The Langdon City Commission had a full agenda before the Christmas holiday on the evening of December 23. The Commission, which has a vacant seat, cannot be accused of being Scrooges, however, as they carefully considered the city budget and means when making decisions.
Ordinance 6.0105 was discussed at length with each commissioner weighing in their thoughts on the course of action the city should take. Commissioner Lawrence Henry reported to his fellow commissioners he had received feedback from several businesses in the city that the ordinance should remain unchanged.
“I see both sides of it,” Henry commented.
Commissioner Jim Rademacher stated that he is against the ordinance as it is currently written. Commissioner Marty Tetrault compared the city utilities to the other utilities. Tetrault noted that the ordinance has come up several times during his 20 years on the commission.
"My deal is with the garbage. Is it fair for every consumer in that building to pay garbage at the minimum?" Tetrault asked.
However, Tetrault noted that if the charge were to change, it could not occur for fiscal year 2020 as the budget has already been set. This would cause the city to scramble to balance the budget. There is already discussion of a rate increase in regards to the street lights.
Langdon City Sanitation Supervisor Tom Beauchamp explained to the commissioners that the garbage charge is based on volume. Beauchamp shared that some single business owners have asked if their rate will decrease because their volume of garbage is comparable to multiple business in one location.
The question of how the ordinance could be better enforced was also addressed. Langdon City Auditor RoxAnne Hoffarth noted that it is up to the main building owner to report if they are subletting to another business. Commissioner Jerry Nowatzki stated that a potential solution could be sending out polling every quarter to determine how many businesses were in residence of the space.
“What I’m getting at is this is going to require a re-write of the ordinance. So when we do this let’s make it as bullet proof as we can,” Nowatzki said.
The Commission was in agreement that the ordinance would be revisited at budget time as the city plans the 2021 budget. This would also provide opportunity to determine what the rate increase, if any in regards to this ordinance, would need to occur.
In Other Business
• The commissioners discussed the vacant chair on the Commission. Two possibilities have been contacted with one requesting time to consider.
• The commissioners approved the Stein Third Addition annexation.
• 2020 liquor licenses were approved. Country Inn did not renew theirs, making 5 total city licenses available.
• Johnson Control had a representative present to review the proposal for the Activity Center heating and cooling unit. After his presentation and limited discussion, the Commission approved option 2.
• All requests for water shut off must now be submitted in writing.