The biggest item to come before the Walker City Council July 1 was a new ordinance adding Transitional Housing Standards to the city codes.

A hearing was held at the beginning of the meeting where the public was given a chance to ask questions or voice their concerns. There was also discussion from the council on what language would be used in the ordinance.

Bemidji, one of the cities looked at since it has traditional housing, has an ordinance with stronger restrictions that includes homeless people. Walker’s ordinance does not include that language. The reason, as cited during the meeting, is to regulate the property not the person.

City resident Coretta Czycalla questioned why assisted living facilities and trails were not included in the 500-foot statute. She also thought one of these facilities could lower property values.

City Attorney John Valen said it can’t be assumed it would lower property values, adding there is no study to support that.

The standards, that are included in the new ordinance, are: 1. To promote the health, safety and welfare of transitional housing clients. 2. Prevent deterioration of neighborhoods and its consequent adverse effect on real estate values of properties within the neighborhood. 3. To minimize their impacts on the residential neighborhood and provide for the greatest level of safety within the neighborhood. 4. To minimize the public costs and impacts of community service delivery and enforcement efforts necessary to ensure adequate levels of regulation and safety where such uses are located.

Later in the meeting, the council approved the ordinance on a 3-2 vote with Mayor Jed Shaw breaking a tie. Both Jim Senenfelder and Mary Beth Hansen voted against the ordinance.

A resolution authorizing summary publication of the ordinance was also approved with Senenfelder the only one voting no.

In other city business, the council:

Heard from City Administrator Terri Bjorklund that the city received a $2,500 Sourcewell grant to purchase a police cruiser that will be delivered in 2020.

Approved amendment to the subscription agreement with Tyler Technologies for the contract amount of $5,124 for the period of June 1 through Dec. 31, and $9,223 each year expiring May 31, 2023.

Approved payment for the second half of the 2019 Spencer Ross Legion Post 134 abatement payment and the transfer of $644.17 from general fund to the Legion Abatement Fund 420.

Approved sending Bjorklund to Sourcewell R5 summit Oct. 23 in Staples at a cost of mileage and wages.

Approved purchase of Konica Minota bizhub 458e color MFP for $7,035 for the DMV. The original price is $17,325 less discounts in the amount of $10,290.

Approved purchase of Konica Minota bizhub 558 color MFP for $11,650 for City Hall. The original price is $30,800 less trade-in value and discounts in the amount of $20.300.

Approved purchase upgrades for the Konica 308 copier at the library in the amount of $650.

Accepted the resignation of Deputy Registrar Charolette Hines effective July 9.

Appointed Carol Longfellow as deputy registrar with a 50 cent per hour raise and an additional 50 cent per hour upon successful completion of her six-month probation period.

Approved advertising for a DMV clerk.

Approved sending Bjorklund and Longfellow to the annual MDRA meeting Sept. 20 in St. Cloud at a cost of $40 plus mileage and wages.

Approved brewery license applications from Portage Brewing Co. LLC for a brewer off-sale, off-sale Sunday growler and tap room on-sale Sunday license.

Approved one-day temporary liquor license for Walker Area Joint Fire Department to hold an annual fish fry fundraiser Aug. 16, contingent upon receiving certificate of liability naming the city as additionally insured.

Approved the Planning Commission Board of Adjustments meeting minutes of May 20.

Approved the Walker Library Board minutes of May 15.

Approved a lot split metes and bounds with the findings of fact and condition for LU-2019-04.

Approved motion to give the Library Board permission to develop plans for a new library that may extend into the setback area.

Approved an ordinance amending chapter 4 alcohol beverages of the city code.

Approved the Walker Park Advisory Board minutes of May 28.

Approved placing the Hoop Dancer bronze statue in the area of the Rock Garden to be determined by city staff. The statue will be mounted on a pedestal with an inscription as to its meaning.

Approved sending Jay Carroll to MRWA training session to take the Class D test in St. Cloud Sept. 30-Oct. 2 for a water test refresher course at a cost of $255 for the class, $32 for the test and room and board.

Adopted the Mailbox Support Policy.

Heard the proposed natural gas line from Cass Lake to Walker is slated for 2020.

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