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ATV regulations come up again

By Staff | Mar 27, 2008

SPIRIT LAKE — If the public knew more about ATVs, maybe they wouldn’t be against them.

That was the point that Tony Petersen of Cycle Country told the Spirit Lake City Council Tuesday night. During the public comments section of the council meeting, Petersen restated an earlier request that the city allow ATVs on city streets throughout the year. The current ordinance allows the machines on city streets with the exception of crossing only on Highways 9 and 71 from Dec. 1 through March 31 between the hours of 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The ordinance allowing ATVs seasonally went into effect January.

What Petersen and others are asking is to allow ATVs throughout the year.

“What we’re finding is in talking to the public is a lack of knowledge, Petersen said.

Petersen wasn’t the only one speaking up on behalf of allowing ATVs on city streets.

Jim Howard thanked the city for the chance to allow ATVs during the winter and asked whether there were any major problems with the trial period.

Chief of Police Jeff Hanson said there were just a couple minor complaints about the machines.

“Right now I have an ATV and I can’t do anything with it and I don’t think that’s right,” Howard said, asking for more extended ATV use.

In other business Tuesday, the council:

n Approved the consent agenda which included a Class C liquor license for Marcos Mexican Restaurant and a Class C beer permit and Sunday sales for Kabele’s Trading Post.

n Approved an ordinance repealing the building code and other city codes.

n Approved an ordinance providing for a city building code and a building division within the Public Works Department.

n Approved resolutions setting fees for plan review services and electrical permits and for requesting state approval to discontinue electrical inspection. “These are substantially scaled back from what people would pay today under the current ordinance,” said City Administrator Mark Stevens.

n Approved a resolution approving a joint agreement with Dickinson County regarding the East Okoboji Beach Urban Renewal Plan.

n Received and filed pending council review the Planning and Zoning Commission 2007 annual report.

n Denied a rezoning request from the Dickinson County Board of Supervisors from light industrial to R-2. The properties are owned by Craig Moffitt and Mary Anne Yarnes. While the Dickinson County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval, the Spirit Lake Planning and Zoning recommended denying the request. Councilman Stephen Balm said the request would go against the city’s plans for future growth. Councilman Clyde Ihrke agreed, saying he would prefer keeping the area light industrial. “I think we should go on record as being opposed to it,” Balm said. Ihrke seconded and the council approved the motion.

n Approved a 4 percent cost of living adjustment for city employees effective July 1.

n Set citywide cleanup days for May 5-6.