The City Council of the City of Columbia, Missouri, met for a regular meeting at 7:00 p.m., on Monday, June 2, 1997, in the Council Chamber of the City of Columbia, Missouri. The roll was taken with the following results: Council Members CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, and JANKU were present. The City Manager, City Counselor, City Clerk, and various Department Heads were also present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the regular meeting of June 2, 1997, were approved unanimously by voice vote on a motion made by Mr. Campbell and a second by Mr. Janku.
APPROVAL AND ADJUSTMENT OF AGENDA INCLUDING
Mr. Beck asked that B140-97 be added under Old Business. He explained that it had been introduced at the last meeting, but due to an oversight by the newspaper, the public hearing had not been advertised timely. He asked that it be given second reading and then tabled to the next meeting.
The agenda, including the Consent Agenda, was approved unanimously by voice vote on a motion made by Ms. Coble and a second by Mr. Janku.
1. Tree Plan Task Force Presentation.
Frank Ruggiero, Chairman of the Tree Plan Task Force, presented a slide presentation highlighting the group's efforts. He noted that the activities are divided into two phases. Phase one includes identification of areas in the City that would benefit from beautification efforts, and development of recommendations on how this may occur. Phase two would be a fresh review of existing City policies as they relate to beautification activities.
Mr. Ruggiero said the task force has identified the major traffic corridors within the City as being I-70, US 63, Stadium Boulevard, Broadway, and Providence Road. Other significant arterials were named as Business Loop 70 and Paris Road. He noted that a major concern was the maintenance of trees and plants once established. The City must plan for the upkeep of planted material and maintenance costs must be factored into every beautification project that is planned and executed.
The task force decided their initial efforts should be focused on Business Loop 70, I-70 and the US 63 interchanges. The plan recommended offering incentives to increase participation, with one possibility being tax credits to entice business owners to surrender parking spaces in exchange for planters.
Mr. Ruggiero spoke about establishing a "Tree Keeper Program" which would train volunteers to perform routine maintenance of landscaped areas. He said volunteer help could allow staff to perform the heavier jobs.
Mr. Ruggiero suggested that the task force function as a permanent board responsible for assessing, monitoring, and guiding Columbia's beautification efforts. Permanent designation is also an eligibility requirement for Tree City USA funding.
Mr. Ruggiero listed six recommendations the task force felt to be most critical to the success of future beautification efforts. The first recommendation is to concentrate long-term beautification efforts on the entire I-70 and US 63 corridors. Next is to establish a user-friendly City Tree Planting Policy, which would modify the existing policy to facilitate partnering with business and community groups. Through the Adopt-A-Spot Program, the City should provide trees and plant materials in exchange for a four year maintenance commitment by the spot adopter. Another recommendation is to annually budget Tree City USA guidelines, such as $2 per capita for tree planting and maintenance. The fourth recommendation is to establish a Tree Keepers Program to assist in the planting and maintenance of existing and future plantings. The fifth recommendation is to establish a permanent group to continue tree planting beautification and oversight activities. The last recommendation is for the City to undertake six immediate impact projects each year. Mr. Ruggiero identified the projects for 1997 as being the corner of Broadway and Providence, the Business Loop 70 median between Pannell Street and Fay Street, Business Loop 70 on the north side in front of Parkade Plaza, Business Loop 70 on the south side in front of Hardee's, Providence Road on the west side between Cherry and Locust Streets, and the median area on Providence Road at the Rollins/Fifth Street intersection.
Referring to the establishment of a Business Loop 70 Business District, Mr. Campbell asked how the Special Business District had been established. He asked if there were state or federal procedures that must be followed. Mr. Beck said the Downtown Special Business District had been set-up under state rule. He said there might be some possibilities for a neighborhood district, but was not sure. Under state statutes, Mr. Boeckmann said one could form a special business district which would not be limited exclusively to downtown areas. Mayor Hindman asked if that would require action on the part of the district. Mr. Boeckmann was not sure how these districts were formed initially, but indicated it would have to be approved by action of the Council. He was not sure if it had to be initiated by petition. Mr. Janku said there had been strong interest regarding the establishment of a district when he attended the dedication of the Senior Center.
Mr. Kruse thanked Mr. Ruggiero and the Task Force members for all of their work. He reported in Independence, on Noland Road, there is a special taxing district being formed for a comprehensive appearance improvement plan which includes landscaping and utility relocations. He said the plan would even include substituting commercial signs for smaller, more tasteful signs. Mr. Kruse suggested that it may be a model to be used for comparison. He asked if it was the intention of the task force to continue to work through phase two in terms of the policies and issues. Mr. Ruggiero said if the Council agreed to the continuation of the task force's activities, they certainly would.
Mr. Campbell was hopeful that not only would the task force continue to work, but also that the Council would enact some of their ideas.
On behalf of the Council and the citizens of Columbia, Mayor Hindman thanked the Task Force for all of their work thus far.
Ms. Coble made the motion that the Council adopt the Tree Plan Task Force Report as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Campbell and approved unanimously by voice vote.
SCHEDULED PUBLIC COMMENT
1. Rhonda Carlson - Homeownership Assistance Program.
Rhonda Carlson, 1110 Willowcreek, distributed a packet of information to the Council. She said her company has a development under construction in north Columbia called Spencer's Crest. The thrust of the project is to provide affordable housing in the area. She said six units had been sold and these buyers qualified for the Homeowner's Assistance Program. Ms. Carlson recently spoke with Mr. Hancock and had been informed that there would no longer be monies available on her project, although monies would be available for properties in this particular census tract where Spencer's Crest is located. She was looking for clarification as to whether monies available through the Homeowner's Assistance Program were to be used exclusively for existing homes, and whether new construction was going to be exempt. She said the Spencer's Crest development is located in the middle of the census tract targeted for the program. She said these condominiums are the only new properties available for sale under $70,000. Ms. Carlson thought the purpose of the program was to promote home ownership, and not a specific type of home ownership.
Mr. Janku asked what the time frame was for construction. Ms. Carlson said as five units in a building are placed under contract, the next building is started. She said there are presently 23 units available, with 13 total properties sold or under contract. Of the units sold, six have been obtained through the Homeowner's Assistance Program. Ms. Carlson said there would be a total of 216 units in 27 buildings. Mr. Janku asked which portion of the units were targeted for the program. Ms. Carlson said all of them would qualify if the Council would so stipulate. She understood there is limited funding available.
