Paris City Council held its meeting Dec. 1. All members were present.
The meeting was also available by conference call.
After the regular business of the meeting, the Council heard from Direct Communications. The Council would like to have useful internet to be able to have Wi-Fi in the building. Direct Communications informed them that the current set up is not adequate to do what they would like. He recommends that if they are going to invest in Wi-Fi to go to Fiber Optic. A line will need to run to the building. Installation would not be possible until spring. They also could invest in equipment that would allow them to have faster speeds with the cable internet as currently they only have 5 Gigabytes speed. That speed is not an option anymore. The Council would like to go for fiber optic, but it will depend on obtaining the grant they have applied for. They will contact Direct Communications to see if that stipulation is possible.
The next item was in regards to building permits. Several people in the community have brought in prebuilt buildings and don’t make sure they meet the setbacks or start to build without a permit. It has become a large issue and takes up much of the meeting and extra time for the Council to monitor this.
The Council heard from Wayne Davidson, the county building inspector. Davidson explained how the code is put together and how, and who approves it. He gave the Council some history on the situation. He would look at Paris’s building ordinance and see what is and is not allowed. The ordinance would need to be followed for anyone to obtain a permit. If someone started to build without a permit, they would receive a cease order. If they continue, they would possibly go to court and explain to the judge why they disregarded the order. Wayne has the authority to have this happen. He brought the Council up to date on how many permits have been issued in the county. The numbers are just going up. Davidson also suggested some changes in the City Ordinance that have proved helpful. One of the main proposed changes would be a water and sewer permit to be obtained before a building permit may be issued. The Council asked how long it would take for permits to be issued. Davidson said if everything else is was in place, he can often issue them within 24 hours. The Council will discuss this at a further meeting and let Davidson know when they decide. The Council discussed some of the properties that currently may have building permit issues.
The Council looked at building permits that had been presented. Both permits were approved as long as all setbacks are observed.
The Council discussed the current sewer hook-up fee, and instead, the rate covers the associated costs. Because many new hook-ups require new lines to run, the engineering cost is greater than the permit’s price. Most other cities in the area have a higher fee for this reason. No action was taken at this time.
The Mayor told the Council of the issues with the sewer lift station and necessary repairs. Mayor Wilks is making sure The Council approved the repairs.
Two items on the agenda were not addressed as the persons involved were not present.
Shannon Holjeson had looked at the FEMA grants, and the deadline is Dec.15. There is more information needed that can be obtained by then. The grant could be written for next year. No action was taken.
Joe Hayes was present to discuss the Dog ordinance. It has not been completed now, but he is hoping to have it ready for the next meeting.
Jenna Matthews reported on the progress on the COVID grants. Radio purchases were also discussed. Some handheld radios or upgrades to phones may be the best answer for communication with the City Crew.
The Mayor then heard from the Council with any comments or concerns.
Jenna Matthews asked for clarification on who could hook an RV to their City water. The situations when this would be allowed were discussed. There is no time an RV can be connected to the city sewer unless they are in an RV park.
Kelly Jensen commented on how nice the Christmas Lights looked. Other Council members agreed.
The Council also brought up some properties where vehicles are being parked on the city right of way. The Deputies will contact the owners and take any necessary actions.
Dana Jacobsen asked if the water books have been mailed yet. They should be going out very soon.
The Mayor reported there had been a water leak at the city park on Thanksgiving. He also reported on the progress of the electric line to the City Shop.
He also reported that the electric drops for the Christmas lights are getting worn and sometimes short out if there is a strong wind. He will contact someone from the power company to see what can be done to have them replaced. Dana Jacobsen requested that the Mayor also find out where the paint for light poles can be obtained.
The Council then went into an executive session to discuss a personnel issue. No decisions were made after returning to the public meeting. The meeting was then adjourned.