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Monday, August 3, 2020

News & Updates

Council Proceedings – September 10, 2019

The Common Council for the City of Attica met on September 10, 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. Matthew Madden, Mr. Bill Craft, and Mrs, Valerie Maus. Also, present were: Mayor, Duane Roderick, City Attorney, Jud Barce, and Clerk-Treasurer, Susan Stoll.


Grant made a motion to approve the minutes for the August 12th Council Meeting. Maus seconded. All were in favor and the motion passed.

Mayor Roderick broke from the normal order of business to allow Kristy Jerrell, grant writer from Jerrell Consulting, to address the Council. She presented the City with a plaque commemorating the 2017 OCRA/SRF Wastewater Project. Mayor Roderick said he would like to order another plaque for the Sewage Plant with the Council and Board of Works members listed. Jerrell came tonight to speak to the Council about the OCRA façade grant. She gave the Council an update. The first public hearing will be held on Monday, September 30 at 4 PM. A proposal will be submitted by October 4. Property owners match money will due to the city by October 31. Property owners will sign their easement with limited duration before that date. City Council will pass a blighted resolution in November. The area will need to be designated as blighted and list all the buildings that are in that area. A resolution will be passed authorizing submission of the application and commitment of the local match in November. A second public hearing will be held on November 14 at 4 PM at City Hall. A final application will be submitted on November 22. Awards will be announced on January 9, 2020. If awarded, construction would occur in the spring of 2020. Indiana Landmarks just voted our downtown on their 10 most endangered list. That helps the City with the application. It has been 8 years since our last façade project. Jerrell handed out the addresses and work to be done by 11 participating building owners. Property owners are required to contribute 20% of their own construction costs. The grant pays the other 80%. The non-construction costs-architectural, grant administration and environmental review and labor standards total $141,000. Several property owners may not be able to afford this extra cost. Jerrell asked the City to consider putting up $70,500—half of the non-construction costs- to help defray the cost to property owners. The grant is for $600,000. The total project for the eleven properties is $906,000. The city has already put up $15,000 towards preliminary engineering. Madden asked if most of the property owners are committed to the contribution required without city help. Jerrell said four property owners may not be able to take on the costs required. Jerrell explained the scoring parameters for the grant. The Council would like to give the Clerk-Treasurer time to evacuate the financial feasibility of this contributing the proposed sum. It will be necessary to hold a special Council Meeting to decide if this can be afforded and if the Council would approve the expenditure. The Special Council Meeting was set for Thursday, October 3 at 6 PM.


Bunny Jordan, President of the North Neighborhood Association, came to address the Council about coordinating a city-wide effort to provide smoke alarms to Attica citizens. The Red Cross representative did show up so she asked if she could return to the next Council meeting with more information at that time.


There were more.


Eric Swank was not present.

Ed Durnil, Interim Police Chief, was present. He reported that Officer Swisher is currently at the Academy. She will graduate December 28. Officer Miller will begin the Academy on January 13.

Mike Little, Attica Fire Chief, was not present.

Jeff Pycke, Building Commissioner, was present. He did not have anything to report.


“Ordinance # 10, 2019 An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 2019-3 Relating to the Food and Beverage Tax” was brought from the table. Madden made a motion to read the ordinance. Maus made a second to the motion. All were in favor. The ordinance amends Ordinance # 3, 2019 Food & Beverage Tax moving the effective date to November 1, 2019. Maus moved to waive the rules and introduce and adopt the ordinance. Askren seconded. All were in favour. Madden made a motion to passed the ordinance. Maus seconded the motion. All were in favour and the motion passed.

“Ordinance # 4, 2019 An Ordinance Amending Chapter 8, Traffic and Parking Regulation, to Prohibit Jake Brakes” was brought from the table. Barce said the Indiana Department of Transportation (Indot) will need to say where signs can be placed on 41 and 28 and give permission. Barce needs to call Indot and get an order and then we can proceed.

Mayor Roderick asked about an ordinance addressing junk vehicles. Barce said he has not completed this yet.

Barce said Attorney Mallory was working on a memo about the Jarvis property (106/108 S. Perry). Madden asked if the Council could be copied on the memo. Barce said he will do that.

The third amendment to Ordinance # 6, 2019 was brought from the table. Three amendments were initially proposed. Two amendments; Amendment 1 Relating to.