Mr. Campbell asked if there would eventually be a Homeowner's Association. Ms. Carlson said the development is already being professionally managed. She said the management company had worked with them in developing the regulations and dues so in the future there would be monies in reserve for building and property maintenance.
Mayor Hindman asked what the Homeowner's Assistance Program money is used for. Ms. Carlson said the $2,000 is a grant and the applicants work through local lenders. She said money obtained through the program is used to assist in down payments and/or closing costs. A standard loan would still need to be secured through a lending institution.
Mr. Hancock said the product the Carlson's are providing at Spencer's Crest is wonderful for first-time buyers who are looking for something new. His only concern is that there is a small amount of money left in the program for this year, and Mr. Hancock wanted to ensure that this kind of development had been the Council's intentions for the Homeowner's Assistance Program. He said approximately 99.5% of all of the grants had been in census tract 8, which contains the older neighborhoods that had been initially targeted. Mr. Hancock said what caused his concern was the number of units at Spencer's Crest that could potentially be eligible for the program, and the limited monies available. Mr. Hancock stated if the Council wanted these funds used to finance the purchase of any or all of the units in Spencer's Crest, he did not have a problem with that as long as the Council felt it met their guidelines, and provided the funds are budgeted for it. Mr. Hancock could not totally recommend neglecting the older neighborhoods as real impacts had been made in terms of property values and crime reduction.
Mr. Campbell asked about the current fiscal year for the program. Mr. Hancock said the program year for HUD ends December 31st (the program runs according to the calendar year). Mr. Campbell asked Mr. Hancock if he understood him to say there was approximately $14,000 left in the program. Mr. Hancock said that was correct. He added that there is an agreement on the agenda later this evening with Enterprise Development for payment of their administrative funds. Mr. Hancock said after those funds are paid, there would be approximately $14,000 remaining in that budget. He pointed out in his memo that these funds clearly would not be enough for the remainder of the program year, even excluding the Carlson's project, so money would have to be found within other accounts that may no longer be active. Mr. Campbell asked if there were pending applications competing for that money. Mr. Hancock said approximately eight applications are received per month. Mr. Campbell asked if it was true that the City just made a large loan to a private developer for a housing project, and wondered if that money came from the Homeowner's Assistance Program. Mr. Hancock said funds for that project were obtained from HUD, but it was a different program (the HOME Program).
Mr. Campbell asked about funding alternatives. Mr. Hancock said he had been looking at funds that had been set aside for the old rehabilitation program. This project was originally funded from the HOME Program, but had been switched to CDBG funding because it is easier to administer. These and other project funds will not be needed immediately and could be used for the Homeowner's Assistance Program through the end of the year, depending on what the Council decided tonight. Mr. Hancock thought he could try to acquire another $50,000 from an old rehab account where the funds are being replaced by the HOME Program. This is as far as he could go at this point.
Mr. Janku asked if it was possible to reprogram funds that have been designated for other projects besides the Homeownership or Home Rehab. He thought it would be helpful to move other funds into the program if it could be done. Mr. Hancock thought, with the understanding on the Carlson's part that every unit in Spencer's Crest would not receive funding, enough monies would be available for the rest of the year.
Mrs. Crockett asked Mr. Hancock to explain how and why this program got started. Mr. Hancock said it was an outgrowth of all of the neighborhood stabilization efforts the City has done for 25 or 30 years utilizing HUD Programs, etc. He said a concern had been expressed in 1993 about the number of renters versus homeowners, particularly in census tract 8. He said the Council made a decision to do something to alter these circumstances. At the same time, the lenders had a great interest in doing more in the older neighborhoods for home ownership, and financing permanent mortgages was one of the issues targeted. He said it had been decided that the City would provide up to $2,000 to assist folks in buying a house as long as they met income guidelines. He said it was limited to the CDBG eligibility area.
Ms. Coble said it had been noted that what prevents a lot of people from becoming homeowners is the lack of money in the range of about $2,000. She said these people may be paying enough in rent to afford a home purchase, but they do not have the amount of cash at one time to handle the closing.
Mr. Janku asked if there were certain recapture provisions if the home is sold within a certain period of time. Mr. Hancock said this is a restriction with the HOME Program and is the reason it is not used for the purpose of assisting with down payments or closing costs.
Regarding the boundaries of eligibility, Mr. Coffman noted that it appeared the program was designed to help older neighborhoods not necessarily homes. He asked if the neighborhoods had something in common that need protection. Mr. Hancock said census tract 8 is an area where it has been determined by HUD that the majority of the people living in these neighborhoods comprise 80% of the median income, and experience certain housing conditions like lack of plumbing, lack of a complete kitchen, etc. These factors determine eligibility. Mr. Hancock said the Homeowner's Assistance Program can be administered in these areas without documenting the incomes of every single beneficiary.
Mr. Beck would like to see a more clear-cut policy as to how this program would be funded and if it was going to be in older neighborhoods, and percentages, etc.
Mr. Janku did not think the issue before the Council tonight had been thought about when the program was brought forth by Mr. Hancock. He said the City has helped fund the Community Development Corporation in building some new houses, in addition to the rental property on Hanover Boulevard which has been assisted with HOME funds. He said there are a couple of beneficial issues regarding the Spencer's Crest development which include the fact that it is new construction and its location. New construction has advantages for home ownership because certain types of apartments can be occupied by people who cannot live physically in some of the older style homes. There are also people who cannot maintain a property so condominium ownership would be an advantage. Mr. Janku thought the suggestions to have some guidelines was a good one.
Mr. Campbell said when the Council first discussed this program, two different points were addressed. One was the desirability of having people own their own homes and the Council felt it would help stabilize the community to have a larger proportion of homes owned by their occupants. When the census figures came in, it was shown that an increased proportion of homes were renter occupied rather than owner occupied. Mr. Campbell said the other point was the maintenance of older neighborhoods and suggested a tiered situation. He said there could be certain older neighborhoods that do get priority, but secondly, help would be given wherever feasible so those people who are eligible can own their own home regardless. Mr. Campbell stated the Carlson's need a relatively speedy resolution because they have units under construction and have operated on a series of assumptions that seemed valid at the time.
