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Thursday, September 19, 2019

News & Updates

Council Proceedings – July 8, 2019

The Common Council for the City of Attica met on July 8, 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, Mr. Matthew Madden and Mrs. Valarie Maus. Also, present were: Mayor, Duane Roderick, City Attorney, Jud Barce, and Clerk-Treasurer, Susan Stoll.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:

Craft made a motion to approve the minutes for the June 10th Council Meetings.  Maus seconded.  All were in favor and the motion passed.

BREAK FROM THE NORMAL ORDER OF BUSINESS FOR THE SWEARING IN OF POLICE OFFICER AUSTIN SMYTH BY MAYOR RODERICK.

Mayor Roderick presided over the recitation of the oath of office.

CITIZENS PETITIONS:

Jake Mediate, representing the Attica Heritage Days Committee, requested that the Council allow that the alleyway east of and Council St. west of McDonald Park be allowed to be closed for the festival on Saturday, September 21.  The Council was okay with this.

Candy Little came to speak on behalf of the Moose.  They are hosting a day to celebrate local EMS, Police and Fire on July 20, 2019 from noon-7 PM.  There will be a beer garden, activities and food.  This is open to the public.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

There were none.

DEPARTMENT HEADS:

Eric Swank, Director of Public Works, was present.  He received complaints from citizens about the train blocking the tracks so traffic cannot pass for a lengthy period.  The Mayor said he has a phone number that he can give out to anyone who wants to call and complain about the ongoing issue. He stated that they aren’t supposed to block the tracks for longer than 20 minutes, but they have not been responsive to previous complaints.

Ed Durnil, Interim Police Chief, was present.  He had nothing to report.

Mike Little, Attica Fire Chief, was not present.

Jeff Pycke, Building Commissioner, was present. He didn’t have anything new to report.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

Mayor Roderick asked the Council if anyone wanted to discuss the dwelling ordinance.  The proposed ordinance will be discussed at the August meeting.

Mayor Roderick said Wade Harrison contacted him about the City contributing to the cost of covering the north facing, exposed brick wall of 110 S. Perry.  Roderick said that Interstate Builders has submitted an estimate for approximately $24,000 to create a wall using metal to cover the bricks.  Madden asked what the status of the bankruptcy is at it pertains to the owner of the property. Barce reported the City has a lien on the property.  There is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan to creditors over the next 5 years.  The City of Attica is on the list of creditors.  There aren’t many on the list.  Barce will have Attorney Mallory, who works at his firm, report back on the timing and anticipated amount of planned payments.  Barce will inquire if the owner of the property at the time of bankruptcy can acquire ownership after the creditors are paid off.  The bankruptcy judge/trustee will decide if the deed of the property can be turned over to the city.  Grant asked if Harrison is interested in perhaps splitting the cost of the work quoted by Interstate Metals. Roderick said his understanding is Harrison is looking at an option to redo the wall with masonry as well as the metal wall. Stoll expressed concern about the cost of contributing to the wall repair fitting into the 2019 budget. Stoll reported that she has contacted the State Board of Accounts since our last meeting to clarify if public safety funds can be used for the McDonald Park tennis court north fence section. While checking on that, she asked if the demolition expenditures for 106/108 S. Perry from 2018 could be paid by public safety funds.  SBOA said neither of these can be paid with public safety funds. Stoll said perhaps the fence repair of approximately $5,000 be taken out of the Riverboat Gambling fund. The public safety fund will need to be reimbursed $75,100.50.  Stoll analyzed the 2019 budget and suggested $34,000 from 101012430 Community Planning & Development, $36,979 from 101009361 Board of Health Dilapidated Building, and $4.121.50 from 402012431 CCD be used. Stoll handed out information about the Local Income Taxes to the Council.  Grant asked if Rainy Day Funds could be used to pay back the Public Safety Fund.  Stoll said that is possible, there are adequate funds available.  Roderick said he feels the City is liable to contribute to seal the wall.  Grant asked Barce if there would be some document that stated that our contribution at this time represents the end of the cities’ obligation towards the building.  Craft made a motion that the City pledge to pay $24,000 towards the cost of Harrison sealing the wall in the way he sees fit in exchange for Harrison releasing the City from any future liability.  Grant made a second to the motion.  All were in favor and the motion passed.

Roderick asked Barce about the new ordinance setting comp time/overtime rules and limits. Barce asked to bring this, canine comp time and ILEA up for discussion at the August Council Meeting. He proposes that a contract is drafted that as a condition of their employment, the police would agree to rules and limits.  He feels this would be more enforceable in court as a contract versus a policy. Roderick explained that overtime will be based on the comp time balance they have as of July 8, 2019.  For instance, if they have 80 hours comp time accrued as of July 8, they would have to exceed 120 hours to collect overtime wages.  The accrued hours as of July 8 will not be paid as overtime wages even if they currently exceed 40 hours.  Stoll asked for the standard basis for the canine comp time hours, Barce will define that.

