More outdoor business sales allowed 

 

Scandia is debating whether to revise its local dog ordinances—or whether it can do without them.

The Scandia City Council considered the city’s ordinances related to dogs running at large and public nuisance dogs last week, looking to clarify them or possibly consolidate them into a single ordinance.

During the June 3 discussion, though, councilman Jerry Cusick, a retired Washington County Sheriff’s deputy, suggested that the ordinances could be repealed entirely. Cusick argued that most county sheriff’s deputies wouldn’t be aware of a local ordinance and were likely to apply the state law when called to an incident. 

Instead of crafting a city ordinance, Cusick said the city could simply let the state law stand, or at least be included by reference.

“If anything, we could maybe redefine what ‘at large’ is,” Cusick said. “Why make it more complex than we need to?”

Councilman Steve Kronmiller noted that the subject had been brought up to address the number of complaints about dogs that are habitual trespassers on neighboring properties. 

City attorney Chris Nelson said the local ordinance may only be necessary where they supplement state law and where they define a local enforcement authority and process.

The council last revised its dog ordinance in 2017, when they lessened the penalty for dogs running at large to a petty misdemeanor, which would likely result in a fine of $300 or less.

Such a violation would be adjudicated under the city’s administrative citation process.

Additional business assistance

Scandia businesses are getting a little more local assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council approved a resolution that will allow the city’s businesses to temporarily expand their outdoor sales and service areas, beyond what would normally be allowed by city zoning.

Businesses may obtain a permit to do so from the city office. There is no fee for the permit.

The temporary resolution will stay in effect until Nov. 1.

Other business:

• The council approved a social distancing plan to allow the annual Scandia Fast Pitch Softball tournament at the city’s lighted ballfield on June 26-28, pending whether it will be allowed under the state’s executive orders.

• The council appointed Lynne Moratzka to the city’s Tourism Committee. Moratzka is the director of the Gammelgarden Museum.

• The council hired Christina Mazzucco as a part-time seasonal parks and grounds maintenance worker.

The next Scandia City Council meeting will be held June 16 at 7 p.m.

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