By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie City Council approved an ordinance change during Tuesday’s meeting to require zoning permits for items including fences under 7 feet in height and one-story accessory structures less than 200 square feet that do not require building permits.
Community Development Coordinator Adam Birkholz said the city has experienced numerous issues of people not following setback requirements and building in easements.
The new requirements are intended to eliminate these problems.
The council approved the change 4-1, with Mayor Eric Angvall and council members Larry Hoof, Bob Messer, and Tim Dahl in favor and Council Member Ron Foust opposed.
Later in the meeting, the council approved changing the fee schedule to include a $45 fee for these permits.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• reviewed a draft of a city sign inventory and sent it back to public works for additional information.
• approved closing city hall Monday, July 3.
• noted the revised estimates for Lester Prairie from State Demographer Susan Brower are a population of 1,696, and 652 households.
• noted that due to a law change, cities are now required to provide 10 days notice for new ordinances or ordinance amendments.
• approved a five-year contract extension with Waste Management for sanitation service, including a 25 cent decrease in the first year, a 2.5 percent increase in the second year, freezing the rates in year three, and 2.5 percent increases in years four and five.
• heard from City Clerk Marilyn Pawelk that rumors regarding an alleged drowning at the city pool are false. A lifeguard assisted a child who was struggling, and first responders were called as a precaution, but the child was fine and went back to swimming after being checked out.
• approved maintenance to fences at the city park at a cost not to exceed $1,500.
• approved a minor subdivision and variance request for Worldwide Dispensers to allow a building addition with a proposed height of 42 feet (two feet higher than allowed by city ordinance). The company is consolidating its operations from two locations in Winsted to Lester Prairie.
• approved an agreement under which the city will provide weed control this year at the solar array at 18171 Co. Rd. 9, and will be compensated $450 by WGL Energy Systems, which owns and operates the facility.
• authorized the EDA to advertise a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking businesses to develop the city-owned property at 100 Maple St. South and get it back on the tax rolls.
• approved an amendment to the city’s liquor ordinance to bring it into compliance with state law on a 4-1 vote, with Angvall, Hoof, Messer, and Foust in favor, and Dahl opposed.
• approved a meeting with city employees and the city’s employment attorney to review the city’s policy manual. The council approved the city paying for lunch for employees for this meeting.
• approved a request for the city to donate a one-day pool pass for a prize during Prairie Days on a 3-2 vote, with Hoof, Messer, and Foust in favor, and Dahl and Angvall opposed. Those opposed expressed concern about setting a precedent.