Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Council discusses building moratorium

June 20, 2001

The subdivision moratorium has been a cause of concern for some Baldwin City Council members.

After much discussion Monday night, the Baldwin City Council tabled the subdivision moratorium until further research could be done.

The moratorium is scheduled to be lifted when the Wastewater Treatment Plant is completed around December 2002 or January 2003.

Currently the moratorium keeps a limit on new connections at the treatment plan beyond the number of platted lots already approved by the city.

Some council members wanted to amend the moratorium to set the number of building permits equal to the equivalent dwelling capacity of the treatment plant.

"I really think this is a serious issue," Mayor Ken Hayes said. "I am not against the moratorium, but the ground around Baldwin is becoming more valuable. As it stands, we have zero say in that as it develops.

"People are going to develop it to county standards," Hayes said. "The city will expand and have these pockets we'll have to absorb."

City administrator Larry Paine said it would be a risk to allow additional subdivisions if the treatment plant was not completed on time.

"We have the maximum number of connections already defined based on the number of platts approved," Paine said. "We basically have the risk of saying to the developer that we cannot provide you services."

Council member Ted Brecheisen said he didn't want to make a decision before a contracted finish date of the treatment plant, which probably wouldn't be set until October or November.

"I don't think there's much action we can take before we have a contract," Brecheisen said. "Then come back with an amendment. That will give us a better time frame."

But it was decided that if an amendment was going to be made, it would need to be earlier than a contract was signed.

In other business, the city council voted 4-1 to begin advertising the sale of bricks from Sixth Street in the local newspapers for $1 a piece.

The council voted to sell the bricks at the June 4 council meeting, but since then, not one brick has been sold.

"I don't think anybody really knows they're there," Brecheisen said.

Currently the bricks are stored at the treatment plant, but are taking up a lot of space needed for the equipment and construction of the plant.

The other business the city council:

approved an amendment to the agreement with Ottawa Sanitation. A 52-cent increase to the cost per household per month beginning July 1 was agreed upon because of an increase in land fill charges.

heard public comment from Baldwin business owner Doug Wasson. Wasson is concerned about the city's low water pressure. He said it affects his car wash business. Hayes said the city is working on fixing the problem.

heard a presentation from Habitat for Humanity organizers who are interested in building a Habitat home in Baldwin.

moved to meet in executive session for 10 minutes to discuss land acquisition. No action was taken after the session.

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