By LINDA LOBECK
IRON MOUNTAIN - An ordinance dealing with the parking and storage of recreational vehicles, trailers, equipment and other items was discussed at Monday's Iron Mountain City Council meeting.
City Manager Jordan Stanchina said that this draft of an ordinance was discussed by the Planning Commission and now needs input from city council.
"It is something we don't have in our ordinances and deals with these items being stored across sidewalks in the city and they are unsightly," Stanchina said.
He added that one area the may need to be revised in the proposed ordinance states, "No person shall park or store any recreational equipment or recreational vehicle in a residentially zoned property that is not in good repair and/or does not carry a current year license or registration."
Stanchina said that he dealt with a lot of calls complaining about these trailers and RVs last summer.
"Most of it is good, but we do have some problems where they do block traffic," Stanchina said. "The ordinance would give you 48 hours for loading and unloading these things - a 1-2 night thing and not a permanent fixture. It would be a discretion thing and whether it was a chronic problem. We have nothing that deals with this right now. The city of Escanaba has also been discussing this, too."
Councilman Bob Moraska said that people in the city do put travel trailers in disrepair with no licenses on them parked out across sidewalks and on roads.
"We have to do something about these things - either repair them or move them. We need to clean them up in the city," Moraska said.
Council Collin Jacobetti asked whether this has been monitored and people are calling in and objecting to the parking and storage of these vehicles.
City Attorney Michael Celello told the council, as it is written, the ordinance is restrictive and prohibits people from putting these items in their driveways.
"It's an extraordinarily restrictive ordinance," Celello said.
Stanchina said that this is not a final draft of the ordinance and they aren't ready to introduce it yet.
"It's just a starting point to give us something to look at and get the discussion going. It discourages someone from putting up an awning on their RV, parking it all summer in the yard with a fire pit outside it. We don't want people using them as a secondary house in the city," Stanchina said.
In other action, council approval was given to solicit carpet replacement bids for the city hall office area.
Stanchina told the council that some areas of the office are starting to peel up and are a tripping hazard.
"There is money in the budget to replace the main office area and administrative office areas. Another part of the bid is 23 square feet for the squad room of the police department. In the specs we are looking for what will last us - a higher level of carpeting. The carpeting we are replacing is original to the building in 1993 - 20 years old. We will be looking for two options for bids - one for carpet tiles and the other from the traditional broadloom carpeting that comes in rolls," he said.
Stanchina said that with the carpet tiles, they would be able to replace one square if it was damaged in some way or swap tiles in the higher traffic areas with those in lower traffic areas.
"It's a more flexible option but more expensive too," he said.
The council authorized the city manger to solicit bids for the carpet replacement.
In other action, the council:
- Heard from Cheryl Gerwig of 605 East E St. in Iron Mountain concerning a problem with her sewer line that she was looking for city assistance. Council members and staff suggested she get someone in to televise her line to see where the problem is, but unfortunately it is against city ordinance for anyone from the city to take care of the problem. "The city hasn't any say until you get to the main," said Councilman Dale Alessandrini. Iron Mountain Mayor Bruce Rosen agreed noting that they would like to assist her, but where the problem is at is on private property. Gerwig disagreed noting that her line deserves to be replaced since it is located in the city alleyway. Councilman Ted Corombos said the in older residences many lines went out the back of the homes to an alley to get to the main to hookup. And the city is typically responsible to the main line. Gerwig said that her home is more than 100 years old and her line connects with her neighbor's line. Rosen asked whether her neighbor has a problem with his sewer line also. She said yes that it affects both houses, but she has never had problems with the sewer before. Rosen suggested that she and her neighbor join together to get the problem corrected.
- Heard from Virginia Feleppa, of 1136 Crystal Lake Blvd. in Iron Mountain, who is also on the city's Tree Board. Feleppa said that here are still trees available for people to purchase and she encouraged anyone interested to get an application. They have already 25 trees ordered. "We are doing well and there are still several people who have said they are going to get their applications in. We have until the end of March to get orders in. We are doing very well with the response so far, but would like to get all of them gone."
- Heard that there are continuing problems with the picking up of students at Bishop Baraga Catholic School. Parents waiting to pick up their children are stopping in the alley and in the driveway of a home blocking their garage. Julie Badini, of 413 W A St., said that this has been an ongoing problem for 13 years and she has called city hall and the police on numerous times. Stanchina said that he had talked with the new principal at the school and it had been going well until the last few weeks. The council was in agreement that the city manager should contact the principal again about the problem and have him inform the parents that anyone stopping or blocking the alley way would be ticketed. Stanchina also said they could replace the no parking signs with signs that say "no standing, stopping or parking," as they have done by other schools.
Linda Lobeck's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.