The Common Council for the City of Attica met on September 28th, 2020, at 6:00 P.M.
Those present at the meeting were: Council Members; Mrs. Kaylie Carnahan, Mrs. Valarie Maus, Mrs. Patricia Hargan and Mr. Scott Voorhees, Larry Grant via Zoom. Also, present were: Attorney Ingrid Barce, Mayor Duane Roderick, and Clerk-Treasurer Joanne Broadwater.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS:
Carnahan made a motion to approve the minutes for the September 14th, 2020 council meeting, Hargan seconded, all were in favor and the motion passed.
Michael Madden – presented a petition signed by the residents of the Avenues, asking the City of Attica to protect the homeowners from the Bed and Breakfast that has been holding outdoor events, stating living next to an event venue will continue to have a negative impact on the on the property values and zoning does not allow B & B to hold outside events. He asked the City to stop all events immediately and protect the neighborhood. Mr. Maddem also stated the neighbors are concern about parking if outdoor events are allowed.
Mr. Madden asked the Council to refer to the minutes of October 19th, 2019 council meeting and stated that the McDonald House B & B are not following rules outlined in that meeting. Mr. Madden stated he was biggest supporter of the B & B but is not supportive of outdoor events.
Mr. Madden circulated pictures of his property where it adjoins McDonald House, showing but brush and trash has been piled up against his property, he states these piles are full of rodents which adversely affects his property. Mr. Madden reported that Mayor Roderick and Council woman Hargan asked McDonald House to put up a fence between the properties but had not happened at the time of this meeting.
Mr. Madden also stated McDonald House is illegally burning trash and has a nurn pit that is not complaint with Attica City Code. Mr. Madden asked the Council to stop all events immediately, including the one scheduled for the weekend following the Council meeting. Mr. Madden asked that a rotten panel of fence that was stood up between the properties be removed. Mayor Roderick stated he would ask McDonald House to remove the old section of fence and reported that the B & B applied for a building permit to install a permanent new fence.
Dolly Poston Zollars attended via Zoom, she stated she is in complete support of the B & B’s activities. Ms. Zollars states that Katy Kays brings a great deal of money to the community and has made positive contributions to Attica.
Chief Little stated he received a phone call from Mr. Madden asking him to come look at the fire pit, and the brush pile. Little stated he has not had any previous reports of illegal burning. Little states the overall pit is bigger than what the City Code allows, but there was a grate and Chief Little saw nothing but clean wood in the fire pit. Chief Little said the brush pile was approximately 50 feet from the fire pit, and it appeared to be mostly dirt. Mr. Little stated other then the overall size of the pit he did not have any concerns.
Ms. Zollars asked Chief Durnil if the police had received any complaints about the B & B, Chief responded no.
Ms. Zollars continued to endorse the McDonald House and its Owners.
Mr. Madden restated his concerns regarding the McDonald house property.
Denise Routzahn also spoke in support of McDonald House.
Attorney Barce stated to have events on property R3 zoned you need a conditional use permit which will go before the Board of Zoning Appeals. Ms. Barce stated Ms. Kays applied for this permit just before Covid began shutting everything down. The continguent use will be brought before the Zoning Board and will not be decided at tonight’s meeting.
Mr. Madden spoke again asking the Council to take a vote to not allow any events or burning at the McDonald House property until the zoning issue has been resolved. Ms. Barce stated their office can send a letter to Ms. Kays stating the approved use of her R3 zoned property, but property use would not be determined at this meeting.
Mr. Grant, via Zoom, asked if Mr. Madden is concerned about the letter of the law or if he has been harmed by the activity at McDonald House? Mr. Madden stated he has been harmed, and Ms. Hargan asked Mr. Madden to explain how he has been harmed. He stated due to the activities at McDonald House he cannot use his back yard, and it is disruptive to daily life.
The Council continued to discuss Mr. Madden’s concerns regarding the McDonald House property use.
John Smith spoke up in support of new businesses, but believes the City of Attica is experiencing growing plains that can be handled with compromise between residents and business owners.
Mayor Roderick stated the concerns of Mr. Madden would be addressed but the meeting needed to continue to other items on the agenda.
Eric Swank Director of Public Works: Was not in attendance
Chief Durnil, Police Chief: Reported the debris are in and the CPR class is scheduled.
Client had nothing further to report.
Chief Little, Fire Chief: Reported the new Fire Department Covid Washer and Dryer has been delivered and should be installed shortly.
Chief also stated he would get ahold of the State Fire Marshal to address the McDonald House fire pit.
Mr. Pycke, Building Commissioner: Was not in attendance.
Rod Bannon, Economic Development Director: Provided an update on the 200 block of S. Perry St. He reported that two buildings are down and asked John Smith to give an update. Mr. Smith reported that two buildings are down, and light pole is the only damage that occurred. Smith stated they are finishing the back fill of the lots.
Bannon and Smith reported on the status of the hotel. Smith spoke with the Building Engineer who told him what must happen for Perry St. to safely reopen.
Smith stated they were ready to demolish the two wings in the back of the hotel when the project was halted due to concerns about Asbestos. Smith reported that netting has been installed to reduce liability issues and that tie backs were already in place. The Engineer will not sign off until the wings are taken down.
