The Common Council for the City of Attica met on the 13th of May, 2013, at 5:00 P.M.
Those present were: Mr. Wilson, Mr. Askren, Mr. Grant, Mr. Craft, Mrs. Maus, Mayor Shepherd, Mrs. Stoll and Mr. O’Connor.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING
Mr. Wilson made a motion to approve the minutes of the April 8, 2013 meeting, seconded by Mr. Askren and passed.
There were no Committee Reports to present.
Tim Roemer requested permission to block off a portion of Main Street downtown on Saturday, July 13 for a fundraiser poker run to raise money for Allie Roemer’s medical costs. The event requires the street to be closed off from 9 AM-10 PM. He asked that barricades be erected by the city workers the Friday afternoon before the event. The Council said it would be okay to do this.
Scott Gregory gave a handout to the Council members for a new festival he and a group of citizens are organizing for the 3rd weekend in September that they are calling the Attica Heritage Festival.
Adam Bonebrake asked about the enforcement of City Ordinances for improvements to residential properties. He is concerned about the length of time it has taken for improvements to be completed on the Kyle Knosp property. He also stated his disappointment on the newly proposed 5 PM time for Council Meetings. He questioned if this was convenient for Council members rather than the public. He prefers the 7 PM meeting time as it allows him to get back from work in Lafayette in time to attend.
Jerry Heeter spoke about the new Chief of Police, Robert Cole, and his DWI in 2007. He objects to him holding the position of our Police Chief. Robert Scherer then stated the badge is supposed to stand for a higher standard and that he is upset about our Chief having this in his past.
Jerry Heeter asked if citizens are allowed to drive golf carts on city streets. Mayor Shepherd said this issue has been discussed by the Council in the past. There currently is no ordinance allowing golf carts to be driven on city streets.
Mr. Jean announced that they are busy this time of year with mowing, picking up brush and replacing sidewalks.
Chief Cole was not present for this portion of the meeting as he was transporting someone to the jail in Covington.
Mr. O’Farrell reported that the aerial truck is in for repairs and will be for the next 2-3 weeks.
Mr. Dismore gave an update on the status of demolitions and building permits.
Mayor Shepherd read a statement he prepared about hiring Chief Cole in which he stated that he did not do a background check but that he felt that Chief Cole has turned his life around since 2007 and that he deserves a second chance and that the Chief will remain in his position.
City Attorney, Mr. O’Conner, read a prepared statement on behalf of the City Council about the Potawatomi Festival Committee. The City does not wish to have an association with the Potawatomi Festival Corporation at this time.
Mayor Shepherd reported on the ADA Transition plan. Cities are given the latitude to complete the plan in a time frame of their choice. Mayor Shepherd is proposing a 30 year plan. There are 2 main components to the plan, Right of Way and non-Right of Way areas of the city. The total cost to become ADA compliant as presented by the DLZ Engineering firm is $347,350 for non-Right of Way components of the plan (buildings, rest rooms, pool, etc.) which Mayor Shepherd is proposing will be budgeted at $11,578 per year. DLZ estimated the total cost of Right of Way areas of the city to be $1,487,455. Mayor Shepherd is proposing that since all new sidewalks include “bubbles”, which is an ADA compliant feature, this expenditure of $35,000/yr will satisfy the ROW portion of the ADA plan.
Mayor Shepherd said a second public meeting to discuss the plan with City officials and DLZ Engineering firm is set for May 28 at 6:00 PM in the City Council room.
Ordinance #4, 2013, An Ordinance Amending Chapter 3, Article 1, Division 1, Section 3-4, Entitled Regular Meetings of the Common Council was brought to the table. A motion was made by Mr. Askren that Ordinance 4, 2013 be read for the first time in full; 2nd time by title only and to suspend the rules and read the Ordinance #4, 2013 for the 3rd time in full. Mrs. Maus seconded the motion. There were 4 votes for and 1 against and the Ordinance was adopted.
Mayor Shepherd brought up the issue of fires in residents back yards. Several citizens have complained to him. He read our Ordinance regarding these types of fires. He assigned the issue to the standing committee to see if they can examine our existing Ordinance and come back to the Council with possible recommendations for updating the Ordinance.
Chief Cole returned in time to present police statistics for the month of April. He then made a proposal to purchase a 2013 Chevy Tahoe using our appropriation for police vehicles. He provided details on the cost of the vehicle. Mayor Shepherd pointed out that the associated costs that hadn’t been addressed yet were insurance and maintenance costs. Chief Cole said a SUV is a plus for a rural community like ours. He also said the price he has been given by the dealership is only available now. Mayor Shepherd said our police department has always had just 3 vehicles. Chief Cole said a fourth vehicle gives our police department more flexibility when a vehicle is in the shop for repairs or an officer has taken it one vehicle out of town for business. We have traditionally purchased a vehicle every other year. We purchased one in 2009, 2011 & 2013. Mr. Askren made a motion to allow the purchase of this vehicle. Mrs. Maus seconded. 4 were in favor, 1 abstained. The motion was passed.
Mayor Shepherd reported that there is a new Fountain County Highway Superintendent.
All bridges, including those in city limits, are under the jurisdiction of the county. The new Superintendent has looked at the Canada Street Bridge but has made no guarantees that the potholes will be fixed by the county.
Mayor Shepherd attended the McDonald’s grand opening ceremony for the unveiling of the addition/improvement to the restaurant. Mr. Brooks made a $200 donation from McDonalds to the Park Department.
Mayor Shepherd spoke about the planting of 180 trees/shrubs (11 different species) in the Wildlife Sanctuary in Ouabache Park. Many Attica students helped in the planting.
Mr. Grant made an inquiry into who was in charge of maintaining the ornamental flower bed in McDonald Park as it looks slightly neglected. Mayor Shepherd said he and his wife used to volunteer to do that but he and Mrs. Shepherd have been unable to volunteer this year. Mayor Shepherd said he would try to contact someone to take over this responsibility.
Mrs. Stoll reported on the March Financial Report.
With no further business to discuss, Mrs. Maus made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Askren seconded the motion. All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned.