Leasing new life into the city by filling empty space on Main Street

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125MainStreetCentral City Council

By David Josselyn

The Central City Council and City Staff met for a regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm. All council members were present. Also in attendance for Staff were City Clerk Reba Bechtel, Finance Director Abigail Adame, City Manager Daniel Miera, City Attorney Marcus McAskin, Fire Chief Gary Allen, and Police Chief Terry Krelle.

After reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Ron Engels asked for any amendments or additions to the agenda or if any agenda items presented a conflict of interest. Attorney McAskin requested an Executive Session be added at the end of the meeting for legal advisement regarding Article II of Chapter 15 of the Municipal Code.

Consent Agenda

The Mayor called for a motion to approve the consent agenda which consisted of the regular bill lists of April 23 and 30; and the City Council minutes of April 21. Alderman Gloria Gaines moved to amend the Consent Agenda so that the regular bill lists and meeting minutes would be approved separately and was seconded by Alderman Voorhies. The motion passed unanimously. Alderman Gaines moved to approve the regular bill lists and was seconded by Alderman Voorhies. The motion passed unanimously. Alderman Gaines next moved to approve the minutes of the April 21 meeting and was seconded by Alderman Shirley Voorhies. The motion passed with three in favor and one abstention by Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Heider who did not attend the meeting in question.

Public Forum

Mayor Engels opened the floor to the public for anyone who wished to speak to a topic on that night’s agenda. No one chose to address council at this time.

Procedural Changes to the Code

City Attorney McAskin reviewed the second reading of Ordinance 15-01 which would make minor revisions to the City Council Rules of Procedure. The revisions would clarify Rule 1, insert Rule 5, and renumber rules to include the new Rule 5.

Rule 1 addressed meetings held by the City with the Council which would include both regular Council Meetings and Work Sessions. The revision removes language stipulating these are held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month; clarifying the public hearings are not held during work sessions; the Council is not required to take public comment during work sessions; and the public may address the Council at their discretion if time permits. The current practice is to have work sessions on the first and third Tuesdays of the month.

Rules 5 and 6 refer to the responsibility of the Mayor Pro Tem and the designation of a Temporary Chair. Rule 5 defines the role of Mayor Pro Tem and gives that person the duties and all powers of the Mayor in the Mayor’s absence. Rule 6 adds a procedure for when both the Mayor and the Mayor Pro Tem cannot be in attendance for a regular meeting. In that scenario, the City Manager or the City Clerk will call the meeting to order and call the roll. The Council will then elect a Temporary Chairperson for that meeting. The Temporary Chair will hold the powers of the Mayor until such time as the Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem arrives and then the Temporary Chair must relinquish control back to the proper authority. The current agenda item being discussed is allowed to be concluded before the Chair relinquishes authority.

Alderman Gaines suggesting a change Rule 1 to clarify that community input is welcome and McAskin agreed to the change. Alderman Voorhies moved to approve Ordinance 15-01 and was seconded by Alderman Kathy Heider. The Ordinance passed unanimously.

Leasing New Life into the City

City Manager Daniel Miera reviewed the second reading of Ordinance 15-02 which would approve a Lease Agreement for the premises of 117, 123, and 125 Main Street. The property is owned by Central City LLC, a Delaware limited liability corporation. The purpose of entering a Lease Agreement is to provide space to entities that would not normally exist in the local economy such as art galleries and museums. Central City intends to use the premises as overflow meeting space, to showcase public art, for special festivals and events. The Lease Agreement will cost the City one dollar for the length of the lease which expires December 31 2016. There is an option to extend the Lease at one dollar per year thereafter. It will also cost the City all property taxes that would normally be collected for the building. Alderman Gaines moved to approve Ordinance 15-02 and was seconded by Alderman Heider. The Ordinance passed unanimously.

More Code Revisions

  City Building Official Gary Pringey introduced the first reading of Ordinance 15-03 which would repeal and reenact Article I of Chapter 18 of the City Code. Within Article I of Chapter 18 are the codes for buildings, fire, residential dwelling, mechanics, plumbing, conservation, and fuel. Pringey stated that this would bring the City up to current standards as the current Code is from 2009. Council requested time to review all the changes for impact to the City. Alderman Gaines moved to table Ordinance 15-03 pending a work session scheduled June 2 and was seconded by Alderman Voorhies. The Ordinance was tabled unanimously.

Staff Updates and Council Comments

Manager Miera updated the Council on a few projects of interest. There is a quarterly work session with the Business Improvement District scheduled for May 19 at 6:00 pm. All interviews for a new Public Works Director have been conducted and one candidate has been given an offer with a start date of May 18.

Alderman Judy Laratta stated that with summer quickly approaching, it is time to get the “Do Not Enter” sign at the entrance to Main Street removed. Manager Miera replied that JVA is working to finalize a presentation to the Council which should include that sign.

Public Forum

  The Mayor opened the floor for public comment on any items not on the evening’s agenda.

Citizen Bob Branstetter offered his opinion that the homeowners should not be burdened with the cost of locating and repairing water service lines when much of the time it is the City that causes the problems. Branstetter suggested that the City should hire the contractor and maintain control of the project.

Citizen Barbara Thielemann announced and reviewed the details for the Central City Community Pride Day which will be held on May 29.

Mark your Calendars

Alderman Heider moved to enter Executive Session. At 8:22 pm, Mayor Ron Engels adjourned the regular meeting. The next regular Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19 at 7:00 pm.

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