Mayor Roderick asked for Council discussion regarding testing for Asbestos. The Council engaged in a long discussion regarding all matters related to the hotel and ended with a Council member asking Bannon what the “big picture” is with the hotel. The Council agreed to postpone any demolition at the hotel property until it could be tested for Asbestos. Mayor Roderick stated he would reach out to HWC engineering film the next day for a recommendation on a company to do the testing.
Bannon explained that he has been working with John Smith since the beginning of 2020 on Mr. Smiths projects within the City of Attica. As part of the collaboration, Mr. Smith determined that he needed a hotel to support project he is planning.
Bannon began working towards the City of Attica acquiring ownership of the hotel building and cleaning up any back-tax issues with the understanding that Mr. Smith would work with the City of Attica to rehabilitate the building back into a hotel property.
A citizen asked the question if this deal was public? Mr. Bannon reported yes, it has all been public. The question was asked “what happens to the hotel title once it is clear of back taxes”? Voorhees stated the hotel property is owned by the city and no development deal has been signed for this property at this time. Bannon stated the plan is for the building to be purchased by Mr. Smith for money the city has invested in the building once the title is clear.
Discussion and questions between interested citizens, Mr. Bannon, and the Council continued. Ms. Zollars asked the council to have any agreements in writing with respect to the hotel before the city moves forward, Mayor Roderick agreed that any deal would be in writing and approved by the Council before proceeding.
Ms. Barce requested authorization from the Council for her office to reach out to Kent Minett and request that the hotel property off sale roster, as well as others owned by the city.
Carnahan made a motion for the office of Barce and Redlin to reach out Kent Minett and request that the properties referenced by Ms. Barce be removed from the tax sale roster. Maus seconded the motion, all were in favor, motion passed.
Additional discussion between Brent Bauerband, via Zoom, the Council, Mr. Bannon, and other citizens present in the council room continued.
Based on the meeting discussion, Atty Barce stated she could bring a Go Fund Me Ordinance to the Council for their review in case they were interested in pursuing this funding option, the Council agreed.
Presented Ordinances for review and discussion.
- An Ordinance to set hourly rates for work completed by city employees on property not being maintained to city code. Barce presented the Ordinance and instructed the Council could pass it tonight if there was a motion to waive the first reading. Maus made a motion to waive the first reading of this Ordinance, and pass it as presented, Hargan seconded, all were in favor, motion passed.
- Ordinance to change yield signs to stop signs on Monroe and McDonald St. Carnahan asked if Pike and McDonald could be included in this Ordinance? Barce stated she would update the Ordinance and present it at the next meeting.
- Ordinance regarding parking in non-parking places, i.e. yards, etc… Hargan stated this has not been discussed. The Council tabled this to the next meeting.
- Ordinance to change College to a one way North between Washington and Jackson St. Carnahan made a motion to approve, Voorhees seconded, all were in favor, motion passed.
- Utility Ordinance regarding deposits, making deposits non-refundable for all new service established, and that a new service deposit is required for all new service regardless if it is a owner or rental situation and applies to both renters and owners of rental property. Hargan made a motion to adopt this Ordinance, Maus seconded, all were in favor, motion passed.
Atty Barce discussed the Tax Refund Intercept program for Utility services. This program is called T-Rex and is free for Municipalities. Carnahan made a motion to approve a memorandum of understanding for this program. Hargan seconded this motion, all were in favor. Motion passed.
Hargan asked where we were in the C&D underpayment issue. Barce stated they were waiting on additional information. Roderick stated he spoke with Erik Swank who stated C&D would not have been aware of the incorrect billing due to the meter being a new meter with no billing history on it.
- Petition to amend the zoning code. This changes the Location Improvement permit rules changing the language from “180 days to start the project” or the permit is revoked, to “180 days to have the project complete, or an extension request must be made. Barce asked the Council to establish a fine for non-compliance. After some discussion Voorhees suggested this issue be tabled to the next meeting.
- Ordinance prohibiting the construction of an accessory building on a lot that does not have primary residence on it. After Council discussion, this was tabled until the next meeting.
Mayor Roderick presented the Salary Ordinance to the Council, explaining that full time, hourly employees received a $.50 per hour raise. Full time salary positions received a 2% raise adjusted for 53 pay weeks in 2021. At the request of the Clerk-Treasurer, Joanne Broadwater, the Deputy Clerk’s hourly wage presented was increased to $20.00 per hour, and the Utility Clerk’s hourly wage presented was increased to $19.00 per hour.
Voorhees asked for more Council involvement in the budget process next year. Roderick asked for a motion to accept the proposed Salary Ordinance, Hargan made this motion, Maus seconded, all were in favor, motion passed.
The next item up for discussion is Halloween. Roderick stated neighboring cities are holding trick and treat. After Council discussion trick or treat were set for downtown businesses from 5;00 pm to 6;00 pm and regular hours from 6:00 pm to 8:00pm on Halloween, Saturday October 31st 2020.
Roderick stated he had no further business and requested a motion to adjourn, the next Council meeting will be held Monday, October 12th, 2020 at 6:00pm.
Hargan made the motion to adjourn, Voorhees 2nded, all were in favor motion passed.