KASSON, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Last winter the city of Kasson had problems with snow removal in the city limits on private properties (sidewalks). With winter fast approaching, the council once again discussed the city ordinance and repercussions for non compliance.
The city snow removal ordinance does cover snow emergencies, piling of snow and the designated snowmobile routes. Technically if a sidewalk is not cleared 24 hours after a 3" or more snowfall, the city can contract the work done, have the snow removed and bill the homeowner. It is typically more like 36 or 48 hours before they get around to contracting the work done.
Last January the city hired a private contractor to remove snow from sidewalks not cleared by the homeowner. City administrator Randy Lenth said they intend to come up with a plan that has a little more constructive policy.
Technically the city does not have to give a warning. They do. In addition they plan to place door hangers on properties giving notice. The city administrator then said they could get the standard excuses that the door hanger blew off. In another instance last year a homeowner cleared the sidewalk on Mantorville Avenue and the state plow went by and filled in the walk again.
Lenth did say there isn't going to be a perfect answer to the problem. He believes the city has to deal with ordinance violators and yet be fair and reasonable. He also suggested something needs to be in place that is consistent in the ordinance dealing with lawn mowing and noxious weeds.
The rate billed last year for snow removal was $100 so there is a monetary incentive for the homeowner to clear sidewalks. City planner Mike Matin added that it is not the 65 and older senior citizens the city is having the problem with either. They seem to find a way to get their sidewalks cleared.
In another matter the council accepted the planning commission recommendation to grant a Conditional Use to Dolphin Fast Foods to allow for the installation of an 85-foot sign. Dolphin Fast Foods is remodeling the former Kasson Kwik Trip and opening a new Burger King at the end of the month. The 85' sign would be to promote Burger King and draw traffic off of Highway 14.
Greg Dolphin from Dolphin Fast Foods, attended the council meeting and informed them of their intent. The Conditional Use is contingent on the fact that a timer be installed turning the sign off between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. The ordinance was amended from the initial time of 11 p.m. and extended to 1 a.m.
Also, a certification of structural integrity for extreme weather conditions is to be submitted by a structural engineer prior to issuance of the building permit. One of the contingencies is the structure and site shall not have an appearance that would have an adverse affect on adjacent residential properties.
City election judge Linda Rappe reported to the council Kasson had a 94% voter turnout, which is the highest on record for the city. She said that number was 1,000 higher than the presidential election four years ago.
A record 2,922 out of 3,097 registered voters in Kasson showed up at the polls. Of that number 695 registered on election day and 171 were regular, armed forces and temporarily overseas ballots.
There were 23 election judges who worked at the Kasson East and Kasson West precincts at the fire hall. Linda said there was a line at 7 a.m. when then polls opened. After that she said there were no long waits and the election judges did an excellent job.
A question was asked about the recount of the Norm Coleman and Al Franken Senate race. At the time of the recount 2.2 million votes were cast and the numbers favored Coleman by a little over 200 votes.
The recount took place at the Dodge County Courthouse in Mantorville and that included a recount for all cities and townships in Dodge. Each ballot was to be hand sorted.
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