SIOUX CITY | They came, they listened, they made suggestions.
Sixteen people turned out Thursday for “Coffee with the Council,” the first in what’s planned as a series of monthly meetings for residents to talk with city officials about concerns and ideas. The sessions are scheduled on the second Thursday of the month at City Hall.
The meeting Thursday had city staffers and council members posted around the City Council Chambers to answer questions. Topics ranged from remodeling houses to jobs for teens.
Howard Wanned, of Sioux City, spent time talking with city Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty about a city newsletter that showed a rendering of the city’s Southbridge Business Park and Liberty Industrial Park. Woodbury County is coordinating the Liberty Park project, which would turn open land near Sioux Gateway Airport into a business hub.
Wanned said he’s worried that the development will eliminate farms and change the area.
“My beef is with the county, but this is a publication put out by the city,” he said.
Dougherty said the map was drawn four or five years ago, showing generic development in both areas.
The meeting also attracted interest from Bharat Devrajani, an Owatonna, Minn., developer who rehabs older properties, and Lorna Puntillo and Paul Henningfeld, both of Sioux City, who recently started a firm that helps businesses meet federal and state environmental rules.
Al McGaffin, of Sioux City, talked to staff and council members Rhonda Capron and John Fitch about the noise created by motorcycles during Awesome Biker Nights. The annual event, which features bands, a bike show and other activities, is Thursday-Saturday on Historic Fourth Street.
McGaffin said the city should enforce its noise ordinance.
“I know this is a sacred cow, but there is excess motorcycle noise,” he said.
The City Council held similar resident meetings in the 1990s.
Darla Williams, of Sioux City, said she appreciated having a chance to have her voice heard.
“I watch the City Council meetings on cable, and I wanted to see what they talked about today,” she said.
The next meeting is planned at 8:30 a.m. on July 12 at City Hall, 405 Sixth St.