As a severe thunderstorm system made its way through the town, a very busy meeting with several in-depth discussions was held at city hall Monday evening.
As a severe thunderstorm system made its way through the town, a very busy meeting with several in-depth discussions was held at city hall Monday evening. A number of old business items were discussed in depth at the regular meeting of the Devils Lake City Commission while decisions for a number of other issues will be brought up at meetings in August.
One highlight of the meeting was the finalization of a vote that will take place in October. The commission voted unanimously to set Tuesday, Oct. 7 as the date for a special election of proposed event and convention centers in Devils Lake. The centers are projected to cost $23.5 million. If approved, a half cent sales tax increase would take place over the next 25 years.
Forward Devils Lake Executive Director Rachel Lindstrom gave the commission an update of the projects including the happenings of meetings held by the centers' committee. According to Lindstrom, the Wellness Center would be located on the campus of Lake Region State College. The center would offer numerous areas for fitness, recreation and athletic opportunities to area families, she said. The two-floor space is projected to be more than 71,000 Sq. Ft.
The Convention Center, which may be located in the old Walmart building if available, would offer more than 47,000 square feet including a large meeting room, three multi-purpose rooms, kitchen and office space. The main use for the space is expected to be large events and statewide conventions that would be held in Devils Lake annually.
"By attracting conventions and other events, the convention center would bring in individuals to shop in our stores, eat at area restaurants and stay at local hotels," Lindstrom said. "It would affect the community in a number of ways."
Devils Lake Mayor Richard Johnson noted that the special election is an appropriate way to decide the future of the project.
"I think the right thing to do is to bring the vote to the people and see what the area's interest level in the project is," he said
In other discussion, the commission agreed to have the city attorney work to look into the possible addition of a city ordinance regarding the sale of Electronic Cigarettes in Devils Lake. Currently, there is no age limit for the purchase of E-Cigarettes in city limits. It is, however, illegal to smoke E-Cigarettes in a public place. Several large cities in North Dakota have already moved to make it illegal for children under the age of 18 to purchase tobacco products including E-Cigarettes and related accessories.
Area tobacco prevention coordinator Elizabeth Bonney urged the council to add E-Cigarettes to its ordinance regarding the sale of tobacco products.
"E-Cigarettes is the tobacco industry's attempt to attack youthful customers," Bonney stated.
Also, a request for funds to go towards the upkeep of the building of the Devils Lake Kids Preschool and Child Care was tabled. Commission member and member of the Devils Lake Kids Preschool and Child Care Board Dale Robbins noted that the current space needs additional work including paint and flooring work.
The commission agreed to table the decision and have Robbins come back with a detailed list of jobs that need to be completed.