Burns Planning Commission asks council to consider raising fence height
By Randy Parks
Saying that the “city has a four-legged problem,” planning commission member Lee Williams asked the Burns City Council to accept the commission’s recommendation to allow residents to construct six-foot fences on all sides of their property to keep the deer out.
Williams said as it is now, the highest fence residents can have on the street side of their property is four feet and deer can just jump over it. “People are trying to raise gardens and they can’t because of all the deer,” Williams said.
Councilor Terri Holt was opposed to raising the fence height, saying they could pose a hazard.
Others in attendance agreed that the deer are causing a lot of damage in town as well as spreading weeds in to lawns.
“People have the right to protect their property more than the deer have the right to destroy it,” Williams said.
It was suggested that the decision to allow a six-foot fence could be made on a case-by-case basis, but the council wasn’t in favor of that.
City Clerk Dauna Wensenk pointed out that the fence height was set in the city’s Comprehensive Plan, so in order to make a change, it would have to go before the Department of Land Conservation and Development.
The council agreed to table the matter until more research could be done.
City Manager Don Munkers stated the city had received two bids for paving a 57-foot by 28-foot area near the intersection of North Grand and West Madison. The bid from Harney Rock and Paving was $7,050 and Knife River submitted a bid of $6,537.
After some discussion, the council voted to accept Knife River’s bid to do the work.
In other business:
• Fred LeLacheur of Morrison Maierle Inc. told the council the runway 12-30 project at the airport was almost completed, and he was in town to make a final check of all aspects of the project;
• the council approved a liquor license for the Pine Room and a temporary liquor license for a wine tasting event for the Burns-Hines Liquor Store;
• Gretchen Bates gave a presentation to the council regarding the Safe Kids Coalition’s child car-seat and bike helmet programs;
• Linda Johnson invited the council to attend the Harney County Opportunity Team’s appreciation barbecue from 4 to 8 p.m. July 8 at the Community Center. She also asked for volunteers to help out with a ping-pong ball race, and four councilors agreed to be there;
• Councilor Dan Hoke reported the cemetery committee had received four submissions for the landscape architect position;
• City Manager Munkers said the National Guard would be in town to help clean up over the weekend, and he thanked C&B Sanitary for allowing the city to put all limbs and brush collected at their site.
Munkers also reported the city should know by July 20 if they will receive a grant for improvements to Washington Park. He added that after giving a presentation applying for the grant, he was advised by the city’s insurance company that no matter what, the equipment at the park should be removed. “It’s that bad,” Munkers said;
• Councilor Holt reported the airport committee was still discussing what to do with the T-hangars at the airport, and they had received proposals from two engineering firms about working with the city on airport matters. “We’ll look over the proposals and make a decision,” Holt said.
The next council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, at city hall.