Is That a Drone in Putnam County?

Reviewing ordinances and the appointment of people to various boards were on the top of the agenda at the Hennepin Village Board meeting on Aug. 20.

Enterprise Zone Ordinance 534 was reviewed and revised. A request had been made to expand the enterprise zone by TCI Enterprises. According to Mayor Kevin Coleman, this is part of the Bureau-Putnam Enterprise Zone.

The goal of establishing an ordinance for the flying of drones was addressed. Village lawyer Roger Bolin brought up questions to the board concerning the ordinance after discussion with Coleman before the meeting. One question was the definition of what a drone would be: A radio-controlled plane with a camera mounted on it or a remote controlled helicopter with a camera mounted on it. Board member Quentin Buffington had done some research on the issue.

“As I have read, if it’s airspace, the FAA has control, and we don’t. We can’t regulate the airspace over the city of Hennepin,” Buffington said.

Bolin asked what specific objective or policy the board has with the ordinance in mind.

“I’m just thinking of trying to stop something before it starts,” Coleman said. “We’ve got 28, 30 pools in town. I can just see someone in the summer flying over this guy’s backyard or that.”

Buffington suggested tabling the motion until the FAA establishes some of their rules and regulations. He noted the goal is to have something in place in early 2015.

“They’re trying to catch up to the technology,” Buffington said.

The board directed Bolin to research and talk to some major municipalities to see if any have an ordinance currently in place. The drone ordinance was then tabled.

The board also appointed Paul Loiselle of Hennepin to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Jane Loiselle was appointed to the Scholarship Committee, taking the place of Gilbert Tonozzi who retired from the committee.

Coleman also reported on the research to develop a plan to restore the cannon in Walter Durley Boyle Park. Coleman has found the cannon was made at a Westpoint Foundry between 1859 to 1861. It is a field cannon, and the concrete beneath it is deteriorating. According to Coleman, a possible restoration plan would include a base made with a monument style of stone that would be more durable with the cannon secured on the new base. Then new plaques identifying local veterans could be affixed to the base. After discussion it was agreed it would be helpful if a community group stepped up to help organize this process.

Discussion was also held on the possible rezoning of the property north of Interstate 180 from residential one (R1) to conservation. The former Modern Hard Chrome property is being looked at by Phar-Mar Labs, a company who is interested in obtaining the District 17 contract from the state to grow medical marijuana. The board temporarily adjourned the meeting to await the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendation as to what action to take.

The board met on Aug. 26 to officially vote on this rezoning issue.

Source: Putnam County Record