Section 10-34 Enforcement of the Ordinance, and Amendment 2 Relating to Section 10-35(d) Improvement Location Permits have been passed. The third amendment was recommended by the Council to be sent back to the Area Planning Commission to consider modifications to the fining process. The Area Plan Commission advertised and held a public hearing on the matter and have recommended that the third amendment be approved. A notification was placed in the newspaper advertising that the Council would be considering the matter in tonight’s meeting. The third amendment is as follows: A recreational vehicle or camper, as distinguished from a mobile home, may be stored on a residential or commercial lot provided that such recreational vehicle or camper will not be occupied for the purpose of using the same as a temporary or permanent living quarters. Such unoccupied recreational vehicle or camper must be stored in conformity with the prescribed setback requirements of Accessory Buildings. Violations of this Section shall be punishable by the following penalty schedule: a. First violation: a written warning is to be issued to comply with this section within 72hours. b. First violation after written warning: the violator will have 72 hours to comply, and will be assessed a civil penalty of $50.00 per day until compliance. c. Second violation after first citation: the violator will have 72 hours to comply, and will be assessed a civil penalty of $100.00 per day until compliance. d. Third and subsequent violation after second citation: the violator will have 72 hours to comply and will be assessed a civil penalty of $500.00 per day until compliance. Askren made a motion to approve. Madden seconded the motion. Roll call votes were 5-0 in favor. The motion was adopted. Barce will advertise the ordinance in the newspaper since there are fines involved.

Canine maintenance was brought to the table for discussion. Barce said federal law says canine maintenance must be compensated. Barce said there is not a set rule on the rate of compensation and that a local government can define the rate at which maintenance is paid out. The care of the animal is for the benefit of the city. Grant proposed canine maintenance be compensated at a rate of an hour a day. (7 hours per week) Both Hohenstein and Askren signed a paper saying they would not claim canine maintenance, but that agreement did not get approved by the Council. Barce is not sure if there is a statute of limitations on a claim. There was a motion to the table the policy until the next meeting by Askren with a second by Madden. There are four dogs currently in the county. Perhaps in the future it would not be necessary to maintain a dog for our city. When a department provides service of the dog to help another entity, the comp time is on the agency that provides the mutual aid.

“Ordinance # 7, 2019 An Ordinance Amending Chapter 6, Public Health and Safety by Inculding a Division XVII An Ordinance Entitled Minimum Residential Property Standards” was brought from the table. Askren has concerns about the ability of our building commissioner does not assess necessary repairs. Barce said the Building Commissioner does not need to be certified/knowledgeable about plumbing or electrical issues and can take an expert with them to assess whether a residence has an issue that violates our code. Also, how have we defined the duties of our Building Commissioner? The Council may consider adding a description of what matters may he be called to address. Grant said he is concerned that the City is not addressing this issue, it has come up over the years and there has never been any action taken by the Council. Slumlords consequently are not held accountable for bad practises. Barce will look at our code to understand our current law. The ordinance will be tabled until more research can be done.

Roderick asked if Barce can investigate changing our policy on holding landlords partially responsible for utility payments. Barce said there is a new state law that says that a tenant must be responsible for their own utility bills. We can make them alone apply for utilities or we can require that both the tenant and the landlord apply for utilities. You can require that only the renter or that both the renter and the landlord are required to put down a deposit. But if you do not have a policy that requires the landlord to sign on to the provision for utilities and there is a default for non-payment, you cannot collect it from the landlord and you can never lien tenant occupied property, only owner occupied property. State laws are very landlord protective oriented.

Barce responded to a question by the Mayor about railcars blocking traffic. Federal laws trump all state and local laws. Therefore, locally we have no authority over the railcars blocking a street in our city limits.


Katy Kays/Achieve Marketing LLC addressed the Council. She put in a building permit asking for 500 E. Jackson to be rezoned from R1 to B1 and it was denied. She is now coming to the Council asking for a meeting with the Area Planning Commission. She wants to turn the property that is currently zoned R1 into a property that she could rent out rooms as an Airbnb. When she asked to rezone to B1, it would make it permanently B1 and that is spot zoning. She can now ask for the property to be rezoned R2, preserving the residential character of the property, and if granted, she could appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals after the rezoning to allow  CONDITIONAL USE TO RUN IT AS AN Airbnb while she owns the property. She could also ask for a use variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals. This scenario does not change the zoning. It just allows a conditional use while Kays is responsible for managing the property. Once the ownership changes, the new owner would have to ask permission from the Board of Zoning Appeals to be allowed to continue to run it as an Airbnb. Maus stated that she is in favour of supporting Kays’ endeavour to invest/repair the property and her request to allow it to be used in the proposed manner.

