WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     Westbrook — The council discussed problems with people not getting building permits when doing projects on their property. Mayor Phelps said people have to realize there is good reason for them to get permits. If a property owner is doing a project that is going to change the footprint of their property — they need a permit.

    Two of the main reasons  for this is to make sure that people do not build structures over utilities, this can create serious safety issues. Another reason is there are setback requirements  that need to be met. For instance you can not build anything within so many feet of your property line. Although some of the setback issues can be amended with a variance, if a property owner receives permission with a majority of other owners in the area.

    Another reason for this is to keep the community looking as neat and orderly as possible. “We don’t want people to drag in old dilapidated buildings into town,” Phelps said.

    Police Chief Alan Wahl asked the council for permission to raise the fee for officers to work at wedding dances and other events where liquor is served. The current fee is $75.00. He would like it raised to $100.00 per night. Wahl says our rate would still be low compared to other towns in the area.

    With two members of council missing, Phelps said he would like to table the request until the full council was there to approve it.

    Jim Patterson made a formal request to have a parcel of his land detached from the city. Patterson had already prepared the necessary paper work to make the change. The council approved Patterson's request to detach the property.

    The council passed a joint powers agreement for anything needed with Cottonwood County. Currently the city has a joint powers agreement for maintaining First Avenue for plowing in the winter. The blanket joint powers agreement will cover things  like seal coating, which saves the city money. The council passed the joint powers agreement.

    Last month Luke Ewald representative from DesMoines Valley Health and Human Services requested the city to designate the city park as a tobacco free place. The council thought it would be hard to enforce however they thought it would be a good idea, and adopted a policy declaring  the city parks as tobacco free. Ewald has posted signs in the park  declaring it as Tobacco Free.

    The EDA requested the council to pass a resolution to  send to the county asking for temporary tax abatement on the former Recipe building  until it is sold.