Budget approved, parking debated at council meeting


The city's budget and tax requests for the coming year were set following the passage of resolutions and ordinances at Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne City Council.

City Finance Director Beth Porter told the council that the city's property valuation is approximately five percent higher this year than last year.

She said the city's portion of the levy is just slightly higher than last year, but the total levy is "almost exactly the same."

She also explained several items in the 2020-2021 fiscal year budget, including money allocated for park improvements and public art and the fact there is a slight decrease in the cash reserve.

Following two public hearings in regard to the tax asking and budget, all the necessary action was taken for the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget, which begins Oct. 1.

Considerable time was spent debating truck parking within the city.

An ordinance was presented which would have made adjustments to when and were trucks could be parked, both on private property and on city streets.

City Planner Joel Hansen told the council that the Planning Commission did not make a recommendation on the issue, but noted that "the streets are not a place for truck parking. This is an issue for private enterprise."

Discussion centered on language in the proposed ordinance and the fact that "this is a tough issue."

Council member Chris Woehler said "I wish we could find a way to solve this issue. We keep chasing people around, but we need to not bother neighbors with trucks making noise."

Following discussion, council members passed the ordinance on first reading and directed City Attorney Amy Miller to make several changes before the item is brought back to council for additional readings.

Another agenda item that was debated during the meeting was the issue of permits needed to construct fences in the city.

City Planner Hansen said there have been some problems with issuing the permits since that requirement went into effect two years ago. These include the ability to find the pins indicating where the lot lines are and the time spent by city staff handling the requests. Surveys of the property are sometimes necessary to determine the actual locations where a fence can be installed.

Hansen said the location of lot lines is especially difficult in older parts of town and told the council that he had received approximately 20 requests for fences in the two years the permit has been necessary.

City Attorney Miller suggested several options for dealing with the issue in the future. These including eliminating the permit totally or putting in a disclaimer saying the city is not responsible for finding property lines.

Council members directed Miller to draw up language to the state that the city will not be responsible for finding these property lines.

Two requests from the Wayne Chicken Show were also approved during Tuesday's meeting.

The first was in regard to a fireworks display on Saturday, Sept. 12 from the rugby fields near the Wayne Summer Sports Complex.

The second request was to close a portion of Grainland Road from 11 a.m. to noon on Sept. 12. This will allow for a presentation by the Abu Bekr Shrine group from Sioux City, Iowa.

During the meeting the Wayne Rotary Club presented a ceremonial check to the council. The check represents the investment by the service club in a permanent ping pong table at the old swimming pool park.

The Wayne City Council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wayne Community Activity Center. A mini retreat is also scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wayne Fire Hall.