First lot-split to go before Oronogo council is denied

Bob Foos

Oronogo’s new process for considering lot-split requests was used for the first time Monday.

At issue was the request by W.L. Gehrs Jr., of BGI, Limited Co., to split the lot on the southwest corner of Central and Fourth streets to build more than one house.

Prior to the new ordinance, the request would have gone before the Planning and Zoning Committee.

Now such requests are first reviewed by the city engineer, city attorney and public works superintendent before being decided by the city council.

Engineer Eric DeGruson determined that the resulting lot sizes of the proposed split are smaller than the minimum 7,500 square feet. Also, one of the lots has a frontage of 52.5 feet, which is less than the required 65-foot minimum.

Travis Shafer, representing Gehrs, asked why another developer has been allowed to build on 50-foot lots.

Mayor Charles Wilkins said lots on the original city plat have been grandfathered at 50 feet. He offered to make the original plat available to Shafer.

The council voted unanimously to deny the lot-split request.

Sewer improvement project update

DeGrusen updated the council on the major sewer improvement project, which involves the replacement of two lift stations with much larger capacity.

Basically, the project is finished except the pumps won’t run reliably. When they are on, they are drastically more efficient than the lift stations they are replacing. When they’re not, the old lift stations have to be activated.

DeGrusen said all possible causes of the new system’s failure are being ruled out. So far, there have been various fixes attempted by the contractor, equipment supplier and electrical supplier.

In other action:

• Police Chief Steven Weaver reported that the city’s free Trunk of Treat event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday on the parking lot at Christ’s Church of Oronogo.

• Public Works Superintendent Tony Cantrell announced that the leaf pickup campaign will start Nov. 1. Details will be on the city’s website.

• An ordinance was passed stating that all street cuts (usually for extension of utility service) shall be repaired by the city. It also provides for the city to recover the repair cost.

• City Attorney Derek Snyder informed the council that the city is required to lower its video service provider license fees. An ordinance was approved lowering the rate gradually from 5% to 2.5% by 2027.