City among violators
HUMBOLDT — Humboldt City Council members had the unusual task Monday of discussing how to enforce an ordinance that the city itself is violating.
At issue are signs identifying businesses that no longer exist, City Administrator Larry Tucker explained.
With Humboldt’s new zoning regulations in place, the city has targeted a handful of buildings, most along Bridge Street, that still identify nonexistent businesses. In most cases, those signs are aging and in poor shape.
Tucker noted that the city itself is a violator, now that it owns the old Emprise Bank building, which soon will become City Hall.
While the bank clock sign has been changed to identify the city as its owner, the building still has the letters “HNB” from when it was Humboldt National Bank years ago. Those letters were revealed when another sign, identifying it as Emprise, was taken down.
Councilman Sam Murrow noted the city — like other property owners — is working toward fixing the issue, and that some leniency would be wise. Many have already taken down or covered old signs, he said.
They directed Tucker to continue visiting with representatives from Luminous Neon Sign Company of Hutchinson, to seek prices for a sign on the building’s exterior as well as lettering identifying city offices and the police department.
Tucker provided council members with a bid of $2,839.99 from Luminous, but that did not include lettering for the police department.
Tucker reminded council members that bids for renovations to the bank building will be opened March 2, with work slated to begin soon thereafter. Offices are being refurbished and an elevator installed to make both the lobby and basement fully accessible.
Council members also discussed what to do with the current city hall building at 701 Bridge St. once offices are moved. Tucker said he has fielded calls from folks interested in buying or leasing the property.
The Council directed Tucker to first look into how much of the building will be used for ambulance quarters and then look at market rates to determine what should be charged to lease or sell the remainder of the building.
COUNCIL members approved a motion to allow JMZ Corporation to assume the responsibilities of KwiKom Communications, LLC as part of the city’s franchise agreement with the wireless Internet provider.
KwiKom, LLC is dissolving and merging with JMZ for tax purposes, Tucker explained.
As part of an agreement to place antennas on city water towers at Humboldt’s North Industrial Park, city square and the intersection of Seventh and New York Streets, JMZ will continue to provide free Internet access at a number of city offices. JMZ also will allow free access at Cannon Park, Camp Hunter, the city square and the city’s softball and baseball diamonds.
Council member Dr. Sean McReynolds noted that the city should prohibit laptop computers at the city swimming pool in Centennial Park, particularly for pool employees. Having laptops there could prove distracting, McReynolds said.
Tucker said he would visit with pool managers about the matter.
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