Councilman wants plan for land

The Yuma City Council will be holding a workshop to discuss plans for the property just west of Indian Hills Golf Course that the city purchased last year.
Councilman Dan Baucke raised the subject during the council’s regular meeting last week, its first meeting since early December. The city spent more than $730,000 on the land last spring, and continues to lease it for farming. In fact, it approved the 2020 lease at last week’s meeting
Baucke said people have approached him about buying some of the property, adding he would like to see some kind of plan in place for the property, which includes 73 acres. The councilman said he thinks it would be foolish for the city to think the whole property would be developed by one developer.
City Manager Scott Moore said the city still needs to get the property zoned and annexed into the city.
“I don’t think it was ever our intention to sell it all off to one developer,” Moore said, adding that the city also never intended to develop the property itself but possibly could.
He also reiterated the original goals when the property was purchased, focusing on education, recreation and housing.
City Attorney Kathryn Sellars said annexing and zoning normally are done back-to-back, first passing the ordinance for annexation.
It was the council’s consensus to line up a workshop to discuss it further. Baucke added that it would be nice to have public input as well.
In relation to that property, the council unanimously approved a resolution ratifying Moore’s signature on a lease agreement between Robert Harper, doing business as Harper Dairy, and the city. The lease runs through December 1.
The council also passed a resolution ratifying Moore’s signature on leases with Smithfield/Murphy Brown LLC.

Pay raises, and drug testing
The council unanimously approved pay raises for city manager and city clerk. The city manager pay raise is $880 per year, and and the city clerk pay raise is $750.
The raises were effective immediately.
In another employee-related matter, a resolution was presented, amending the city’s personnel manual regarding procedures for alcohol and drug testing. It was explained to the council that city jobs that are not in safety sensitive positions are being removed from the random test pool.
Council member Bethleen McCall asked if an employee using their own vehicle on the job and gets in a wreck, if that employee would still get tested, as the manual only addresses city vehicles. Sellars they would get tested. It was noted that city employees do not drive their own vehicles while on the job, but it could happen, so Sellars said she would correct that in the manual.
The council passed the resolution.

More meeting
The Orphanage LLC in downtown Yuma had submitted an art gallery liquor permit request for the 2020 dates of February 1, April 4, June 7, August 1 and October 3. The council unanimously approved the permit.
• The fermented malt beverage renewal for 7-11 was approved unanimously.
• Since it is a new year, a resolution designating the posting places for public meetings was presented to the council, with the front window of City Hall in downtown Yuma and the city’s website being the two places. It was approved.
• There were two resolutions presented to the council pertaining to employee agreements between the city and Trevor Buchanan and Christopher Holmes. The Yuma Police Department will pay for their training, in return for them working for the YPD when they are done. Sellars said state law allows for a maximum of two years commitment with such agreements, instead of three as outlined in the resolutions, so that part was to be corrected. The council approved the agreements.
• Another resolution outlining a memorandum of understanding with the Yuma County Clerk and Recorder to have drop-off ballot boxes in City Hall for the March 3 presidential primary election was approved.
• The first ordinance of 2020, amending the municipal code concerning polling places, was approved on first reading. The change is necessary since City Hall has moved to a new location.
• The purchase of a pressure washer from Rocky Mountain Cleaning Systems for $6,200 for the Yuma Ambulance service was approved.
• A lump sum payment of $130,022.83 for property and casualty insurance with CIRSA was approved.
• The council approved selling a water meter reader the city does not use anymore to Kit Carson for $5,000.
• There is a hotel market feasibility study being done. The city and Yuma County Economic Development both are paying a fourth of the cost, with the city paying $2,250.
• Moore informed the council that the city received an anonymous donation of $14.02 that was made at a lemonade stand. The funds will go to the animal pound.