Mayer grapples with cover crop request

The cover crop issue in Mayer is proving to be like a weed that keeps coming back.

Security State Bank of New Germany, owner of 16 acres of the Coldwater Crossing development, wants to allow its tenant to plant a cover crop, but the Mayer City Council is hesitant to say yes, given its experience this past June with the adjacent homeowners.

Farming land zoned as residential within the city limits of Mayer is not permitted under City Ordinance. However, the council has not been in the business of policing this rule.

This changed when Security Bank caused uproar among neighbors when it leased a portion of its Coldwater Crossing property to a local farmer, Wade Thaemert, who planted corn. City officials and neighbors were told a cover crop would be planted merely to help maintain the soil until it became economically viable again.

After corn was planted, the neighbors objected to the use of spray, particularly pesticides, so close to their homes. Although it was later shown that only basic weed killer would have been used, the decision was made at the June 11, 2012 meeting to forbid the use of any spray on the crop.

During the Nov. 13 regular meeting, the council received a letter from Thaemert requesting the council allow him to plant a cover crop of oats, grass and alfalfa on the 12 acres he is leasing from the bank.
The council was torn because of the potential “can of worms” saying no could open.

“We have to allow them to do this or tell everyone they can’t,” said Mayor Chris Capaul.

Council member Tice Stieve-McPadden added that she believed they would also have a problem if they said yes.

The council decided to table the issue to the next meeting when Bruce Osborn and Erick Boder are present.

Council approves summary of ballots
Mayer’s canvassing board declared the results of the 2012 election. According to Carver County, 990 people were registered to vote in Mayer, with 175 registering the day of the election. A total of 965 ballots were cast, including 37 absentee ballots.

Mike Dodge received 674 votes for Mayor in an uncontested race. Bruce Osborn and Tice Stieve-McPadden will stay on the council receiving 492 and 419 votes respectively.

In other business, the council:
• Approved placing a “Deaf Child” sign on the light pole on the corner of Birch Drive and Evergreen Place. The homeowners requesting the sign will be asked to pay the cost of $67.19 plus hardware.

• Voted to vacate six blocks of an alley that runs along West Ridge Park that has never been used by the city. This came as a result of a petition received by the city from property owners, followed by a public hearing.

• Accepted a bid from Veolia of $4,937.95 to clean up 100 cubic yards of contaminated soil on the Old Creamery property.

• Approved the site plan for 308 Ash Ave. North (provided certain conditions are met), which allows the owner to relocate the building to the empty lot next to the car wash. The structure is currently being used as an auto service station and convenience store. The new use will be a restaurant or retail.

• Set a Public hearing on Monday, Nov. 26 to place delinquent water and sewer costs on property owner’s taxes payable in 2013.


— By Emily Hedges