The public hearing for the 2020 Budget was opened to the public. The appropriations and tax rates were advertised on Gateway at least 10days prior to this hearing. Barce read the proposed budget amounts and tax rates. Fund 101/General proposed adopted budget amount is $1,238,129, proposed adopted tax levy is $617,090, and proposed adopted tax rate is .7162. Fund 254/Local Income Tax proposed adopted budget amount is $140,000, proposed adopted tax levy is $0, and proposed adopted tax rate is $0. Fund 342/Police Pension proposed adopted budget amount is $35,000, proposed adopted tax levy is $0, and proposed adopted tax rate is $0. Fund 706/Local Road & Street proposed adopted budget amount is $15,000, proposed adopted tax levy is $0, and proposed adopted tax rate is $0. Fund 708/Motor Vehicle Highway proposed adopted budget amount is $355,350, proposed adopted tax levy is $195,968, and proposed adopted tax rate is .2274. Fund 1303/Park proposed budget amount is $159,800, proposed adopted tax levy is $145,934, and proposed adopted tax rate is .1694. Fund 2120/Cemetery proposed adopted budget amount is $159,900, proposed adopted tax levy is $83,391, and proposed adopted tax rate is .0968. Fund 2379/Cumulative Capital Imp (Cig Tax) proposed adopted tax budget amount $13,000, proposed adopted tax levy is $0, and proposed adopted tax rate is $0. Fund 2391/Cumulative Capital Development proposed adopted budget amount is $60,000, proposed adopted tax levy is $47,466, and proposed adopted tax rate is .0463. Fund 2411/Economic Dev Income Tax Credit proposed adopted budget amount is $92,000, proposed adopted tax levy is $0, and proposed tax rate is $0. Levy percentage differences between 2019 and 2020 were noted. The total maximum estimated budget is $2,268,179, the estimated proposed adopted tax levy is $1,089,849 and the maximum estimated tax cap credits are $113,180. Stoll provided back up paperwork detailing the proposed way dollars will be spent within each fund. She stated she has provided the proposed budget for the Water and Sewer Funds as well. Roderick asked if the new Food and Beverage Fund was budgeted. Stoll did not include it. It can be proposed in a future Council Meeting. There was no discussion by the public or Council. The public hearing was closed. The public hearing for the adoption of the 2020 budget will be held on August 14 at 6 PM at the City Building.

Ordinance #8, 2019 An Ordinance Establishing Wages and Compensation for Elected Officials, Appointed Officials, Employees and Members of the Attica Police Department and First Department was introduced for consideration. Maus made a motion to read the ordinance in full for the first time. Craft seconded the motion. All were in favour and motion passed.


Mayor Roderick asked the Council to determine the date of city-wide Halloween for 2019. Halloween is on Thursday night this year. In the past, the City has held it on the date of the holiday. Maus stated that she would like to support the desire of the school. The Elementary School has not asked the city to have trick-or-treat on the same night as their Fall Carnival yet. A problem with holding it on the date other than Halloween is that many non-residents come to the City and bombard our residents. The Council decided hold the city-wide-trick-treat on Halloween/October 31 this year.

Mayor Roderick announced that the new Main Street event, Spirits in the Dark, will be held this weekend on September 14. It will take place from 7-11 PM in McDonald park.

The local Eagles will be serving brats, Kayle Askren will be serving pulled park, Paws N Claws will be serving non-alcoholic beverages, Teays River Brewery will be serving beer, Hooker Corner Winery will serve wine, Old 55 Distillery will be serving cocktails, and Java Roasters will be serving beverages. There will be live music. This is the final concern of 2019.

Grant said he has heard complaints about loitering near Pizza King in the downtown area. He is not sure if there is anything the city can do about it but he is concerned it could drive off business. He also mentioned that one building downtown has sheets hanging in the downstairs below. It is unsightly. Roderick said we have an ordinance against this.

Grant said he is pleased with the appearance of the wall that was constructed to cover the north brick wall of the Pinball on Perry building. Everyone agreed. The City of Wolcott has contacted him and wants to do something for a building in their hometown.

Grant asked if paving was happening soon. Roderick said it is scheduled to begin the first week of October.

Durnil spoke on behalf of the Fire Department about 9/11 memorial service at 7 PM outside the fire department. The public is welcome to attend.

Askren asked if there is anything new on the clean-up/repair of the back of the hotel. Craft said there are mattresses on the property too, can we them clean them up? Roderick asked Durnil to contact the property owners.


The next Council meeting will be held Monday, September 9th, 2019 at 6:00pm.