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Afton City Council briefs from Jan. 15

Council members sworn in

Afton City Council members Randy Nelson and Bill Palmquist, along with Mayor Pat Snyder, took the oath of office during the regular City Council meeting on Jan. 15.

All three were re-elected in November. Council members serve four-year terms, while the mayor serves a two-year term.

Consultants reappointed

Afton City Council reappointed its city engineer, WSB & Associates, and its city attorney, Fritz Knaak, during its Jan. 15 meeting.

Diane Hankee will continue to serve as the city's principal engineer.

Ordinance amendments approved

Afton City Council approved two amendments to its ordinances during its Jan. 15 meeting.

The first amendment relates to the city's ordinance dealing with subdivisions of quarter/quarter sections.

The ordinance amendment reflects the existing language, but strikes segments involving descriptions of 40-acre parcels in favor of "quarter-quarter" language.

The second amendment relates to the city's ordinance that deals with nonconforming structures.

The amendment was made to better align the city's ordinance with state statute.

New definition approved

Afton City Council approved a new definition for "principal structure" during its Jan. 15 meeting.

The new definition was approved since the current definition is circular, City Administrator Ron Moorse said.

The current definition is: "principal structure or use means on which determines the predominant use as contrasted to accessory use or structure."

The new definition of a principal structure is: "Principal building means the building, if such a building exists on a given parcel, which would generally be expected to receive public or private guests, customers, or package deliveries. This would typically be a building containing, but not limited to, one or more dwelling units, a business office, space for the sale of goods or services, or some combinations thereof."

City code amendments approved

Afton City Council approved two amendments to its city code during its Jan. 15 meeting.

The first amendment was made to the misdemeanor penalty to reflect an increase from $700 to $1,000.

A second city code amendment was discussed by City Council.

The amendment related to inconsistencies in the city's code relating to staff job titles and duties.

Many of the duties of the building inspector and zoning administrator were conflicted.

The city code will be reviewed by the city's Personnel Committee for revisions.

Rain barrels approved

Afton City Council approved the purchase of two rain barrels for the city's community garden during its Jan. 15 meeting.

The barrels will cost $68 each.

Afton waives park rental fee

During its Jan. 15 meeting, Afton City Council waived a park rental fee for Town Square Park, for the Afton Area Business Association's summer event.

AABA will be teaming up with Memorial Lutheran Church for the annual Strawberry Festival event.

City Council Member Bill Palmquist also asked that City Council discuss developing a policy relating to rental fees for non-profit organizations - such as the AABA and the Afton Historical Society.

"It is a nice gesture since they are the ones out there advertising the community," he said.

-Amber Kispert-Smith