Citizens question Welcome officials

WELCOME — Welcome residents had lots of feedback for the City Council this week.

Several asked about complaints of ordinance violations and notifications with photos.

Officials reminded them that the city held an annual work session during which council members drove around town and made a list of violations. The list was given to law enforcement, which cited the residents and took photos.

Residents were reminded that when a complaint is investigated, law enforcement may go on a property. If there is a legitimate reason for items to be on the property, the resident has an opportunity to explain. They also are given the opportunity to clean up the items during cleanup days held in the spring and fall.

Residents also asked about the city dump being locked. They were reminded that there is a key and they can ask for it. Officials say the dump was locked because some people have dropped off things other than branches.

Other public comments focused on the streets not being swept and the parks not being mowed. City employees addressed those concerns. Some of the reason is the wet weather.

Turning to other business, the council heard from an attorney for residents who oppose vacating Weaver Street. They are concerned about having to install new driveways to connect to Cleveland Street.

The city was asked to keep the street under its care as the residents do not want to take care of snow removal, etc.

The residents asked about Mill and Cleveland streets not being vacated.

The council tabled a vote to further investigate the issue.

In another matter, Chris Borchardt from the Fire Association discussed items that may affect future city budgets, such as fixing the fire hall or proposals for a new fire hall, as well as the need to replace gear and airpacks.

He said the fire department has written grants to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and others but the $80,000 to $100,000 price tag will need to be addressed at future budget meetings.

The council asked about the proposals for a new fire hall versus putting money into fixing the old fire hall. Borchardt will bring proposals to future council meetings.

In other business, the council:

o Addressed concerns about a house at Dugan and Fifth Street and approved going forward with legal action.

o Accepted with thanks a $1,000 donation from Fox Lake Conservation Club for Summer Festival expenses.

o Heard a report from engineer Travis Winter of Bolton & Menk. He reported that the 2019 road and street project is progressing well. Some residents have temporary water and sewer installed, with natural gas to possibly be installed next week. Property owners may make arrangements with the excavators to get trenches and water to the house rather than doing it themselves.

o Heard a report from the Cemetery Association. The group asked about a new app to help keep lots and data information up to date. Some deeds have been misplaced or lost, and trades for lots have not been updated with new information.

o Discussed the citywide cleanup day set for May 11. The council reminded those bringing items to the truck that they need to show identification that proves they live in Welcome.