2013-06-13 / Top News

Linton Council reviews proposed noise ordinance

The Linton City Council held the first reading of a proposed noise ordinance during its regular meeting on June 3.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit creating loud, unnatural or unusual and disturbing noises within the City of Linton. After reviewing the ordinance, Alderman Perry Kimble described the ordinance as “vague” and he said the ordinance needs to exempt such events as speakers during a high school football game, church bells or music, auction sales, and street dances. Kimble also said sirens from emergency vehicles would not be in compliance with the ordinance if it stayed as is. As far as engine (jake) brakes are concerned, Kimble said the engine brakes can be muffled, so the ordinance should specify that unmuffled engine brakes are prohibited.

Linton Mayor Tim Volk advised the council to review the proposed ordinance, make necessary changes, and discuss those changes at the July meeting, before a final reading is held to implement the ordinance.

The council also held the first reading of an amended ordinance pertaining to the removal of dead trees or branches on residential properties. The council took no further action on the matter.

The council also:

• Discussed the procedure used to reassess properties within the City of Linton. The City began reassessing all of the properties (structures only) within the City of Linton last year, but the process will take four years to complete, and only about a quarter of the properties were completed at the time of the tax equalization meeting in April. All of the lots (land only) were reassessed last year, and the total has already been added to the valuation for this year.

Some property owners attended the tax equalization meeting to protest the procedure, but the council approved the current format, and finalized the City’s property valuation at the April 9 meeting.

However, Linton resident Jim Weisser spoke out against the format during the June meeting, stating the process used is unfair, because while some property owner’s taxes will increase this year, others won’t increase until the project is complete in four years. Weisser said some property owners will have to make up the difference in the City’s valuation for up to four years, before there is a fair assessment.

“It’s the luck of the draw, if you happen to own property where the City decided to start the reassessments,” Weisser said. “It is not fair for those property owners to carry the load while this process is being completed.”

Weisser also pointed out that property owners outside the proposed areas were reassessed if they made improvements, sold or purchased property within the past year. Weisser suggested that the City apply for an exemption from the State Tax Equalization Board until the process is completed, and that would put everyone on equal footing.

Linton Deputy Administrator and Assessor Shawna Paul, who is conducting the reassessment project, said most properties have not been reassessed since 1985, and that is why the process will take four years to complete. Paul said there are deadlines for tax valuation with the State, and the City can only get so many properties reassessed in a year, before it has to go on to the next year. She said each county has to meet at least 95 percent of its total valuation, and if the City waited four years to add all of the properties to the tax roll, Linton would not meet that criteria.

Linton Mayor Tim Volk said the City looked into hiring an outside firm to reassess all of the properties at one time, but he said the project would cost around $140,000, and would not be feasible for the City of Linton to undertake. After discussion, the council decided to stay with the current format, pointing out that the City does not have the funding available to hire an outside firm to complete the project.

• Approved a request from the Linton Industrial Development Corporation (LIDC) to rezone property from residential to commercial. LIDC Coordinator Sharon Jangula told the council that the LIDC recently purchased three lots which cover approximately 58,000 square feet (about one acre) from the former Schatize Campground on the west side of U.S. Highway 83 in Linton.

Jangula said the LIDC plans to clean the property up, and use it in the future, but the property is currently zoned exclusively for a mobile home park or campground. Jangula said the property does not have an established thru street, and the only entry is through an alley on the west end of the property (on West 6th Street).

After discussion, Alderman Perry Kimble made a motion to rezone the property to commercial. Alderman Dennis Morris seconded the motion, and the motion carried, 3-2. Alderman Gary Hulm also voted in favor of the motion, but Alderwomen Shelly Hauge and Tammi Sannes voted against the motion, indicating they would rather see the property zoned as residential due to the shortage of residential lots in the city. Council President Dan Imdieke was not present at the meeting.

Jangula said the City will have to give a public notice in the newspaper, and a public hearing will need to be held before the rezoning process can be completed.

• Unanimously approved a Raffle Permit for the Linton Chamber of Commerce for the 50/50 raffle.Alderwoman Hauge made a motion to approve the permit, with a second by Alderwoman Sannes. Alderman Kimble abstained because he is a member of the Linton Chamber of Commerce.

• Unanimously approved Building Permits for Glen Gefroh ($45,000 for new attached garage), Dean Dockter ($500 to install fence), Bruce and Dixie Bosch ($800 to install fence), and Bruce and Heather Hase ($225,000 for new home). Alderwoman Sannes made a motion to approve the permits, with a second by Alderwoman Hauge.

• Unanimously approved a liquor license transfer from the Country Climate to Broadway Street for the Nokota Horse Conservancy street dance on June 15. Alderman Kimble made a motion to approve the transfer, with a second by Alderwoman Sannes.Alderwoman Hauge, who serves on the Nokota Horse Conservancy Board, abstained.

• Approved a tax exemption for Bruce and Heather Hase, who are building a new home on Northeast 7th Street. Alderman Hulm made a motion to approve the exemption, with a second by Alderwoman Sannes. The motion carried, 5-0, and the exemption is set at $150,000 for two years.

• Accepted a bid of $8,380 from Brad Praus Construction to add shingles, siding and doors to the City’s garage located on West Schley Avenue in 6th Street. Alderman Kimble made a motion to accept the bid, and Alderman Hulm seconded. The motion carried, 5-0.

• Heard from City Administrator Sharon Jangula, who said four flood-damaged properties on the west side of Linton were recently acquired by the City. The acquisition includes one property on each of West Sampson, Hickory and Schley Avenues, and another one on West 7th Street.

• Heard from Alderman Kimble, who suggested that the thru street east of his business, Kimble’s Guns and Repair, be maintained. Kimble said the road, which extends south from West 1st Street toward Sampson Avenue, has numerous potholes, and also needs to be repaved. However, the graveled road has never been paved, and City Foreman Bob Job said the City crews will blade the road once the wet conditions cease.

Kimble also complained that water runs on the west side of his business building, because there is not a curb on Hickory Avenue to the north. The area in question is next to the former railroad bed, and a curb was never installed. The council took no action on the matter.

• Unanimously approved a loan agreement between the City of Linton and the North Dakota Rural Water Finance Corporation for the water improvement project. Alderman Morris made a motion to approve the loan agreement, with a second by Alderwoman Hauge.

• Heard from Alderwoman Hauge, who told the council that a resident is interested in purchasing City-owned property on the southeast side of Linton. The property is located just east of theAmerican Legion Field, and council members were unaware of how much of the property the City actually owns. Linton Mayor Tim Volk suggested that the property be surveyed to determine how much of it is owned by the City and/or the American Legion, before agreeing to negotiate for a price.

• Scheduled the next regular meeting for Monday, July 1, at 5 p.m.

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