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In addition to denying a conditional use permit request and retaining a law firm to continue an eminent domain condemnation process, both reports located elsewhere in this issue, Parker city leaders approved three separate police department actions at last Thursday’s monthly council meeting.

The actions, all on 4-0 votes with Kandice Higgins not present, include accepting a donated patrol car from the city of Pleasanton, allowing purchase of a radio for the car, and purchasing two patrol rifles at $500 each from Wicked Outfitters, La Cygne.

About the Pleasanton car, Craig Haley, police chief, said that “no strings are attached.” He said that Pleasanton referred to it as a “pay it forward” gesture. He said the patrol rifles for him and Cody Kiser, part-time police officer, replace shotguns.

On another 4-0 vote, the council approved a $6,500 quote estimate for a new pump at the sewer lift station. Chad Page, contracted water/sewer operator, said the pump to be replaced is 15 years old. 

Another 4-0 vote will allow bids for construction of an access ramp off Main Street to a parking lot area east of the local library.

Jason Webber, council president, made the request and said the project would include whistle and concrete work. 

Though Webber is president of the Linn County Library District No. 1 board, Burton Harding, city attorney, said Webber had no financial stake that would have disallowed him either to make a motion or to vote.

On the heels of Webber publicly praising Dever Scott, city maintenance, for recent work at City Lake--”it looks a whole lot better”--a 4-0 council vote will allow Scott to charge $80 hourly for personal tractor use until the city purchases one. Carrie Sewell, city clerk, said the $80 hourly charge is the same that Page charges for using his personal equipment.

Sewell will continue pricing tractors in the 50-55 horsepower range as recommended by Page. Among various dealers, Sewell reported pricing new Kubotas at Louisburg between $41,000-$43,000.

Tabled to allow for investigation until at least next month’s 7 p.m. June 8 regular meeting will be designation of a set city truck route. Webber said city leaders need to “figure out the easiest access with the least amount of distraction.” He also recommended revamping truck access from South Street to avoid alley access.

Mike Page, past county commissioner, said that most communities can use the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) binders in assigning which streets prohibit ‘through’ truck traffic, such as the prohibition in Parker between Woodward and Center using Railroad and Main.

He noted the difference between “no through trucks” and “no trucks,” saying that “no through” is set up for “point use” to allow commercial truck access for zoned commercial Parker properties along Railroad and Main, for instance.

Page’s reference to the MUTCD followed Haley’s request for a legal description of a ‘truck’ and Webber’s assessment of 10 wheels or more.

Along with reporting that Parker’s inclusion in the Linn County Sheriff’s Department Central Square records management operation is now “up and alive,” Haley also reported on individual grace-period discussions he is conducting with operators of all-terrain, side-by-side and utility task vehicles. 

Mayor Ashley Balthazor said the city had received numerous complaints about their illegal operations, and Haley admitted that the issue “is difficult to get under control after years of neglect.” 

As he said he did last summer--”but this is a new group”--Haley said he talks with the juvenile operators and their parents prior to issuing citation tickets.

During the treasurer’s report, Sewell read April general fund revenue of $4,462.74 and expenses of $13,098.60, capital outlay expenses of $11,833.50, water fund revenue of $3,654.60 and expenses of $5,735.83, sewer fund revenue of $2,339.66 and expenses of $786.05, and street fund revenue of $1,469.82. The park/lake fund showed no April activity.

As well, the council approved $25,022.23 in bill payments.

In other business before the council:

--Sewell relayed that council members are invited to the First Baptist Church of Parker’s 50th anniversary celebration on June 10.

--Sewell announced that the citywide garage sale is set for June 3. 

--Sewell said the annual citywide cleanup is scheduled for June 10 but might be moved to June 17 to avoid conflict with the Baptist Church’s golden anniversary celebration. About the cleanup, she said any community assistance “would be greatly appreciated” and noted that City Hall has a list of pick-up items allowed during the cleanup.


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