Rural event facilities in Scandia now have to obtain a business license.

The Scandia City Council last week approved an ordinance that will require facilities or businesses that host private gatherings, such as weddings, to obtain a license from the city office.

The ordinance essentially simplifies the process, replacing the city’s earlier requirement that such businesses must obtain interim use and operator’s permits annually—and face a full hearing of the council in so doing. Now such businesses can obtain a one-time conditional use permit before obtaining licensure.

The ordinance went through multiple city reviews and a public hearing. Redeemed Farm owner Jeff Gacek earlier this month encouraged the council to soften the ordinance language to make it more business friendly and “put it in a tone that isn’t so restrictive.”

“I think where we ended up is good,” Gacek said last week.

Other business:

• Using funding from the federal CARES Act, the council approved the purchase and installation of an employee key card access system and security cameras for the city’s public works/fire hall and city hall/community center buildings. The project will cost $48,861.53.

• The council hired its part-time on call snowplow drivers, Steve Greenhow and Bruce Swenson, for the season. Greenhow will earn $16.50 per hour and Swenson will earn $18.60 per hour. 

• The council authorized plans and specifications for its 2021 road improvements project. Roads to be repaired include 220th Street, Peabody Trail, and a portion of Layton Avenue (Bliss neighborhood) to address stormwater. The cost of the project is budgeted at $895,000. 

• The council approved a health insurance plan for the city’s non-unionized employees. The total premium for all staff of $47,454.67 including dental coverage.

• The council approved $8819.46 worth of repairs to the Bliss septic system. The repairs were funded by a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant.

The next Scandia City Council meeting will be held Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m.

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