input regarding a zoning change by Dexter Eiken.

Eiken has recently purchased the property located at 401 East Highway 52 in Canton. This property, originally zoned as commercial when the Canton Nursery was operational at the location, was changed to residential zoning when occupied by Tom Dodd.

Eiken requested the council grant his request for commercial zoning in order to operate his car lot at the location.

There was no public opposition voiced at the special session and the council gave approval to the change in zoning as part of the regular meeting agenda.

Wastewater treatment plant

City wastewater treatment plant issues were discussed during the council meeting as well. Due to the 3.6 inches of rainfall earlier in the week, maintenance issues arose at the plant. Jon Nordsving, city maintenance worker, needed to drain down levels in the plant due to the heavy rain. There were also some flooding issues in the plant itself, but Nordsving stated that the plant was fully operational.

There was also discussion on the possible need to install check valves in the pump gallery to minimize flooding. There was no action on this matter.

Mayor Donivee Johnson reported to the council that Tri-County Electric had notified the city that the Environmental Protection Agency's mandates regarding the city's back-up generator have changed due to possible pollution issues. These regulation changes require that there be monitoring adjustments made. The new rulings take effect in May of next year.

The city will be required to install a tamper proof monitoring system and maintain a log of the generator activity by May 3 of this year in order to continue to take advantage of the peak saving program for the upcoming year.

The usage of backup generators will not be allowed after May 3, 2014, according to the EPA guidelines.

No cost for the system is known, but without the installation of the monitoring system by the deadline, the electrical cost savings to the city will end immediately.

Following some discussion of the need to prolong the peak energy savings for as long as possible, the council voted to proceed with the purchase and installation of the required monitoring system in order to be compliant with the recommendations of Tri-County Electric and the EPA.

Beautification

Some other city issues discussed during the meeting included planting flowers in the main street planters and the need to repair the Canton city sign located on the Jim Davis property. The sign is in a bad state of repair and will need extensive improvements made before summer.

There was discussion on mowing the former nursery property on the south edge of town and Kelly house lawns. Due to possible ownership changes no decisions were made as to arranging for ongoing mowing during the upcoming season. The matter was tabled.

Deputy Jesse Grabau and Clerk Lolly Melander will be assessing properties as to potential junkyard violations. Letters will be sent to violators of the ordinance.

Canton Day Off

Council member Cindy Shanks gave a report on the upcoming Canton Day Off celebrations, both for this summer and next year.

Some activities being planned include a bean bag tourney, DJ, BBQ cook-off, motorcycle show and shine, a community dinner, town photo, reissuance of the Day-Off newspaper, building a float to promote the city celebration and race at the Canton Speedway on Sunday.

Planning for the 2014 celebration will involve finding a band for two dances, upgrading electrical service for the event, possible prom night and teen dance, a 5K run/walk, wine tasting and if successful in 2013, a repeat of the motorcycle show and shine event. There may also be T-shirts ordered and sold with the town photo taken in 2013.

Shanks also brought up the need to establish a non-profit certification for the Canton Day Off event in order to qualify for more donations. It was decided that it would not be possible for the city to be a part of the certification, but Johnson suggested that the Canton Historical Society may be interested in being under the non-profit certification.

The establishment of a web page for the event was also discussed. This would enable the public to keep up-to-date on the celebration as well as to purchase T-shirts on line.

Other business

In other matters, the council handled the following issues during its meeting.

• There was some discussion on the Canton Liquor Store with Melander telling the council that there have been some inquiries as to the business; but no action was taken.

• The council also discussed the need to construct a sidewalk from the Town Hall to the shelter at some time. No action was taken on the matter.

• It was reported that the Canton American Legion will be purchasing five new tables for the Town Hall to replace four older 8-foot tables. There was discussion as to what to do with the older tables. The tables being replaced have been used by city residents on occasion and it was thought that there may be interest in purchasing the tables. It was decided that since there is no good storage option for the older tables, they will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone interested in purchasing the tables should contact the city clerk's office.