Mayor Hindman decided this issue was not a true agenda item and, rather, should be treated as a report. He said there would be opportunity at the end of the meeting to discuss it further.
B148-97 Rezoning five parcels of property in the East Campus area.
The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck explained that the City's policy is to allow neighborhoods to make a request once a year for rezoning, and the Council would pay for the advertising. Of the five parcels in the East Campus area, three are asking to rezone from R-3 to R-1, and the remaining two request rezoning from R-3 to R-2.
Mayor Hindman opened the public hearing.
There being no comments, Mayor Hindman closed the public hearing.
B148-97 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
B138-97 Authorizing acquisition of an easement along State Route 763 for construction of an
8-inch water main to serve Phenora Subdivision.
The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck noted that this would extend a water main northward to Phenora Subdivision.
Comments were called for with none received.
B138-97 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
for bids for sidewalk construction along portions of State Route 763,
Road, Katy Lane and Forum Boulevard.
The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck reported a portion of these sidewalk costs would be paid for by the abutting property owners.
Mr. Patterson explained that these were projects that already had a public hearing. He said there had been an in-depth description of the projects at that time. This is a mixture of annual projects with funds coming from a combination of tax bills, CDBG funds, and City funds. The total cost is estimated at $106,000.
Mayor Hindman asked if there would be a sidewalk constructed down Forum from the north as part of another project. Mr. Patterson said there was a project under the Forum construction program that provides for sidewalks on both sides and, as the development of the area south of Chapel Hill occurs, there would be a sidewalk constructed.
B139-97 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
Chapter 14 of the City Code to include the municipal parking lot at
Cherry in the four-hour parking zone.
The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck explained that the parking lot at Fourth and Cherry had been completed and was now ready to meter. He said the staff recommended that the meters be four hour meters.
Mr. Janku said that he had an amendment sheet that would reserve a portion of the lot, the nine spaces immediately adjacent to the proposed Trail Head Park, for ten hour parking and the remainder of the lot would be four hour parking.
Mr. Janku made the motion to amend B141-97 per the amendment sheet. The motion was seconded by Mr. Campbell.
Mr. Janku thought people who generally use the MKT trail use it for less than four hours, but there would be a certain segment of the public who will want to use it for longer.
Mr. Campbell asked Mr. Janku how the City could ensure the ten hour meters were available for the trail users and not for people who want to park in the lot all day. Mr. Janku said there was no way that could be determined, but thought if someone came early on Saturday morning their chances of the lot being full would not be great. He said during the week it would be more of a problem. Mr. Janku said there were some ten hour spaces in the immediate vicinity and if there are concerns about turnover, these could be changed to four hour spaces.
In view of Mr. Janku's comments, Mr. Campbell asked if somewhat of an inconsistency would be created to have four hour meters within half a block of ten hour meters. He asked how the decision had been made. Mr. Patterson said staff had evaluated the lot on the basis that it was felt the usage of this parking lot should be kept primarily for Trail Head use. He said there is some ten hour parking in the vicinity for day long parking, but this is a very attractive location and it was staff's concern that any of the ten hour meters at this parking lot would be immediately taken for day long parking during the week. Mr. Patterson did not know that it was critical to establish ten hour parking versus four hour parking because if it is determined there is a problem, the meter could always be changed. He said this bill is staff's recommendation to initiate parking and see how the usage of it held up.
Mayor Hindman assumed it was not possible, with the present meters, to have four hours of parking during the week and ten hours on the weekends. Mr. Patterson said it was not possible with the type of meters that are currently used. He said computer chip meters are required for programmable parking, and these are very expensive. Mayor Hindman suggested that perhaps this might be the time to experiment with some computer chip meters. Mr. Patterson said staff looked at some on an experimental basis. Mr. Patterson wanted to clarify that the new mechanisms that were installed in current meters did not have to be replaced every time parking limits or rates are changed. He said all that is required is to have the timing on the mechanism changed. Mr. Patterson explained that a lot of old meters had to be replaced when the last change was made. He said if it was decided to change the rates again, new meters would not be required. Mayor Hindman said these meters still do not have the programming flexibility.
Mr. Campbell asked about the relative cost of the two meters. Mr. Patterson said the meters that were looked at about 18 months ago had been about three times the cost, which was about $260 at the time. He said the meters that are used by the City now cost a little over $100 just for the mechanisms.
Mayor Hindman asked how the Council felt about establishing ten hour parking in the nine spaces which were identified in the amendment until new meters come in. Mr. Janku said he was all for new ideas, but hoped something like this would not cause confusion. He guessed, properly signed, it could work. He said it was probably the most logical place to try something like this.
Mr. Patterson asked if the staff could make the hours for this particular lot somewhat different in which there would be enforcement of the lot during the week only. Mr. Boeckmann said it could be done somehow, but the way the ordinance is structured now there are different sections for each parking zone. He said there is a section for ten hour parking and one for four hour parking, so another section may need to be added. Mr. Patterson said if the Council was concerned primarily with Saturday parking, he suggested that enforcement for this particular lot could be scheduled from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week, and from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday. He said there would not be an enforcement problem and this would avoid the concern about someone having a ticket when they get back from using the trail.
Mr. Beck asked if the Council thought this parking lot would be used by others in addition to the neighborhood until such time that the Trail Head is built. He said if the answer is no, he would suggest that the Council pass the ordinance as written, direct the staff to investigate the new kinds of meters, and try to have them installed at the time of the MKT Trail Head opening.
Ms. Coble asked why there was a downside to having nine, 10 hour meters. The Mayor said it might be used by people looking for all day parking during the week instead of by trail users.
Mr. Kruse asked if the Council could try establishing the two parking zones and monitor the situation. Mr. Janku thought that was a good suggestion. He thought the Council should pass this bill with his amendment and not spend three times as much money on meters.
The motion to amend B141-97, made by Mr. Janku, seconded by Mr. Campbell, was approved unanimously by voice vote.
Mayor Hindman said he would still like to see some experiment with the new meters to allow for more flexibility.
B141-97, as amended, was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
the final RMH development plan of Richland Heights, Phase 2.
The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck noted that this plan had been unanimously recommended for approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission. He said there was a condition that the development have landscape screening and fencing along the west side prior to the homes being placed on the site.
