In the City of Darlington’s Policies, Procedures and Ordinance Committee meeting, a meeting filled with angst, things ended with all parties mostly satisfied.
The “mobile home” ordinance issue was solved with the changing of the wording from a mobile home moving into the city, must be – “immediately habitable” changed to “structurally sound and in habitable condition”. As this topic was hashed out, it seemed the city and Larry Burns both agreed with the concept. The word immediate caused problems, in that it indicates that when the home is set on the lot, a resident could move right in. Burns pointed out for mobile homes there is finishing work that must be done, hook up of electricity and sewer/water. So it is just not a workable situation to be able to comply with the “immediacy” of the ordinance, the way it was written. The ordinance will be sent back to legal council for the revision.
Next was the ordinance dealing with rental property. Ashley Klieber was concerned with language that stated an inspector could inspect a rental property without landlord’s presence or knowledge. The current inspector, Mike Reuter said, “if he gets a complaint, the first this I do is make contact with the landlord”. It was widely accepted that in most cases a tenant would normally contact the landlord first and inform them of a violation. Cooperate council Bill McDaniel stated, “the language in this ordinance is basically the same as state statues. I don’t think we have the right to rewrite what the state dictates.” Jason King said, “No matter what you put into effect as an ordinance, it does not strip the police dept. or the inspector from using discression or common sense like they always have.” The ordinance was passed through as it was written.
Special events and vendors, Chapter 11 of the municipal code, deals with the rights of special events, i.e. Canoe Festival, Cinco de Mayo and Fall Festival in Darlington, do they have a right to restrict and/or charge a fee to vendors that come to these event to sell their wares. This was sent back to legal council for wording revisions and tabled.
An ordinance that deals with truancy was discussed. Currently truancy applies to 6 to 18 year olds, the state has changed it’s age specifications, and the city will also change their ordinance from 6 years old to 5 years old. This was sent back to legal council for wording revisions and tabled.
The next item was Golf carts on city streets. Currently golf carts are not allowed on city streets. Chief Jason King explained that the ordinance could be changed to allow them on the street, just like ATVs, to provide access to the Cheese County Trail. Golf carts are allowed on the Cheese County trail, but not on ATV trails (asphalt county roads). Several council members at the meeting let their opinions known that they would not be in favor or changing the ordinance. The matter was tabled, for a better description of the vehicle.
City Council Meeting
After a marathon policies, procedures and ordinance committee meeting, the City of Darlington city council called to order the regular meeting of the common council.
The agenda was light and the council:
•Approved Ordinance 07-2015, an ordinance creating Chapter 10, Subchaper 11 of the municipal code – regarding rental property.
•Approved a resolution 2015-10, a resolution transferring funds.
•approved the current list of City of Darlington Election Officials for 2016 and 2017.
The next city council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 5.