Thursday, March 22, 2018

Memorial garden plans presented to council

Members of The Compassionate Friends discussed their plans for a proposed memorial garden at Granite Peak Park during the Mar. 16 Columbus Town Council meeting.
The group has proposed a 23-foot-by-23-foot memorial garden with statuary. The memorial will be a single, raised tier garden. The garden would be located near the pump house in an area that would not interfere with baseball or other sporting activities.
The Compassionate Friends are hoping that 4H groups, Alternatives, and other groups from schools will help to maintain the memorial garden. The Compassionate Friends will maintain the garden if other groups do not maintain it.
Several council members expressed their concerns about vandalism since, as council member Terry Nystul noted, the group is putting time and money into the project. Council member Jon Brown said there had been a lot of problems with vandalism at the restrooms by the tennis courts, but added that this would not make him want to stop the project. Council member Paul Edwards was also concerned with vandalism, but said there were lights in that area which was good.
Nystul asked the group if the funds were available for the memorial garden. The group is still raising funds and seeking grants, as well as waiting on an estimate from a landscaper.
Council member Gary Anderson said he liked the idea, but wanted more details so the council could have a good idea of what the memorial garden would look like.
The council agreed to take the matter under advisement, but to defer any action until the group had more information.
Public Hearing
A public hearing was held at the beginning of the meeting for a conditional use request for a sign from Two Rivers Square. The proposed sign measures 80 square feet, while the maximum size allowed without a conditional use is 64 square feet.
No public comments were made during the hearing. The town clerk’s office had also not received any comments concerning the request.
The council approved the conditional use request.
Fire Department
Columbus Fire Rescue has responded to 118 calls already this year. The department has responded to 24 calls since the last council meeting, including:
- 8 Medical calls (4 town, 4 rural)
- 4 Transports
- 1 MVA (rural)
- 1 Missing person (town)
- 2 Agency standby (rural)
- 2 Vehicle fire (1 town, 1 rural)
- 6 Wildland fires (rural)
The SAFER grant period has closed. The fire department has submitted another grant to secure funding to continue its paramedic program. A grant extension application has been submitted since there is money left in the grant. The extension, if approved, will fund staffing for another six months.
A grant application for SCBA gear has made it through the preliminary electronic filtering. The department has not received a denial yet.
The department continues to move forward with creating a petition for the formation of an ambulance district.
Public Works
A water leak on 4th Avenue North was repaired. The leak occurred on a residential service line. According to Public Works Director Dennis Holten’s report to the council, the water did not surface as usually happens with a leak. The only indication of a leak was low water pressure in the residence.
The first quote has been received for video inspection of the sewer lines that have been identified for potential replacement. Holten is waiting on a second quote before deciding how to proceed.
The department will be preparing the ultraviolet treatment system at the lagoons for pumping of effluent to the golf course pond for irrigation. Pumping will begin in the middle of April.
Public Works has been working on patching some holes in the streets, as well as working on some alley repair requests.
CenturyLink will be working on lowering communication lines for the storm drainage project. Work will be in the area of 4th Avenue North and 6th Avenue North, and Pratten Street and 4th Street. COP Construction will resume drainage work once CenturyLink has finished moving the lines.
Mike Garvey of Garvey’s Urban Forest has started assessing trees in Itch-Kep-Pe Park. His report should be done in the next few weeks.
Park restrooms will be opened in the next couple of weeks. Grounds maintenance will also start soon in parks and the cemetery. Holten has asked AEI to look at early weed control in the cemetery.
Town Attorney
Town Attorney Doug Howard has worked on seven criminal cases and a bench trial in Columbus City Court since the last council meeting.
Howard has also conferred with an individual who is interested in an airport hangar lease.
Town Leases
The council agreed to continue town leases at the same amount as previously.