Mayor Hindman understood there was going to be a public dedication of a trail easement on the plan. Mr. Boeckmann said there were no dedications at this stage of the process. He said it could be identified as a future easement. Mr. Hancock said it was identified as a future easement. Mr. Janku thought there had been a reference about a conservation easement. Mayor Hindman asked if that meant the easement would be available for developing a public trail on it. The response was no. Mayor Hindman was under the impression that was what had been agreed to. Mr. Hancock said that a greenspace conservation easement was simply a perpetual interest in land described and prohibits development, but does not allow for public access.
David Rogers, an attorney with offices at 813 E. Walnut, thought this was the easement the developer committed to give at the prior hearing. He said this particular instrument tonight dedicates no easements at all, but if there was something the developer was asked or committed to do and has not, it would be done at the time of the final plat. He thought the greenbelt easement was, in fact, what was asked for at the prior hearing. Mr. Rogers said the conditions that were suggested (fence and landscaping) by the Planning and Zoning Commission were acceptable to the developer.
Mayor Hindman said his memory was pretty specific that a "public" access easement had been discussed, especially because it goes along the creek which is a designated part of the greenbelt. He said that was his expectation. Mr. Rogers said if that had been committed, the final plat would include it. Mr. Rogers reported he would check the minutes.
Mrs. Crockett did not remember the developer agreeing to a public access easement. She said there were some people in the Woodridge Subdivision totally opposed to people walking a trail behind their homes. Mr. Rogers said that also had been his memory of it.
B145-97 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
the final plat of Creek Pointe, Plat 1.
The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck said this would connect the south side of I-70 Drive SE to the east of the Woodridge Subdivision. He said it would create the right-of-way that had been discussed. Mr. Beck noted that it would create five lots zoned A-1 to C-3.
Mayor Hindman asked about the sidewalk requirements. Mr. Hancock explained that sidewalk requirements are bound by the performance contract or at the time of the certificate of occupancy. The performance contract is 36 months.
B146-97 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
an agreement with Jack and Doris Overton pertaining to Chapel Ridge
and approving the final plat of Chapel Hill Estates, Plat 3.
The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck noted that this plat will create 21 R-1 lots and a common area for an existing cemetery. In order to line-up the new street south of Chapel Hill with the existing road on the north side of Chapel Hill, there is a tract of land, about 1,450 square feet, that will be dedicated for right-of-way. He said the developer will pay for the street, sidewalk, and some landscaping that has been requested by the Fire Department.
David Rogers, an attorney with offices at 813 E. Walnut Street, explained that this was the agreement discussed at a previous meeting in which the developer is agreeing to pay for all of the road and the sidewalk, as well as providing landscaping.
B147-97 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
a right of use permit allowing Boone County Regional Sewer District
construct a sewer line across a portion of Lake of the Woods Recreation area.
The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck commented that this sewer line was part of the Pin Oak Neighborhood Improvement District. He pointed out the lagoons along I-70 on the overhead and indicated that these would be eliminated.
Mayor Hindman asked for what reason the City was providing sewer to an area outside the City. Mr. Patterson said this permit is one of the agreements discussed regarding Water's Edge, and the extension of sewers in this area for potential annexation of the land just east of Lake of the Woods Road, north of I-70. He said the pre-annexation agreement provides for elimination of the lagoons. He pointed out that this was one of the three projects the City Council directed the staff to proceed with last year at the retreat in conjunction with the Boone County Regional Sewer District.
B149-97 was given third reading with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bill declared enacted, reading as follows:
land acquisition for the Sewer District No. 142 (Anthony Street area)
The bill was given second reading by the Clerk.
Mayor Hindman noted that this was the bill that had not been advertised timely and asked that a Council member make a motion to table it to the next meeting.
Mr. Campbell made the motion that B140-97 be tabled to the June 16, 1997, meeting. The motion was seconded by Ms. Coble and approved unanimously by voice vote.
The following bills were given second reading and the resolutions were read by the Clerk.
report and authorizing partial payment of differential costs for an
main in the Timberlane Subdivision.
B136-97 Engineer's report, accepting conveyances and authorizing payment of differential cost for
a 12-inch water main serving Hunters Gate, Plat 2.
B137-97 Accepting water and underground electric utility conveyances.
B142-97 Vacating a sewer easement on Lot 1 of Itschner Hill.
B143-97 Approving a replat of lot 81, Country Club Villas III.
B144-97 Approving a replat of lot 82, Country Club Villas III.
R78-97 Setting a public hearing regarding construction of a 12-inch water main in Woods Mill, Plat
1, and authorizing payment of costs above those to install a 6-inch main.
R79-97 Setting a public hearing regarding construction of a 12-inch water main in Woods Mill, Plat
1, and authorizing payment of costs above those to install an 8-inch main.
R80-97 Setting a public hearing regarding Columbia Transit's application for federal operating
R81-97 Setting a public hearing regarding construction of sanitary sewers in Sewer District 142
(Anthony Street area).
R82-97 Setting a public hearing regarding construction of a flood intake structure at Wetland
Treatment Unit No. 3.
The bills were given third reading and the resolutions read with the vote recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Bills declared enacted and resolutions declared adopted, reading as follows:
R83-97 Authorizing purchase of 5,000 kilowatts of peaking capacity for June, July, August and
September from Fulton.
The resolution was read by the Clerk.
Mr. Malon explained that this purchase is needed to meet the City's summary loads of resources forecasted for this summer. He said this is similar to the transaction agreed to last year.
Mr. Janku referred to an article given to the Council by Mr. Malon regarding possible problems with the electric load this summer. He said the article indicated because of problems with plants in other states, there might be problems in the midwest. Mr. Malon said there are several nuclear plants in Illinois and Wisconsin which are expecting some problems this year if the weather gets real hot. He said it should not affect Columbia, but it could possibly if some transmission bottlenecks occur. He said if there were a transmission failure, it could affect us. Mr. Malon did not anticipate problems, but wanted the Council to be aware of the potential. Mr. Janku asked why then if the purchase was at a higher level last summer, why it was going to be at a lower level this year. Mr. Malon said the same amount could be purchased as last year, but this agreement allows for the total projected system load for the summer plus 15%. He said it seemed prudent to match the loads and resources.
The vote on R83-97 was recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Resolution declared adopted, reading as follows:
funds for computer repairs.
