The Common Council for the City of Attica met on January 11th, 2021, 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 MEETINGS:
- Hargan made a motion to approve the minutes from December 12th and 14th 2020, council meetings, Maus seconded, all were in favor and the motion passed.
Council member Voorhees muted all Zoom participants and explained that if someone wished to speak during the citizens petition time of the meeting, they should unmute themselves and state their name first.
- Kyle Knosp asked the city to take over the lift station on the Badlands property so they can expand. Grant asked about annexing the Badlands property so the city could collect taxes. Grant asked if Kyle would consider it. Knsop stated his biggest concern is future restrictions that could be placed on him by the city. Grant stated the zoning could be tailored to the use Kyle is interested in. Attorney Barce explained in more detail how zoning would work for Kyle’s property. The Council continued further discussion with Kyle on this topic.
- Brent Bauerband asked about considering an open market in the 200 block of Perry St. and owning the buildings in this area. Roderick explained the city cannot receive revenue from the 200 block buildings and still benefit from the TIF revenues. Rod Bannon explained that a non-profit is being established to own and run the development properties so the city would benefit indirectly. Bannon did confirm that a market area is being considered as part of the development.
- Candy Kirkpatrick asked how the raises in the 2021 salary ordinance were determined because two city employees received a $2.00 per hour increase and the rest of the city employees received a $.50 per hour increase. Roderick explained that he compared the salaries of equivalent positions in other cities to determine the amount of raise recommended for employees and found that the clerk’s office employees were grossly underpaid compared to their counterparts in other cities. Kirkpatrick asked if the number of years of service was considered in this determination, Roderick stated he could not answer that question. Grant asked Candy if she ever received her certification for her position, she responded no. Candy stated she felt more should have been taken into consideration when the raises were determined. Voorhees stated the raise was not for longevity but was a salary alignment to catch those employees up to where they should be compared to similar positions. Broadwater stated she researched the salaries of cities and towns near us as well as other cities and towns of similar size within the state and determined that the clerk’s office staff was very underpaid. The complexity of the computer software, volume of work, and the fact that the current salaries of the clerk’s office staff compared to similar positions is the reason for the raise recommendation. Voorhees stated that 3 of the Council members are new this year and it has been a learning curve and plan to be more involved in the salary process next year.
- Ralph and Nancy Brian voiced her concerns that the leadership of the country has let their citizens down. She asked if our local community and state are coming together to support our nations constitution. Roderick stated we have followed Governors orders to date and will continue to do so. Grant stated when elected officials take the oath of office, they swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States.
Eric Swank Director of Public Works: Was not present.
Chief Durnil, Police Chief:
- Provided a copy of the departments new policy that bans choke holds with a couple exceptions.
- Updated the Council on officers attending the police academy.
Chief Little, Fire Chief: Was not present.
Mr. Pycke, Building Commissioner:
- Provided an update on the open unsafe building orders:
- 902 E. Main St- the owner has made some progress, but the roof still needs work done. A new review hearing was set for April 6th.
- 907 E. Summit – a hearing was held, the owner reported he planned to tear the property down as soon as he can find a contractor to do the work. Another review was scheduled for April 6th.
- 206 W. Pike – Donna Parris does not own the property but has taken responsibility for it since the owner passed away in 2012. She stated she plans to clean and repair the property. This property was set for a review hearing on April 6th.
- 908 S. Brady – the owners gave a timeline of construction and the estimated completion time is a month, so another review hearing is set for March 6th.
Grant asked about a property on S. Perry St. that a house was torn down and now the owners are using the property as a non-conforming use by storing vehicles and other things on the property. The Council had additional discussion regarding this property. The Council decided this was an ordinance violation and asked Pycke to send a letter to the property owners.
Pycke had nothing further to report.
Rod Bannon, Economic Development Director:
- Updated the Council on the non-profit private economic development group. Bannon explained how this non-profit group would work.
- Reported TWG is the development company that the city hopes to partner with on the downtown development project. Sam Rogers from TWG along with Rod Bannon explained how the partnership between the city and TWG would work. Bannon stated the initial project concept included 42-, 2- and 3-unit apartments with retail business space on street level. These apartments will be mixed income. The developer has agreed to have a public forum on the design of the development early in the project.
- Roderick asked for discussion from the Council regarding saving historic downtown buildings. Voorhees stated the city leadership is not against saving the downtown, but finding the money from private investors, building owners, has not been forthcoming. As far as the hotel, the cost of fixing the hotel is beyond what the city can afford, but the city would welcome developers who are willing to spend the money necessary to restore this property. Hargan asked if money was available from OCRA to determine what buildings can be saved? Bannon stated Indiana Landmarks is interested in saving the downtown and are working with the city on a program to assess the condition of existing buildings. Several citizens spoke up in support of the Council taking the initiative to restore the downtown but feels that steps need to be taken to make sure that rental units in town maintain acceptable standards. Hargan responded stating the Council has been working extremely hard to put ordinances in place to address this issue. There was continued discussion regarding the downtown by the Council.
Joanne Broadwater, Clerk-Treasurer:
- Explained the financials that were sent to the Council by email and gave a summary of the 2020 year ending numbers.
- Roderick tabled to the next meeting discussion on broadband, surplus properties, and parking. Barce asked if the city received any bids on the surplus property, Roderick stated no. Barce suggested rebidding the surplus property.
- Roderick stated a new Council President needs to be selected. Voorhees made a motion for Larry Grant to continue as Council President for the 2021 calendar year, Carnahan seconded, all were in favor, motion passed.
- Barce handed out a Resolution extending the FFCRA through March 31, 2021. Roderick stated the FFCRA expired on December 31st but feels the city should vote to extend these provisions. The Council discussed the provisions of the Resolution and discussed a possible “sick bank” for city employees. The continuation of the FFCRA policy was tabled to the next meeting.
- Larry Grant wanted to note in the minutes that Tedi Stafford sent a letter to Larry regarding the poor conditions of the Attica Med Shed and urged the city leaders to make upgrading their facilities a priority.
- Encumbrances – Broadwater presented the following list of encumbrances:
Fund Appropriation # Approp. Name Amount Vendor/Purpose PARK
204021210.000 PARK SUPPLIES $12,500.00
AHW LAWN MOWER
601023220.000 WATER GENERAL
626023220.000 STORM WATER SUP $41,197.41
626023362.000 STORM WATER
Carnahan made a motion to approve the encumbrances as presented, Maus seconded, all were in favor, motion passed.
Roderick requested it be in the minutes, per the request of Fountain Trust, that he will no longer be on the city checking accounts or have the capacity to sign checks, and Deputy Clerk Lisa Hubbard will be added as a backup to all city accounts. This change was made due to SBOA rules and Indiana law.
Roderick stated he had no further business and requested a motion to adjourn. The next Council meeting will be held Monday, February 8th, 2021 at 6:00pm.
Voorhees made the motion to adjourn, Hargan seconded, all were in favor, motion passed, meeting adjourned.