The Essex City Council set dates for city-wide clean up and set a deadline for a decision on the town’s Labor Day festivities during its regular meeting, Wednesday, May 13.
The clean-up days will be Friday, July 31 and Saturday, August 1 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Residents will have to bring items to Airport Road to place in roll-off dumpsters that will be set up at that location.
The clean-up days had originally been scheduled for May 1 and 2 and were postponed during the council’s April meeting.
Additionally, the city council approved the placement of a hook box dumpster at the same location for residents to place scrap steel, iron and other metals. The council decided to rent and place the dumpster as soon as possible for two weeks and see how much use it gets. If there is a lot of use, they may rent the dumpster on a regular basis.
The council also set a July 8 deadline to make a decision on Labor Day festivities. Essex Mayor Marian Durfey said she will reach out to members of the Essex Community Club, who put on the celebration each year, about that deadline and what they are thinking in regards to when that decision needs made. July 8 is the date of the council’s regular meeting.
This year’s Labor Day festivities will also serve as the town’s sesquicentennial celebration.
The council also approved a resolution for the Essex School District’s farm school request. The school wants to set up a small farm on the west side of their campus, but needs the city to amend the ordinance that prohibits livestock in city limits.
A public hearing on the resolution is scheduled for the next meeting. The resolution gives the school permission for the farm with no more than two lambs, two goats, two ducks and 12 chickens. The resolution also states animals are not to be brought to the school until after the Labor Day festivities and the farm will also have to be approved on a year-by-year basis.
The council approved a resolution amending the city’s noise ordinance. City attorney Mahlon Sorensen said the city previously had a two-sentence ordinance, but they now have nine pages with this resolution.
A machine used to measure the decibel-level, or loudness, of a sound will now be used to decide if a sound is violating the ordinance. The council made the approval with the condition they want to meet and see some sort of demonstration as to how loud 85 decibels is, which was the maximum decibel-level listed on the resolution. The council would still be able to edit the resolution to a different number after the sound presentation if needed.
Additionally, a permit would be needed for any person, business or organization having a musical presentation of any kind. The presenter and landowner where the presentation took place would be liable for any violation.
Work will be done this summer to add a storm drain on the 600 block of Nebraska Avenue, near the park. City employee Brad Sorensen said there is only one drain in that area and there needs to be a second. The project was approved by the council to be given to the lowest bidder, not to exceed $43,000. The bid also stipulates the project must be completed by July 31.
The council also discussed what to do with the grant money they had received from the MidAmerican Energy Trees Please Grant. Durfey said this is at least three consecutive years the city has received this grant, which is for $1,000 and then the city matches that for $2,000 total. Suggestions were made on where to place the new trees and Sorensen said he wanted a list on what kind of trees are approved by the grant. High School science teacher Kathleen Johnson spoke at the meeting and said she would love to have her biology students help with this project.
The council also heard from Jodi Hilsabeck with Midwest Assistance Program out of Maryville, Missouri. She spoke on her non-profit program that helps rural communities find funding sources for programs at no cost to the community. The council approved to begin working with MAP for recommendations on water and wastewater project funding. Hilsabeck said she would act as a sort of personal assistant to the council and the city clerk.
Additionally, the council approved the renewal of Casey’s multiple liquor licenses and the store’s cigarette/tobacco/nicotine/vapor product permit.