The resolution was read by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck explained that this would transfer $29,350 between departments for computer repairs. Because the transfer is between departments, Mr. Beck said it could not be handled administratively.
The vote on R84-97 was recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Resolution declared adopted, reading as follows:
an agreement with Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity for CDBG funds.
The resolution was read by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck said he understood that the City had about $50,000 set aside to help offset costs of construction of new single family dwellings by this group for affordable housing. He said Habitat for Humanity plans to use part of the funds for land acquisition and construction costs. This agreement will authorize them to do so.
Ms. Coble asked how many homes the funding would be used for. Mr. Hancock said probably between three to five. Ms. Coble asked how many of the existing homes had been on lots where variances had been requested for lot size or setbacks according to existing specifications. Mr. Hancock could not recall any variances being requested. Mr. Boeckmann said a few lot size variances had been requested.
Mr. Janku asked if these homes would be built within the CDBG target area. Mr. Hancock said they would.
Ms. Coble said it was an excellent program, but cautioned as these homes are constructed with CDBG funds, it would be the expectation that they be built according to existing zoning regulations and to the same specifications as others. Ms. Coble reported the greatest concentration of these homes were in her ward on vacant lots. She said the lots are often odd-sized.
The vote on R85-97 was recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Resolution declared adopted, reading as follows:
an agreement with Enterprise Development Corporation for CDBG funds.
The resolution was read by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck said this agreement was for approximately $80,000 and is targeted for low income home buyers. He said $72,000 would actually go toward homes and $6,200 would go toward administrative costs.
The vote on R86-97 was recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Resolution declared adopted, reading as follows:
a petition to annex two tracts of City-owned land east of State Route
north of Smiley Lane.
The resolution was read by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck noted that this annexation included two small tracts in north Columbia, east of 763. He said these tracts had come with the Prathersville Water District.
The vote on R87-97 was recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Resolution declared adopted, reading as follows:
an agreement with the Department of Conservation for croplands management.
The resolution was read by the Clerk.
Mr. Beck explained that this is an agreement the Public Works Department worked out with the Department of Conservation where farmers in the area would be allowed to farm the land and pay the City about $3,000 per year. He said the Department of Conservation would manage the land until such time that the City needed it for future use, possibly a future wetlands unit.
The vote on R88-97 was recorded as follows: VOTING YES: CROCKETT, CAMPBELL, KRUSE, COFFMAN, HINDMAN, COBLE, JANKU. VOTING NO: NO ONE. Resolution declared adopted, reading as follows:
The following bills were introduced by the Mayor, unless otherwise indicated, and all were given first reading:
Chapter 27 of the City Code regarding water rates at Columbia Regional
B151-97 Authorizing construction of a 12-inch water main in Woods Mill, Plat 1, and authorizing
payment of costs above those to install a 6-inch main.
B152-97 Authorizing construction of a 12-inch water main in Woods Mill, Plat 1, and authorizing
payment of costs above those to install an 8-inch main.
B153-97 Accepting water utility conveyances, engineer's report and authorizing payment of
differential costs for a 6-inch water main along Green Valley Drive.
B154-97 Accepting utility conveyances.
B155-97 Authorizing an agreement with the Department of Transportation for improvements at
Columbia Terminal's crossing at Route HH, and appropriating funds.
B156-97 Amending Chapter 2 of the City Code regarding sales of surplus property.
B157-97 Approving the final plat of Derby Ridge, Plat 5.
B158-97 Granting a variance regarding lot frontage for lot 22 of West Creek, Plat 1.
B159-97 Vacating a public alley east of Fifth Street between Locust Street and Cherry Street.
B160-97 Authorizing application for Federal Transit Administration funding.
B161-97 Calling for bids for construction of sanitary sewers in Sewer District 136 (Olive Street).
B162-97 Authorizing land acquisition for construction of sanitary sewers in Sewer District 138
(Route B/Waco Road).
REPORTS AND PETITIONS
(A) Bicycle Racks on Buses.
Mr. Beck said that this report had been requested by the City Council. The cost to install racks on the buses would be about $12,000 to $14,000, with $8,000 qualifying for federal funds. Mr. Beck said there are currently 12 buses that would need the racks, and potentially two more buses could be added next year.
Mr. Kruse thanked the staff for the report. He noted that a number of communities had been contacted and asked if anyone had mentioned whether or not there had been an impact in terms of time. Mr. Beck thought because of the infrequent use, it would not affect the scheduling of the routes very much. Mr. Kruse asked how many bikes could go on a rack. Mr. Patterson said there was a variety of different sized racks that could be installed. He said most of the racks could hold anywhere from three to six bikes. He said the report noted that some of the communities allowed riders, during off-peak hours, to put their bikes on the bus in case of racks being overloaded.
Mr. Kruse made the motion that the funding for this project be considered for inclusion in the 1998 budget. The motion was seconded by Ms. Coble and approved unanimously by voice vote.
(B) Evaluation of
Social Service Agencies.
Mr. Beck said this report had been discussed at the pre-Council dinner and it was his understanding that it was the Council's desire that the City not necessarily attempt to perform an evaluation this year, but to plan on it for next year.
Ms. Coble explained that a presentation had been given by Mr. Steinhaus and it was agreed, since there was no one responding to the request for proposals for evaluation, that the City should wait a year and develop a different type of evaluation process for those agencies that receive social services funding from the City.
Mr. Beck said the staff would report back to the Commission regarding the Council's suggested course of action for this year.
As a part of that, Mr. Campbell said there was some discussion that the staff would prepare a policy statement that the Council and others could review before going forward with it for the next year.
Mr. Campbell made the motion that the staff be directed to not prepare any social service evaluations for the current fiscal year, and to introduce a policy resolution for the coming year. The motion was seconded by Ms. Coble and approved unanimously by voice vote.
Transfer of Funds Request.
(D) Street Closure
Mr. Beck noted that this would close Seventh Street for the moving of the Fire Department from the old station to the new one on June 12 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. He said it would be worked out so that people will have access into the parking plaza from the west side. Also, the Columbia Art League was requesting a street closure for the Art Fair on Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8. The request was to close Dorsey Street from Broadway to the Stephens College Parking lot between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on both days of the Fair. He said the Art League also requested permission to close the south lane of Broadway from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Mr. Beck said this request had been granted in the past. The third request was from Boatmen's Bank for a closure of Eighth Street, between Cherry and the alley, on Saturday, June 14 from noon until 5:00 p.m.
