City council to consider changes to ordinances

By Chad Koenen


A public hearing that typically garners little interest from the public turned out quite a bit of discussion over the use of public streets. 

During its regularly scheduled meeting last week, the New York Mills City Council held a public hearing to gather input on changes to three city ordinances regulating the use of highways within the city limits, regulating the use and storage of large vehicles/trailers in residential districts and calendar parking. 

Two of the biggest changes being proposed would eliminate a two hour parking zone on Main Ave. and on Front St. from Main Ave. to Walker Avenue, as well as updating a section of an ordinance that will restrict parking a vehicle, trailer or combination thereof on a street for longer than 24 hours in a residential district. Previously the ordinance stated the vehicle, trailer and combination  could not be parking on one side of a street within a block for longer than 24 hours. 

It was the latter part of the changes that turned up the most concerns from the public. Many of the comments from the handful of people in attendance dealt with issues regarding not being able to park a camper, or another vehicle on the road for more than 24 hours, as well as what options property owners have should an issue arise and a vehicle needed to be parked on the street for longer than 24 hours. One person at the meeting questioned why they couldn’t park in front of their house on the street for as long as they would like. 

Members of the city council stated an ordinance regarding parking on the street for longer than 24 hours was already in place, but was not currently being enforced. 

City clerk Julie Roberts thanked the public for their input and asked them to be patient with the city council as it looks to update their city ordinances, some of which have not been updated in a number of years. 

“Please remember, as we are going to be reviewing all of our ordinances, we started the project because a lot of ours are very out of date,” said Roberts of the city ordinances. “It is a big effort to go through and update the ordinances, because we have all sides and we want to hear your side of it, but it is ongoing so this is going to be painful for probably a good year. So please be watching and keep noticing the ones that we are looking at now.”

The city council just held the first reading of the updated ordinances and based on the feedback it received from the public, the council will discuss the potential of a permit should extenuating circumstances persist and a vehicle needs to be on a street for longer than 24 hours and review having campers on the streets for longer than 24 hours as soon as next month. 

In other news

• Heard the monthly report from Mills Liquors that showed net revenues were down for the month by 5.24 percent as a percentage of sales from the prior year. The report also showed that net revenue year to date is down 3.03 percent from last year.

• Heard the monthly fire department report that showed the department responded to 18 calls in April, of which 15 were medical calls. The department has also hired William Lucas pending a physical and background check to bring the squad to 21 members. There is currently just one opening on the fire department. 

• Heard the monthly report from the NY Mills Police Department which showed 127 calls for service, including three citations, three parking citations, 22 warnings and two arrests. 

• Heard the monthly public works department report that showed the annual fire alarm inspection was recently completed by Johnson Controls, Inc. Public Works Director Kyle Mattson said all of the devices at the City Center passed, but they are very near their end-of-life and there is no new old stock as everything has been discontinued. He received a price from Johnson Controls for $10,200 to update the fire alarms without the new public works addition and a quote from Summit Fire Protection for $18,000 for both the City Center and public works building. 

• Heard that Horizon Commercial Pools has completed the installation of the new pool pump room equipment and the electrician was scheduled to be at the pool last week to connect everything. Mattson said the hope was to clean the week of May 20 and have the factory start-up during the week of May 27. The plan is to open the pool as regularly scheduled the first part of June. 

• Heard a request from Garland Smith to allow chickens in the city limits. Smith made a request to change chickens to domesticated animals, which would be allowed in the city limits. No action was taken regarding the request, but tbe city council will have the ordinance committee look at the request.

• Accepted a donation of $1,000 from the NY Mills VFW Post 3289 for the DARE program.

• Heard a safety concern from Jerry Nesland regarding foul balls from the Lund Park softball fields going from one field area to the next. Nesland said there is netting that is available and would like to see the cost for installing nets along the foul lines to improve safety for those who attend games and may not see a foul ball from the other field.