By Emily Hedges
It took some time, but Wade Thaemert got the okay from the Mayer City Council to plant alfalfa and oats on land he is leasing from Security Bank of New Germany. During the Nov. 26 regular meeting, the council agreed to allow the planting on 12 acres in the Coldwater Crossing development, provided no pesticides are used.
The issue has come full circle since last spring when council members thought alfalfa would be planted as a cover crop to maintain the land, and were surprised to learn that corn was growing.
Thaemert planted corn on the land not knowing the controversy it would incite. Neighbors in the development objected to the possible use of pesticides so close to their property. Because farming within the city limits of Mayer is prohibited by ordinance, the council had no choice but to forbid spraying.
Thaemert appeared at the Nov. 26 meeting to ensure that he would have no problems after the fact like last time.
“I went through one fiasco. I don’t need to go through another. I got caught in the middle on this,” said Thaemert. “I think this is a viable piece of ground to grow hay on for my dairy operation.”
Although alfalfa is technically an agricultural crop, the council is allowing it on the grounds that a cover crop is necessary to maintain the land. Members also agree that to get in the business of policing all agricultural operations in the city is not feasible.
In other business, the council:
• Placed delinquent water and sewer costs on property owner’s taxes payable in 2013. Owners had until Nov. 26 at noon to pay the bill to avoid the assessment.
• Heard from public works that all of the contaminated dirt is gone, and leveling for the new skating rink located at the Old Creamery will soon be completed. The new warming house is finished and will be brought on site. Members thanked the Fire Department for all of its work on the project.
• Directed City Administrator Luayn Murphy to get a recommendation from the EDA about whether or not the city should continue to waive permit fees on new home permits.
• Approved 2013 officers for the Mayer Fire Department: Fire Chief, Rod Maetzold; Assistant Chief, Bob Carlson; Captain 2 and Training Officer, Adam Maetzold; Captain 4, Jon Maetzold.
• Approved a block party policy and application. Residents can go to www.cityofmayer.com to download the form.