tower decision is delayed
Due to a miscommunication between the mayor and the city attorney, the decision on the conditional use permit and height variance for the proposed Verizon cell tower has been delayed.
At the September meeting of the Cottonwood City Council Monday, Sept. 10, city attorney Joe Wright said he needs some direction on the finding of facts and hadn’t received it. After some discussion and a withdrawn motion, a motion was made and passed 3-1 to approve the conditional use permit and height variance depending on the finding of facts. Councilor Jack Duman voted against the motion. This still isn’t a binding motion as the council can still change their mind once they see the result of Wright’s finding of facts. Once his report is ready the council will schedule a special meeting to make the final decision.
In other business the council adopted a resolution to make an 8% increase in sanitation fees. The vote was 3-1 in favor of the resolution with Councilor Jay Hinterlong voting no.
The encroachment permit for Emmanuel Baptist Church to allow them to construct a breezeway across the alley from their new building to the old one was approved.
Over $400 in bad debts, mostly unpaid utility bills, was written off.
Use of the Community Hall for dance lessons as a Relay for Life fundraiser was approved with no charge for use of the hall just like last year. The lessons will be held on Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25.
Transfer of an airport lease from J.D. Lauer to Mike Howzen, who purchased Lauer’s hangar, was approved.
Mickey Emmert appeared before the council to look into the possibility of extending Smith St. from East St. downhill to the west, more likely to a cul-de-sac rather than all the way to King St. The council was apprehensive due to the steepness and the fact they don’t really want to add any more steep streets. Streets commissioner Jack Duman said he would like to do some research, checking what the actual gradient would be and how flat a proposed cul-de-sac would be. The primary concern is for emergency services. If a firetruck or ambulance had to drive down to the cul-de-sac during icy conditions, would they be able to get back out?
Emmert is looking into developing the lots in that area between North and Church Streets on the East side of King St.
In the water report Hinterlong said they pumped over 9 million gallons last month with less than 200,000 gallons lost to leakage, a loss of less than 2%. He wondered if that was some kind of record for water pumped. Mayor Denis Duman said it might be for gallons sold but before they did the water project they had pumped something like 18-20 millions gallons in a months time but were losing more than half due to leaking water mains.
Hinterlong also reported on the contamination report sent out with last month’s water bills and reported since then they got a new test report that said they have a clean bill of health on the water.
In the sewer report Jim Steinke said they had an air pump go out in the chlorinator which was replaced for approximately $400.
Jack Duman reported they are going into grant application time again in the streets department. They are looking at re-applying for grants for approximately $100,000 to rehab Broadway; approx. $1 million to rehab Lewiston St. and another $100,000 for sidewalk enhancement. There may be others they’ll look into but those are the main ones.
He reported the Keuterville Highway District should be receiving their mag chloride application truck soon. Storage for the mag chloride looks to be along East Road just across Highway 95 from town. Use of the application truck and mag chloride would be shared among Cottonwood, Ferdinand and the local highway districts that are part of the West Camas Transportation consortium.
Shelli Schumacher, land and buildings commissioner reported she checked out the new city maintenance buildings and said they’re looking good. It was also reported that once the maintenance operations are moved up there the plan is to put a new door in the side of the fire station facing Broadway so they can store the fire department support trucks in what is now the maintenance shop.
In the fire department report Denis Duman reported they responded to a fire earlier in the day at Ralph Terhaar’s. He had a shop fire and Duman reported they were able to reach the site within 11 minutes of the page.
In final business some conditions the council would like to see on the conditional use permit for Verizon were discussed, if it is finally approved. Mayor Duman said he would like to see a tree line to be planted as a buffer. At least 10 trees, all at least 12 feet tall, to be planted to the west of the tower.
Also an access road needs to be developed so that the ground there isn’t torn up.
Hinterlong asked if putting a limit on what they can put on the tower in the future was possible. Wright said that might be determined by federal regulations.
Jack Duman also asked if it could possibly be painted or disguised. He’s not too crazy about having just a burnished aluminum pole up there. Hinterlong reported that where he moved from a lot of the towers were made to look like trees.
Wright said he would include the proposals in his finding of facts report.