Mayor, neighbors plead, 'don't put progress ahead of the Storm Lake environment'
After some discussion and a impassioned plea from Mayor Jon Kruse Monday night, the Storm Lake City Council approved the final plat for the Garry Olson subdivision on Emerald Drive.
Olson proposed to develop a single lot at the south end of Emerald Drive to build a single-family dwelling.
The council tabled the issue two meetings ago to study the affect the construction would have on the wetlands in the area.
It was again tabled at the last meeting on Oct. 6 to continue reviewing the environmental impact.
At the council's meeting on Sept. 22, Kruse came down to the floor and made an impassioned speech to the council about wetlands preservation. He said he was opposed to this plan because our region and country cannot afford to lose any more wetlands. They are vital to the purity of our water and, likewise, to the purity of Storm Lake, said.
Monday night Kruse, from his seat on dais, said he remained opposed to the development.
"There are plenty of places in the area where homes can be built," he said. "But in light of how delicate this piece of property is, I stand by what I told the council last month. I oppose this resolution."
The Rev. James Sanders who lives on Emerald Drive also addressed the council.
"We who live on Emerald Drive are concerned about the wetlands, too," he said. "And we are concerned about the drainage and sewage. Are these things being adequately taken care of?"
Sanders said there were concerns about the lift stations' capabilities. That the people living there are "constantly getting alarms and false alarms."
In a letter to the council, Sue Speers, who also lives on Emerald Drive, addressed her concerns about the lift stations. She said there have been several incidents of malfunction already. And, she said, the development would reduce the natural habitat of animals that exist there now.
After Kruse spoke, council person Treat said that "all are concerned about the environment, but we don't want to stand in the way of progress."
Council person Vaudt said he "had never, in all my tenure on the council, seen a property that had to go through more hoops."
Following the council's discussion, Garry Olson spoke to the council and reminded the mayor that there is a "100-acre farm being turned into a wetland up around Marathon or Laurens."
The mayor said that didn't replace what was going to be lost on Storm Lake.
Burns, Vaudt, Egland and Treat all voted to approve the resolution approving the final plat for the development.
In other business, the council approved:
* Setting a public hearing for Nov. 3, for the City's application to the Iowa Department of Economic Development's Housing Fund.
* Acceptance of the 2003 fire station and library tuck pointing and cleaning project at a cost of $59,622. The project was funded by the Local Sales Tax Option.
* A resolution approving the plans and specifications of the 2003 well and water main objective for the city at an estimated cost of $445,000 with $81,000 for the alternates that will be bid. The bid opening has been advertised and will be held on Oct. 29. The results will be presented to the city council at its Nov. 3 meeting.
* A first reading for a No Parking Zone to be created on the north sided of Lakeshore Drive west of its intersection with College Street.