Amy Hutchison new Motley City Council member

By Tina Snell, Staff Writer

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Amy Hutchison was sworn in by Motley’s Clerk Treasurer Terri Smith Tuesday as the newest member of the Council.

During the 2012 election, Steve Johnson, who was not up for re-election, put his hat in the ring for a new four-year term and he won. The remaining two years on his previous term were left open.

At the December 2012 City Council meeting, the members asked Duane Solga, who received the second highest number of votes, if he would be interested in the seat on the Council. He said he would if the Council would have him.

While the Council felt it was a good call, they said it was a decision for the new council members.

At the January Council meeting, the members decided to put an ad in the paper, inviting people to send in letters of intent regarding the open seat.

Solga wrote his letter of intent for the position, as did Hutchison. No other letters were presented.

Present at Tuesday’s meeting were Council Members Rob Sampson, Pat O’Regan and Steve Johnson. Mayor Nancy Nieken was not present.

While Johnson voted to put Solga in the vacant seat, Sampson and O’Regan voted for Hutchison, citing the need for new blood.

“The appointment to the council seat needed to be done by the new Council,” said Smith. “If the mayor had been present, the results would have been different.”

Motley City Council briefs

Other business conducted by the Motley City Council Tuesday night included:

• Learning that the city’s lawyer, Peter Vogel, wrote an amendment to the liquor ordinance reading that no liquor will be sold within 450 feet of a school or church instead of the original 500 feet. But, it was also learned that Mike Stevens, the owner of Mr. Ed’s Restaurant, may want to include a beer and pizza restaurant in part of his establishment which sits 400 feet from the Motley Free Church. The issue will be discussed with Vogel before accepting the new amendment;

• Learning that Police Chief Brian Madison has noticed snowmobile tracks through church and school properties and has received numerous complaints concerning the noise. He said the newer sled runners are able to wear down the streets without doing damage to themselves. He would like to see the ordinance amended to not allow snowmobiles on the streets of Motley, or to have a designated road for them to use to get to the trails or through town. The snowmobile committee will look into the issue and bring ideas to the next Council meeting;

• Voting to spend $1,320 on a new Whelen light bar for the squad car since the old one doesn’t work well and parts are no longer available. The Police Department will try to sell the old one for parts;

• On approval of Widseth Smith and Nolting’s (WSN) representative Mark Hallen, the Council will not make the final payments totalling about $10,000 to WSN for its consultation work on both street projects and the wastewater treatment plant until the city receives the As-Built drawings from each of the street improvement projects for the last three years. Those “maps” show where new sewer, water mains, hydrants and more are located;

• Learning the deed to the park land has been received from Morrison County.  The Council asked Clerk Treasurer Terri Smith to offer Todd County $1 for the rest of the park that lies within its borders;

• Hearing from Fire Chief Dave Grieg that money from the Relief Association’s pancake breakfasts was donated to the Fire Department and two $750 Mustang suits for cold water rescue were purchased;

• Signing an agreement with Schlenner Wenner Company in Little Falls to do the city’s audits for the next two years;

• Learning the city offices will be closed from Tuesday, March 19 to Friday, March 22, while Smith is at a clerk’s conference;

• Approving the financial report for the city; and

• Voting to pay the $17,330 for the League of Minnesota City’s Insurance Trust.

The next City Council meeting will be held at the Motley City Hall Tuesday, March 12, at 7 p.m.