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City amends new ordinance

Staff writer

Peabody City Council met Monday night for its regular first meeting of the month and finished its business in near record time. With a short agenda and a couple of cancelations, council members dispatched the city’s business in about 30 minutes.

Council member Janice Woodruff asked for clarification of a recently passed ordinance that allows vendors to park trailers or recreation vehicles in the city park for extended periods. An individual working on a harvest crew would like to park a camper at the park for about two weeks.

The park has electrical hookups for personal campers, but no proper water hookup or dumping facility.

“It really is not an RV park,” Woodruff said. “A vendor is not necessarily going to want to spend the night for several nights or weeks at a time. But the ordinance we passed looks like we are saying anyone can set up camp at the park for an extended period and I don’t think that is what we meant.”

“I agree,” council member Tom Schmidt said. “We might try to accommodate someone for one night, but we are not in the business of providing a facility for long-term camping.

“On the other hand, we want to be as hospitable as possible to vendors and they already have to come to the council and request a permit to be set up in the park,” he said.

After discussion, the council agreed to amend the ordinance to exclude “more than one night of camping with no water service unless cleared with the city council.”

In other business:

  • City Administrator Mac Manning told the council that auditors Knudsen and Monroe finished the annual city audit. A printed report will be available to council members June 25.
  • Manning noted a scheduling conflict with the budget work session on June 28. The meeting was re-scheduled for June 27.
  • Municipal pool director Beth Peter reminded the council that Peabody will host the league swim meet at 9 a.m. Saturday. She will open the park gates early and encourage out-of-town parents to park on the grassy area south of the pool to eliminated parking congestion around the pool and residential areas.
  • Eight trees have been removed from city park and four more need to be taken out. Frank Woodruff helped with the tree removal.
  • The council heard that a resident suggested attaching a $1 monthly fee to every water bill to subsidize a policy of free admission to the swimming pool. The resident indicated this policy had been in force in a community in which she had formerly lived. Council members instructed Manning to look into the legality and practicality of such a policy.
  • Manning told the council that Weigand Omega Management Inc. agreed to remove large tree branches that fell on a pickup parked in front of the duplex owned by Peabody Housing Authority during a recent day of high winds. The management company initially refused to hire someone to remove the branches, citing the situation as “an act of God” and not their fault. Manning sent the company a letter and a copy of the city ordinance that requires the property owner remove dead foliage from parking right-of-ways. The limbs have been removed.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 25.

Last modified June 14, 2012

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