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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

News & Updates

Council Proceedings – January 13, 2020

The Common Council for the City of Attica met on January 13th, 2020, at 6:00 P.M.

Those present at the meeting were: Council Members; Mr. Larry Grant, Mrs. Kaylie Carnahan, Mrs. Valarie Maus and Mrs. Patricia Hargan. Also, present were: Mayor, Duane Roderick, City Attorney, Jud Barce, and Clerk-Treasurer, Joanne Broadwater.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:

Maus made a motion to approve the minutes for the November 13th, 2020 Council Meeting.  Hargan seconded.  All were in favor and the motion passed.

CITIZENS PETITIONS:

Kelly Frodge and John Edmonds with Attica Heritage Days presented a proposal to move the festival to the river front park due to a logistics and safety standpoint. They would like to apply for grants and work with Duke Energy and secure other funding to upgrade and replace the electricity at this site.

They are interested in having a permanent pavilion constructed at this site and plan to apply for a grant from the SIA Foundation for funding. They are going to create a 3D print to present to the council so they can see the plans before they are approved.

Hargan asked where the pavilion would be located, the response was “close to the restrooms”.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

There were none.

DEPARTMENT HEADS:

Eric Swank:

Stop signs in front of Robie’s have been removed.

Swank reported Nick from Trask Kans has been wonderful to work with, but there are still a few things that need to be worked out, such as, what addresses are considered commercial and which are residential and whether or not current addresses that in the past have had trash pick up but weren’t paying for it.

Mayor Roderick explained when the new company took over only the residential addresses that were paying for trash service were given new trash cans, then the city started receiving phone calls asking for trash cans and the city discovered that there were a few nonresidential addresses that previously had trash pickup but have never paid for it.

Mayor Roderick explained that our contract with Trash Kans is based on the 1185 residential meters, plus the dumpsters for the city. Per Mayor Roderick it is up to the businesses to contract for their own trash service.

Hargan stated she has been contacted by several business owners regarding this trash issue because they were unaware of the change in service and were not expecting their service to end. Hargan asked if commercial service could be added into the city’s contract. Roderick stated that there are phone numbers on the trash cans where the company can be reached to establish their own service. Broadwater stated that any individual that contacts the city office is also being given phone numbers for the respective companies that can help the business owner.

Grant stated it is not fair that people who were not paying for their trash to be getting it for free on the backs of people that are paying.

Roderick apologized regarding the rollout of the new service, it happened so fast, and that the new contract hadn’t even been signed before the last city council meeting. The city had two bids turned in back in early November and Trash Kans was significantly lower than Republic, but Trash Kans paperwork wasn’t correct so the Board of Works rejected both bids because the city wasn’t going to accept a bid that was going to raise the cost of service by 13% then 3.5% each year after that. According to Roderick it would have cost the city over $200,000.00 more for trash pickup and we would have had to pass that cost onto the residents of Attica and Mayor Roderick didn’t want to do that.

Per Roderick the city rebid the trash service and at the December 17th Board of Works meeting, the city accepted Trash Kans bid. Once Attorney Barce looked over the paperwork the city signed the new contract, that is why I happened so fast.

Hargan asked if the city rebids the contract yearly, Roderick replied that we have a 5-year contract with Trash Kans, and the price will not increase during the contract.

Chief Durnil:

Officer Swisher has graduated from the police academy and she has been working and Lucas Miller started the academy today. Durnil has training lined up for officer Hohenstein. Swisher is going to be the backup school resource office for Askren in case he is sick or needs time off. Swisher will attend training in June for this.

Chief Little:

Little was absent, Mr. Routzahn was representing the Fire Department, and stated the new Tahoe should be back from Lafayette this week, it is getting the lights and other items installed.

Mr. Pycke:

Golf Ridge Estates building permits have been reviewed and approved.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

Ordinance #2020-0113A was handed out by Mayor Roderick for the Council to review. Barce explained the Ordinance was per the request of the Council, for the city to adopt minimum standards that would apply to all residences that would raise the level of building stock in the city of Attica and to also assist with the building inspector when he issues building permits or goes for unsafe building inspections to say what the minimum standards are acceptable. It is not a building code and doesn’t get into detail, but it covers a lot of areas. It covers plumbing, electric and the roof, among other things, it’s to make sure the building meets an acceptable level in the councils’ eyes. This Ordinance was originally introduced in July 2019, the referred to the plan commission for review in October, it then came back to the council in November or December for one additional item to be changed. A penalty section was also added under section 3 so the ordinance could be enforced.

