Monday, April 30, 2012

Council Meeting Notes: April 17, 2012

The meeting began on time with all elected officials present. The agenda was approved. No minutes were ready to approve yet. The police and fire department gave their monthly reports (available with the meeting minutes on the town’s web page when they are ready). Councilmember Hardin confirmed the “new-to-Ruston” fire engine will be modified mostly by volunteers to fit the garage and the cost to get the engine functional is in the fire department budget. The new equipment will be used for back up second engine if needed.

Public Comment
Ms. Jaydosh, a third grader who lives on Commercial Street, gave a very nice speech about why Ruston should install speed bumps to slow down traffic in this area.

Mr. Shores wanted to know when the street in front of his house would be paved now that the sewer had been replaced. He was also concerned about the necessary sidewalk repairs since his wife is disabled. The mayor explained the town is in discussion with the sewer contractor about quality issues with the paving work done to date. The town wants to resolve that issue before having any more paving done. He hoped to resolve things soon. He promised to get back to Mr. Shores when he had a date for the repair work.


Ordinance 1364 – Collective Gardens Zoning Code Amendment (2nd Reading): (staff report here) Councilmember Judd wanted to add language that only allowed these for those over 21 years old, required security cameras and make the buffer 500 feet rather than 300. The town attorney explained that the town could not change these state codes without risking being sued by the medical marijuana proponents. The measure passed 5-0.

Ordinance 1367 – Amend Street Excavation Permit (1st Reading): This ordinance would set the time for permits at 90 days, require the work to start within 30 days and allow for a 90 day extension. There were no comments from the council.

Resolution 504 – Purchase of SCBA for Fire Department: Chief Torbet told the council the old breathing equipment was a hodgepodge that put department personnel at risk. The funds are in the budget and the department is in compliance with Labor and Industries. Councilmember Hunt confirmed that $11,000 was from last year’s budget. The resolution passed 5-0.

Resolution 505 – Transformer Purchase: (staff report here) The mayor stated the purchase was for a new transformer at Baltimore and Commercial Streets and one for reserve for emergencies. Hardin confirmed the cost will come from the electrical reserve fund. The total cost was below the legal threshold of $7,500 (not clear what this meant). The measure was approved.

Town of Ruston Business District – Karen Pickett and Beth Torbet: I outlined my research on the town requirements, what had been required in the past and the district’s proposal for the Ruston Family Fair. The district was asking for clarification so they could begin signing up vendors, many of whom have already begun scheduling their summer events. After some discussion, the council decided they would update their code at the next meeting to require a $10 business license from vendors for special events.

Beth Torbet then showed different sizes of banners, including one that would be 18” as the town currently requires. The mayor directed the district to work with the town electrical engineer to resolve the size and other concerns as part of the project to replace the light poles on Pearl Street.

Claims and Payroll were approved

Mayor’s Time
Mayor Hopkins wants to install “Children At Play” signs along Commercial Street by the playfield.

Council Time
Hedrick had no comments.
Hunt wants the town to get bids to install speed bumps on Commercial as part of the repaving that needs to be done after the sewer replacement.
Hardin thanked the volunteers for the great job on the town Easter egg hunt. He encouraged everyone to attend the Ruston Way ribbon cutting on April 21st and hoped the road would open soon. He was concerned that so many Ruston roads are closed at the same time. Between the Point Ruston closures and the sewer project it’s getting hard to get out of town. The mayor explained under their contract, the town cannot stop the sewer contractor and he wants to get the project done as quickly as possible. Once the paving starts it will go quickly.
Kristiovich had no comments.
Judd had no comments.

The meeting adjourned at 8:10 pm.

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