Public hearings highlight city council meeting


By Clara Osten,


Three public hearings were on the agenda when the Wayne City Council met in regular session.

The first involved the Planning Commission's recommendation in regard to a request to re-zone  Lot 6 of Tuffern Blue Estates from A-2 Agricultural Residential to A-1 Agricultural.

Randy and Laura Nelson have purchased the 15-acre property northwest of Wayne and the request would allow them to have stables and, according to Randy "use the property as it was designed."

Following the public hearing, council members voted unanimously to waive the three readings of Ordinance 2023-19 to amend the Zoning Map.

Also connected to the property was a public hearing to amend the city's municipal code in regard to permitted uses in an A-1 Agricultural District by adding stables as a permitted use.

Randy Nelson also spoke during this public hearing and shared information with the council on the number of animals on the property and the number of horses being stabled on the property.

After discussion on the total number of animals allowed with both the 5 Star Ranch and Dreamer's Place, council members voted to approve the ordinance that will allow stables to be a permitted conditional use in that zoning district.

The final public hearing involved the Tax Asking Property Levy.

City Finance Director Beth Porter shared information on the upcoming fiscal year's budget and said that there will be a slight decrease in the levy.

The following numbers make up this budget, along with comparisons with the 2022-2023 budget:

Total 2023 valuation — $328,167,247, which is an increase of 13.45% over the previous year;

2022 Operating — $40,484,352, compared with $53,585,042 in 2023.

Tax ask (city only) -

2022 — $1,111,864.56, which results in a levy of $0.384371;

2023 — $1,175,499.61, which results in a levy of $0.358201.

The total tax asking for the city of Wayne tax payers, which is the city, Airport Authority and Community Redevelopment Authority:

2022 — $1,111,976 (city) and $100,213 (Airport) for a total of $1,212,189 and a tax levy of $0.419053.

2023 — $1,175,500 (city), $109,920 (Airport) and $85,323 (Community Redevelopment Authority for a total of $1,370,473 and a tax levy of $0.417696.

Following the public hearing three resolutions and one ordinance were passed in regard to next year's budget.

These include: Setting the Property Tax Request for 2023-2024; approving the Allowable 1% Increase in Base Limitation of Restricted Funds' Budget, Adopting the 2023-2024 Budget and Approving the Annual Appropriation Bill (which gives the city authority to spend money).

Deb Allemann-Dannelly and Lou Wiltse came before the council to ask about watering the flower pots along Main Street.

Wiltse explained to the council that the two women had been watering and fertilizing more than 30 pots along Main Street all summer. They planted the flowers in the pots this spring and hope to have them looking nice through Wayne State Homecoming in early October.

Wiltse said the two would not continue doing this next year and questioned what the city plans to do in regard to the pots.

"The plants need to be ordered now for next year and the city needs to be taking care of them in the future. Other towns have beautiful flowers and Wayne needs to do something," she said.

Council member Jason Karsky said "if our town is going to look nice, the city is going to have to do it."

Following discussion, the council directed city staff to work on a plan in regard to ordering and watering to bring to the council by Oct. 1.

Council members approved a resolution to allow for the temporary use of the State Highway System for the Christmas in Main Celebration/Annual Parade of Lights event on Thursday, Nov. 16.

Discussion was held on the amount of work city employees would have to do prior to the event and the fact that event is being held prior to Thanksgiving.

In other action, council members approved a request to waive the rental fee for the Freedom Park Shelter House for a PEO function on Sept. 11.

Jan Casey, representing PEO, said the group would like to use the facility for a one-time event and explained what the PEO group does, including the awarding of scholarships to female graduates in the area.

Later in the meeting council members set the rental fees and deposit requirements for the shelter house. These will be $100 to rent the facility and $150 as a security deposit. The agreement is similar to that for use of the Wayne Firehall.

Approval was given to use the Freedom Park parking lot on Lincoln Street and a small portion of Lincoln Street up to 13th Street for a Memorial Car Show on Saturday, Oct. 7.

The event is a fundraiser for the youth bowling program at Wildcat Lanes.

Council members approved resolutions in regard to the purchase of a 2024 Chevrolet Silverado 4WD Crew Cab for $49,933 through the State Bid System for the Electric Production Department and for the purchase of a 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe for $47,933 through the State Bid System for the Police Department.

The Wayne City Council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 5:30 p.m.


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