Florence may zone to restrict some businesses

Zoning and planning dominated the July 6 meeting of the Florence City Council.

Members discussed at length Economic Development Advisory Board suggestions that the city be zoned into various districts to prevent undesirable businesses from being placed in predominantly residential areas.

Although existent properties would be grandfathered in, zoning would mean more regulations within the city.

Pricing for commissioning a zoning map was unknown, but was thought to be around $3,000 because of legal fees and the need for a professional adviser to oversee the process.

Council members also considered the possibility of writing a new ordinance to replace the Standards Board with a public health and safety officer to be contracted as needed. Research on fees was requested.

A town-hall forum is planned for Tuesday, Sept. 14, to gage citizen response to these proposed changes. All citizens will be invited to express their thoughts on zoning, enforcement of ordinances, city improvements and cleanup.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served during the meeting.

In other business, the council:

— will allow parking south of the railroad tracks near the city burn pit for participants in a Labor Day horseback trail ride.

— reinstated ordinances 648 and 649 to allow the council to add capital improvement and capital expenditure items to the city budget.

— broke for a 10-minute executive session where two positions were added to the police chief selection committee. Retired police officers will be asked to fill the positions.

— requested that city attorney Marilyn M. Wilder contact the Kansas Department of Health and Environment office in Topeka for assistance in getting a state inspection of the city clear well.

— thanked volunteers for their help in clearing a log jam under the Fifth Street Bridge.

— learned that an anonymous donor will purchase the one-ton Chevrolet rural fire truck being sold by the fire department before it is officially advertised for sale. The vehicle will be donated to the city maintenance department.

— heard that standard street exit signs legally could be placed as close as 5 feet from the right of way nearby highways. Pricing will be researched before further action is taken.

— approved installation of lightning arresters to protect both water plant filtration units at a total cost of $1,200 installed.

— agreed that railroad crossing arms are needed, and will continue trying to contact Burlington Northern regarding a dangerously rough railroad crossing.

— will be dealing with complaints received about animals running at large. Letters will be written to the animals’ owners, and if the problem is not resolved the animals will be impounded and destroyed if necessary.

— will look into existing ordinances before addressing complaints made over farm animals being kept in town.

— passed Resolution 2003-7, accepting the year-end cash carried forward from the 2003 fiscal year.

— received a quote on mosquito control services from the City of Peabody at a price of $500 per trip. Larvae control tablets to be added to standing water were priced at $65 to $75 per case. Other options will be looked into before action is taken.

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