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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Resident tells Parker council of plans to open business

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

PARKER – A new city resident made a brief presentation to the Parker City Council on Thursday, May 12, about a business he was planning to develop. Justin Wiler distributed samples to the council as he talked about plans for his company.

Wiler creates plaques and other memorabilia using a CNC machine and 3D equipment to carve wood and create other items. Planning on using a building at the back of his property as a shop, he said that much of work will be sold at craft fairs but he planned to also sell out of his shop.

Noting that the property, which is next to the railroad tracks on the north side of Woodward Street, is zoned residential, City Attorney Burton Harding suggested that Wiler apply for a conditional-use permit. He said Wiler would need to address parking for the property as well.

The council also discussed concerns about the city lake, particularly use of off-road vehicles, littering and parking on the dam.

City Clerk Carrie Sewell told the council she had received complaints about off-road vehicles. Mayor Cody Adams said the Parker Police Chief Craig Haley has been doing a good job so far this year in addressing the problem.

Haley said that while he understood about people pulling off the road to park while they’re at the lake, there have been instances where people have used off-road vehicles on the lake property. He suggested purchasing signs for both sides of the lake.

Haley also suggested signs about littering because in his patrolling the area he has noted an increasing problem. He suggested that no parking signs be posted on the dam to prevent people from parking there.

He said he would check with Linn County to see if there were any surplus signs available there. He is expected to bring back prices and more specifics on signs to the next meeting.

Harding told the council that a citation issued to Tyler Shafer about cleaning up the property where his shop was may lead to a more protracted issue. Shafer owned an auto repair business on Railroad Street that burned last year.

A citation was issued because the burned out structure and vehicles remain on the property. Harding said that Shafer indicated that while he was working to clean up the property, he planned to hire an attorney to fight the citation.

Harding also told the council that the surveying company hired to assist in the city’s condemnation of Walnut Street south of Gaikowski Drive indicated that it no longer was interested in completing the job. Harding said that gaining access to the property was a problem.

The city began condemnation proceedings earlier this year to regain control of that street after Dan Gaikowski, owner of Recycling Services, installed gates and blocked it off.

In other business, the council:

  • Voted 3-2 to apply to participate in Kansas State University’s First Impressions Program. Under the program, people who are unfamiliar with the city are brought in to give their impression of what the city does right and what it needs to do to improve. The council was split with council member Gary Early and Jerry Summers opposed and Ashley Balthazar and Kandice Higgins in favor. In the absence of councilwoman Jody Bloodgood, Mayor Adams broke the tie to approve the application.

  • Voted unanimously to increase the wages for city maintenance worker Rodney Hetzer from $10 an hour to $15. Hetzer has been on the job about a month. Adams said that Hetzer had been doing a great job since he was hired.

  • Approved hiring a high school student to help with maintenance projects and mowing for up to 20 hours a week at $10 an hour.

  • Heard a report from resident Cheryl Townsend that because of work contractor Chad Page had done on cleaning out a ditch by her house, it hadn’t flooded for the first time in years after a heavy rain.

  • Approved allowing Hetzer to spend up to $1,500 for maintenance supplies, including a new compressor for air-powered tools for work on vehicles.

  • Noted that the city would have a farmers’ market again this year on the first Sunday of the month from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Heritage Park.

  • Noted that June 11 would be the city clean-up day.

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