Every seat in the Council Chambers as well as the connecting room was filled with community members waiting to provide their input on MetroNet discussions and annexation.
A new internet company, MetroNet, is predicted to come to Ames and provide new fiber-optic services. Fiber-optic internet has data that is transferred through cables made out of thin glass or plastic fibers in the form of light signals in order to provide faster internet.
The company has offered $21,600 to buy a property currently owned by the city of Ames. The Council looked at the infrastructure of the property which included a shed with a fence around it as well as the proposed plan from MetroNet.
The Council voted to exclude the cell tower including any structures that exceeded the height of the shed.
In its two hour discussion, the community members questioned if the decision to sell the property is rushed.
“It seems to me like we’re kind of rushing into this sale without fully thinking about what the implications are for the future,” said Jackie DeLay, a community member who spoke during the public input hearing. “I agree that the goal of having fast, efficient internet service for Ames is a very important goal. If this property is essential for that goal, why are we considering selling this to MetroNet when we haven’t fully explored the option of the city-wide internet?”
Kathranne Knight, community member, said she was interested in the property and creating it into an art studio. During the public forum, the community members said the art studio will contribute to a more creative community.
In addition to tabling this discussion, the Council also voted to table the decision to annex the Champlin Lloyd Farm LLC property. The city received a petition from the company which sought a voluntary annexation of the portion of the land equaling 145.03 acres of the approximately 170 acres of family land holdings in the area.
“So involuntary annexation discussions are the most, one of the most unpleasant topics any city council has to deal with because we want to make everyone happy and we can’t do that,” said Ward 2 Rep. Tim Gartin. “[...] But that’s not something that’s built into the annexation process. So if it seems like a hole in calculating and I’m making a room full of people angry, we have to think long term and that’s not always fun for what we do.”
The Council also decided to reschedule the discussion of the Ames Plan 2040 for another meeting, due to time constraints.
The Council also decided to adopt the ordinance regarding the stacked driveway which clarifies the parking arrangements following the recent adoption of the vacation lodging ordinance. There was a discrepancy in parking standards during the review of the rental code and vacation lodging ordinance, specifically stacked parking by a single-family home, according to the Council Action.
The clarification would provide parking requirements in the rental code and the zoning ordinance of the Ames municipal code, where all the regulations, city laws and codes can be found.