Council debates hours parks are open
Council members took two votes on whether or not to amend the city code in regard to hours city parks are open throughout the community during Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne City Council.
Wayne Police Chief Marlen Chinn told the council that in 2013 the council had voted to set hours at three of the parks in the city that were having the most issues at night, the Softball Complex, the Rugby Park and the old swimming pool park. However, the new language was not officially put in the code.
The ordinance language would close the parks at 11 p.m., giving the police authority to deal with those who may be in the parks breaking the law. Also discussed was the vandalism to bathrooms in city parks.
Debate centered on whether walking through the park to a friend's house was breaking the law.
Council member Cale Giese asked the council "Do we want to live in a police state?"
Council member Matt Eischied told the council he felt the council had the obligation to "protect all those who call Wayne home. This is for the safety of the community."
It was also suggested that city staff survey towns of similar size and see how they handle parks. Joel Hansen, City Planner, told the council that Wayne is unique because the community has a number of small parks rather than one large park as is common in other towns.
After a vote to include only three of the parks in the ordinance with time constraints failed on a vote of 2-6, with Council members Giese and Jon Haase voting in favor, a second vote was taken to include all the parks in the community. This passed on a vote of 7-1 with Council member Giese voting against.
The ordinance will be brought up at the next council meeting for a second vote.
Council members also took action on two items in regard to domestic wells in the Tuffern Blue Estates Subdivision.
The first, a resolution to amend the subdivision's agreement to allow for private wells, received unanimous approval.
City Administrator Wes Blecke said he and Todd Luedeke have had a number of conversations in regard to having the area hook into the city's water and the costs associated with this plan.
On a related topic, the council approved an application for a well permit of up to 50 gallons per minute for Paradox LLC to put in a private well in this subdivision.
Mark McCorkindale plans to put in a well in the subdivision and was present to answer questions from the council. It was noted that studies have been completed in regard to a private well's impact on a well the city has in the area and there is not a negative impact.
Considerable discussion was held on the possibility of applying for a Land and Conservation Fund Grant for improvements to the old swimming pool park.
Members of the pool committee, and the general public, have voiced their desire to have the area turned into a splash park and the old bath house remodeled into an area that could be used by the community for gatherings, as well as possibly a meeting area for Girl Scouts.
However, council members felt they were not in a position to move forward with a plan at this time because they do not know how much it will cost to demolish the old pool, or what costs are associated with the renovations would be.
"We have to have the entire plan ready before we can apply for assistance. In the mean time, we need to get rid of the old pool, it is an eyesore," Council member Jason Karsky said.
In other action, the council accepted a check from the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District for $25,000.
Joel Hansen, an at-large representative for the Lower Elkhorn NRD, explained some of the work NRDs do and projects they fund, including urban conservation and flood control.
The money will be used for the Bank Stablization Project on the Logan Creek near the walking trail.
Mayor Jill Brodersen read a proclamation at the meeting which will make Friday, Aug. 24 "Be Kind Day" and encourage all to do something kind for someone.
City Clerk Betty McGuire was recognized with an award from the International Institute of Municipal Clerk's designating her as a Master Municipal Clerk.
The Wayne City Council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers