Wykoff council hears request from
CHS to move light pole, fire hydrant
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 3:16 AM
Wykoff's city council heard a request at its June 10 meeting from Deke Stejskal of CHS for permission to remove a light pole and relocate a fire hydrant that is "in the way" of the grain company's plans to build a new 710,000-bushel grain bin at the Wykoff elevator.
"We'd like to build a road around the new bin, and the light pole and hydrant are right in the way," Stejskal told the council. "We were told to ask Al (Williams), and he said that the light pole didn't need to be there. I'm asking how hard it would be to move the hydrant, and where would it go?"
Councilman Mitch Grabau, who is also on Wykoff's planning and zoning committee, noted, "Anytime someone develops something, moving utilities is their cost."
Mayor Lyman Hare asked whether there's water service to that particular hydrant, and Williams, the city's maintenance foreman, suggested that CHS have the parcel in question surveyed to determine what belongs to the company and what belongs to the neighboring resident. "We can put an elbow on that and put it back together, but all the costs are theirs."
A missing city street also came up for discussion, as the council seemed to recall a street being there at some time in the past, but the street no longer physically exists. Councilor Jeremy Comstock stated, "To close a street...you just don't close a city street like that without a survey."
Grabau pointed out that a public hearing should be held soon for CHS to obtain a variance for the grain bin's construction, and the council recommended that a surveyor be hired and CHS be responsible for costs. More information on the project will be brought to the July meeting.
The council then considered the purchase of a plot of land that belongs to the Bud Kavanagh estate - near the city park - as Kavanagh's lawyer, Tom Thistle, had contacted Hare and inquired as to whether the city might be interested in buying it for $1 after the Wykoff American Legion declined the offer due to maintenance costs.
Hare said that he thought it might be prudent to buy the parcel because it would be an opportunity to expand the city's park land, especially if it costs only that dollar plus legal fees of approximately $500 to $700.
Councilors received a written report from engineer Kevin Graves of WHKS regarding progress on the plans for the new wastewater treatment plant, as Graves was unable to attend the meeting but plans to bring news to the July meeting.
Next, the council granted Wykoff Fire Chief Wade Baker funding to buy needed extrication and fire gloves from Fire Safety USA, as Baker had taken inventory of his crew's equipment and turnout gear and found that some firefighters were missing their gloves. Additionally, a motion to accept the city's fire rate ordinance, ordinance number 207, was passed so that residents whose insurance companies require that a fire rate ordinance be in place are truly covered by their policies.
Carting about town was next on the agenda. Comstock reported that he had heard questions from several residents regarding the adoption of an ordinance governing golf cart use within the city limits. "My understanding is that if the city adopts an ordinance, the police department can't fine people for driving them on the streets."
Hare answered Comstock, saying, "I called Sheriff (Daryl) Jensen, and he said he hadn't heard any complaints about golf carts. Now, Harmony's having a real problem with them, and they have had to adopt an ordinance because they've had youth driving around town in them, but the sheriff has heard no complaints out of Wykoff."
Comstock stated, "It just makes honest people honest." The council perused the prospect of issuing permits for golf carts but chose not to address their use through such action because a driver must have a rider on his homeowner's insurance in order to be protected against accident liability, and because the number of golf carts within Wykoff are so few that administering golf cart permits would cost too much.
Hare then spoke about the next item on the agenda. "They don't shoot BBs in the community hall, do they?" he inquired, referring to the 4-H shooting sports teams that meet at the Wykoff hall.
Councilors all replied, "Of course they do. They have been for 25 years or more."
Hare's question related to pellets found on the floor after the students left - the cleaning lady had saved a paper cup of BBs that she said were difficult to gather. The council decided that a letter would be sent to the shooting sports coach asking that the students pick up before leaving so that they may continue to be allowed to meet there, as the city has always been happy to extend the local service clubs the use of the hall without rent.
Williams asked that a reminder be added to the mayor's monthly newsletter stating that residents should not mow grass into the street because it ends up in the storm sewer pipes and causes problems at the wastewater treatment plant - not so serious a problem now, but once the new plant is constructed, it could create difficulties in managing water flowing into the plant.
Hare agreed to include the reminder in his newsletter.
Lastly, the council granted a liquor license to the Lions Club for its Fall Fest beer garden, revoked a conditional use permit (CUP) for Roger Westra's commercially-zoned storage building on Main Street and changed its zoning from residential to commercial, to match how Westra is being taxed for the property since it was formerly designated a museum but no longer requires the CUP be in place.