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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

News & Updates

Council Proceedings – October 16, 2019

The Common Council for the City of Attica met on October 16, 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. Valarie Maus. Also, present were: Mayor, Duane Roderick, City Attorney, Jud Barce, and Clerk-Treasurer, Susan Stoll.

Mayor Roderick broke from the normal order of business to announce his appointment of Ed Durnil as the Chief of Police.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:

Maus made a motion to approve the minutes for the Sept. 9, 2019 Council Meeting.  Askren seconded.  All were in favor and the motion passed.

CITIZENS PETITIONS:

There were none.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

There were none.

DEPARTMENT HEADS:

Eric Swank was present.  The water tower should be completely painted by the end of this week.  Hollovy Street road construction will begin next week.  Vectren Gas wants to bore along Kenneth Freed Drive going down into Ravine Park to relocate a gas line that is currently located on the Canada Street Bridge.  The Council is in favor of allowing this.

Ed Durnil, Police Chief, was present.  He had nothing to report. Madden asked for comp time reports from the police department.

Mike Little, Attica Fire Chief, was present. He reported that their tanker is in for repairs.  They have backup from other agencies.

Jeff Pycke, Building Commissioner, was present. The owner of 600 S. Perry applied for a permit to demolish and rebuild.  The plans meet our code for setbacks and Pycke will be approving the application.  He also inspected 430 E. Main St. and will be issuing an unsafe building order for the property.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

Kristy Jerrell, grant writer from Jerrell Consulting, and Brent Mather, R & B Architecture, came to address the Council with an update for the façade grant. Some of the owners dropped out and this caused a delay in applying for the grant.  The new goal is to apply in Round 1 during the spring of 2020. Grant announcements for this round will not be until early August 2020. In order to apply for the grant, there must be 6 building owners who participate.  Currently we have 5—Horizon Bank (front and side), Pinball on Perry (front and side), Pizza King, Masonic Temple and the building that used to house the China Buffet. Mather and Jerrell are working on getting a couple of more building owners to participate. The owners who are in the project must place 20% of their total construction costs plus a percentage of non-construction costs in a designated city fund.   Property owners will sign a 7-year easement of limited duration and a grant lien agreement.  The easement protects the improvements for 7 years.  City Council will pass a blighted resolution.  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. Jerrell said she will be working with Cindy Mason to communicate with the business owners downtown about participating in the grant in 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. Mather gave a copy of the preliminary engineering work that has been done to date.  He also provided cost estimates for the non-construction costs.  He also explained a grant called HRGP. It could be a second grant layered on top of the OCRA façade grant.  Each building application fees cost $1500 so it would only make sense if a larger amount of money is invested by a building owner.  Jerrell explained that the city has invested $15,000 so far towards this project.  If the city applies within 18 months, this $15,000 can be counted as our local match.  The City won two awards from Main Street statewide the last time Attica participated in the façade grant.  Jerrell and Mather stressed that the city is the applicant for the OCRA façade grant.  Building owners would be the applicants for the HRGP grant.  The Council and Mayor expressed interest in continuing to support the grant application in 2020.

Ordinance # 4, 2019 An Ordinance Amending Chapter 8, Traffic and Parking Regulation, To Prohibit Jake Brakes, was brought from the table.  Barce said he hasn’t contacted Indiana Department of Transportation (Indot) to find out where signs can be placed on 41 and 28.  Barce will follow up on this before the next meeting. The matter was tabled.

Katy Kays/Achieve Marketing LLC met with the Area Planning Commission to request that 500 E. Jackson be rezoned from R1 to R3.  They recommended that this be allowed.  Barce explained that Kays intends to operate an airBnB with up to 8 units.  A caretaker would live on the premises.  An issue that was addressed during the planning commission meeting was the existence of adequate parking. Kays indicated that the parking is located at the rear of the building and that there are enough parking spaces available.  Madden made a motion to adopt Ordinance # 11, 2019, Amending the Zoning Map.  Maus made a second.  The vote was 5-0 in favor of adoption.

Mayor Roderick asked about an ordinance addressing junk vehicles.  Barce he is working on adding something to the zoning code. The planning commission will meet to evaluate a proposal for junk vehicles.

