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Council poised to take action on three ordinances

The Alexandria City Council will consider taking final action on ordinances that would clarify the placement of noncommercial signs on city property, loosen the restrictions about parking on the grass and eliminate out-dated rules about public dances.

The ordinances will be talked about during the council's next meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14 at City Hall.

The dance ordinance, which was last tweaked in 1992, requires people to get a license if they hold public dances that require dancers to pay a fee. Other rules prohibit alcohol, prostitutes, and inebriated persons from attending and require a police officer to be present.

The city now issues special event permits for dances and events and outdoor music is addressed in the city's noise ordinance.

The city is also likely to approve changes in the ordinance that prohibits parking on grass in the front, rear or side yards of single and two-family homes. Under the new rules, vehicles and equipment may be parked or placed on grass areas in rear yards as long as they're not closer than 5 feet to a property line.

The council will also take action on an ordinance that spells out the rules people must obey while holding, carrying or wearing signs on city property. A permit isn't needed as long as they express noncommercial messages that are within the protection of the First Amendment.

The signs must be held by a person or personally attended; inanimate signs that are left unattended may not be displayed regardless of the type of message.

A much more controversial ordinance — one that would ban the drilling of new private wells — is scheduled to be on the council's agenda for Aug. 28. On a 3-2 vote, it received preliminary approval at the council's July 24 meeting.

Other items on next Monday's agenda include:

• Creating a tax increment financing district for Unique Opportunities — an apartment development near Woodland Elementary School.

• Issuing special event permits for an amateur baseball tournament, a "Run for the Cops" 5K, an "End the Silence" 5K, and the "Faith Rose 5K Infant and Pregnancy Awareness Walk/Run."

• Hearing items of business from the city attorney and city administrator.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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