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Rugby City Council Meets With A New Look

By Staff | Jun 5, 2015

There have been grumblings about building a table so the council could conduct a meeting facing the citizens of Rugby rather than some of them having their backs to them. These talks have been going on for quite some time and actually were budgeted for in 2015. But, with time slipping by and still no table being built, Elizabeth Heisey, the City Auditor took the proverbial moose by the antlers, and with the encouragement of Mayor Geiszler, the support of the city council and the help of the city workers, moved the existing table so now the city council faces the audience while they are conducting the business of running the city.

With this new look, the council meeting scheduled for June 1, 2015 started promptly at 7:30 P.M. with a rapping of the gavel and a call to order by the Mayor. In unison everyone stood for the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance that reminded those in attendance that we are indeed, ” one nation under God.” There were no amendments, additions, and/or deletions to the agenda and the council approved the minutes of the May 4th, 2015 council meeting and the May 6th, 2015 special meeting by a 7-0 vote.

They went on to approve the city’s bills, financial statements, the Municipal Judge’s report for April 2015, the JDA minutes and financials all with a 7-0 vote.

In addition there were two petitions to vacate alleys. One was from Mike McNeff, as Superintendent of the Rugby School District (RSD) to vacate the alley behind the property the RSD owns at 302 3rd Street SW. They are making the request so when the house is demolished they can make a green-space where the students can play. The other request was from Timothy Bartsch for the vacation of the alley behind his property at 208 6th Street SE. The public hearing on this matter will be held on July 6th.

The first reading of Ordinance 2015-No 395, which is for the authorizing of the issuance of $400,000.00 worth of City of Rugby General Obligation Bonds, was read. There will be a special meeting scheduled for June 8th for the second reading and final vote. These monies will be used to finance the rest of the monies owed for the new Rugby Fire Hall.

The new nuisance ordinance was also on the agenda for discussion and vote, but was tabled until the special meeting that will be held on June 8th. This will give the council extra time to get up to speed with the changes that are being proposed, with stricter enforcement and fines being part of the new ordinance. One thing that was taken up was a nuisance property located between Highway 3 and 2nd St NW that has been an eyesore since at least June 19th 2013 when a letter of violation was written to a Larry Vetsch, but seemingly ignored. Councilman Bednarz was adamant on getting the ordinance finished and passed. Because of concerns from his constituents in Ward 2 about this perceived nuisance property as stated in a letter dated June 19th 2013 ” for numerous unregistered, inoperable, and/or unlicensed vehicles, equipment, and assorted junk.” Those conditions, according to Councilman Bednarz and the pictures The Tribune took today, June 2, 2015, still possibly persist. At Councilman Bednarz insistence a new letter was drafted about the possible violations and will be hand delivered to Mr. Vetsch so action can be taken to cure these possible violations of the existing City of Rugby Ordinance Section 9.28.

Next up for discussion, put on the agenda by Councilman Joel Berg, was the building of a new City Council table and the video recording of City Council meetings. It was determined that the money that was in the budget for the building and/or buying of the new council table was not sufficient to do so. Therefore, it was voted on and passed 7-0 that they would modify the existing council table to give more room for the councilman while still keeping the new and improved set-up of the council table. It was also discussed that at this time, the recording of the council meetings live for the purpose of having the council meetings on TV was not feasible. It was acknowledged that the Pierce County Tribune (PCT) will supply the cameras and will record all the city council meetings, starting with the July 6th meeting. The meeting will be put on a designated website of the PCT and will share a link with the City of Rugby.

Then the Geographical Center Days Street Dance, planned for August 22nd was discussed by the city council. Shelley Block, the Executive Director of the Rugby Chamber of Commerce, asked the city if the Chamber could use the city parking lot and close off 2nd street for this gala. Shelley also shared that Councilman Wentz was also going to graciously allow the use of one his parking lots at Hardware Hank to give more room for vendors. The vote was held on allowing these accommodations and passed 7-0

Next on the agenda was the council’s consideration of raffles and special event permits. The Raffle Permit requested by Barton Sportsmen Club for Gun Raffle at the American Legion was approved 7-0. Retail Alcoholic Beverage Permit requested by Daniel Corum of Third Street Station and The Ruby Chamber of Commerce for the Rugby Baseball Diamonds – Chamber Softball Tournament was approved with a vote 6-1. The dissenting vote was Councilman Hoffert. Gaming Site Authorizations benefiting the Jaycees, by IC Dubbles and Third Street Station were approved 7-0. A Retail Alcoholic Beverage Permit by Eagles for the Fairgrounds and Mud Run was approved 7-0. Then a Retail Alcoholic Beverage Permit by Dan Corum of Third Street Station for the City Parking Lot on Geographical Center Days to be held August 22nd for the Street Dance was approved 7-0

The committee reports were read where the citywide clean up was discussed. Councilman Wentz shared his concerns about the escalating cost this year mostly blamed on the inclement weather, but also discussed the possibility of making changes in the future to contain expenses., Councilman Wentz also presented the results of the water shrinkage/accountability report. The results show that the Rugby Water Department accounts for 99% of the water in the system that is well within the acceptable range of loss set by the state of North Dakota, which is 95%.

In conclusion, there was a reminder of the special meeting that is being held on June 15th for the second reading and final vote of Ordinance 2015-No 395, to authorize the issuance of $400,000.00 worth of City of Rugby General Obligation Bonds. The meeting was then adjourned.

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