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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

News & Updates

Council Proceedings – April 20, 2020

The Common Council for the City of Attica met on April 20th, 2020, at 6:00 P.M.

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:

Hargan made a motion to approve the minutes for the February 10th, 2020 Council Meeting as well as the minutes from the special Council Meeting on April 1st, 2020. Maus seconded.  All were in favor and the motion passed.

CITIZENS PETITIONS:

None

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

None

DEPARTMENT HEADS:

Eric Swank:

A Community Crossing Grant was approved for approximately $220,000.00 repairs will be made to the Sherry Lane area. Swank brought up that Perry street is starting to fail, and he recommends we get ahead of the problem before it totally deteriorates.

Carnahan asked what Perry street was rated on the list of streets, Swank stated it was considered in good shape, but it is the heaviest traveled and he recommends we stay ahead of the problem so that it is less costly in the long run.

Roderick stated when we take bids for this years CCG we can ask about the cost to repair Perry Street.

Grant asked about the middle block of Park Ave. Grant states money has not been spent on this street and he believes that we need to come up with a plan to begin repairs. Roderick agreed that repairs need made and stated the HWC plan would require repairing the whole street at one time, but Roderick stated the city should at least start reparing once section at a time.

Hargan stated Park Ave is not safe in its current condition and could be a liability for the city very soon.

Broadwater stated the Community Crossing Grant appears to include Brick streets now and this could possibly  help with Park Ave. Roderick stated that you can only apply for one round of CCG per year and we were already approved for round one this year.

Roderick asked if anyone knew of a brick layer, Swank stated there is a person that did some repairs on McDonald street he would try to contact him.

Swank explained that years ago, city employees poured a curb without drainage, in the winter when there is freezing and thawing it is causing the bricks to be pushed up. To correctly repair the road the stormwater issue needs to be addressed to prevent the same issues in the future.

Hargan asked if city employees could do the work to save the city money. Swank stated it is too labor/time intensive for the city employees to do this type of work with all the other projects that have to been completed.

Grant stated he would ask at work for referrals for brick contractors. Roderick stated he would check with HWC to see if knew of any contractors.

Hargan asked if we have a city-wide schedule of street repairs. Roderick stated HWC does a rating of the streets every 2 years to prioritize repairs.

Swank had no further comments.

Chief Durnil:

The Policy Academy is still shut down due to Covid 19. The deadline has been extended for new hires to complete the academy.

Durnil stated they had another laptop crash and they need to look at replacing them.

Durnil stated a Veedersburg officer and a State Trooper have been exposed to Covid-19 so this is being monitored due to the extensive contact they have with other officers.

Durnil had no further comments.

Chief Little:

Little is keeping in contact with the Health Department and other Covid resources, as far as PPE equipment Attica is in good shape. The department is on lockdown except for runs.

Little had no further comments.

Mr. Pycke:

Pycke stated he was asked to look at the south wall of the hotel, it has since collapsed. An unsafe building order was issued to the property owners and there is a hearing in June.

Durnil asked if Pycke had contact information for the owner because he needed to contact them about trash behind the building. Pycke stated he would get the information to Durnil.

Pycke shared 808 S. McDonald was on the unsafe building list and has been fixed and 407 S. Brady St. is being repaired by Katy Kays.

Pycke stated he was contacted by the general contractor of Autumn Trace. Pycke asked if there was anything, he needed to share with him, or get some documents from him.

Barce stated Bonnie Peterson the attorney representing (the buyer) for Autumn Trace contacted the general contractor and asked for a whole set of site documents.

Grant asked if Autumn Trace is being sold to a new owner. Barce replied that an attorney from Seattle has requested and been provided all the documents that the city has with respect to the building but did not disclose the purpose of the request.

Pycke said he had a request from citizen who asked what the city code is for a miniature horse. The citizen wanted to keep a miniature horse on their property. Barce stated that would be considered livestock, Grant stated that is not allowed within the city limits.

Broadwater stated the city does have an ordinance regarding livestock within the city limits. Grant stated he believed the ordinance was amended 4-5 years ago. Pycke stated he would relay the information to the citizen.

Pycke had no further comments.

Rod Bannon:

Bannon stated things have slowed down due to the virus, but he has been continuing to have virtual meetings. Rod stated someone has showed interest in the hotel, but nothing is in writing yet. 200 S. Perry, the Masonic Lodge, is worse off then they thought. A water leak was discovered in the basement a week ago.

Rod prepared and Duane sent in a letter of need to the State for a program that will expedite funds due to Covid 19 needs. This is to address developments that have been put on hold due to the virus.

Rod stated there is a follow up meeting with AT&T regarding broadband coming up and he has also spoke with the owner of the property behind McDonalds. Initially Rod met with the property owner about the cars being stored on the lot but is now talking to him about other possible uses for the land.

Rod stated on the housing front conversations have been put on hold due to the virus.

Hargan asked what is the status of Taco Bell coming to town. Rod stated it did not pan out and Kyle Knosp will be renting equipment out of that building.

Roderick stated the biggest problem with Taco Bell is they were concerned about the soil at that location.

Rod had no further comments

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

Roderick asked for thoughts on the police take home vehicle proposals. Hargan stated she received the 3 proposals and stated the only difference she saw between the proposals was the qualifications to get a vehicle, Durnil confirmed that is correct.

Hargan asked if Durnil has a governing document to track use, Durnil stated yes, they have been using a checkoff sheet for quite a while. Hargan also asked about officer responsibility with respect to maintenance. Durnil stated the officers would be responsible for scheduling service once it was approved by Durnil. Durnil stated he tracks all invoices for service on the vehicles.

