A request to amend a Zimmerman ordinance to allow commercial outdoor recreational activities in the C2 commercial zoning district failed April 2 on a 2-1 vote in favor of the amendment. 

The vote could keep Zimmerman Bowl from moving ahead with its hopes for an outdoor go-kart track, but the matter will come back before the full council on April 16.

Zimmerman Bowl has proposed a small outdoor go-kart track on property adjacent to the bowling alley property. The track would feature small go-karts with 5-horsepower engines, according to City Administrator Randy Piasecki, who also noted the operation would obviously be seasonal with limited days and times of operation.

At the April 2 meeting Zimmerman Mayor Dave Earenfight and Council Member Jay Whiting voted to approve the change and Council Member Jeremy Nathe voted against. Council Members Tony Brisbin and Beth Smith were absent to tend to personal business. Minnesota statute requires a majority of the full council, which would be three.

Nathe felt the amendment should be heard by the full council, Piasecki said.

The city’s planning commission had recommended approval of the change, which would have added commercial recreational facilities to the list of exceptions, thereby allowing them to be outdoors.

The commission is scheduled on April 25 to hear the request for a conditional use permit and hold a public hearing on the matter.

That, however, all hinges on Zimmerman City Council approving the code amendment on April 16.

In other council business:

•Steve McDonald of Abdo, Eick & Meyers, LLP presented the 2017 audit report. He indicated the city of Zimmerman is on par with or better than many cities in the peer group study, he said.

“There were (many) highlights and a good plan in place for the future,” McDonald said.

He reported that the city’s fund balance increased by $198,927 from 2016. Currently, the city’s unrestricted general fund balance is at about 81 percent, which is slightly less than the previous year. Council has identified a desire to maintain a minimum 50 percent of fund balance as unrestricted for operating expenses and has committed approximately $430,000 for specific purposes.

Expenditures have been maintained at a relatively constant level over the past five years, with expenses for 2017 lower and revenues collected higher than anticipated. The general fund balance has stayed relatively constant.

•Zimmerman Public Works Director Dave Johnson reported there was a bid opening on March 28 for the street preservation project intended for fixing and filling cracks in city streets as well as a large portion on walking and biking paths.

Allied Blacktop was awarded the bid at a cost of $214,738, which was about $16,000 below the engineer’s estimate. There were three other bidders.

The council was asked to consider expanding the project area to include the bituminous trail along County Road 45. The city can request a change order from the contractor for consideration at a future meeting.

•The council approved a $300 donation to the Moving Wall Traveling Memorial visiting the Princeton area July 4-6 of this year.

The city was advised by its city attorney it can donate up to $300 in observance of Memorial Day or in the commemoration of the noble and valiant deeds of the nation’s dead.

Upcoming events include:

•Local Board of Appeal and Equalization on April 16 beginning at 9 a.m. at City Hall.

•Passing the Bread food distribution on April 28 from 9-11 a.m. at UMA Precision Machining.

•Zimmerman/Livonia Joint Clean Up Day on April 28 from 8 a.m. to noon. More information is on the Livonia Township website.


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