By Daria Anderson Faden
The Observer 

Ridgewood Rezoning Debated

Discussions Under Way To Find Common Ground With Revised Plan


April 29, 2021

For the Observer

Kimball City Council members listen to a representative of MC Schaff discuss a construction bid, while members of the community wait for the Ridgewood Trailer Park rezoning topic to appear on the agenda.

On Monday, following the April 20 Kimball City Council meeting, Mayor Keith Prunty said he was "very pleased with the courtesy shown by everyone" regarding a proposal to rezone Ridgewood Trailer Park.

He said that with a positive attitude like that, "things can be accomplished."

The council had directed the Porters, the project developers, and city officials to work together and look for some common ground for revamping the old Ridgewood Trailer Park.

Prunty said the plans have been revised and a meeting between city officials and the Porters should take place later this week to solidify the revised plan.

At the council meeting, the meeting room at the KCTS building was filled to the brim with concerned citizens. A large portion of the crowd was opposed to the rezoning of Ridgewood Trailer Park.

Sonny, Kathy, and Gerry Porter purchased Ridgewood Trailer Park in 2019, have cleaned up abandoned trailers, and presented their new plan for the 24 acres to the council to obtain a rezoning permit.

The Porters want to build an underground shooting range, retail store, fueling station, and parking for RVs and trucks on the plot of ground east of Monroe Street.

At 7:04 p.m., the public hearing was opened, and the Porters explained their projects and requested that the area be rezoned from R-4 Residential Mobile Home Park to C-4 Commercial Services District.

All individuals were given the opportunity to speak their minds without interruption. About two dozen individuals stated their opinions; many were residents of Monroe Street and adjacent properties to the east.

The opposition reasons centered mainly on the decrease of property values, traffic, noise, round-a-bout issues, air pollution, the safety of children, and a host of other problems. Questions arose about a traffic study and an illumination study, but neither were ordered.

The last of the citizens was heard, and the hearing closed at 8:29.

The council quickly decided to take no action and encouraged a meeting between parties to find an alternative and address additional options.

The meeting room cleared out after the hearing, but the council meeting continued with other business.

According to a release by the city, the popular LB840 Loan and Grant Program has expended all its budgeted money for this fiscal year. The following businesses were approved for Infrastructure and Facade Grants: Cupcakes & Ink, Kimball Bakery, and B & B Water Well Service.

The Remembrance Rug Project was denied an infrastructure grant for heating and plumbing. According to the press release, the city will not accept applications for the LB840 Loan and Grant Program until Oct. 1.

The council approved the appointment of two new members to the Cemetery Board – Darcee Wheeland and Robert Snyder, replacing Betty Allen and Sue Wallesen.

The council approved the Water Looping Project construction bid for $183,689 from Hennings Construction. Josh Enevoldsen from Kimball Insurance returned a $51,940 check to the city as a dividend check for loss control and employee safety.

The council approved two resolutions. One was for a code of conduct for all elected officials, and the other for closing Highway 30 from Washington to Chestnut streets on May 7 from 6-8 p.m. for the Kimball Senior Graduation Parade.

Three ordinances were under consideration, and proposed Ordinance No. 789 passed its first reading. This ordinance would prohibit some recreational vehicles from being parked on the street during the winter months.

Another ordinance, No. 791, "authorizes fire protection districts and departments acting within the city of Kimball to charge reasonable fees for their services." The three readings were suspended, and the council voted to approve Ordinance No. 791.

The ordinance for the rezoning of Ridgewood Trailer Park was not voted on.

The next council meeting will be on May 18.


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