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Emmetsburg City Council Adopts Amended Dock Ordinance

By Staff | Nov 11, 2010

The third, and final, consideration of the amendment to the city’s Public Lake Access Regulations (commonly known as the dock ordinance) was approved by Emmetsburg City Council Monday. The ordinance now includes an appeal procedure.

At the onset of discussion, Mayor John Schad said, “I am hoping we won’t approve it.”

The mayor went on to explain, “My feeling is while there is nothing wrong with the appeal procedure, it’s falling short of what needs to be in that ordinance. The best way to update that ordinance is to sit down, start from scratch, get our parks and recreation department involved, get any other committees that we need involved, and write a new ordinance.”

The mayor said he had a conversation with City Administrator John Bird about the amended ordinance.

“I pretty much said the same thing you did,” said Bird. “If the council believes there are other shortcomings of the ordinance, like a prohibition south of the T-dock for example. Another one is the question if someone needs to have a boat in order to have a dock in one of the public access areas. Our ordinance does not state that you do. Obviously to include those things we’re gong to have to go through the amendment process.”

The city administrator asked, “So do you want to approve this now and get the appeal process in? The appeal process is something that is needed. If you want those other things, you can postpone this.”

Councilman Steve Finer acknowledged that the ordinance could go back to committee to make further amendments.

“I would have no problem doing that,” said Finer. “You’re going to have to start over from scratch anyway. Right?”

“Do you think we could address this over the winter?” asked Mayor Schad. “No one has applied for a dock permit and we can get this settled before the season starts.”

Councilman Corey Gramowski questioned why a provision is needed regarding owning a boat.

Mayor Schad explained that a couple divorced and the husband took the boat. The wife reportedly received a call from City Hall regarding the dock. She objected because there is nothing in the ordinance stating that a person has to have a boat to have a dock in the public access area.

City Clerk Kim Kibbie clarified the situation, stating that the woman did not put the dock in the water for more than a year. Bird added that was reserving a spot and not using it, therefore she was contacted.

“We should probably have a rule that after two years the spot goes up for grabs,” said Schad.

“The problem with the original ordinance, it looks like we’re going to have to go back to bare bones and start all over again,” he added.

Councilman Brian Campbell noted that the council was responding to a need with the amendment to the ordinance.

“The appeal process is a good process. There’s no fault with that. We can put that in the ordinance and we can go back and pick up these other little things when we have some time to do it. I’d rather see it done right and quickly. There’s nothing wrong with this amendment as it is stated here. We can certainly take a look when we have more time and respond to those other needs.”

Councilman Campbell made the motion to approve the third consideration of the amendment to ordinance 543, adding an appeal procedure. Councilman Finer seconded the motion. The consideration passed with five yes votes. Council representative Sandy Pelzer was not at the meeting.

Emmetsburg City Council members voted to adopt the ordinance change with five yes votes.

Emmetsburg City Council Adopts Amended Dock Ordinance

By Staff | Nov 11, 2010

The third, and final, consideration of the amendment to the city’s Public Lake Access Regulations (commonly known as the dock ordinance) was approved by Emmetsburg City Council Monday. The ordinance now includes an appeal procedure.

At the onset of discussion, Mayor John Schad said, “I am hoping we won’t approve it.”

The mayor went on to explain, “My feeling is while there is nothing wrong with the appeal procedure, it’s falling short of what needs to be in that ordinance. The best way to update that ordinance is to sit down, start from scratch, get our parks and recreation department involved, get any other committees that we need involved, and write a new ordinance.”

The mayor said he had a conversation with City Administrator John Bird about the amended ordinance.

“I pretty much said the same thing you did,” said Bird. “If the council believes there are other shortcomings of the ordinance, like a prohibition south of the T-dock for example. Another one is the question if someone needs to have a boat in order to have a dock in one of the public access areas. Our ordinance does not state that you do. Obviously to include those things we’re gong to have to go through the amendment process.”

The city administrator asked, “So do you want to approve this now and get the appeal process in? The appeal process is something that is needed. If you want those other things, you can postpone this.”

Councilman Steve Finer acknowledged that the ordinance could go back to committee to make further amendments.

“I would have no problem doing that,” said Finer. “You’re going to have to start over from scratch anyway. Right?”

“Do you think we could address this over the winter?” asked Mayor Schad. “No one has applied for a dock permit and we can get this settled before the season starts.”

Councilman Corey Gramowski questioned why a provision is needed regarding owning a boat.

Mayor Schad explained that a couple divorced and the husband took the boat. The wife reportedly received a call from City Hall regarding the dock. She objected because there is nothing in the ordinance stating that a person has to have a boat to have a dock in the public access area.

City Clerk Kim Kibbie clarified the situation, stating that the woman did not put the dock in the water for more than a year. Bird added that was reserving a spot and not using it, therefore she was contacted.

“We should probably have a rule that after two years the spot goes up for grabs,” said Schad.

“The problem with the original ordinance, it looks like we’re going to have to go back to bare bones and start all over again,” he added.

Councilman Brian Campbell noted that the council was responding to a need with the amendment to the ordinance.

“The appeal process is a good process. There’s no fault with that. We can put that in the ordinance and we can go back and pick up these other little things when we have some time to do it. I’d rather see it done right and quickly. There’s nothing wrong with this amendment as it is stated here. We can certainly take a look when we have more time and respond to those other needs.”

Councilman Campbell made the motion to approve the third consideration of the amendment to ordinance 543, adding an appeal procedure. Councilman Finer seconded the motion. The consideration passed with five yes votes. Council representative Sandy Pelzer was not at the meeting.

Emmetsburg City Council members voted to adopt the ordinance change with five yes votes.