City alderpersons shot down amending an ordinance (5-4) that would further limit commercial vehicles parked in residential areas at their January common council meeting, one month after passing the first reading of the ordinance on a 7-2 vote.
Proposed amendments to ordinance 17.08 include limiting the weight of a single vehicle of 12,000 pounds or more, and combination vehicles with a gross combination of 12,000 pounds, inclusive of a towed unit with a registered gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds.
The ordinance would also prohibit parking of buses or vehicles equipped with bench type seats designed to transport a driver and 15 or more passengers.
Alderman Tom O’Connell said he was concerned with the definition of registered weight of 10,000 pounds under section 3 (b) and also 3 (c), restricting overnight bus parking.
“There’s a difference between registered and gross weight,” said O’Connell. “A trailer could be empty in someone’s yard.”
“To me this isn’t a trailer parked on the street it’s in someone’s yard. This is a violation of private property rights as far as I’m concerned,” he explained.
At the committee level in November, and first reading of the proposed ordinance in December, there was a general consensus that parking large commercial vehicles such as a semi tractor and trailer should be regulated. However O’Connell voiced concerns if the language was too strict it could negatively affect small business owners and contractors who reside in the city.
On Jan. 11, O’Connell made the motion to send it back to committee for further review, after there was already a motion on the floor to approve the second reading. Lori Dean seconded O’Connell’s motion and it passed on a 5-4 vote to send it back to committee.
In other business, the council unanimously approved a bid to purchase gasoline and diesel fuel from Kwik Trip for a two year period. Two bids were received, one from Larsen Cooperative with a vendor discount of .02 cents per gallon, and one from Kwik Trip with a vendor discount of .07 cents per gallon.
The city fleet uses roughly 28,000 gallons of gasoline and 11,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year. As a result of the bid they will save approximately $1,960 on gasoline and $770 on diesel per year.
Two percent wage increase
Council also voted unanimously to increase the 2011 seasonal staff wage by two percent. In August of 2010 the council approved the 2011 seasonal staff wage schedule with a zero percent increase, which in the past had been at two percent annually. Since then, the police and full time employee unions negotiated a two percent wage increase. Park and Recreation Director Chad Hoerth brought back the wage schedule and requested the same increase for seasonal staff. The Finance and Personal Committee recommended the increase to council at their Jan. 5 meeting.