Nuisance, sewer ordinances set for Nov. 16 public hearing

 

Compost pits and manure piles will still be allowed in Scandia.

The Scandia City Council pared down its proposed nuisance ordinance slightly last week, taking out a few requirements that didn’t seem to fit the city, including the “accumulation of manure” and “decayed or unwholesome food or vegetable matter.”

Council members Jerry Cusick and Heather Benson contended that those two proposed restrictions seemed not to account for the amount of gardening and hobby scale farming that happens within the city. 

“I’m nervous about making something a crime that could be something that everybody commits,” Benson said.

The nuisance ordinance, which has been re-drafted primarily to allow the city to more aggressively enforce noise complaints, excessive outdoor storage and other common nuisances, will face a public hearing at the council’s Nov. 16 meeting.

The council also removed from the proposed ordinance the requirement that city residents remove snow and ice from sidewalks in front of their homes within 24 hours of a snowfall. The council noted that there are only a few sidewalks in Scandia, and the city already handles that snow removal.

City Administrator Ken Cammilleri said the draft ordinance language was assembled from model ordinances and examples from nearby cities.

“(Ice and snow removal rule) is more of an urban community rule at this time,” Cammilleri said.

 

Sewer ordinance

The council also reviewed changes to its Big Marine Sewer Utility ordinance.

In addition to renaming the utility from the archaic “201” system language, the ordinance requires any homes currently connected to the utility to be treated as a new connection if they undergo reconstruction or expansion. The requirement is being proposed out of concerns for the systems’ capacity.

The ordinance draft does not make clear whether the “new” connections would also mean users must pay a new connection fee. The council will have to make a policy decision on that matter yet, Cammilleri said last week in a follow-up interview.

The ordinance also creates maps of the Bliss and Anderson-Erickson neighborhoods, both of which are served by the sewer utilities. The maps would define which nearby properties will be required, or not required, to connect to the sewer utilities in the future.

The two sewer systems serve about 120 homes on either side of Big Marine Lake. The utility is facing roughly $1.2 million in required repairs and upgrades over the next several years to expand capacity and begin treating nitrate pollution.

The revised sewer ordinance will likewise be up for a public hearing at the Nov. 16 council meeting.

 

Other business:

• The council appointed Kimberly Johnson, a former 30-year resident of Scandia, to the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee.

 

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

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