Council adopts plan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 22, 2000

After two years and many meetings, all the hard work has paid off.

Tuesday, August 22, 2000

After two years and many meetings, all the hard work has paid off.

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The Austin City Council formally adopted the city’s new comprehensive plan Monday night.

"It seems like only yesterday," Craig Hoium, city director of community development, jokingly told council members about the city’s long road to adopting the new plan. The plan passed public and planner scrutiny at last week’s Planning Commission meeting.

"I feel this document has been done appropriately and points out all the issues the city needs to address," Hoium told the council. "If you approve it, I urge you to use this plan when you’re making decisions in the future. It is an important tool."

Yaggy Colby consultant Jeff Mundt, who worked closely with Hoium and the Planning Commission on the plan, told council members that Austin had restored his faith.

"It was obvious that both the council and Planning Commission really believed in the process," Mundt said. "They tried to listen to people, because it really is the community’s plan. That could only happen because both organizations believe that people really have a voice."

Resident Francis Skinness also complemented the Planning Commission for making the people who attended the meetings on the comprehensive plan feel like they were a valuable part of the decision-making process.

In other matters Monday, council members:

n Voted unanimously to reaffirm a city ordinance that refers to the annexation of 55 acres west of the J.C. Hormel Nature Center and approved by the council earlier this year. By reaffirming the annexation, council members sent the ordinance to a referendum vote in the Nov. 7 election.

The other option for the council – because 10 percent of the registered voters had signed a petition against the ordinance – would have been to repeal the ordinance and make the annexation invalid. However, support on the council for a referendum on the issue has been strong most of the summer and the only way to get that was by reaffirming their earlier vote.

n Again continued a public hearing on a business subsidy agreement with Cooperative Response Center after hearing details of the business’ construction plans.

n Approved the rank and filing of the city’s Hormel Foundation grant requests. The top request was for $1 million for a flood buyout program. The city has promised to match the donation and officials hope to apply for a state grant that would fund 75 percent ($6 million) to the city’s and the foundation’s 25 percent.

n Approved the removal of garbage and debris at 605 11th St. SW and 1107 First Ave. NW.