Hargan asked about the eligibility on one proposal to have a car and that if it is necessary to complete the FTO training before they get a car but wanted to know if they should also complete the academy as well. Durnil said that is open for discussion, but the city does allow officers to drive a city police car to the academy now and having completed the FTO training gives officers an advantage at the academy.

Hargan also stated she felt that living within a 15 mile radius of Attica was limiting, Carnahan  stated this had been discussed previously and Durnil stated it allowed access to all officers except one living in Lafayette, but that officer is considering moving back to Attica in the future. Grant stated the council talked about this and council members thought the 15-mile radius was fair. Grant thinks this radius limitation will also encourage officers to live closer to Attica.

Carnahan asked the council if there was a proposal that they were leaning towards? Hargan stated she liked the one where they live within a 15-mile radius or in Fountain County. Grant asked if it needs to say in Fountain county or just the 15-mile radius. Durnil stated he is good leaving out “in Fountain County” Roderick stated he wants to keep it within a 15-mile radius. Roderick stated it is his understanding that it will be a least a year before all officers qualify for this program, Durnil agreed.

Hargan asked if further investigation was needed or are, we ready for a motion? Voorhees stated we need to consider if we are buying or leasing the vehicles. Durnil stated he sent out leasing options to all council members for review and out of the 3 options, Durnil prefers #3 because laptops are included, and the city just had another one crash.

Option #3 includes leasing two Durango’s fully equipped and the laptops. Durnil stated he got multiple quotes for both buying and leasing the laptops, Voorhees stated by leasing it keeps the equipment up to date. Grant asked if the options have been totaled and compared. Carnahan stated there is approximately an $1800.00 difference between option 1 and option 3. Option 1 is buying laptops, 3 is leasing them. Carnahan stated that she thinks leasing the laptops is the better option because if there is a problem they will be replaced. Durnil stated the quotes are for Dell Toughbook’s they  are made for cars.

Hargan asked about the grant for laptops that Durnil mentioned at the last meeting, Durnil stated we were not able to apply for that grant due to time frames and since Covid-19 started the grants have been suspended.

Roderick asked for a motion to approve the police car and equipment leasing option 3. Grant made a motion, Maus seconded the motion. Roderick asked for a rollcall, all council members responded “yay”, motion passed.

Roderick asked for a motion to approve policy option #1 for the police car take home program. Hargan made the motion, Grant seconded the motion. Rollcall, all responded “yay” motion passed.

NEW BUSINESS:

Roderick stated that Cindy Mason contacted Roderick about a small business loan program that Frankfort was doing and thought Attica should consider something similar.

Roderick stated there isn’t any money in the TIF fund, but we could use money in the Economic Development fund. Roderick asked for Attorney Barce’s opinion.

Cindy Mason explained the details of the Frankfort program as an example and made suggestions on how we could modify the requirements for Attica. Mason stated Frankfort used city funds and felt Attica could do the same with a maximum of $20,000.00. Hargan asked what fund would the money come out of? Roderick stated the Economic Development Fund if Jud felt it was acceptable, Jud agreed that it was.

Roderick asked the councils thoughts on the program. Hargan asked if the clerk would oversee gathering all the applications and issuing the checks? Broadwater responded the committee that Roderick had mentioned earlier would oversee the loan application process, then once approved the Clerk’s office would issue the checks.

Roderick asked for a motion to approve. Maus made a motion to approve $20,000 to be put toward the Attica small business economic relief loan program, Carnahan seconded the motion. Rollcall, all responded “yay” motion approved.

Roderick brought up trash and large items being put out by the road for city pick up. Roderick stated we have a dumpster we can use to put these items in, but Roderick feels that the person who put the items out needs to be fined. Discussion followed and Barce confirmed that the city could create an ordinance that would allow the city to charge fines for picking up items without going through the court system. Barce stated that a motion would need to be made to amend the junk, trash, and debris ordinance. Barce made recommendations on how the notices need to be handled with the occupant and the owner if the residence is not owner occupied.

The council discussed how to assess fines for items picked up by the city. Maus made a motion to amend the ordinance relating to junk, trash and debris to prohibit items left at the curb other than the weekend of an annual large item pickup, or items left at the curb for free up to one week. One item will be a fine of a minimum of $50.00 additional fines will be at the discretion of the Director of Public Works. Voorhees seconded the motion. Rollcall was taken, all responded “yay” motion passed.

Grant asked if this needs to be published. Barce said it does need to be published for 30 days to be enforceable.

Next item of business is an amendment to the golf cart ordinance allowing golf carts to be driven on Sycamore, Summit and Perry Streets. Grant made a motion to amend the ordinance as stated, Carnahan seconded, rollcall, all responded “yay”, motion passed.

Roderick asked if the Clerk would sign on behalf of the sponsoring council members, Broadwater agreed to sign on behalf of the sponsoring council member with their permission. Grant gave permission for Broadwater to sign on his behalf.

MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS:

Roderick asked what the city should be doing for our seniors. Durnil proposed that seniors could decorate their cars then be escorted through town. Additional discussion and suggestions were made. Roderick asked Durnil to put something together, Durnil stated he would work with the school to make this happen. 

ADJORNMENT:

Roderick stated he had no further business and requested a motion to adjourn. The next Council meeting will be held Monday, May 11th, 2020 at 6:00pm.

Hargan made the motion to adjourn, Voorhees 2nded, motion passed. Meeting Adjourned.

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