By Craig Moorhead
The Caledonia Argus
By a 3-1 vote, the Caledonia City Council amended a conditional use permit for an office building used by Houston County staff last week. The July 22 ballot gives the county the option of providing required off-site parking for the County Services facility at 611 Vista Drive with leased spaces. County-owned land now used for that purpose is part of a proposed real estate transaction that involves a property trade and the purchase of some parcels that could clear the way for Houston County to build a new highway shop/headquarters facility near the fairgrounds in Caledonia.
“You cannot revoke their CUP...” city attorney Mike Flaherty told the council, adding at another point that “It’s going to be difficult to enforce this.”
Councilman David Fitzpatrick did not attend the meeting, so only four votes were cast. The single “no” came from council member Randi Vick, who expressed doubts that persons visiting the offices would actually use the leased parking spots, and might park at neighboring businesses instead.
“Is it going to become a burden upon Quillin’s?” Vick asked.
“(For) Quillin’s, all they’ve got to do is put the run to them,” mayor DeWayne Schroeder replied. “If they start parking there illegally they can call the cops on them...”
In other news, the council was unanimous in accepting $14,804 from 501(c)(3) Caledonia Ambulance, Inc., for the purchase of a new LUCAS CPR device to be placed in the second Caledonia Ambulance Service unit.
Ambulance director Mike Tornstrom demonstrated the technology with the department’s existing LUCAS unit for council members, adding that with both vehicles equipped with the automated mechanical devices, lives may be saved.
“We have made many donations over the years,” Tornstrom said. “This is probably the largest donation that we will make...” Besides holding fundraisers and accepting contributions from numerous individual community members, the group also accepted large donations “from several different entities.” he noted.
The Caledonia Ambulance Service responded to seven cardiac arrests (typically about 1.5% of calls) last year, Tornstrom said, and both ambulance vehicles respond to numerous situations. So far, 2019 has seen an abundance of ambulance calls, totaling 65 more than were logged at the same time (at the end of June) in 2018.
City clerk/administrator Adam Swann reported that the new City of Caledonia website is set to go on line on August 1st. Swann also brought several documents to the council for approval, which formalize already-approved decisions. The first laid out the terms of a tax abatement for developer Twin Villiage, LLC, while the second was a lodging tax agreement between the City of Caledonia and the Caledonia Area Chamber of Commerce, which will take over the job of promoting tourism in the city, and developing Caledonia as a convention destination. Both were accepted by council members.
Finally, members voted to hire Andrea Colsch and Diana Forrester as part-time clerks at the Caledonia Liquor Store.