Menomonie could make changes to mini-storage facility regulations.

Brought before the city council at its meeting Monday was an ordinance amendment to change the size, location and number of units allowed at a storage facility.

A public hearing on the matter will be held at the council’s next meeting Nov. 18.

The amended ordinance under consideration allows indoor climate-controlled storage up to 350 units in one building. The indoor storage facility must have just one primary access point and each unit must not exceed 200 square feet.

Council member Lee Schwebs said it’s not necessary to change the current ordinance as it already aligns with the needs of the community.

“I see this really as no advantage to the community,” Schwebs said, “and it appears that what we have now will work for at least part of what they want to do at the Thunderbird (Mall).

The amendment was based upon a recommendation from the planning commission.

Also in the amendment is that a outdoor storage facility must not consist of more than 200 hundred units and each unit may not exceed 400 square feet. The outdoor regulations in the amendment are the same as the currently adopted ordinance for all storage facilities with regard to size and number of units.

“I didn’t realize the problem that it would create locally to our current storage facility owners and I think on that matter alone we’re boxing them in,” council member Mary Solberg said.

Brian Kiefer, owner of Secure Storage in Menomonie, said changing the ordinance would allow an unfair competitive advantage to large storage company chains that buy up empty retail stores spaces to place storage units inside.

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“Please do not be over-eager trying to improve the mall area at the expense of the main street area,” Kieffer said in a letter to the council.

Preliminary budget presented

The city’s preliminary budget was presented to the council at a special meeting before the regular meeting. A public hearing on the 2020 operating budget will be held during the next council meeting.

A copy of the proposed budget can be picked up at the city’s clerk office on the third floor of the Dunn County Government Center, 800 Wilson Ave.

City reaches agreement with police department

Changes in compensatory time and wage increases were part of an new labor agreement reached between the city and the Menomonie Professional Police Association.

The department gave up compensatory time in the form of a compensatory bank for increased wages, Police Chief Eric Atkinson said.

The wage increase will make the department competitive with others in the Chippewa Valley and throughout western Wisconsin, Atkinson said. This would allow the department to target good officers from other departments and offer them competitive wage.

“With the expanded wage grid that takes place — not just the wages but the years that it takes to get to it — allows us to have the flexibility for lateral entries so we can try to target other officers from other departments that we make have interest in,” Atkinson said.

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