Meeting materials are available on Ruston Reports here... The meeting began on time with all members present. After the flag salute, the agenda was approved after adding the public hearing on the Point Ruston street vacations. The minutes were approved after Council Member Kristovich asked that her comments be added about working with the Morris family on access to the sewer.
Ryan Morris thanked Kristovich for her help bringing attention to their situation with the sewers.
1. Pioneer Baseball Club: Kristovich only had a brief initial conversation with Ryan Rhodes, who is looking for baseball field for his club. They may be willing to help make improvements to the field. They have funding/resources that Ruston does not. The improvements would include taking over the basketball area. They are working with someone from the Angels professional team. Kristovich said she would keep the council informed of progress.
2. Ordinance 1310 - Removing town lighting and signage code (Second Reading): The town planner recommending waiting on passing this ordinance until after the new street lights are illuminated to be sure they are what the council wants to require. Council Member Hunt confirmed this would only apply to new construction, but that it applies to both residential and commercial construction. It was confirmed that the exterior lighting on The Commencement condos does not meet current code, so this ordinance does not impact on that issue. The ordinance was tabled until the June 7th meeting with a vote of 5-0.
3. Establishing maximum load limits on non-arterial streets (First Reading): The town planner reminded the council that this came out of the discussion last October as a way to keep large trucks from using Baltimore Street once it is reconnected to Ruston Way. The town engineer wanted to change the ordinance to specifically name Baltimore Street.
4. Ordinance 1312 - Requiring connection to Town sewer system and setting fees for that connection (First Reading): Although there is a $2,000 fee to hook into Ruston's sewer system, it is not reflected in the town code. The fees will go into the sewer reserve fund to help pay for future improvements. Hunt noted that the connection fees were clearly listed in the building permit and fee schedules. This issue was reviewed by the planning commission when she was a member and they decided not to list a specific fee so the code would not have to changed every time the amount of the fee changed. The town attorney noted that part of the reason for this ordinance is aimed at existing homes that never paid a contention fee.
5. Resolution 470 - Authorizing the town maintenance department to take action to get the sidewalk repaired at 52nd and Winnifred: Council Member Hardin introduced his neighbor where the sidewalk is located, noting that he was one of the longest standing residents in Ruston. The neighbor explained how the situation had developed and his problems dealing with the town on some aspects. The mayor apologized for the problems he had experienced and promised to work with him to get things resolved. The motion to approve this resolution was withdrawn with the caution that it will be considered again at the next meeting if the sidewalk is not repaired by then.
6. Public hearing on vacating portions of Gallagher Way: Point Ruston had made this request and asked for expedited approval so they could proceed with the LID improvements in this area. Gary Peterson from Point Ruston outlined the request. Ruston staff then explained their recommendation that council not vacate the property until the LID improvements had been completed. After a lengthy discussion, the public was allowed to comment. Morris did not want Baltimore to be a major arterial street. Sherri Forch wanted to know when Bennett Street would reopen (in front of The Commencement building).
Claims and Payroll
Mayor Hopkins reported that the new Town Hall scanner had been installed and was much faster than the old one. All current documents are now scanned. He is working to get the BIAS accounting system integrated with the US Archive system for electronic storage of all the files. The budget reports are now available on-line (I think only to the council).
The mayor thanked Hardin for attending the staff meeting that afternoon. He also thanked Kevin Moser for all his work on the community center remodel. The floor looks great and the kitchen is almost ready. A open house is planned soon.
He noted that Safe Built had a new building inspector today. He was not pleased with the turnover rate there. He then read a letter from Bert Joyce thanking the fire department for their help on a recent call.
The mayor had been contacted by AWC to participate in a seminar designed to help small cities. After learning what Ruston is doing, AWC wants Ruston to train their consultant. There is a cost to attend the workshop, but there may be some good information to be learned on personnel issues. He will try to work out a trade (training for no-cost attendance).
Huson did not have any comments.
Hedrick mentioned he had met with the police department about security for their space again. He is hoping to swap space with some other tenants in the building. He met with the fire department to work out how to get them "to the next level". One idea is to allow a stipend, but he planned on talking to the town attorney to be sure they did not set up anything where the fire fighter would be considered an employee.
He also hoped to continue talks between the town about the garbage truck repairs and the homeowner who was billed for those repairs. He liked the new street lights and asked that Mary Joyce be invited to the community center open house. He mentioned that he had been contacted by two residents recently who said they were not attending council meetings anymore because they are "too boring." He had also been approached by someone interested in putting in a drive-thru espresso stand in Ruston. He directed to contact the town planner to explore getting the zoning code changed.
Hunt confirmed that the new Comcast contract had not been signed yet. She was pleased with the new contract and noted a feature that will allow an additional fee to be charged so that the council can start broadcasting their meetings if they choose.
Hardin thanked Hunt for her work on the Comcast agreement.
Kristovich did not have any more comments.
The meeting adjourned at about 8:15 pm.