City council notes: September 16, 2019

City council notes: September 16, 2019

The Spencer City Council discussed the following topics at its meeting on Monday, September 16.

$47,500 in downtown planter box, bench, waste receptacle restoration work approved

Planter boxes, benches and waste receptacles along Grand Avenue in downtown Spencer will be getting a makeover.

In total, the cost of the restoration work is expected to cost about $47,500. There are about 125 items downtown.

Spencer City Manager Amanda Mack said the city hopes the work is done yet this fall. That would be around the time Spencer Main Street’s new lights on Grand Avenue will be ready to light.

“We’re going to coordinate with the contractor and with (Spencer) Main Street because they’ve got some activities that they do around the planters,” Mack said. “Ideally, we’d go block-by-block, side-by-side. So we could take a few off one side of the street, bring them back, work our way down Grand Avenue. The goal is to have them done before the freeze.”

The restoration cost will be paid for with the remaining funds that the city had set aside for the downtown lighting.

The current finish on the planter boxes is estimated to be about 15 years old.

Public hearing scheduled for “improved” microbreweries ordinance

A public hearing for what city officials say is a better, clearer ordinance concerning microbreweries, microwineries and microdistilleries as a permitted use in the central business district has been scheduled for the Spencer City Council’s October 7 meeting.

On Monday, per city staff recommendation, the council voted against approving a version of an ordinance that also would have included microbreweries as a permitted use in the downtown area.

However, the language in that ordinance, and in city code needed to be improved and better-define the establishments.

The new ordinance includes what staff and the planning and zoning commission believe are better definitions and the ordinance overall is improved.

The new ordinance also includes site development regulations and use regulations.

Facilities such as microbreweries currently are allowed in the central business district, but must be approved by the council as a special exception.

This ordinance, city officials have said, would make the process of opening a microbrewery downtown easier.

This post has been updated to clarify that the restoration work includes planter boxes, benches and waste receptacles downtown.

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