Litchfield Town Hall offices will not be open to the public after 3 p.m. on summer Fridays. City Council approved this change to public access at its Monday evening meeting.
Councilor Sara Miller made the recommendation after the staff committee met with staff, saying it had become a staff retention issue. Full-time city staff will continue to work 40 hours a week, but may arrive earlier or leave later on other weekdays, city officials said.
Other councilors reluctantly accepted the idea, saying the public had complained about the effects of an early closure on accessibility. Uncertainties were also expressed about the potential effects of reduced accessibility on other municipal services, such as street and utility maintenance.
After discussion, the board unanimously decided to shorten public access from Memorial Day Fridays to Labor Day weekends.
However, no consensus has yet been reached on the location of a city dog park or the location of dog waste stations. City administrator Dave Cziok said city staff have received public feedback on the matter, and citizens appear to be polarized, with some wanting a more dog-friendly environment and others adamantly opposed to it. dogs allowed in some city parks. Concerns have also been raised about the proximity of a proposed dog park to city wells and the high cost of fencing a dog park.
Cziok said staff don’t want to be caught in the middle of opposing views on dogs, but would like the opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of dog boarding with the council. The board approved setting up a workshop with staff in the near future, with a potential public hearing at a later date.
Council had less difficulty agreeing on a new sign at Meeker Cooperative, which is located on Highway 12 East. The current co-op sign is a “monument” style sign, with text for all of the businesses located in its facilities on one large sign. complex. The city ordinance allows up to four 100-square-foot signs on freeway frontage businesses. The approved sign would be a very large sign (273 square feet) that would refer not only to the co-op, but also to Ag Country Farm Credit Services, Vibrant Broadband and the co-op’s security system, all on the same basis.
This sign would be about 31 square feet taller than the current sign and four inches taller than the 25-foot height allowed by the city ordinance. Council agreed with the city’s planning commission that this signage solution would be feasible.
The council also spent time discussing pews at the town cemetery. Several years ago plans were made to eventually include benches in the columbarium area. A donor recently came forward, wanting to pay for a bench. The cemetery board would prefer donors to be memorialized in one central area, rather than engraving various names on the pews themselves, councilor Betty Allen reported. It might also be good to have benches placed in other areas of the cemetery.
The council agreed to purchase and install eight pews in the columbarium area at a cost of approximately $17,000, to be paid through the cemetery fund.
Among other matters, the council:
- Approved the completion of soil surveys, at a cost of approximately $2,300, on four city-owned lots adjacent to the city’s golf course to determine if the lots are buildable.
- Accepted advertisement for tenders for renovation of filters and control systems at city water plant.
- Decided to draw up plans and specifications for the storm sewer works at the intersection of Holcombe Avenue and Commercial Street. City Engineer Chuck DeWolf said it has not yet been determined whether the drainage should be connected to the storm sewer pipes located under Highway 22 or under Highway 12. It will also be necessary for the council. to develop an official public storm sewer service, he said, to repay the bonds necessary to finance this project under the Authority of Public Finances.
Cities currently have the option of funding storm sewers through general taxpayer revenues, special assessments from sewer districts or using US bailout dollars, he said. The council directed Cziok to develop storm sewer utility ordinance recommendations for the council to consider.
- Discussed filling a few vacancies. Ramon Franco, who worked for the city part-time, was promoted to fill a vacancy as a maintenance worker; he was the only internal candidate.
There are also a few other positions open or soon to be. The board asked Cziok to consider how best to complete them and come back with recommendations at a future meeting.
Three part-time seasonal workers have been hired for parks and golf courses.
- Granted a gaming license exemption to Ducks Unlimited at Eagles Club and a noise ordinance exemption license to Muddy Cow for a pair of Watercade music events.