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City council approves golf cart ordinance 4-2

The Tea City Council approved a golf cart ordinance after many meetings of discussion.

The council heard from council members and citizens about the proposed ordinance. Previous supporter Jason Bennett encouraged the council to vote no and withdrew his support of ordinance 273. While he noted his appreciation for the work done, he was not supportive of the regulation of no travel on Main Street, only allowing travel from April 1 through Nov. 1 and the inspections.

“I’m frustrated to hear that now you don’t want it. This is about safety. It’s frustrating,” said councilman Jim Erck.

Another citizen noted how complicated the ordinance had become. His original hope was to be able to ride around and see his neighbors and be able to get his electric cart permitted.

Mayor John Lawler had noted that he was not in favor of a golf cart ordinance. City administrator Dan Zulkosky also reminded everyone that a golf cart is not a recreational vehicle and did not favor them running through Tea now that the population has grown over 5,000.

The council approved the second reading of ordinance 273 on a 4-2 vote, with Chuck Ortmeier and Todd Boots voting no.

The council approved the conditional use permit for Daddy Daycare at 415 S. Deerview Ave. They have had a daycare for many years but moved into a new home. The only concern was the traffic on Deerview. Planning and zoning administrator Kevin Nissen said there was a safe pickup and dropoff area.

They also approved the conditional use permit for Claws n’ Paws Pet Sitterz at 318 W. 3rd St. Nissen treated the application like a daycare situation. They have a fenced backyard and safe pickup and dropoff areas. Since it is in a residential area, the total number of pets allowed at a time per city ordinance is six. Owner Kelsea Zillgitt said most of their business is going to people’s homes to take care of pets, but some people had been asking for animals to come to their home when owners are out of town. She has been in communication with her neighbors.

Nissen presented information on a billboard in the Bakker Landing planned development. An existing billboard in the area is falling down. The developer wants to get rid of it but the company that owns it has a 30-year lease that has many years left. They have been working with the North Dakota-based company. The council approved the company putting up a new 672 square foot billboard along the interstate on a 4-2, with Erck and Casey Voelker voting no.

The council approved the variance application for a shed/concrete driveway side yard setback for Ryan Bak. Bak said the extra feet would double the space for his kids. Nissen said with the easement along that side of his property no one will build there. The Howling Ridge Lake Association submitted a letter of support.

The council let the previous COVID-19 resolution expire and replaced it with resolution 20-06-06. The new resolution encourages the public to take precautions and follow CDC guidelines.

The council did not approved two ordinances they had first readings for earlier in April and May regarding regulations on COVID-19.

Even though the city has canceled Teapot Days, some businesses have applied for concerts and activities. The council approved the outdoor parking lot party June 20 for Squealer’s Smoke Shack.

They also approved the outdoor dart tournament that would have a limit of 64 participants for the weekend of June 20 for Sky Lounge. They also approved their application to an outdoor 30-year class reunion for one of the owners of Sky Lounge.

They approved the application for O’Toole’s/Tea Steak House. Owner Jim Ihnen said the event is the same as they have done the last 15 years.

Councilman Joe Weis voted no on the items for the weekend of June 20 since the city canceled Teapot Days.

The council approved resolutions 20-06-08 and 20-06-09 regarding sewer facilities improvements and the city rate structure, providing for a surcharge for improvements to sewer system for the SRF loan.


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