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For the week of March 19 - 25, 2003


Bellevue acts on fees, parks legislation

Panel OKs initiative to develop skate park

Express Staff Writer

Bellevue City Council Thursday approved a long list of legislative items, including several proposals to raise fees for city planning services and park-use permits.

Although Mayor John Barton, Councilman Wayne Douthit and Councilman Jon Wilkes were absent, a streamlined four-member panel approved two ordinances and two resolutions to increase city fees and amend policies for city-owned lands.

Council President Parke Mitchell led the charge, serving as acting mayor in Barton’s absence. Mitchell chaired the meeting and also participated in all votes on motions presented by fellow council members.

The swift-acting panel approved:

  • A resolution to establish regulations and fees for city parks, including a $500-per-day fee for the use of an entire park for a "major for-profit event."

  • An ordinance to raise fees for various planning services, including plans to set the fee for design review of a residential dwelling unit at $125 each.

  • A resolution to increase fees related to the city’s subdivision ordinance, including provisions to make all applicants and appellants responsible for paying for extra engineering, publishing and legal costs related to their application.

  • An ordinance amending city code to set new beer-, wine- and liquor-license fees. The ordinance also establishes a $20-per-day "catering permit" for event organizers to sell alcoholic beverages under the permission of a licensed alcoholic-beverage vendor.

Council members also voted to approve:

  • A contract with the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley to house dogs and cats impounded from Bellevue neighborhoods.

  • Using an approximately $3,300 grant to the city from the state Department of Lands to employ a Hailey woman to take inventory of and develop a maintenance plan for all trees in the city.

  • Authorize Councilwoman Tammy Schofield to submit a grant application to the U.S. Forest Service seeking $20,000 to enhance and make repairs to the city’s O’Donnell Field facilities. The city has committed an additional $10,000 in matching funds to the project. The plan calls for rehabilitating the playing fields and installing public bathrooms and a play structure on the site.

In addition, Schofield at the meeting announced plans for the city to develop at its Memorial Field park site an approximately 8,500-square-foot skateboard park. She said she has developed a plan to resurface the site’s basketball and tennis courts, adjacent to which a rectangular skateboard park with mobile, steel-framed structures would be erected.

Council members Thursday told Schofield they endorse the plan to locate the skateboard park at Memorial Field.

Schofield Friday noted that she has raised approximately $15,000 for the project—enough to pay for the resurfacing project—and plans to seek an additional $35,000 to $60,000 through grants and fundraisers to pay for construction of the park’s facilities.

"We’re very excited," she said.

Mitchell Thursday showed an inclination to advance an additional long-standing item on the city’s agenda—a city-initiated rezone of the west side of Second Street—but was precluded from doing so until a public hearing on the proposal is conducted.

"Let’s get this done," he said.


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