Council moves forward on food truck ordinance, okays fireworks change

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By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council at its regular monthly meeting on  Tuesday, Nov. 13, moved forward on an ordinance governing mobile food vendors and approved a major change in the site of the Stars and Stripes fireworks display next summer.

Mayor Bill Frommelt led councilmembers Jane Parker, Virginia Saeugling, Fred Schaub, Austin Greve and Mick Pierce through the evening’s agenda. Also on hand were City Manager Denise Schneider and City Attorney Michael Schuster.

Mobile food vendors

The council resumed discussion from previous meetings about updating the current city ordinance governing mobile food vendors. 

Mayor Frommelt presented the draft of an ordinance he wrote that incorporates previous discussion as well as ideas from ordinances in other cities. "It is essentially set up to allow mobile vendors on city streets, public property, with rates and fees to allow us to decide if there is an interest in mobile food vendors," explained the mayor. 

"I think this is an opportunity to test this...I would like to see if we can try it for a year," said the mayor. "That's why I put a sunset clause in it."

Councilmember Jane Parker questioned the fees listed in the draft ordinance, saying she believed they were too low. 

Business owner Mike Hefel said he thought the city should review economic development data "before you roll the dice on brick and mortar" businesses.

After further discussion on rates and other provisions in the ordinance, the council voted to move forward by having the city manager draw up an ordinance for consideration at the December meeting with vendor fees of $50 for a day, $1000 for six months and $1200 for a year and a one-year trial period. 

Fireworks site change

Mandy Ludovissy, director of the Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce, asked for council approval to change the site of the Stars and Stripes fireworks display next year from north of Lock and Dam 10 to the south marina.

Ludovissy told the council that  the Chamber is working with a new fireworks vendor that is requesting permission to shoot off the fireworks at the south boat ramp. She said the new site would meet permitting requirements and eliminate the need for a barge to shoot off the fireworks.

To accommodate the change, she said the community celebration would be moved from the park north of the school to the south end of the park. Due to safety concerns, lease holders at the south municipal marina would not be allowed on their boats while the fireworks are going off.

"If someone else has a better idea, I'm all ears," she said, citing safety rules, insurance concerns and Coast Guard regulations as the reasons for the major change.

The council approved the request on a split vote, with Schaub, Parker and Saeugling voting in favor of the plan and Greve and Pierce opposed.

Property requests

A resolution regarding the proposed sale of a city alley to Twin Towers, Inc., was passed by the council but no action was taken on an ordinance in connection with the same matter.  In a related item, the council heard a request for a refund from Cindy and Doug Davey for fees paid in connection with the alley request. 

The council again considered an easement request from Kenneth and Margie Deutmeyer, an item discussed at previous council meetings. Attorney Hillary Friedmann, Kenneth Deutmeyer and business owner Andrea Meyer addressed the council, requesting a speedy resolution of the issue. After lengthy discussion, the council approved a resolution setting the cost at $2,000.

Sharon and Stan Stade spoke to the council with a request to clear up the title on property they own that sits on a city alley. A public hearing was set for the regular December meeting. 

Other business

In consent agenda action, the council appointed Kayleen LaShelle to the Kids Kampus board, approved $300 in utility credits for the annual Christmas decorating contest, approved pay requests  and contract changes for the Garber Road bridge project and the pool project.

The council decided to trade in, rather than sell, a city ambulance that is being replaced.

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