Over the past two years, John Arnt has spent a lot of time and money getting approval and permits from different federal, state, and county agencies to put a fishing pond on his property. Unfortunately for Arnt, the Columbus City Council denied his variance request, interim use permit, and excavation permit at their Sept. 25 meeting. The council denied the applications to put the pond on the property at 7162 167th Ave. Northeast for several reasons.
Excavating for the pond was expected to take approximately 90 days. During that time, it was anticipated that 25 trucks a day would be hauling Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and possibly Saturday between 8 a.m. and noon. Columbus Public Works Superintendent Jim Windingstad and Public Communications Coordinator Jessica Hughes did not think this was a good idea. Remembering a previous hauling project, Hughes said she had gotten multiple complaints every hauling day from residents. Windingstad said he spent countless hours dealing with the residents in person who complained to the city about hauling hours, dust, trucks driving too fast, trucks driving off the road and causing property damage, and trucks creating rough roads.
Councilwoman Janet Hegland said she wasn’t clear about the purpose for the pond. Arnt said it was for recreational fishing only. However, it stated on his applications that it was for growing and marketing fish, making Hegland wonder if it was going to be used for a home-based business.
City Engineer Dennis Postler was concerned about the necessary dewatering. In the past, Postler had seen dewatering projects negatively affect neighboring ponds and wells even though they weren’t supposed to. As a result, the council unanimously voted not to approve Arnt’s applications.