Copeman walks out of LS council meeting

A complaint was issued against Jack Robinson for removing a rotted planter and replacing the area with decorative rock, along with painting the foundation of the house.

By Marcie Klomp

Resident Russ Theis wanted to be on the agenda of the Sept. 4 Lime Springs Council meeting to discuss four issues, the LP tanks behind the library, John Robinson flower bed removal, sidewalk in front of Herald office and Joe Stevenson trailer.

He read the ordinance on complaints, which says complaints have to be written and signed. “So why was I told to have a permit when it was an ‘unknown caller?’ You are picking and choosing.” A written complaint had not been filled out when he was told he needed a building permit for the new deck he put on his house.

He also asked why his complaints (written and signed) were not acted upon in a timely manner. City Clerk Carla Moser answered that he wanted those complaints on the agenda, so they were not acted upon until the council meeting.

Council member Leann Thomas added, “Casey [Sebastian] had a question about John Robinson’s complaint so it came to the Council.” It was decided at the last council meeting city maintenance person Sebastian would authorize permits.

The building permit ordinance states any change to a “structure” (which includes anything man, woman or child-made) needs a permit. Theis’ complaint was that John Robinson was removing a wooden flower bed—a structure. He insisted a building permit was required for $25. He argued, work began on the flower bed after the last meeting, which warranted doubling the cost of the permit to $50.

“So is [the flower bed] the same as my deck?” Theis asked. Audience member Duane Copeman mumbled, “This conversation is dumb as far as I’m concerned,” and he walked out.

Theis argued again the Council was “picking and choosing.”

Mayor Barb Robinson took charge. “This is why we need to close up some of these holes with the [new ordinance] book. We’re doing what we can. At the next election there are three council positions and one mayor up for reelection.” She wasn’t sure how many were going to run again. Robinson looked at Theis, “Please fill out the paperwork.”

Moser added, “The Council does the best they can with full-time jobs. They have the guts to do it.” She went on to say council members usually don’t get a “You did a good job.” What they hear is what a bad job they are doing.

Theis conceded Robinson did her homework. He wasn’t sure about other council members.

Robinson stuck up for her council. “The first month I came in here, we couldn’t make payroll. Now, three years later, we have $242,000 in the bank. They have worked their butts off.” They spent tax dollars wisely and made some very difficult decisions, she added. Some of the money saved belongs to special revenue funds of Pool, Park, Fire, Library and Community Center Departments.

Council voted to have John Robinson pay the $25 fee for a permit and waived the late fee of $25 since he had no way of knowing about the crackdown on building permits until after the newspaper came out.

Theis was told the LP tanks behind the Library belonged to K&H LP and only needed to be 10 feet from a structure. They are 16.5 feet from the building, well within guidelines.

The tag on the trailer at the Stevenson home is out-of-date. There are also several snowmobiles on the property. The ordinance states the trailer should be put in a shed if the tags are not current. The City attorney will be involved and a letter will be sent out.

Theis complained about safety issues regarding the sidewalk in front of KCDs, the Herald and further west, A&K property. He said it was the roughest part of the business sidewalks.

Letters will be sent to Rich and Vickie Ator and to A&K for the sidewalks, owners of the properties.

Hopefully these issues will not be so blurry when the new ordinance book goes into effect mid-October. (See ordinance story, above.)

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