The Common Council for the City of Attica met on March 11, 2019, at 6:00 P.M. pursuant to public notice.
Those present at the meeting were: board members; Mr. Larry Askren, Mr. Larry Grant, Mr. Bill Craft, Mrs. Valarie Maus and Mr. Matthew Madden. Also, present were: Mayor, Duane Roderick, and Clerk-Treasurer, Susan Stoll.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:
Mrs. Maus made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 11, 2019 Council Meeting. Mr. Craft seconded. All were in favor and the motion passed.
There were none.
There were none.
Ron Jean, Superintendent of Public Works, present. Reported that construction at the waste water treatment plant is ongoing. The project is still forecasted to be completed in May 2019.
Chief Cole, Chief of Police, present. He had nothing to report.
Chief Little, Fire Department, present. He reported that Davis Township has the proposed contract for fire protection. They have not returned a signed copy yet.
Jeff Pycke, Building Commissioner, present. He reported he is looking into a citizen complaint about the condition of the home at 404 S. Perry St.
Mayor Roderick asked the Council if they would like to discuss the first draft of the dwelling ordinance that addresses run-down properties. This was first presented to the Council in December 2018 and has been tabled the last couple meetings. He asked the Council if they had read it. Mr. Askren said that the Council was waiting for revisions to the initial document from Tom O’Connor. Mayor Roderick announced that Tom O’Connor will be retiring as city attorney on March 31 and that he will be interviewing to replace him. Tom has offered to be available during the transition as needed. He commended Tom for his service to the city over the years. Mayor Roderick said he will consult with Tom on this proposed ordinance so it may be discussed at a future meeting. Mr. Askren made a motion to table the discussion. Mr. Craft made a second. All were in favor and the motion passed.
The request for additional paid holidays for 2019 was brought to the table for discussion. The holidays are Veterans Day, Presidents Day and Columbus Day. Mayor Roderick asked for a roll call vote on each holiday. Veteran’s Day was voted on first. Mr. Grant, aye, Mr. Askren, aye, Mrs. Maus, aye, Mr. Madden, aye, Mr. Craft, aye. The motion to pass the addition of Veteran’s Day as a city paid holiday was passed by a vote of 5-0. President’s Day was voted on next. The votes were: Mr. Grant, nay, Mr. Askren, nay, Mrs. Maus, nay, Mr. Madden, aye, Mr. Craft, aye. The motion was not passed by a vote of 2-3. Columbus Day was voted on last. The votes were: Mr. Grant, nay, Mr. Askren, nay, Mrs. Maus, nay, Mr. Madden, nay, Mr. Craft, nay. The motion did not pass by a vote of 0-5.
Mayor Roderick brought the topic of the repair of Park Avenue from the table for discussion. A rough estimate for just the labor to lay new bricks for 250 feet of the 800 block is approximately $17,000. Mayor Roderick mentioned that the Community Crossing 75/25 grant cannot be used for brick roads. Mrs. Stoll said that all the MVH funds that can be used for road repair for 2019 are earmarked for the 2019 Community Crossing grant application. Resident, PJ Stoll, mentioned that the road is now a liability to the city because if someone who didn’t know the condition of the road drove it going the speed limit, they would damage their vehicle. Mr. Grant said that the curb should be redone too and that he thinks if the road is repaired, it will need to be done in sections to spread the cost out over time due to the cost. Mayor Roderick agreed that the curbs should also be repaired. Mr. Jean said that the city is holding on to an inventory of bricks that can be used on the repair/replacement of the first section that is being discussed. After that, the city will have to purchase bricks. Mr. Grant mentioned that Park Avenue is the only full street left in the city that is entirely brick. He also said that the city has saved money on this street because it hasn’t been resurfaced in over 100 years. Mrs. Stoll said that the city may be able to use money in the CCIF, CCD or the Community Planning and Development department of the General Fund. Mayor Roderick asked Ron Jean if he could get a written estimate for repair of the section of Park Avenue that has been discussed today. Ron Jean said he would like to consult with HWC Engineering/Eric Smith about storm drains, curbs and repair to give him an idea of projected costs.
Mayor Roderick said that business owner, Robie Criswell, spoke to him about the north brick wall of his building that was exposed to the elements when the building at 106 S. Perry St. was demolished. The owner of 106 S. Perry has filed for bankruptcy so Robie cannot seek financial help from him. Mayor Roderick asked the Council if they would consider at least paying $8500 towards sealing or protecting the north wall. That repair was originally included in the bid to demolish 106 S. Perry. The work was dropped from the demolition project because the proposed material to cover the brick was not aesthetically pleasing for the downtown area. Matthew Madden spoke on behalf of Robie since he works for him. It is by no fault of his own that the neighboring building had to be demolished. He inherited this problem by virtue of the demolition. Jeremy Duff/Architect from KJG Engineering recommended that the wall be sealed within a year of the wall being exposed to the elements. Mr. Grant asked if it is known what will happen with the vacant lot. That is unknown. He feels this should drive how much the city would be willing to spend to help seal the wall. Mr. Grant asked if it would be possible to seek some proposals to cover or seal the wall. Mayor Roderick said he will contact Jeremy Duff and ask if he could help seek out bids to help the council better decide.
Mayor Roderick spoke about a proposed change to the wages for the pool manager and assistant pool manager. Park Board Member suggested, with consultation/agreement of Duane and Susan, to change those two positions from an annual salary to an hourly rate of $13/hr for the Pool Manager and $11/hr for the Assistant Pool Manager. An ordinance amending the 2019 salary ordinance will be presented at our next council meeting for consideration.
Mr. Askren asked if the Attica Police Department own a drone. He received complaints from a citizen about a drone flying in the north end of town and they asked if it belonged to the police. The Mayor stated that they do not.
Mr. Askren asked about Attica City Court. Mayor Roderick said that Fountain County Judge Stephanie Campbell, Larry Grant, Susan Stoll, Chief Cole and the Mayor met to discuss costs to operate the court. Mayor Roderick said that Chief Cole will try to put tickets through Attica City Court to help offset the cost to operate court as much as possible. The Mayor expressed interest in at least operating the city court for another year.
Mr. Askren asked about comp time balances for the police department. Mrs. Stoll said she could go get a copy of the most recent records. Mrs. Stoll passed out the totals as of the end of Pay Period 1 ending 1/14/18. Mr. Askren said that he believes the Chief of Police should be exempt from overtime. He said that the Fountain County Sheriff does not earn comp time. Mayor Roderick believed that because Chief Cole is not purely administrative, he is not considered exempt. Mr. Askren said that 592 hours of comp time is excessive and that it was never that high when Bobby Bass was Chief. Mayor Roderick mentioned the department has been short-handed. Mr. Madden asked if our new officer is working. Mayor Roderick said she is not able to work alone yet. Mr. Askren asked if we could hire someone part time to assist the department. Our rate is listed at $10/hr which is too low.
Mr. Askren asked if Andy Smart could attend our next Council meeting. Mr. Askren has heard that he and Chief Cole are saying that the Council is the reason officers are leaving our department. He would like to know if this is true. Mayor Roderick has spoken to the officers too and they would like to speak to the Council. Mayor Roderick will consult with Tom O’Connor to see if this meeting can be an executive session.
Meeting was adjourned at 6:40 pm. The next Council meeting will be held Monday, April 8, 2019 at 6:00pm.