City Council meets
The Cottonwood City Council held their regular September meeting Monday, Sept. 13.
There was extensive discussion about adding to the proposed ordinance that would ban truck and trailer traffic from Idaho St. between Second South and Main to include portions of Butler and Lewiston Sts. After directing city attorney Joe Wright to redraft the ordinance so they could act on it at the meeting they decided to table the action until the next meeting because there was concern about how restrictive they were being on Butler and Lewiston Sts.
Streets commissioner Jack Duman is looking at just banning through traffic for trucks and pickups with large trailers on Butler from East St. to Lewiston Street and Lewiston St. from North St. to Foster St. while they want to ban all heavy truck and any vehicles with trailers on Idaho St. due to what they do to the street.
Pat and Cheri Holthaus were in attendance to try and get things moving on their proposed condo expansion project. Apparently their project fits the description of a subdivision in the city ordinances, which makes it fall into certain procedures that need to be followed.
They were to contact their surveyor to make sure these steps are followed.
Also of concern with the project is whether the portion of Gilmore St. platted there was ever vacated. If it was there is no record of it at the courthouse. Wright said the options are to do a quiet title action or to act as if it never was vacated and go through that procedure. Council members felt the second option was the preferable one and the Holthaus’s were to look into proceeding with that option along with the Hospital which apparently felt they already had title to that vacated street.
While doing the title search on Gilmore St., city clerk Carol Altman came across a vacation of East St. south of Front St. that had been acted on by the village council in November of 1909 but apparently was never filed with the courthouse. Wright was asked to take care of that oversight.
Bad debts were brought up with approximately $529 owed by renters that the council decided to turn over to a collection agency and write off.
There was a substantial amount of bad debt owed by property owners, much of which has previously resulted in liens on the property. One of those, an airport hangar lease, has already seen some movement toward getting it paid.
Ron Grant said he thought he could help get one of the others taken care of.
In other business Jack Duman reported when he was asked to help inspect the sidewalk handicap ramps with the Idaho Transportation Dept., there was discussion about the steepness of the one in front of the Kuther building at the corner of Front and King. When they moved up near the Camas Prairie Insurance office he showed them the storm drain problem there. After some discussion among the ITD people present they said that they might be able to do a “joint” project with the city like they did with the street lights to correct that problem.
A request for free use of the community hall for a coat giveaway by the Kamiah Food Bank was approved. Apparently they will be giving away over 2000 winter coats to the needy at several locations on October 2. They will not be asking or taking any donations at these sites.
Brittny Behler’s request to use the lower hall (lodge room) for dance classes was approved at the same lease rate as last year, with the addition that if she uses the hall for more than 1 night per week that there would be an additional charge.
In reports the water report showed a loss of only 7.7% compared to about 36% last month. Much of this was attributed to the water used for the mag chloride application that hadn’t been taken into account when the readings were taken.
There were only a couple of minor leaks during the month and they were quickly handled.
In the sewer report Grant had no report on the sewer system but said that he had sent a letter of intent on the stormwater grant. With that they are still in the running for one of those grants.
Jack Duman reported Lewiston St. is now paved and that he is working on the contractor to come and get their signs. He has yet to meet with the engineers about closure on the project.
The sign grant money has been received as have the new signs. They hope to get them all up by early October. Along with the new signs he is looking at revising the speed zone ordinance in the school zones back to 20 miles per hour from the current 15. They would also make it 20 mph from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. only on school days. This would cover the areas currently at 15 mph near the Elementary and Middle Schools. Shelli Schumacher asked if the signs could be moved from the Elementary School area once that school building is closed. Duman said that they could.
Duman said he would also like to see the city draft a huge thank you letter to the District 2 ITD for the handicap ramps installed on King, Lewiston and Main Streets.
In the Land and buildings report Schumacher said the lights will be changed out upstairs at the Hall in early October. The new lights under the older awning are working very well. There is also a light on the south entrance Welcome to Cottonwood sign. The north sign may take awhile as power access is more of a problem. Grant commented the landscaping looks good at the south sign.
In the Fire Department report Grant said they had someone in from ITD inspecting the materials purchased with a grant and they were in order. He also said the Insurance Rating Bureau did their periodic inspection and the City maintained their Class 4 rating which is about as good as you can get for a city this sized. These ratings affect citizens’ fire insurance premiums. The better the rating, the lower the premiums.
The council adjourned to an executive meeting at 9:15 p.m. The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, October 12 at 7 p.m. as that Monday is a federal holiday (Columbus Day).