HEA 1402 was passed establishing a Food & Beverage Tax of up to 1% for the City of Attica. Two documents were drafted by Barce.  One, titled Attica Food & Beverage Tax Implementation Statutes and Timeline, was provided to the Council.  This document lists the to do list for implementation.  A Public Hearing for Consideration of Imposition of Food and Beverage Tax will be set for August 12.  The public hearing must be publicized two times in the local paper.  At the public hearing, the ordinance will be considered.  If adopted after the public hearing, a certified copy of the approved Ordinance will be sent to the State Department of Revenue and the tax becomes effective the later of (1) the date specified in the Ordinance or the last day of the month following the sixty (60) days after the date of the ordinances’ adoption.  Barce asked if the Council’s intention was to set the tax at 1% or at a lesser amount.  Madden made a motion to read Ordinance # 3, 2019 An Ordinance Adopting a One Percent (1%) Food and Beverage Tax one time in full, a second time in title only, then table and publish.  Askren seconded the motion.  All were in favor and the motion passed.

The topic of recreational vehicle and campers used as living quarters came up for discussion in the June meeting.  According to Barce, the Building Commissioner and Area Planning Commission are currently in charge of enforcing this code.  The Council expressed interest in fining penalties of a minimum of $50 and up to $500/day for violations.  They expressed interest in escalating fees for repeat offenders. Barce asked if the ordinance should allow a police officer to assess the violation. They are interested in allowing this.  Barce presented a Petition to Amend Chapter 10 of the City of Attica Code that can be considered if the Council sends the proposal to the Area Plan Commission.  Askren made a motion to this effect.  Maus made a second.  All were in favor and the motion passed.  The Area Plan Commission will set a date for a public hearing for Thursday, August 1 at 6 PM to consider two proposed changes.  Amendment 1 relates to the enforcement of the Ordinance.  Amendment 2 relates to Recreational Vehicles and Campers.

Grant made a motion to bring Ordinance # 5, 2019 Amending Ordinances # 11, 2018 and # 2, 2019 Entitled Wages and Salaries from the table and read in full and adopt.  Askren made a second to the motion. All were in favor and the motion passed.  Upon reading the Ordinance, Barce discovered a typo that he will correct for the August meeting.  Signatures will be added to the Ordinance once the document is corrected.

NEW BUSINESS:

Marc Hansen, a Water System Consultant from Suez, made a presentation to the Council about a maintenance program for the cities’ water tower and wells.  Our tank is made of steel and should last 100 years with proper maintenance. The tower was last painted 15 years ago.  He explained that his proposed maintenance program provides for exterior-interior painting/repairs, annual inspections (a report is provided every year), exterior overcoating every 11 years, apply a brand new coating inside every 15 years, make sure our water in the tower is sanitary with the addition of mixers, and wash out the tank every three years. He said if the tower was replaced today, it would cost somewhere around 2.2 million dollars. The inspectors they employ are certified and the painters they hire are safe and the products/paints they use are controlled by Suez. For the next 15 years, under the proposed contract, the City can budget a preset amount from year to year which will total $668,435 over the 15 years.  We are just starting to lose the coating.  It will last a few more years. The price given is for retracing our existing logo and repainting it.  The city logo that is used on our website and letterhead/business cards has many more colors, if the City chose to paint the tower with this logo, it would cost an additional $10,000.  A draft contract was provided to the city attorney. There is a provision in the contract that the maximum the proposed annual cost to the city could increase would be 5% per year maximum.  Mayor Roderick asked Stoll if the city could financially handle the proposed sums.  She felt the City could budget this cost.  Mayor Roderick also asked if Suez could inspect the reservoir, he said they could do that. Mayor Roderick asked if the Council would be in favor of accepting the proposal, pending our attorney looking it over.  Madden made a motion to do this.  Craft seconded.  All were in favor and the motion passed.  Barce will review the contract and report back by our August Council Meeting.  Hansen said he would get a quote for painting the tower with the logo instead of painting it as it is now (which was included in tonight’s’ proposal).

Ordinance # 4, 2019 An Ordinance Amending Chapter 8, Traffic and Parking Regulations, to Prohibit Jake Brakes was presented for consideration by Barce.  Madden made a motion to read in full for the first time, in title only for a second time, then table and publish two times before our August Council Meeting.  Askren made a second.  All were in favor and the motion passed.

MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS:

Grant said he has been canvasing the City for a project our Economic Development Director is working on.  He has noticed homes that have code violations related to setbacks.  He asked if anything can be done after the fact to address these violations to city code.  Barce suggested that the Area Planning Commission consider a third amendment in their August 1 public hearing to address providing oversight for the building commissioner by two members of the Area Zoning Commission.  Askren made a motion to have the Area Planning Commission consider this change.  Maus made a second to the motion.  All were in favor and the motion passed.

Maus said she has been contacted by a citizen inquiring about 914 Main Street.  The repair to the structure has been going on for a long time.  How long can the repair go on? There is not building permit for this home on file with the city. She also received a citizen’s complaint about 808 S. McDonald Street.  The foundation is caving, and the property is neglected.  Swank will check to see if it is mowed.   She also received complaints about weeds and trees growing into an adjacent property from 101 David Drive. Discussion about the Beaver home that has been abandoned took place.

Askren asked if something can be done about neighbors who feed stray cats who do not belong to anyone as a pet.  He feels this practice is a nuisance that should be prohibited and enforced. The City currently states that no more than 2 cats or dogs can be outside of a residence.

Main Street Organization President, Cindy Mason, thanked the police department for coordinating the 5K run the morning of the Community Celebration and for being present at the event. She thanked the City Street Superintendent and employees for set-up and clean-up.

ADJORNMENT:

Meeting was adjourned. The next Council meeting will be held Monday, August 12, 2019 at 6:00pm.

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