There were just four days between the two December meetings of the Farmington City Council.
With the fourth Monday being Christmas Day, the second meeting of the month was moved up to Dec. 18.
During that meeting, the council approved a lottery allowing 12 bow hunters to harvest deer in an area around the Farmington Regional Airport until the close of archery season on Jan. 15, 2018.
“They can go in and harvest as many deer as they can under the (Department of Conservation) regulations, which mean—basically for antlerless deer—it’s unlimited with your bow…you just have to buy a separate tag each time,” Farmington City Administrator Greg Beavers said after the Dec. 18 meeting.
A drawing was held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to select from those who filed out the paperwork in order to be eligible for the hunt. A total of 399 registered for the lottery. The city is asking those selected hunters to report how many are harvested in the hunt.
An increase in the deer population around the Farmington Regional Airport led the city to begin exploring the possibility. An aircraft struck a deer during landing a few years ago. Fortunately, there were no injuries.
However, recently more deer have been spotted around the runway area. Most recently, airport personnel saw three running down the length of the runway and leading the city to take the action.
Beavers said the city will keep an eye on the deer population during the next year and speak with the department about the possibility of holding a longer season next year—perhaps gearing that session to harvesting a certain number of deer to control the population.
In other business, the council approved an amendment to the municipal code regarding minimum regulations for design, construction and maintenance, as well as an ordinance requesting annexation into the city limits by for a property on Keisha Lane.
Council held a first reading by title only on an ordinance establishing an open container ordinance in the city’s alcohol related traffic ordinance violations.
Presently, there is no regulation against a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle with open containers.
During the meeting, it was explained the city prosecutor Julie McCarver asked the ordinance banning open containers in vehicles be developed to address the issue.
It was explained passengers in recreational vehicles such as those used by local wineries would be exempt.
Council will take action on the ordinance at the Jan. 11 meeting.
The council also heard a presentation from Nancy Cozean Jacobs and Ann Bohs on the Lab:Revolution—a 4-H Group meeting at The Factory in Farmington fostering young minds interested in the development of technology.
The group was founded in 2014 with a focus on robotics, electronics, programming, 3D printing and other hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, English, Math) projects. The group is open to all youth and families in the Parkland.
Also at the meeting, Mayor Larry Forsythe read a proclamation declaring the Dogwood tree as the official tree, the Dogwood flower as the official flower and the Cardinal as the official bird for Farmington. The selections were made through a readers’ poll held by the Farmington Press this summer.
During the Dec. 14 meeting, the council the council learned the grant application for a J-turn intersection at Perrine Road and U.S. Highway 67 received approval.
The agreement, which still needs to be finalized, is for the construction of a J-turn intersection, which restricts vehicles on side streets from turning left for crossing the highway.
Instead, vehicles are required to turn right onto the highway, make a U-turn (i.e. J-turn) further downstream and head back in the other direction.
“We submitted to them—just short of $1.8 million project to correct that intersection with what is known as a J-turn intersection,” Beavers said after the meeting.
He acknowledged the layout of the j-turn is a unique intersection, but “you have to work with the money you have and the geographic space you have to work with.”
The city will be contributing $200,000 for the project and will have to commit responsibility for covering any cost overruns in the project.
Other business at the Dec. 14 meeting included the announcement of K9 Officer Ringo having his first narcotics bust over the weekend; approval of parking restrictions to include the banning of overnight parking on city-owned parking lots and cleaning up cross-references regarding parking regulations at the sports complex; and a first reading for an amendment to the minimum building regulations.
A first reading on an amendment for an ordinance dealing with alcohol-related traffic ordinance violations was postponed to Monday’s meeting.
There are additional filings for the seats up in the April 2018 election. Filing for the seat in Ward I is Adam Parks, Dennis Robinson and Perry Willmore have filed for the seat in Ward II, Johnny Barton and incumbent Darrel Holdman filed for the seat in Ward III and Tom Joyce filed for the seat in Ward IV. Filings close at 5 p.m. on Jan. 16, 2018.
The council next meets for regular session on Jan. 11, 2018.