Todd Uhl speaks

Sheldon public works director Todd Uhl speaks at the Wednesday, June 3, city council meeting.

SHELDON—The Sheldon City Council could allow certain municipal employees — including full-time first responders — to live outside of city limits.

When it meets at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 1, at the Sheldon Community Services Center the council will vote on a resolution that allows Sheldon Police Department officers to live within 25 miles of the building where the meeting is being held.

The resolution also allows the police chief, public works employees and full-time members Sheldon Community Ambulance Team and the Sheldon Fire Co. members to live within three-and-a-half miles of the community services center.

SCAT and Sheldon Fire Co. are primarily volunteer-driven organizations; however, SCAT does have one full-time member.

Lastly, this resolution would allow the Sheldon city manager to live two miles from the edge of the city limits.

Sheldon’s existing policy requires public works employees and police officers to live within city limits.

This subject was initially broached at the June 3 council meeting.

During that June 3 discussion, public works director Todd Uhl noted it was important for him that employees under his purview be close given the sporadic nature of his department’s work.

On the flip side, Sheldon police chief Scott Burtch noted larger boundaries could help his department when it comes to recruiting.

“I personally would like to see it about 25 miles,” Burtch said June 3. “With two-income households, it gets harder for people to live and work in the same town and I think it would help us out tremendously with recruiting. Just something to look at in the future.”

City manager Sam Kooiker also spoke in favor of re-examining the city’s residency requirements at that June 3 meeting.

“Recruiting is continuing to be more difficult,” Kooiker said. “Clearly Sioux Center — and I think it’s OK to say this — changed their limits so that they could recruit from Orange City and from Hull and we may want to consider relaxing our limits even farther.

“We’re looking at the dynamics of the world around us and it’s becoming more and more difficult to find police officers and less and less people are going into the profession and it’s just something that we are going to have to look at.”

In other business, the council will consider:

  • A $50,000 final payment to Hoogendoorn Construction of Canton, SD, for the Sheldon Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • Reappointing Terry Braaksma to a five-year-term on the Sheldon Board of Adjustment.
  • Reappointing Rachael Becker to the Sheldon Parks and Recreation Commission and appointing Lee Stover to replace Niki Cooper on the body. Each term is for five years.
  • A request from Sanford Sheldon Medical Center to hold a vehicle parade a 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 8.
  • A request from the Sheldon Chamber and Development Corporation to close off portions of downtown streets 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, for Sheldon Crazy Days.
  • A request from Kevin Crafton to keep his burned trailer at 1320 S. Third Ave. in Sheldon.
  • The third reading of a zoning ordinance amendment related to the former Sunset Motel at 1401 S. Second Ave.

It also will host a public hearing for a $2.5 million general obligation capital loan note that eventually will go toward major street repairs in Sheldon.

Story has been updated with clarification on the exisiting residency policy rule.