The Planning Commission met Dec. 17 at 4 p.m.

Item three on the agenda pertained to a Conditional Use Permit for Jo Lynn Cardinal and MaryJo Shearer to run MAC Esthetics, a spa, from 274 Kiva Place.

Tyler Peterson, a property owner in the neighborhood where the spa would be located, objected on the grounds that the spa would be built on residential property. So did Megan Peterson, who worried about “the additional traffic” and how that would impact her kids.

Shearer explained that they couldn’t find a commercial building, so her mother let them renovate the barn on her property. She added, “We’re at the stage of the capital expenditures, which is our business license, our liquor license. We’re going to be doing a lot of the labor ourselves. There will be four of us doing business there.”

Shearer’s mention of the liquor license drew comments, including one from a resident of the area who said there was no mention of liquor in the letter and more would have objected if there had been. Resident Riley Barnes was wholly in favor of the business, but not in a residential area, particularly not with liquor involved. Planning Member Sheryl Johnson pointed out that one of the letters for Kiva Place indicated a building was sold and then bought by a new owner as a residence.

Six people did not object to the proposal. Three did.

Richard Phillips and Alice Rodorick made a motion to deny the proposal.

The Planning Committee voted to recommend denying the permit.

The commission voted to recommend approval of a Conditional Use Permit for Kyle Synsteby’s business from his home.

Ken Dixon said that out of 71 letters sent to residents about weeds, 40 were done, 19 were almost done and 10 will be getting another letter. Two of the projects belong to the city.

With no further public comment, the meeting was adjourned. The next Planning Meeting will be Jan. 7, 2020, at 5 p.m.

The City Council meeting started at 6 p.m.

Keith Larsen introduced Dr. Don Deever, who has taken Holly Gatzke’s place at the extension office. Deever told the council, “I came here to help and serve as much as possible.” Deever moved here from Searchlight, and hopes to retire here.

Tyler Peterson, a property owner, voiced his objection to various agenda items. Riley Barnes also opposed an item, specifically number seven, a Conditional Use Permit for Jo Lynn Cardinal and MaryJo Shearer to run a spa from 274 Kiva Place.

Next, City Auditor Dan McArthur told the council the General Fund is healthy. The Sewer Fund is carrying itself and the Electric Fund showed a profit this year.

City Clerk Shearer asked McArthur to explain what the Room Tax money went for this last year. McArthur said the Room Tax has largely been used for parks’ expenses this year. Services and supply costs were $35,000. Litigation with a contractor resulted in additional monies of $20,000 being paid out.

McArthur continued to explain that money transferred out of Room Tax Fund has been moved to the Parks Fund, with the thought that parks and recreation bring people to the city. The intent of the money transferred out of the fund was to help supplement the parks and trails.

He said $95,805 shows up at the end of June 30, 2019. At the end of 2019, the parks’ ending balance was $8,484.00, which isn’t sufficient to keep the parks and the pool open. Therefore, it’s being supplemented with Room Tax money. There was no need to add it to the General Fund, as the General Fund is healthy.

The council went on to approve the Conditional Use Permit for Kyle Synsteby’s business, operated out of his home.

MaryJo Shearer presented her request for a Conditional Use Permit for her business at 274 Kiva Place. The council voted to follow the recommendation of the Planning Commission and denied the permit.

Lane Truman requested a variance for new construction impact fees. Truman wants to build single-family residences and the council has been working on reducing the impact fee.

The council voted to charge Truman $1,000 per utility, plus cost on one construction project.

Aaron LeBaron was granted a business license for Clear Secure, LLC.

The hiring committee’s recommendation to hire Deputy City Clerk Linda Larsen-Butler was approved.

The council approved opening the Utilities Clerk position to the public for 14 calendar days. It also approved closing city hall on Christmas Eve.

Councilman Tommy Rowe said the bicycle path to Kershaw-Ryan State Park has been put on hold because John Huston and Jan Cole say the right of way belongs to the Cattle Company and not NDOT. The matter is being investigated.

During public comment, Sheryl Johnson stated her disapproval that the council, at the previous meeting, approved a business license for the Taco Truck “without the corresponding documents required by the Ordinance #189, health permit, health cards, proof of liability, vehicle registration, menus, seating and most importantly, location.” She was concerned the approval of the license “was not agendized so the public would have the opportunity to voice their concerns.” She doesn’t want the truck parked in front of her business and requested “specific arrangements for it to park in a specific place” because “They did park there Friday, Saturday and Sunday when their business license request was for Saturday only.”

Finally, Johnson stated, “You have not allowed the public to voice their concerns about the location. I think that was the whole point of the food vendors ordinance. I think the public has the right to say ‘I don’t want you in front of my house or business.’ I think the four-dollar charge is ridiculous … I’m also concerned we’re going to have the SnoCone, coffee truck, everything all parked in front of our businesses.”

This was MaryJo Shearer’s last day as city clerk. She has done an amazing job and will be missed.

The next City Council meeting will be Jan. 9.

The council and city staff wish everyone a Merry Christmas.