Ordinance # 7, 2019 An Ordinance Amending Chapter 6, Public Health and Safety by Including a Division XVII, An Ordinance Entitled Minimum Residential Property Standards, was brought from the table. After some further discussion, it was decided that the Area Planning Commission would meet to strike out some of the parts of the proposed document that are troublesome or non-enforceable.  The subject was tabled.

Grant made a motion to bring Ordinance # 8, 2019, An Ordinance Establishing Wages and Compensation for Elected Officials, Appointed Officials, Employees and Members of the Attica Police Department and Fire Department, from the table.  Madden made a second, all were in favor and the motion passed.  There was no discussion or objections to the ordinance.  Grant made a motion to adopt.  Madden made a second.  The vote was 5-0 in favor of adoption.

The public hearing for the 2020 Budget Adoption was opened to the public. The proposed budget is $2,268,179, proposed tax levy is $1,089,849, and tax rate is 1.2561. There were no questions, discussions or objections.  The public hearing was closed.  Grant made a motion to adopt Ordinance # 9, 2019, Ordinance for Appropriations and Tax Rates. Maus made a second to the motion.  The vote was 5-0 in favor of adoption.

Canine maintenance was brought to the table for discussion. Barce said the statute of limitations would dictate the city only needs to go back 2 years or 3 years if the city was woefully disregarding labor laws.  Grant spoke out saying that he feels it is only right that the city compensates for all canine hours regardless of the statute of limitations.  The Council is interested in seeing what the payout for canine maintenance would be based on the rate of compensation for ½ hour or 1 hour per day. Madden would like to know if benefit time taken during pay periods affects the rate of pay being paid out as straight time or time and a half.

NEW BUSINESS:

The Council expressed interest in setting a policy that requires new hires to the police department to agree to pay the city for the costs to the city for paying for both the cost of the academy and the salary of the officer while they attend the academy if they leave employment before 3 years have elapsed.  After some discussion, the Council said they think it may be worth prorating the payback over three years.  Barce will work on a resolution.  The Council asked to hold a special Council Meeting on Wednesday, October 23, at 5:30 PM to discuss the canine maintenance issue and a policy requiring  new hires of the police department to agree to pay back the city for training costs if they leave employment before three years of their hire date.

Resolution # 4, 2019 Resolution Approving An Amendment to the Plan for the Attica Economic Development Area was presented to the Council.  Maus made a motion to read.  Craft made a second to the motion.  All were in favor.  Mayor Roderick explained that Harrison Steel’s current personal property increases have been captured by the County.  Going forward, Harrison Steel is agreeable to increases in their personal property being captured in the Economic Area (TIF District).  This resolution makes that possible.  Grant made a motion to adopt the resolution.  Maus made a second.  All were in favor and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0.

Joe Whitaker, Fountain County Emergency Management Director, said that every five years the City of Attica must adopt a mitigation plan.  The mitigation plan is a disaster plan.  The plan is 160 pages in color with photos and maps.  A disc containing the plan will be stored at the Mayor/Clerk-Treasurer office.  It addresses the coordination of different agencies in Fountain County when an emergency takes place. Askren made a motion to adopt Resolution # 4, 2019, Fountain County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan.  Grant made a second to the motion.  All were in favor and the motion passed.

MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS:

Madden requested that a speed indicator be installed on S. Perry Street near the little league ball fields.  The Council discussed the reliability of the two speed indicators located on 41 and 28.  Swank said they do require a lot of maintenance. It is worth investigating improving/repairing/replacing the two existing ones and purchasing a new one for S. Perry St.

Mayor Roderick has been approached by citizens complaining about the stop sign that was added on Main Street just west of Robie’s Restaurant.

Askren said there are residents at 1000 Avenue Four that let out 6 dogs at a time.  This is against our city code.

Chief Durnil suggested that a stop sign be added at the corner of Washington and McDonald Streets. The road is very busy, and the traffic tends to speed through this intersection. Askren asked that an ordinance be created to address this. Grant made a second to the motion.

Grant mentioned that the railroad was blocked for 2 ½ hours last week.  There is no solution yet for this problem.

ADJORNMENT:

The next Council meeting will be held Monday, November 11th, 2019 at 6:00pm.

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