July 13, 2016

Beautification topics high on city agenda

By Annette Tait
Clean-up activities and improvements to the general appearance of residential and business properties begun in 2015 continue to stay top-of-mind at city council meetings.
During the July 5 council meeting, new Mayor Harold Wilkens, new council members Kevin Hoffman and Mike Schutt, and continuing council members J.D. Hanson and Dallas Morast heard a report from the Sheriff’s Department regarding progress on removing junk vehicles from yards, and also discussed city ordinances that apply to tree trimming and lawn care.
Sheriff Dave Hilliard reported work relating to junk vehicles is ongoing, with one vehicle remaining that may require a larger tow truck than is available in Center to remove it. He also requested guidance from City Attorney John Mahoney regarding procedure for an abandoned vehicle, as precedence has not been set for fines in such cases. Mahoney noted that council will need to consider the topic and set an amount.
Council also discussed tree trimming and lawn care. Several council members were aware of trees that extend into city streets, with Hanson noting that, in one instance, a tree is “grown so far out that it contacts a normal vehicle when it passes.”
Mahoney advised that, per the statute, property owners are responsible for trimming their own trees. Council determined property owners with trees that extend into the streets will be notified of the requirements.


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