Ely Mayor Melody Van Camp said “streamlining” has helped the city’s financial resolve during her State of the City address on Feb. 11 during the city council’s regular meeting.
“Our finances are in excellent shape and the City of Ely is not in deficit spending,” she said.
Van Camp also emphasized her desire for better signage to direct highway traffic to the city, and to avoid disincorporation into White Pine County.
Building Inspector Brad Christiansen presented his latest report, which included his visit to a local business, the Elk Ridge Motel, where he discovered open water heating elements with exposed copper wiring that carried a 240 volt load. He also discovered that every fire extinguisher on the property was three years out of date, and that the rooms had no functioning doorknobs and only deadbolts.
The city has closed the property and suspended its power until a licensed contractor addresses the issues.
“We will be working with the owner to get it back open,” City Attorney Charles Odgers explained. “It’s affordable housing, but it needs to be appropriate, safe and clean.”
Odgers and the city’s compliance officer also now issue misdemeanor citations to residents and businesses that fail to follow codes.
“It’s to improve how our community looks,” he said.
The council discussed a proposal to convert the traffic light at 5th Street and Aultman to flashing red lights at all four sides of the intersection, where a Dec. 20 traffic collision occurred due to a stoplight malfunction.
Councilman Sam Hanson held up a photo from the incident, which clearly showed both red and green stoplights simultaneously illuminated.
Sheriff’s Captain Scott Henriod explained that the safest option was a functioning stoplight hanging above the middle of the street, and no motion was made to change it.
The council will hold a special meeting on Monday, Feb. 22 at 5:15 p.m. where they will present and possibly approve the city’s strategic plan. The regular city council next meets on Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. at the Ely Volunteer Fire Hall.