Park closing hours again debated by council

Considerable debate on the topic of park closing hours was again held during Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne City Council.

At the last meeting, council members had tabled the second reading of an ordinance that deals with the hours the parks in the city are open.

City staff presented a number of changes in the ordinance and council members debated whether the ordinance should include all the parks in the city or only a limited number.

Council member Jason Karsky, who lives near Bressler Park, said he had talked to a number of people  who live around the park and all were in favor of having closing hours for the park.

Council member Matt Eischied said he felt frustrated because the council doesn't get input from those who would be affected by the ordinance changes. 

"This is a major change that affects lots of people. I don't want to take away from those who are enjoying the parks, but want to protect the public. There is no easy solution," Eischied said.

Discussion was held on whether to close only the parks that the public can drive into. It was noted that the majority of issues the city crews deal with are in the parks that have bathrooms and shelter houses.

Council member Cale Giese said he believes the parks are public property and the public should be allowed to use them whenever they want.

He did introduce a motion to pass the ordinance that would close the Summer Sports Complex/Dog Park/Rugby Field and the baseball field/Hank Overin from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. each day.

The motion passed on a tie-breaking vote by Mayor Jill Brodersen. Voting in favor of the ordinance were council members Giese, Jon Haase, Terri Buck and Nick Muir. Voting against were council members Matt Eischied, Jason Karsky, Jennifer Sievers and Rod Greve.

The ordinance will be brought back for third reading at a future meeting.

An ordinance will be created to list rules for those using city parks. No action was taken on a resolution that was brought before the council because council members felt the rules listed need to be enforceable and would prefer to see these in an ordinance.

An ordinance that will amend the city code in regard to the height of fences allowed in the city was tabled until language can be put in it to indicate why such a fence is needed.

City Attorney Amy Miller told the council they need to determine if granting permission to build the fence on a piece of property goes with the property or the property owner, should that owner move.

Also discussed was whether to grant permission to build an eight foot fence to those properties and the neighboring properties abutt agriculturally zoned property.

In other action, a public hearing was held for the acquisition of a 1.43 acre parcel of land from Douglas Pierson and Tracy Pierson.

The property is located in the Southview III Addition of the city.

City Administrator Wes Blecke told the council that the purchase would give the city access to South Sherman Street and allow for the creation of a drainage ditch to handle water run-off from that area of the city.

Following the public hearing, a resolution was passed for the purchase of the property.

In a related item, council gave first reading approval to an ordinance that will change the zoning of the parcel from A-1 (Agricultural) to R-2 (Residential).

An update was presented on the Wayne Country and Golf Club Project and approval was given for Pay Application No. 5.

Rusty Parker, representing the Wayne Country & Golf Club, spoke on a request for three change orders for the project. Two of these will not raise the price tag on the project, but the third will increase the total cost by $17,375. It involves changing the material on the deck from treated wood to a composite material.

Parker updated the council on the pledges that have been received for the project and told the council the board for the Country Club feel they have the finances to make the change in the project.

An application for a liquor license was granted to the Wayne Country & Golf Club to include the newly renovated, larger club house and the entire golf course (approximately 165 acres).

Council members also heard from City Administrator Blecke on the sludge removal plan for the city lagoon.

Blecke said no bids were received for the project, but he had talked to representatives of JEO Consulting on finding someone who would be willing to remove sludge.

Council members talked about possible options, including the sowing of rye in the area to help dry up the sludge.

More information will be brought to the council at a future meeting.

Council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.

The Wayne Herald

Mailing Address:
114 Main Street
Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: 402-375-2600
 

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