The Rock Rapids City Council met in regular session at the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids on Monday, October 24th at 5:30 PM.
The council approved a single asbestos abatement that was postponed until the owner moved out.
Richard Reitsma was selected to chair the green space committee which will help come up with ideas as to what to do with the properties that were purchased after they were flooded out. There are several restrictions as to what can be done with the land. The council is also looking for other people to serve on this committee. If you would like to serve, you can call the city office.
The council denied amending the rules in areas that are zoned “R2″ by adding convenience storage. City Administrator Jordan Kordal says there were no written or oral comments received as part of the public hearing. The Rock Rapids Planning and Zoning Commission voted to reject the plan and submitted it for council approval. Kordahl said the commission had no problem with the project where this would be used, but the concern was for setting precedent.
The council also decided to deny the addition of additional conditional residential uses to commercial zoning in a separate public hearing Again, no written or oral comments were received. The Planning and Zoning commission decided to add a new subsection, which among other things conditionally allows a residence for a caretaker in a convenience storage building. Councilmen Cody Hoefert and Scott Schneidermann were not comfortable with the specific language for one particular project and would like to see more general guidelines.
The council decided to rezone an area in eastern Rock Rapids from R2 to C2. The area includes the Central Lyon Bus Barn and nearby areas.
The council approved a resolution of support for the Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital Association for a loan to be received from the USDA.
The council also voted to accept a raise in rates for the mayor and council, which wouldn’t go into effect until after all their terms are up: January 1st, 2020. The rates would go up from $2400 for the mayor and $1358 for the council to $3600 for the mayor and $1800 for the council. The old rates are annualized based on how many meetings they attend. The new rates will be flat rates and would not require city staff to keep track of what council and committee members city council members attend.
The council also voted to accept the resignation of Marlene Bowers from the city council, effective December 31st or as soon as a suitable replacement is found. Bowers stated that she has had a change of direction in her life and could no longer dedicate the time required to do the job. The council decided to appoint former city council member Tami Murray to fill the position. The mayor appointed council member Eric Borman to be the new Mayor-Pro-Tempore, which was approved by the council.
The next city council meeting will be Monday, November 14th at 5:30 PM.