Albertville loosens restrictions for live outdoor music

Separates permits to ‘major, minor’ events

The Albertville City Council voted 4-1 to allow an ordinance amendment that makes it easier for commercial establishments to host live outdoor music events.

The council also approved expanding the hours city employees can be paid for responding to fire calls.

 

OUTDOOR MUSIC

City administrator Adam Nafstad updated the council regarding a request to relax the city code requirements for outdoor music events.

The 152 Club owner had approached the council at the previous meeting about wanting to host smaller outdoor events with acoustic music.

Nafstad said staff devised a proposed ordinance amendment that would separate all music permits to “Major Music Event” and “Minor Music Event.”

Major events would be allowed between May 15 and Oct. 15, with no music past midnight. Establishments would be restricted to two “major” events per year, or three per commercial property. Stages and speakers must be at least 300 feet from any residence located in a residential zoning district for major and minor events.

Minor event permits would be issued annually, also restricting performances from May 15 to Oct. 15, with no music past 10 p.m.

Nafstad said ordinance language proposes that the city may impose additional conditions deemed necessary to mitigate nuisance complaints and protect adjoining properties. Such conditions may include:

• Limit the days of the week for minor live outdoor music events.

• Restrict the hours of minor live music beyond those stated in this code.

• Limit the size and location of minor live music events.

• Limit amplification or type of instruments.

“Any amendment to the city code is a policy decision of the city council,” Nafstad said in his memo. “Staff has prepared the draft code amendment in an attempt to balance the wishes of the businesses along with the needs of the adjoining residents. The city council should review the code amendment, take public testimony and modify the standards to best fit the needs of the city.”

The council ultimately voted 4-1 to allow the amendment. Councilor John Vetsch was opposed, wanting to limit the calendar window to summer months only, preferring to restrict music to between 4 and 9 p.m. only, and making the minor events permit monthly and not annual.

 

CITY EMPLOYEE

FIREFIGHTERS

In other matters, the council was presented with the subject of allowing full-time city employees as regular firefighters.

The city council recently authorized regular, full-time public works employees to become limited members of the fire department to respond during work hours only. Administrator Nafstad said one city employee requested to be able to become a regular paid on-call firefighter who would be able to perform all normal firefighter functions and would be able to respond to emergency calls after normal public works hours.

Because city employees are paid their city pay rate during fire calls, Nafstad said the issue “raises a few but important questions. First, all regular firefighters are paid from $8 to $12 per hour for firefighter work and $7.50 per hour for training. Public works employees are paid considerably more per hour.”

Nafstad said staff is recommending an option for the employee and city to agree ahead of time what an overtime rate would be, since public works employees already work 40 hours per week.

“It’s a good problem to have,” Nafstad said. “City employees want to volunteer, so they would likely still respond during the day as a city employee but also be considered on call after hours. Then they would get paid the volunteer rate.”

The council unanimously authorized allowing city employees to work after hours as firefighters.

In other action, the council:

RECOGNIZED resident LaVerne Beaudry for receiving the Catholic Church Volunteer Lay Woman of the Year for 2013.

RECOGNIZED resident Dave Nelson for being named a 2013 Red Cross Hero for his actions helping save the life of a coworker who had a heart attack.

SET a joint meeting with St. Michael and Otsego for Monday, June 24, at 8 p.m. at Otsego.

APPROVED the 2013 street, utility and trail improvements, including Lachman Avenue between 53rd Street and Lachman Circle, Cedar Creek watermain across County Rd. 18, Four Seasons Park Trail, and County Rd. 18 trail connection completing the trail segment between Kahl Avenue and the new STMA school campus.

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