Winter parking to stay as is in Mayer

By Lorrie Ham
Waconia Patriot
The winter parking restrictions in Mayer won’t change this year, the city council decided at its Nov. 25 meeting.
The current ordinance prohibits street parking in the city during a one-inch or more snow event. The council had considered changing the ordinance to prohibit overnight parking on city streets throughout the winter months. Following discussions on the possibility of issuing permits that would allow overnight parking and the cost of signage to mark the streets for no parking, the council decided to leave the ordinance as it is.
In another matter, the council reviewed a proposed urban chicken ordinance, along with a memo from City Planner John Anderson. The ordinance was developed by city staff and the Boyd family, who had asked the city to consider an ordinance which would allow them to keep their five hens. The ordinance was developed by reviewing similar ordinances in neighboring communities.
At a meeting in October, the council voted to send the ordinance to the planning commission for review. In his memo, Anderson outlined the planning commissioners’ thoughts.
“After review and discussion by members of the planning commission, the consensus seemed to be that the draft ordinance should not be approved,” said Anderson. A vote was made to leave the city code as is and not approve an ordinance allowing for the licensing and regulating of chickens within the city.
“Reasoning for this was that members of the planning commission felt this ordinance was only being brought forward to satisfy the situation of one family who currently has chickens illegally within the city,” said Anderson. The planning commission questioned why the city would draft an ordinance that would only apply to a limited number of properties.
The city council will review the proposed ordinance further at a January work session.
In other city business, the council approved a contract for the 2013 city audit for $19,600 to Abdo, Eick and Meyers. The contract represents a 2.55 percent or $500 increase over last year’s audit. Instead of approving contracts with additional increases for the 2014 and 2015 audits at the same time, the council voted to seek additional proposals for those years first.
The council also approved a request from Fire Chief Rod Maetzold to apply for a FEMA Grant in the amount of $159,000. The grant funds would be used to purchase 20 self-contained breathing apparatus at $7,750 each and 10 additional pieces for the equipment at $400 each. One of the requirements of the grant is a five-percent city match, which would total $7,950.