Hargan asked about an item on the second page under D “keep the doors and windows of a vacant structure or vacant portion of a structure securely closed to prevent unauthorized entry”, does that mean they can board things up with wood? Barce answered “no”, it means the building would need to be locked so people could not freely come and go. Hargan also asked if this Ordinance pertained to the downtown? Barce responded that is pertains to any residential dwelling. Hargan then asked if we have an ordinance for commercial buildings downtown? Barce stated that the city has a building code that adopts the electric and plumbing code but in terms of having our building inspector go out and inspect new construction or when someone purchases a building that has been unoccupied for awhile for him to be able to go through and identify what need improved or repaired to bring it up to the city standards, that is all this is designed to do. Hargan mentioned that there are buildings downtown that have windows out and asked how these can be addressed. Barce responded that those items are addressed through the unsafe building Ordinance. Roderick stated the city has addressed some of these issues.

Barce further explained that on an unsafe building order, there are criteria that apply, if the building inspector finds any of these items out of compliance, the building inspector can order compliance from the building owner. If the building owner willfully fails to comply, they can be fined up to $5000.00. If the building owner is still non-compliant the city can do the work and then bill the owner and place a lien against the property.

Prior to adoption the penalty needs to be set, the council decided the fine would be a $100.00 per unit, per week of non-compliance.

Roderick called for a motion to adopt, Grant made motion, Maus seconded, motion passed.

NEW BUSINESS:

Resolution 2020-0113B amending Chapter 4, City Administration, Article 2 to include section 4-16 relating to the civil process service administration fee. This would allow the police to charge a fee to serve civil papers, per Barce, most departments have a fee in place because of the amount of work and responsibility involved. The administration fee will be paid to the Attica Police Department and placed into the Police Continuing Education fund.

Rodrick called for a motion, Grant made the motion, Hargan seconded, motion passed.

Mayor Roderick stated he wanted to wait until after the vacant position on the council was filled before establishing Council Committees and naming a Council President.

Roderick asked if the Council would like to appointment someone to the Merit Board. Hargan stated Sara Pycke is interested in this position. The Council agreed to appoint Mrs. Pycke to the Merit Board.

MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS:

Roderick spoke about the opportunity for Fiber Optic Service being brought to Attica by a company called Mainstream. Barce explained that this is service that Benton County is moving forward with, and it is partially being paid for by a grant. Barce continued to explain some of the services that would be available through this company as well as the anticipated coverage area. The company has indicated that they would include Attica due to our proximity to Warren County.

Roderick stated Economic Development Director, Rod Bannon, had spoke to the company, and our estimated cost to connect would be approximately $500,000.00, we would have to pay that in 2022. Per the company, if the city added $5.00 onto the charge for individual service, it would allow the city to recoup their money in 5-6 years.

Roderick also mentioned, at Lisa Jordan’s request, he reached out to AT&T, and they are going to put together a proposal for the city’s review to see what it would cost to get Fiber Optic from them.

There was some council discussion regarding the importance of high-speed internet to keep Attica competitive and able to attract new businesses to our city.

Roderick spoke about the Zoning board meeting and a presentation by JD Taggert from Community Action Program. Mr. Taggert builds homes using grants up to a million dollars with 25% matching funds, however, up to 15% of the match can come from a bank or property exchange. For example, if the city had property, they owned it would be possible to do a property exchange in lieu of the 25% match. This would allow the city to turn vacant properties into a nice property for a family to live in and the city wouldn’t be responsible for these properties any longer.

Barce explained how this process would work. Hargan asked if it is possible to establish a covenant on the building that would be constructed? Community member Cindy Mason spoke to this, she stated that this opportunity has come about through various groups that have identified housing as a need in our community. The City is adamant that any housing built needs to fit into the neighborhood and community. Cindy spoke to Community Action about this and presented pictures of a design build in Lafayette as an example of what we are looking for. Barce stated we can have our expectations put into a development agreement so we would have some control.

The Logan 2 Caucus will be held on Tuesday January 21st at 6:00pm here at the City Building Council Room.

Hargan asked if the Economic Development Director could present a report at each council meeting. Roderick stated he would check on this.

ADJORNMENT:

The next Council meeting will be held Monday, February 10, 2020 at 6:00pm.

Maus made the motion to adjourn, Kaylie 2nded, motion passed. Meeting Adjourned.

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