Ms. Coble made the motion that the requests be approved as submitted. The motion was seconded by Mr. Campbell and approved unanimously by voice vote.
(E) Sidewalks on
Mr. Beck said this report had been prepared at the request of Ms. Coble. He said the Public Works staff had put together a lengthy report including estimated costs of the different segments of sidewalk. According to present policy, he said the cost would be shared by the abutting property owners and the City. The total cost was $259,000. Mr. Beck said this project was not in the CIP and would need to be discussed by the Council when looking at the overall plan.
Ms. Coble thanked the staff for preparing the information so quickly. She thought it would be appropriate to use the materials for discussions during the retreat when other capital improvement projects are discussed.
(F) Report on Kavanaugh
Easement - Clark Lane.
Mr. Campbell asked if there was any way of alleviating the impact of the water line installation to the environment. Mr. Malon said staff would certainly not clear any more trees than absolutely had to be. He said a 16 inch water main, which is rather large, is to be installed on Clark Lane. He said the size of the water line requires a wide trench and staff is asking residents for a 25 foot wide easement, but did not plan on using the entire 25 feet. It was hoped the water main would not have to be placed at the back of the easement. Mr. Malon stated his staff will work with the forester and try not to take out any mature trees, but unfortunately, putting in a water main requires that some trees will need to be removed. He said the City will have a clear right-of-way to dig a trench.
Mayor Hindman understood there were power lines that will need to be moved as well. Mr. Malon said whatever right-of-way that is acquired for the water line would certainly accommodate a power line. Mayor Hindman asked if staff opposed burying the power lines. Mr. Malon said it was a matter of cost and this water line is a large main line feeder. He said the power lines could certainly be buried while working on the water main, it was just a matter of cost. Mayor Hindman asked if the same ditch could be used. Mr. Malon said that probably would not occur as the water main will be contained in a very wide ditch and the trench will be very soft and awkward to work in. He said in normal circumstances, an electric line is placed on top of a water line. If it had been a six inch water line, it probably would not have been a problem. Mr. Malon said staff would attempt it if the Council makes that determination.
Mr. Campbell asked how much it would cost to underground the electric in that location. Mr. Malon said the underground cable is a lot more expensive, and switching devices will also need to be installed along the line so that will be an extra cost above standard overhead construction. Mr. Malon stated he would get an estimate for the Council.
Mayor Hindman asked about a sidewalk easement. Mr. Malon guessed the City could ask for it, but staff did not know what the final design of the road would be or where the right-of-way would be. He suspected the sidewalk would normally be on the right-of-way. Mrs. Crockett thought the City was pushing its luck to get the water line. Mr. Malon said additional authorization would have to be obtained from the Council before staff could move forward with acquisition of easements for sidewalk purposes. He said the original ordinance authorized strictly electric and water easements. Mayor Hindman asked Mr. Malon if he would look into all of those issues and report back to the Council.
Mrs. Crockett asked if at some point Route PP would connect to Lake of the Woods. Mr. Patterson said the Planning Department and Major Thoroughfare Plan were advocating additional arterial routes connecting to Lake of the Woods, with a possible Ballenger Lane crossover or connection to I-70. He said staff was very much aware of the need for the additional transportation network in the area.
Mr. Malon said he will submit to the Council a report for the cost estimate on the undergrounding of electric lines, and information on a sidewalk easement.
(G) Community Gardens.
Ms. Coble thanked the staff for the report. She spoke with Guy Clark, of the Community Garden Coalition, and was told the issue regarding the Clinton Street plot had been discussed with the Board of Directors for the Community Garden Coalition. The Coalition wanted to inform the Council that they are willing to pay for water usage and probably could afford the estimated $338 for the installation of the water meter and the line. Ms. Coble reported this group hoped to utilize the help of plumbers the Coalition had worked with in the past to do the additional installation of a back-flow preventer and a locking spigot. She felt that some of the questions the City Manager had raised in his report were being answered. Ms. Coble reported the Garden Coalition does have a source of payment, it is an official group and not individuals, it is being supported by formal vote of the area neighborhood organizations, none of the property owners in the vicinity have objected to it, and she thought it was something the Council could proceed with in terms of making a formal policy. Ms. Coble thought at this point, it seemed that a lot of the concerns were being met. The last item would be whether or not the Coalition could afford the plumbing professional costs to get the project completed.
There was a discussion about how an agreement could be handled. Mr. Janku suggested that a policy resolution should be prepared at some point setting forth the issues. Mayor Hindman said the problem with that recommendation is that the Garden Coalition would like to proceed with the project on Clinton Street. Mayor Hindman reported he would like to see this group be given permission to proceed. It was determined that a resolution will be prepared for the next meeting that would grant authorization to proceed.
Ms. Coble made the motion that a resolution be prepared allowing the Community Garden Coalition and the Smithton Valley Neighborhood Association to have a community garden on City-owned property on Clinton Street. The motion was seconded by Mr. Kruse and approved unanimously by voice vote.
BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
COMMENTS OF COUNCIL, STAFF AND PUBLIC
Regarding the construction of the new middle school, Mr. Janku wondered to what extent a stop sign might be justified at Oakland and Smiley since there would be kids trying to cross the street to access the school. He said there is a lot of traffic generated in the morning and evening. At some point, Mr. Janku thought a stop sign would be needed at this intersection.
Mr. Campbell complimented the staff and said the lights on Chapel Hill Road are greatly appreciated.
Mayor Hindman said he had been asked about the bus stop at Oak Towers. He was told the bus goes right by the building, but the area was not designated as a bus stop. Mr. Patterson said a report had been sent to the Council about bus shelters. He said the shelters are being bid out now for installation this summer. He thought there were a total of 12 shelters, and Oak Towers had been targeted as one area for installation. Mayor Hindman said he was actually referring to a bus stop sign, but if there was going to be a shelter, he thought that would be more than adequate.
