By Jean Doran Matua, Editor
With a workshop scheduled for Dec. 15, the Watkins city council will formally begin updating its city ordinances. The city has hired the Mid-MN Development Commission to guide this work, and to create a new set of ordinances that will be both current and enforceable. This will include more precise parking specifications as well as ordinances related to telecommunications rights-of-way. Having up-to-date ordinances will allow residents to know the exact rules for various activities, and for the city to effectively enforce infractions of those rules.
Even as the city prepared to canvass the Nov. 3 election, the council accepted the resignation of councilmember Jason Laumer who is moving out of the city by Dec. 15. The city is checking with its attorney to verify that it can appoint a council member to fill the vacated seat until the next regular election (which would be in 2022).
The council accepted the resignation of Alex Neisen from the EDA; he will begin working in Howard Lake. It is hoped that a replacement will be found from the bank staff.
The council approved an updated contract for law enforcement with the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.
The council again discussed the mobile home park, which party is responsible for permits, and the need to enforce penalties for not having the required permits to install, remove, or demolish homes there.
The council reviewed a 2021 fee schedule which will be approved next month.
The largest problem this month for Deputy Ernie Junker and the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office (which patrols the city of Watkins) has been spoofed calls. Everyone should be aware of phone calls that appear to be coming from nearby phone numbers but they ask for information that should never be given out over the phone.
The city’s engineering firm Bolton Menk has done a thorough inspection of the water tower and it has been given a good bill of health until the next inspection in three years.
The next regular meeting of the Watkins city council will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10.