March 18, 2015

Council inches forward into extended limits

By Chris Erickson

Plenty of ground was covered this past Monday night when the Beulah City Council discussed some longstanding business.
One of those topics was the first reading of Ordinance 414, governing the extension of extraterritorial limits. City Attorney Scott Solem brought forward the ordinance for its first review by the council.
The extraterritorial extension would allow for the city planning and zoning board and the city itself to have zoning authority an additional half-mile past where it currently ends. That extension would be for zoning issues only, and not extend city services to any affected properties or include any potential annexations. Residents and property owners within the area that would be affected voiced their concerns at multiple previous meetings, which ultimately caused the Mercer County Commission and Mercer County Planning and Zoning Board to formally vote to keep their zoning authority in those areas. Should there be a situation in the future where the city and county zoning boards disagree on an outcome, it would go before neutral mediators. After brief discussion the council approved the first reading.
In portfolios, Councilor Ben Lenzen reported briefly on snow removal routes and the bids for crack sealing before moving into a more in-depth discussion surrounding an inadequate drainage pipe in a residential city subdivision.
After some background of water issues and drainage patterns on or near Cyprus Drive, the council asked for input from the city engineer before a previously-proposed $175,000 project would move forward at all. After some discussion between the engineer and councilors a motion was made authorizing Interstate Engineering to do further work on the topic.

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