Panel OKs Ag Credit signage stipulation

Street, Sidewalk and Sewers Committee approved the creation of an ordinance allowing Ag Credit to place its sign in the public right of way at the panel’s Monday evening meeting.

The building, under construction next to Lowe’s, has a sign that would be placed in the public right of way. Since the sign code has no authority over public right of way, council must pass an ordinance to allow construction to continue.

Ag Credit had contacted the city engineer, who referred store personnel to the committee.

Committee Chair Lori Ritzler called the situation “unique” and said the committee would have to investigate a lease or grant an easement.

Council can grant easement rights with conditions, including if the object is removed, the business would have to come back to council. If the city needs the area for future development, Ag Credit would have to remove the sign at its expense.

Law Director Brent Howard said council would be able to put any conditions in the ordinance. Ritzler supported the legislation, if council would consider conditions to the easement grant.Howard also brought up the issue of an area of the sewer separation project. The design engineers proposed adding a sanitary sewer in the area of Johnson and Greeley streets, but that area is included in the deeds of three properties. When Howard looked at the title work for that section, he discovered that in the 1890s, the city started a street dedication to acquire that section of the street. He also stated that there was nothing to show that it was completed.

He proposed that the property owners grant easement rights to the city. The committee moved to allow Howard to create legislation to accept the easements.

The committee also discussed an alley vacation request by Heidelberg University. The alley, located at the top of Mayer Field, is owned by Heidelberg and National Machinery.

The committee agreed to appropriate legislation for the petition.