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Street lights create controversy

By Staff | Aug 28, 2008

SPIRIT LAKE – Residents of Center Lake Drive spoke up and shed some light at the Spirit Lake City Council meeting Tuesday.

The Center Lake Association had requested street lights approximately seven years ago. The lights were erected last week. Members of the association are unhappy with the look of the street lights.

“They are nothing like we were told they’d be,” said Ray Botz, president of the Center Lake Association. Botz added that they believed they would get 10-12 foot green poles with a decorative crown. The poles that are installed are nearly 20 foot silver poles.

Yvonne Taylor, Center Lake Association member, reminded the council that “the concept for the lights came when the city started the beautification of Spirit Lake project.”

“The perception of what we wanted didn’t meet what we got,” Taylor added.

Several councilmembers stated that they believed the initial idea of lights came as a safety issue, not a beautification issue. Councilmember Clyde Ihrke said that he didn’t remember green poles being mentioned.

Councilmember Steve Balm stated that the green poles with the acorn-style top that are in the city are not very efficient. A lot of the light given off by those is lost. The silver poles erected on Center Lake Drive have a fixture on the light so the light will go down toward the street rather than be lost.

Balm stated that they were trying two new concepts with the silver poles. The first is using a screw-in base that provides easier installation. The second concept is a different style pole. The green poles that have been installed in the city are becoming rusty after only five years.

“This is a pioneer-type pole,” Ihrke said. “We’re not happy with the green ones. If these silver ones work, we will go with those in other parts of the city.”

Another point Botz addressed was that in the original agreement the poles were to alternate on the sides of the street, and instead are only erected on the non-lakeside. Ihrke stated that they didn’t alternate side of the road for cost purposes.

In discussion of the dangerous dog ordinance, Councilmember Jeff Thee voiced his concerns. “Laws and ordinances are enacted for people who don’t follow the rules. They aren’t concerned about the three-year-old next door or the elderly that live down the street. I’m concerned about the people who will take advantage of the law.”

City Attorney Earl Maahs amended the ordinance regarding the fencing of the animal. It does not state a specific height of fence. Instead, it reads that the fence must be high enough that the specific dog cannot escape.

The council established a $25 registration fee for dangerous dog, compared to the $2 registration of any other dog.

In other business, the council:

n Approved an agreement with Dickinson County for maintenance of recreational trails.

n Adopted a resolution approving funding for economic development program.

n Discussed putting a rain garden in Memorial Park.

n Adopted an ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances to the city of Spirit Lake by amending provisions pertaining to delinquent utility accounts.

n Approved an agreement with Dickinson County for use of city recycling bins for general collection.

n Approved final payment of 28th Street/235th Avenue reconstruction project.