Safe Route to School sidewalks discussion tabled until next month

Sarah Ebeling | Editor

At the Monday, May 13 Parker City Council meeting, the council began discussion of the agenda after approving the new council official entities.

The council discussed in detail, and approved, a sidewalk exemption for Erin Anderson, who lives on 276th Street, on the southwest edge of Parker. 

City Finance Officer Adam Jans told the council that he spoke to city attorney Drew Duncan and Duncan’s advice was because Anderson lives on the end of a gravel road, the city could grant an exception if they desired, until the area was further developed or became an oil road. 

Council member Lance Nogelmeier said that he feels it is ok to give her a temporary exemption until the council deems a sidewalk is necessary. 

Jans also spoke to the council about the Safe Route to School project. The engineering costs are coming in higher than originally planned for the project, up from $15-20,000 to $30-35,000. 

Council member Brian Schulte said that if there is federal money, the city should go after it, but otherwise, homeowners just need to pay for their sidewalks. 

Council members Roxie Harms and Peggy Berens asked if they could table the discussion, visit with community members and put it on the agenda for next month. 

Street Superintendent Mike Jorgensen explained to the council that after they are done with the project on Sanborn, they would have about $20,000 left that they did not use. Because of that, there were a few different things that could be done with those funds. Jorgensen explained that for an additional $58,000 the construction company could dig down further to make sure that there was a 12 inch base in the road. He noted that if there are any weak spots in the road, they would show up. 

Nogelmeier noted that they need to do the work right away. 

Schulte said he agrees, but he doesn’t want to spend the extra money it will cost the city. 

Amy Chicoine, council member, agreed. 

“We should spend what we have already budgeted,” she said. 

During the department reports, Turner County Sheriff Steven Luke encouraged the city to look at their vicious dog ordinance. He explained that the ordinance explains about deeming a dog vicious, but that there are not any steps for after that. 

Berens said the public needs to be sure that if they are bitten by a dog they need to report it right away. 

Jorgensen also spoke to the council about city-wide cleanup. He noted that it went better than last year, although there were a few residents who were unhappy that the guys did not go back through town after the specified dates. 

He noted that the city, who collected 50 truck loads of stuff, gets abused when they offer this free event. 

“We have so much garbage that people leave out and that is the biggest problem,” said Jorgensen. 

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