Milaca City Council Briefs: March 2017 meeting

Below are summaries of actions from the March 16 meeting of the Milaca City Council. They were compiled by Jeff Hage.

City vacates right of way at St. Mary’s
Soon the city of Milaca will no longer be responsible for a street easement that goes through the parking lot of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
The Milaca City Council held a public hearing to consider vacating the public right of way that it maintains in the St. Mary’s parking lot.
The issue came about earlier this year when city staff started looking into the plowing of the church parking lot. It plows the easement at no cost to the church, and then plows the church parking lot, for which the city bills the church. In an effort to save costs, the city looked into terminating the plowing of the easement, but found it could not legally do so. That brought about the proposal to vacate the easement.
Deacon Gene Kramer spoke at the public hearing. He asked that when the council votes to vacate the easement and drafts a formal document recording the action, the church get sent a copy of it.
Resident Jerry Jacobson raised questions regarding the cost of vacating the easement that would be incurred by the city. Interim City Manager Bob Derus responded that total costs involved in the vacation would not surpass $500.
The City Council will hold a formal vote on the matter during its April meeting.

Parking limited in downtown lot
Parking hours are being limited in a city parking lot in the 100 block of Central Avenue between the Milaca Theater and Jiggers Bar.
The Milaca City Council amended an ordinance to allow for snow removal from the lot in the winter and general cleaning in the summer.
Currently, parking is prohibited in the lot between the hours of 6-8 a.m. City department heads said that closing the lot from 5-7 a.m. was more advantageous to employees of downtown businesses – some who were being ticketed for parking in the lot prior to the 8 a.m. opening of some businesses.
But the council amended its original plans after a request from the owners of Jiggers, who became concerned about how a seven-day-per-week ban could affect their patrons who leave vehicles in the lot overnight Friday into Saturday and Saturday to Sunday if they were not safe to drive after a night at the bar. It was suggested that having the lot closed in the early morning hours of Saturday and Sunday might be an incentive to drive under the influence.
With that in mind, the City Council amended the ordinance prohibiting parking in the lot from 5-7 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Assisted living at
middle school
The Milaca City Council approved a conditional use permit that will pave the way for John Przymus to put 28 assisted living units at the old middle school complex. The 28 units are planned in two spaces: the location of a former fitness center and the current location of a day care center. A conditional use permit is necessary because of a change in use of the space.
The Milaca Planning Commission met and looked at the proposal, including issues that might arise with parking. The commission voted 3-1 in favor of granting the permit.
Przymus said at the commission meeting that the project would not be completed in 2017. He has targeted 2018 for completing the project and opening the assisted living units.

In other City
Council news:
• The council approved a permit that will allow the second annual Milaca Car Show to be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, in Rec Park.
• A peddlers license was issued to Sara Beth Liebeck, of Big Lake, who operates a food truck called The Ice Cream Machine. Liebeck sells prepackaged ice cream treats from the truck. She also does business in Buffalo and Foley. The license was approved pending receiving an updated license from the Department of Agriculture and having a valid driver’s license.