Junk vehicle, hunting ordinances sail through second readings
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Mt. Pleasant City Council members passed the second reading Wednesday night of a proposed junk vehicle ordinance, but not after receiving input from a city resident.
Randy Van Brussel voiced concern about the ordinance during last night’s city council meeting. “It seems that after you come into the community, the rules change. It will cost some people a lot of money to fix that stuff (junk vehicles, trailers, campers, etc.).”
Mayor Steve Brimhall said the intent of the ordinance is not to go around looking for violators.
“We have heard lots and lots of complaints about how neighbors treat their neighbors. We are trying to please the majority,” Brimhall said.
Councilman Steve Engberg, a member of the council’s ordinance committee, the panel drafting the ordinance, said violators represent a very small fraction of the population. “We’re talking about less than half of one percent of the vehicles out there. It is not quite as restrictive as you might think.”
The third reading is scheduled for the March 27 council meeting. If the third reading is passed and the ordinance adopted, it will be come law after publication in the Mt. Pleasant News.
An ordinance allowing for controlled deer hunting in the city limits also had its second reading and was passed to a third and final reading (also set for the March 27 meeting).
The ordinance allows for deer hunting with a bow and arrow in the city limits under strict guidelines, established by the city and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
This ordinance is the result of complaints from city residents concerning the increase of the deer population around the city and the destruction of gardens, trees and other foliage by deer.
“If we don’t do anything, the DNR said that in three years the deer population will double,” reported Police Chief Ron Archer. “We are talking about managed control, not with eliminating deer.”
Brimhall agreed. “We’re not getting rid of all the deer but a few deer so they aren’t eating people’s stuff.”
Archer said the ordinance allows for hunting anywhere on a property owner’s own property as long as it complies with rules and regulations. “We aren’t going to have people sitting in their backyard and shooting deer,” the chief added.
In other business, Archer informed the council that the police department has purchased a four-wheel drive Ford Explorer.
City Administrator Brent Schleisman told the council that the wheels are about to roll on the Grand Avenue reconstruction project. “We are proceeding with it and will pick up the pace shortly.” He said the overpass on the street “will remain open as long as possible.” Construction work is going to start on the middle section of the project. The reconstruction project includes the area between the overpass and James Avenue.
Council members also set March 27 at 7 p.m. as the date and time for an amendment hearing to the fiscal 2013 budget. The budget is being amended by $2,072,899 to reflect additional expenditures on the Grand Avenue project.
The council meets again in regular session Wednesday, March 27, at 7 p.m.