City approves homeless shelter's permit
River Falls City Council members voted yes at its Nov. 24 meeting to granting a special-use permit to Our Neighbors' Place. The approval enables the new non-profit organization to open an emergency homeless shelter at 235 W. Johnson St.
Some members raised the concerns they've been hearing from constituents: Safety and security screening of clients, property values, on-site supervision and maintaining open space. Before voting yes, the Council discussed and tweaked the wording to be sure the facility was designated as a homeless shelter and to be sure the applicant would run background checks on people who stay there.
The council took action on several other items:
- Voted to place on the 2009 tax roll $32,488 worth of delinquent bills stemming from charges for electric, water, sewer, mowing and snow-removal services.
- Approved the assessment amount of $4,000 for the annual inspection of Weights and Measures at applicable businesses in the city.
- OK'd the renewable energy finance loan program, funded through the utility's POWERful Choices initiative; it provides monetary assistance to utility customers who want to offset the costs making energy-efficiency improvements.
- Heard a first reading on a law that will restrict development on any land in the city with a 20% or greater amount of slope.
- Decided to table an item that asked it to approve increasing the city's room tax from 5% to 8%.
Read more details about the Nov. 24 City Council meeting in the Dec. 3 print edition of the River Falls Journal.