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Berne council settles garage sale debate on a split decision

August 27, 2014

    A discussion that spanned three city council meetings during the past six weeks regarding a garage sale ordinance designed to regulate the duration and number of rummage sales in Berne has finally come to an end.
    Berne City Council voted 3-1, with member Curtis Wuster absent and Mark Wynn the lone dissenter, to approve a new ordinance requiring city residents to obtain a permit from the clerk-treasurer’s office to conduct a yard sale. Residents — both by individual and residence — are now limited to two sales per calendar year and each sale may last no more than three consecutive days. At the conclusion of the third day, the sale holder now has 12 hours to tear down the sale.
    By including the words “individual” and “residence” to the ordinance, City Attorney Dave Baumgartner said during the July 28 council meeting the city can eliminate one member of a household using up the allotted permits, then sending another member of the household for additional permits.
    The new ordinance does not include the citywide sales. Residents do not need a permit for the citywide sales and the sale will not be counted as one of the two sales permitted, Baumgartner said.
    For the complete story, see today's print or online editions.

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