New Market considers downtown study

By Patrick Fisher

The New Market City Council covered a variety of items at its first meeting of 2005 on Wednesday, Jan. 12. Among them were plans concerning the future of the city.

Plan for Downtown

The council unanimously approved a proposal to find an urban design firm to do a study of the downtown area.

City Administrator Tom Terry presented the proposal to the council. The study will aid in the development of zoning for the downtown area, and is the next step in a process that included a moratorium the council placed on the downtown in December. The New Market Planning and Zoning Commission requested the moratorium to allow for time to create a plan that will provide guidelines for the development of the area. The moratorium does not apply to permits for projects that were already started before the beginning of the moratorium.

Terry recommended the city hire an urban design firm to complete the project in a timely fashion.

Terry asked the council to set a budget to see what responses they would receive. It was suggested that a budget of $15,000 to $20,000 and an estimated timeline of three to five months would be appropriate. When the responses are returned and if the services aren’t what the city expected the council can reevaluate its options.

Councilmember Tom Michaud expressed concerns about the size of the budget for the study.

Councilmember Joe Molitor said there wasn’t a lot of area for the redesigning of the downtown.

Henry Zweber, chair of the planning commission, said the study would include more than the businesses on Main Street. It would cover the entire commercial area of the old downtown district. The study would provide the city an idea of what it wants the downtown to look like. It would also provide guidelines for the design of buildings, parking, landscaping, setbacks and other items.

The council unanimously approved $15,000 as the budget for the study.

2005 Action Plan

The council unanimously approved its 2005 Action Plan. The plan covers a variety of aspects, from handling growth to increased cooperation with the City of Elko.

The plan is to identify actions or steps that can be reasonably achieved within a 12-month time frame and would allow the city to achieve the five-year goals it adopted last year.

Among items included in the Action Plan were expansion of the wastewater treatment facility, a feasibility study for the merger of New Market and Elko and developing comprehensive policies and procedures.

Whispering Creek North

The council unanimously approved the release of a letter of credit for Whispering Creek North Second Addition.

Bart Winkler of Winkler Development approached the city in June asking for the release of the letter of credit. The council had denied the release due to a possible encumbrance about a dispute over a portion of the land next to property owned by Zweber. The city attempted to settle the issue between the parties.

Poehler said the issue was taken to court and an order came down to release the letter of credit. The court ruled that the assertion of Zweber, without an action being filed for adverse possession or determined, were insufficient for the city to hold the letter of credit indefinitely.

Church Street Trail

The council unanimously approved the beginning of a transaction of land between the city and St. Nicholas Church. The city is looking to complete a public trail that is located next to the church’s property.

To complete the trail the city and the church are working toward exchanging some land. In addition, city will be selling some land to the church for an amount of $7,251.

With the council’s approval New Market City Attorney Andrea Poehler will draw up the necessary paperwork.

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