Stanhope council discusses social host ordinance

STANHOPE – During the regular monthly meeting of the Stanhope city council on Tuesday evening, Mickie Shubin of Community and Family Resources visited with them regarding adopting a social hosting ordinance for the community.

The purpose of such an ordinance is to try to reduce under-age drinking. Community and Family Resources is working with communities in the county on possibly adopting a local social host ordinance. A new state local social host law goes into effect on July 1, to be enforced in all communities that don’t adopt their own social host ordinance.

According to Shubin, communities that have a local ordinance can design it for their community. And they get to say what’s being done and how it’s being done. A local ordinance would have stiffer penalties than the new state law.

“You will never stop all underage drinking, but having a local ordinance is a deterrent,” she said.

Council members discussed the option of adopting a local ordinance, but consensus was that the state law would be adequate. In addition, they believe it would be good to have Ellsworth, Jewell, and Stanhope all using the same ordinance since they share police services.

With resurfacing of state Highway 17 currently underway through Stanhope, there was a report on progress. One more coat of asphalt is needed, which will take about one week. New parking lines will be painted when the surface is complete.

In a related matter, sidewalks in the business area have been inspected for possible American Disability Act violations. While sidewalks on the east side of Highway 17 are all fine, most of the sidewalks on the west side of Highway 17 are in violation. The cost for concrete work is $58 per square yard. If injuries occur due to unsafe conditions on the sidewalks, the business owner and the city are liable.

The question of who pays for sidewalk replacement was discussed, and also how payment would be made, but no decision was reached. Information received to date is that repairs need to be made very soon or fines will accrue. The council decided to delay any action on the issue until information in writing is received from the ADA.

Public Works Superintendent Mike Hanson gave a report to the council on street repair, tree trimming, maintenance and fire department issues. Mosquito spraying has not yet started for this season but will be done soon. Hanson suggested securing a small trailer to hold the sprayer that could then be towed behind the city truck when in use. The council agreed.

Also on Tuesday:

Doug Follmann of Town and Country Insurance reviewed renewal of the city’s insurance package for the next fiscal year.

Considered a proposal for electrical engineering services from Professional EE Services, LLC, pertaining to construction of a new electrical substation. Action was tabled until the July council meeting.