Montpelier city council held their regular meeting on June 5th. Dan Fisher and Steve Allred were absent. The agenda was modified in the Senior Center Update was removed from the Agenda. After the regular business, the meeting moved to the Public Hearing for the rezoning of the property belonging to Marcia Wallentine.

The meeting went to the public hearing. Marcia would like to have this land changed from R2 to agriculture zoning. R2 is already a large animal zoning which allows for 1 unit (animal) per 100,00 sq ft. Marcia has a buyer who is interested in the property but needs to have a variance on the property. A variance is not allowed unless the property is zoned agriculture.

Marcia, along with the potential buyer, Christy Maddock, presented their request for a rezone.

Present were two people, Clair Krater and Ruth Chamberlain, who own property in the same area. They were there to protest the rezoning. They felt that a rezone would cause more noise, smell, and loss of value to the property. They expressed concerns about animals on the property. It was pointed out to them that the use allowed for the property would not change at this time.

Christy Maddock addressed the council in that she would like to build a residence and an Animal Clinic on the property. The clinic is what appears to be the issue that is meeting resistance with some landowners. The Mayor pointed out to the attendees and the council that this meeting was not about what possibly will be done with the property but with the land being rezoned. The use would be presented at a P & Z public hearing at a later date if the land is purchased and a variance requested.

After a lengthy discussion, the public hearing closed. The change was motioned and voted on. There was a quorum present, but there was a three for, one against the vote. The Mayor thought that there had to be a council majority for the motion to be approved. The Mayor said that the proposal did not pass. The Mayor left the meeting for a short period.

The meeting continued to the next item on the agenda. Idaho Transportation Dept. was at the meeting to report on a planned upcoming project. The Project is a game crossing at Rocky Point on US Hwy 30. This area is noted for the most wildlife deaths in Southeastern Idaho. ITD and Idaho Fish and Game have committed over 5 million dollars to the project. They are still deciding if an underpass or an overpass would be the best for the area. Both parties discussed the challenges and benefits of the different types of wildlife crossing. The animals that cross here migrate up from about a 1000 sq mile area. This area is a major migration route. The council was assured that there is no attempt to limit access to the sportsman or the public by doing this. They are hoping to have the project completed by 2024.

During this presentation, the Mayor returned to the meeting. He had been in contact with the City Attorney, Doug Woods. Woods had informed the Mayor that yes, A quorum was needed for the previously mentioned vote, but only a majority of the attending council members were required to have the vote pass. With this updated knowledge, the Mayor announced the rezone to agriculture there for passed. The concerned parties had been contacted with the change.

Kim Johnson was the next scheduled item on the agenda. Kim owns some land that is accessed off of North 8th Street. There is a gravel lane between the trailer court and the property owned by Jason Klingenberg. Kim asked the council for an access easement to be granted by the city. They are not asking for a road to be built at this time, just a recorded easement. The council moved to allow the access easement

The next item was the Initial upcoming budget. The budget hearing will be held on August 21st. There will be continuing discussion at the meeting up to this date. The Mayor reported that they expect insurance to raise about 8% and so they are asking for a 10% increase in this area. The Mayor stated that the final numbers would be published in The News-Examiner before the budget hearing. There is also an additional cost that could prove beneficial to the council and residents. The Mayor has found a group that would codify the current ordinances and brings them all in-line. After the completion of this process, a hard copy, as well as a digital copy, will be provided the city. Placing the ordinances online would allow anyone who desires to access them. The cost will be between $4000 and $9000 for the initial process and then a yearly fee to add any new ordinances to this database. The council felt this was a beneficial expense.

The next item was to extend 8th Street to the Brett Kunz property. Currently in the winter snow is being plowed to an area alongside the property owned by Bryce Bunderson’s. The snow blocks access to the back of Bryce’s property in the winter time. Brett Kunz is willing to gift the city with the property he owns that would make the cities property straiten out and allow the snow to be pushed past Bunderson’s property allowing him access all year to the back of his property. There would be no cost to obtain the property from Kunz. The cost would be for the legal paperwork to make this a legal exchange. The cost would be between 250.00 and 500 dollars. The council approved the acceptance of the gifted land.

The last item on the agenda was to inform of the need to open the budget in July to accept some monies and take other funds out of savings and move them to the different department budgets. The areas are to receive a FAS Grant awarded to the police department, a new software program for the updates to the 911 system. The purchase of a truck by the city police department, The purchase of the SCBA gear by the fire department, a sign grant the city awarded to the city and the purchase of the new city hall. It will also include some of the money needed to make the necessary changes in the new building.

The council was polled for concerns and comments.

Shane Johnson discussed some of the changes that have happened with the resignation of the Site Manager and what is being done to help the Center become more finically stable. He is trying to be able to attend more of the board meetings.

Bobbi Leonhardt reminded the council of the upcoming open house on Saturday for the Oregon Trail Center.

Ted Sliviski reported that on the 13-15 of June it would be the Girls Softball tournament and there Are currently 54 teams signed up. All three baseball fields will be heavily used. Several of the teams are from here in the valley. Slivinski also wanted to thank Lone Wolf Fencing, owned by Shay Passey for the donation of labor to fix the backstop at the Wells C. Stock baseball diamond.

Dru Strange had nothing further to report. The meeting was adjourned.