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Backus Council cracks down on illegal parking

The Backus City Council on Monday, July 1, set into motion efforts to eliminate illegal parking taking place on Church Lane leading to the Lakeside Baptist Church.

Church Lane is an asphalt road between church property and an apartment complex. The council was presented with a photo of cars illegally parked in the grass ditches along that street. The vehicles in the photo are presumably owned by residents and visitors to the apartment complex next to the church property.

Backus City Clerk Jeff Turk said he has monitored the parking lot ever since the issue was brought to his attention. Each time he has passed by the lot, he said there have been cars parked on one or both sides of the street.

This parking causes congestion leading to Lakeside Baptist Church, makes it difficult to see people walking from between the cars, and is reportedly responsible for damage to the street, as the edges of the asphalt there are breaking off.

It was explained that there were “no parking” signs in Church Lane, but they have disappeared.

“We just need to have that enforced. We don’t want to repair any streets that we don’t have to,” said council member Rae Borst. “It’s a safety factor.”

The council approved the purchase and installation of two new “no parking” signs, and asked Police Chief Paul Sand to have his officers monitor the parking on Church Lane.

In other business July 1, the council:

• Scheduled a public hearing at 6 p.m. Monday, July 15, for the creation of a municipal development district and the establishment of a tax-increment finance district.

• Scheduled a special meeting for Monday, July 15, to hire a new city clerk/auditor. This will take place after the tax-increment finance public hearing.

• Approved the 2012 audit.

• Adopted a city ordinance relating to criminal history background checks for applicants for city employment and city licenses.

• Accepted the resignation of firefighter Ben Pollack.

• Heard from Pollack that the recent city survey revealed one of his buildings to be encroaching on city property by approximately 7 feet. Pollack said he was willing to remove the building if the city asked him to. The council decided, instead, to draft a lease agreement for use of the property encroached upon, thus allowing Pollack to keep his building, which is used for storage of a wrecker.

• Approved street repair by Schrupp Excavating for Point Road and the road near the Backus Post Office.

• Renewed the liquor and cigarette license for Willards.

• Renewed the town home leases.

• Denied a request by a town home resident asking permission to install a utility shed on town home property. This was done to avoid difficulties in the future stemming from liability issues and setting a precedence.