Peabody City Clerk Stephanie Lago swore in new Peabody City Council members Monday evening and two retiring members were presented with plaques expressing the city’s appreciation for their years of service.
Megan Holt, Tom Spencer, and Travis Wilson took the oath of office and took their places at the council table. Tim Peterson and Steve Rose received plaques and the city’s thanks before leaving their positions.
Re-elected mayor Larry Larsen was on an emergency ambulance call and was unable to attend the meeting. He will be sworn in at the next meeting, May 11.
The first order of business for the group was to elect a council president to direct the council in the mayor’s absence.
Bob Knapp was elected to fill that position, previously held by Rose.
The council took up the issue of which vacant city-owned lots it will try to sell at public auction later in the year.
After a lengthy discussion, council members approved selling five lots and possibly adding two if the addresses could be verified more substantially. Two additional lots were approved as a possible donation to the school district.
Council members decided four lots could be offered to adjoining landowners due to the position, odd measurements, and inaccessibility of each.
It was determined that one lot houses an old uncapped well and a building that is used for storage. Council approved keeping the lot for the time being.
Lyle Leppke has been contacted to auction the properties as well as the house at 213 E. Division St., which was donated to the city at the end of 2014.
In other business:
- Vacancies on the council’s standing committees due to Peterson and Rose leaving the council were discussed. Rather than make appointments immediately, council members decided Knapp and Larsen should visit with new members and discuss their preferences and then make assignments to fill the vacancies.
- After discussion with swimming pool manager Beth Peter, it was determined the pool would open May 24 and close Sept. 7. It will be closed several Saturdays due to swim team activity and private parties. A more complete schedule will accompany the Peabody-Burns Recreation Commission calendar, available next month.
- Peter, who is also the recreation commission chairman, asked the city to consider concrete platforms for launch stations on the disc golf course at city park. She said the popularity of the course has been growing and concrete platforms are a more professional choice than mulch. The recreation commission is willing to pay for the stations, but needs guidelines from the city. The council agreed to find the necessary information and move ahead with the project.
- Discussion took place once again concerning the state’s requirement to increase the size of letters on municipal street and traffic signs or change the speed limit to 25 mph all over town, except areas that are already below that limit. No decision was reached. All parties indicated a desire for more information on costs.
- The council approved hiring Foster and Associates to review the Peabody Planning and Zoning regulations. The company will provide a training session for planning and zoning committee members, city council members, and staff to help them navigate the changes in municipal regulations.