Regarding the recommendation heard earlier from the Tree Plan Task Force, Mayor Hindman said it was wonderful to see such a broad spectrum of citizens participating in this project. He is proud of what had been accomplished and thought the City should do whatever it could to support the task force. Mayor Hindman said the undergrounding of utilities was an issue he has a great deal of interest in. He said the overhead power lines located along the rights-of-way were one of the greatest problems when it comes to successful tree planting. He said the City is either limited in the size of the tree or the trimming practices, and trees are never allowed to take shape and grow out over the street because of the lines. Mayor Hindman thought a huge amount of potential in the tree planting program is being lost. In conversations with the University, Mayor Hindman reported they have a program of undergrounding all power lines. It had taken the University 40 years to do this and added that he thought the City should look into a long-term program. Mayor Hindman requested a report regarding what would be involved in a 40-year program of undergrounding power lines. He noted that some of the older neighborhoods have beautiful, large trees that extend into the street because power lines are located at the rear of the property instead of along the street line. He wanted the report to include these alternatives as well. Mr. Beck pointed out that a certain percent of the budget was targeted for undergrounding utilities. He said staff could attempt to see how the project could be stepped-up.
Mr. Campbell said another idea he thought had great potential was the formation of a business association along Business Loop 70. He suggested that the City, working with the Chamber or some other group, could meet with businesses in this area to determine if there is any potential interest. Mayor Hindman thought that same idea could be applied in several locations around Columbia.
Mr. Janku asked if the staff has had any contact with businesses along the Business Loop. He thought he had previously asked for a report on this. Mr. Beck was not sure, but he knew that in the mid-60's when major comprehensive planning was deliberated in the area, there was a Business Loop 70 Association formed that met twice a month. He thought a similar group could be re-established. Mr. Campbell thought now might be the appropriate time to gauge interest. Mr. Beck thought a report had been submitted. Mr. Janku said the Council received a report regarding the estimated cost of preparing the master plan. Mr. Beck said the alternative was that the City phase in the tree plan recommendations without spending a great deal of money to have a professional plan developed for the area. Mr. Janku suggested that the first step should be to get these area business owners together and the City should initiate the process. He spoke to one person that would be interested in participating. Mr. Janku thought it was up to the City to provide some of the initial leadership.
Referring to the report, Mr. Kruse thought the Council should do three things; authorize the Tree Plan Task Force to continue and make recommendations on Phase II dealing with policy and other issues, let the task force know the Council authorized the continuation of work on implementation of their Phase I recommendation, and direct the task force to coordinate efforts with the Growing with Columbia activities.
Mr. Kruse made the motion that the Tree Plan Task Force be authorized to continue and make recommendations on Phase II, to continue work on implementation of Phase I recommendations, and to coordinate efforts with the Growing with Columbia activities. The motion was seconded by Mr. Janku.
Mr. Janku said one of the key issues is the demonstration sites. He said it would take time to coordinate some of the larger projects along I-70 and 63, but thought the City should begin work. He thought the focus should be on demonstration projects distributed throughout the community. There are some projects that could be done quickly and completed by this fall. Mr. Janku said there is $200,000 set aside from the 1995 ballot issue, so there is funding available. Mayor Hindman thought it was important also and would like to see at least two projects initiated. He suggested involving volunteers as much as possible.
The motion made by Mr. Kruse, seconded by Mr. Janku, was approved unanimously by voice vote.
Relative to undergrounding utilities, Mr. Kruse said it seemed to him it would take another set of citizens sitting down and working on the concept to proceed. He did not suggest that this needs to be done immediately, but the emphasis on undergrounding existing above-ground utilities should be concentrated on the entryways and main corridors to the City. He said many of these corridors had been recommended for street tree programs. He thought the next step would be to select priority areas, get cost estimates, and then establish a 30 or 40 year phase-in period. Mr. Kruse reported there are some people in the community who propose funding opportunities for beautification in general, the Growing with Columbia group in particular. He said until the priority areas are identified and it is determined where the money is coming from, it is all just talk. He suggested that the Water and Light Advisory Board might be the group to look into the concept.
Regarding the Homeowner's Assistance Program that had been discussed previously, Mr. Campbell said there were two problems; one is immediate and the other is long-term. He suggested that the Council ask the staff to immediately come back with a report, in view of some of the comments heard earlier, that would attempt to address the program for this fiscal year. Policy for future years could perhaps be addressed at the retreat.
Mayor Hindman said the investment in Spencer's Crest made a lot of sense because this would allow people to purchase newly constructed units. At the same time, there is also the issue of trying to rehabilitate and upgrade the neighborhoods in town which is absolutely essential for a strong core city.
Mrs. Crockett thought the problem was that the program's intent had been for older neighborhoods, but this had not been specified in the report.
Mr. Campbell said the Council often had discussions about the concentration of low income families in one area, and this would help to distribute low income housing into other parts of the City. He thought this would be an attractive feature.
Mr. Janku thought the Spencer's Crest development is clearly a more attractive alternative to duplex developments due to the greater density, etc. He thought there were a lot of good reasons that the Council should support it, but the problem was that there was only a limited amount of funds available at the present time. From comments made earlier by Ms. Carlson, Mr. Janku thought that problem was understood.
Mr. Beck thought it was desirable to have a priority plan for the use of money if there are more requests than money. He would like to see these types of developments on bus routes, if possible. The Council could perhaps establish how much of the total dollars should be made available for the Homeowner's Assistance Program, how much for rehabilitation, and what the percent should be for new housing. He said if the money is not completely utilized for the year, a greater percentage could be placed into new housing the next year. However, Mr. Beck said that would make it difficult for the people planning projects. He said there is more competition for CDBG money than there is for HOME money. It is unfortunate that HOME money could not be used for the Spencer's Crest project.
Mr. Janku asked Mr. Hancock to explain the difference between HOME money and CDBG money. Mr. Hancock said to be able to use HOME money, the units would have to have been built at the prevailing wage, the units could not appreciate above a certain amount of money, the owners would have been locked into their units for five years, and the units could not be sold to anyone but a low income homeowner. Mr. Hancock said there are a lot of restrictions and he did not have the staff to keep up with the paperwork for the HOME program now, let alone start financing a 217 unit condominium project with HOME money. He said it was a very complicated, complex program. He can send the Council a report on the difference between the two programs, but CDBG funding is much easier to use for rehabilitation and loan programs for the first time home owner. Mr. Janku did not think a report was necessary, but he appreciated the explanation.
