Ferron City Council discusses range of topics during meeting
Ferron City Council members opened the Oct. 2 meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance at 7 p.m. in the Ferron City Hall. Those present were Mayor Kent Larsen, Councilmembers Bryan Erikson, Jo Sansevero, and Laurie Pitchforth, City Treasurer Adele Justice, and City Recorder Brenda Bingham. The council's first item was to approve the agenda for the meeting and then read and corrected the minutes of the Sept. 4 meeting afterwhich the minutes were approved and accepted.
A city zoning clearance approval was the next agenda item to be discussed. A Ferron citizen requested the zoning clearance for a wood shop at 40 East 200 North. As there were no business licenses to approve, the above items were voted on and passed unanimously.
Item four was the donation to the Ferron Soccer League. John Doria requested a donation, the same as in previous years, of $100. The Council asked the number of children involved and Doria stated that about 70 had signed up. The request was moved and seconded and passed unanimously.
Next on the agenda was the Peach Days Review. Mayor Larsen asked Councilmember Pitchforth to have all the leaders of the different aspects of the Peach Days celebration to prepare a report and comments of this year's event. Larsen requested Pitchforth to also set up a meeting for all concerned to discuss what improvements could be made for next years celebration. Pitchforth said she would arrange the meeting and expressed her thanks to the Fire Dept. and EMS and stated that she felt the Peach Days was a great success even with the rain.
The next item to be discussed was presented by Councilmember Erikson. He stated that he had been to a meeting of the League of Cities and Towns and was presenting their recommendation that the Annexation policy of the city be reviewed. An Annexation plan for Ferron City needs to be in place by Dec. 31 as per the League's recommendation.
This discussion brought up the next agenda item, which was presentations by each of the council members who had been to this same League of Cities and Towns to report on their findings. Mayor Larsen was first to report, he explained that the League of Cities and Towns had recommended that all cities and towns standardize their forms. All city leaders need to review the policies and forms from other towns and come up with a format that is standardized. This recommedation needs to be addressed immediately as no personnel adjustments can be made before this is in place.
The council then ratified, moved, seconded, and approved the hire of a new on-call person in City Hall. This person was hired before the recommendation came from the League of Cities and Towns.
Councilmember Sansevero reported that the workshops she had attended were water related and she had learned a lot about how to deal with the problems that can arise with water. She then thanked the council for the opportunity she had to go to this conference.
Councilmember Pitchforth also expressed that it had been a good opportunity and experience to attend the conference. She stated that the workshops she had attended were very informative.
Next to report was City Treasurer Adele Justice. Justice stated that the workshop about Emergency Preparedness for the city was extremely interesting. She also attended a workshop about water hook-ups and disconnections.
Ferron City Recorder, Brenda Bingham was next to report. Bingham had attended a workshop about business licenses and it was very informative as to outlining a city's responsibility when issuing licenses.
Mayor Larsen reported that the city needs to establish written policy for public hearings and agenda items. Rules of conduct also need to be addressed in this policy. Larsen stated that in the past, some items have been scheduled for the council to address that really do not need council approval and can be dealt with in the city office. Larsen also stated that he intended to write a letter to the League of Cities and Towns expressing his opinion that for the next conference, rural issues needed to be better addressed.
Item 11 on the agenda was the August budget. The budget was reviewed and adjustments were made to areas that needed attention.
Council members began their reports. Pitchforth expressed her concern over the condition of the fairgrounds. After checking the budget, Larsen suggested making routine maintenance a priority at the fairgrounds. Pitchforth suggested looking at the parking arrangements at the fairgrounds to see what modifications could be made to better accomodate the visitors. Larsen then suggested the need to cleanup the pavilion area. Pitchforth requested that the cleanup person for the Peach Days be better compensated because of the rain and the mud.
Erikson began his report with a discussion of the "No Dumping" signs at the fairgrounds. The dumpsters are being used for large items such as appliances, old furniture and hazardous waste materials. Mayor Larsen said the dumpsters were installed to better accomodate the citizens of Ferron, so they would not have to make the trip to the county dump site or use those of the businesses, but this is being abused and large items are being dumped on the grounds. Erikson scheduled a meeting for the planning and zoning committee to discuss animals and agriculture items.
Councilmember Sansevero discussed conditions at the cemeteries and the water use there. Also, discussed was the ATV Jamboree that is being considered to be held in Ferron. She stated that the ATV riders could potentially spend a lot of money in the county, not only in Ferron. She reported that a meeting with the club is scheduled for Oct. 10 to discuss the city's concerns.
Mayor Larsen explained that one consideration for the jamboree would be the designation of roads in and out of Ferron for the ATVs to use to access the mountain trails. Comments were heard from the audience concerning the potential problems with this designation. Larsen then asked to clarify the time frame of the jamboree and stated that it is absolutely necessary to have enough time to allow the public to have input into this decision.
Larsen then announced the Ferron Youth City Council "Meet the Candidate" night and encouraged the public to attend. He alerted Sansevero of some headstone damage at the cemetery that needs to be addressed. Larsen alerted the council to possible concerns in upcoming meetings and to do the research necessary to make the decisions. Also, ordinace #8-1-3 will be on the agenda for the next meeting, so have discussion questions prepared. Larsen reviewed the dates of December meetings so all could prepare in advance as December is a very busy month.
When asked if there were any questions from the audience, the fire department representative requested permission to use an abandoned house in town for training of the fire fighters. Larsen replied that some investigation would need to be done first. Fireworks for next year's Peach Days were discussed and the decision was made to raise the budget for that display for next year.
The council adjourned into executive session at 8:50 p.m. The next meeting is Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.