By NIKKI YOUNK
NORWAY - After discussing it over the past several meetings, the Norway City Council has adopted a new ordinance regarding rules and regulations of the public right of way.
The action took place at the council's Monday meeting, immediately following a public hearing in which there was no input.
Public right of ways within the city include areas like boulevards and sidewalks.
The new ordinance prohibits parking over sidewalks with a few exceptions. Vehicles may block sidewalks during the winter street parking ban from November through March if there is not sufficient room to park on the boulevard and there are no other options available for off-street parking. Anyone who parks over a sidewalk must leave a minimum area of two feet on concrete or asphalt to allow any pedestrians to walk around the vehicle.
Residents also have some responsibilities when it comes to clearing snow. They may not deposit snow from their property onto streets, alleys, boulevards, sidewalks, or any other residents' private property. Furthermore, they must not let snow accumulate in excess of three and a half feet at any street or alley intersection.
Council members were all in favor of the ordinance, but some expressed concern that it did not cover the issue of irrigation lines across the public right of way.
City Manager Ray Anderson confirmed that the ordinance does not specifically outlaw irrigation lines. He suggested that the issue be taken up separately in an extended discussion.
Mayor Jeremy Oja agreed, and asked that the item be placed on the agenda for the council's next meeting.
In other business, the council:
- Heard from council member Dr. Paul Hayes that there have been several complaints about the amount of trees cut down at Strawberry Lake. Anderson said that a forester recommended clearing the weak box elder trees in the area in order to allow for new growth. The city will be planting more trees in the area later this year, he added.
- Agreed to suspend the city's noise ordinance to 1 a.m. for the Thirsty Whale bar's anniversary dance on Saturday, June 14. Anderson pointed out that the council typically suspends the ordinance to midnight for the dance, and that there have been some complaints in the past. Citing these complaints, Oja was the sole council member to vote against the motion.
- Approved engineering agreements with Mead & Hunt for the city's upcoming water and sewer improvement projects. Cost of engineering for the water project is $370,000, while cost of engineering for the sewer project is $389,000. The projects will be funded in part by a grant and loans from USDA Rural Development. Bruce Hawkinson of Mead & Hunt said that construction on the projects could start as soon as next year.
- Allowed the Boy Scouts of America for the Menominee-Iron District to host its annual Spring Scout Outing at Hanbury Lake Park this weekend.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.