Ms. Coble said a number of the 180 homes that have been purchased through the Homeowner's Assistance Program are in the center part of the City, with the largest portion being in the first ward. She said the homes that are left on the market are either in pretty bad shape and would actually be candidates for renovation funds, or they are often no longer in what is called a "low income range". In her opinion,$64,000 properties are not owned by people who could be classified as low income. She said affordable housing might be a better term. Ms. Coble said it is not low income people trying to move to other areas in the City, who are also solely reliant upon public transportation, that are recipients of the program. The Homeowner's Assistance Program benefits people who need assistance to make a first time purchase. Ms. Coble stated there are not a great deal of properties currently on the market that are in the dollar range of the homes that had been initially purchased through the Homeowner's Assistance Program.
Ms. Carlson pointed out that Spencer's Crest is not being funded or subsidized by the City, nor has it ever been requested. She said the only funding that has been received from the City is when a potential buyer has requested, through their lender, participation in the Homeowner's Assistance Program. Ms. Carlson's intent when she sells real estate is for the property values to go up, which allows homeowners to build equity in their home. She is not interested in having properties subsidized that would not allow the purchaser to recoup their investment. Ms. Carlson noted that 50% of the units being constructed in Spencer's Crest are handicapped adaptable.
Regarding the point about low income, Ms. Carlson said Spencer's Crest is not a low income project, it is a low to moderate income development. She said people must still qualify for a loan in the same manner as anyone else. Ms. Carlson stated the interest rate on the loan is not lower, and assistance that might be received through the program is for the down payment.
Mrs. Crockett asked how individuals discovered the Homeowner's Assistance Program. Ms. Carlson said some information is obtained through their advertising, but usually it is supplied through the lenders. She said several lenders strongly promote the program and there are 15 to 20 realtors that actively work on selling homes within the eligibility range for the program. Mrs. Crockett stated the people who had purchased condominiums in Spencer's Crest utilizing the Homeowner's Assistance Program would not have been able to do so without help with the down payment. Ms. Carlson said that was correct. She said usually the buyer's income was good, but is short the $2,000 to $3,000 of a 5% plus closing cost down payment.
Mr. Janku asked what factors went into choosing the location for Spencer's Crest. Ms. Carlson said she had been looking for an area in Columbia to build more affordable housing. She said it was extremely difficult to rezone property to a density of R-3. This particular piece of property had been zoned C-3 for highway business, and she decided a portion of it could be down-zoned. She said the new middle school and a lot of other desirable factors contributed to the decision to use this location. Ms. Carlson felt the area would be attractive to purchasers regardless of whether there were CDBG funds available. Ms. Carlson said if one were to look at the zoning map, there are no other sites available that could be targeted without disrupting surrounding neighborhoods.
Mayor Hindman said Mr. Beck was correct in that the Council needed to establish a policy to provide future guidance in administering the Homeowner's Assistance Program.
Mr. Janku pointed out that the City had received recognition from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for its program.
Mr. Janku made the motion that the staff report back with a suggestion on allocation of the Homeowner's Assistance Program funds for the remainder of this year and, further, that a policy be developed for the future. The motion was seconded by Mr. Kruse.
Mr. Beck said the staff could come back to the next meeting with something related to Ms. Carlson's request, and then the policy issue will be submitted at a later date. Mr. Campbell thought the second report could probably wait until the fall since the program year ran until December 31.
Ms. Coble had also heard from others regarding the lack of policy and the need to make clarifications on the few dollars remaining, and that it should be applied to all different ownership programs and condominium projects. She said there were others in town where this money has been used to help qualified buyers get into housing. Mayor Hindman said that had to be true.
The motion made by Mr. Janku, seconded by Mr. Kruse, was approved unanimously by voice vote.
Henry Lane, 1816 E. Broadway, reported he is interested in knowing exactly what the monies approved by Proposition 2 would be used for. He had asked City staff for a summary of the projects, and had been told there was none. He was told there were detailed records that had been used to prepare the total amount. He asked for details on three projects. He talked about discrepancies he thought he had found and would like to look further into the situation. However, he had been informed this evening that he was causing too much of a disruption and extra cost to the City. He said it was important to know how the $39.4 million was planned to be used. Mr. Lane said he would like to continue, but did not want to cause problems.
Mayor Hindman said Mr. Lane's inquiries would have to begin with the staff and, if problems came up, some sort of policy may need to be developed. He said the City obviously permits access, but there was a point where it becomes burdensome and costly. He said the state and federal government had policies with respect to access issues and, perhaps, the City needed to develop some form of policy as well. Mayor Hindman asked if there was any type of policy regarding excessive use of staff time and, if so, how it was handled.
Mr. Beck said the question that probably had been raised was how much time the Water and Light staff are spending on the same questions that are being asked over and over again. He noted that all of the money was accounted for and added that there was no question about the accountability of monies being spent. Mr. Beck said there was a policy in place under the Open Meetings Law in which a person could submit a request for information in writing and the City has three days to respond.
Mr. Boeckmann said there were two issues and, if Mr. Lane wants to see any records that are open, which most of the City's records are open, he is entitled to do that. He did not think that was a problem, but thought it became a problem when Mr. Lane wants explanations or asks for information that is not readily identified in a document.
John Clark, 2000 Allen Lane, was appreciative of the discussion of the Block Grant money and the assistance grants. He said it was a policy issue, but as president of a central city neighborhood, he did not think there was much of a problem as long as huge amounts of money are not diverted some place else. He was grateful for the reminder about the original impetus for funding was established for the central city area in which it was perceived to have a very large percentage of rental housing. Mr. Clark suggested that most of these issues were developer or agency driven and that there was not really the kind of planning regarding community needs in affordable housing. He thought this would be an appropriate topic for a task force that would involve lots of people in the community, from the private sector to the public sector. Mr. Clark said this group could work on developing some kind of consensus and planning process to inform both the City and the County about what the needs are. He said that would also allow developers to construct projects in conjunction with recommendations, rather than just working on developments and the Council having to react to them.
Regarding the Community Garden, Mr. Clark proposed that the City set aside $25,000 in next year's budget for fifty, $500 grants for neighborhood-supported or neighborhood-initiated projects similar to the one mentioned earlier. The grants should be established with very low application requirements as well as very low follow-up requirements. Enactment of the grants would stimulate neighborhood participation in more of these types of projects.
The meeting adjourned at 10:15 p.m.
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