January 2018 City Council

The Elma City Council meeting was opened at 7:00 P.M. by Mayor Steven in the former school building cafeteria. Meeting was opened with roll call: TJ Granahan, present, Emily  Ptacek, present, Randy Thoren, present, Jerry Haar, present, Tom Platte, present.

Mayor Steven requested 2 items to be added to the agenda: a 3rd item to the school building, Bruce Weigel to talk about a committee and item 8a, Scott O’Brien with the fire department.

Randy moved the agenda with the 2 additions be approved, second TJ, carried.

TJ moved the minutes of the December 11th meeting be approved, second Jerry, carried.

Randy moved the claims be approved, second Jerry, carried.

Mayor Steven opened the public hearing for discussion on the proposed solar project in Elma. Russell Novak from Novak Electric was in attendance to answer questions from the public. There are 2 proposed phases for the project in Elma. The first would supply power to the well pump and the sewer plant. There are 2 sites that would work for this phase of the project. The City will be able to decide on what site to use. The second is on the lot across from the school building on Oak St to supply Peoples Saving Bank and the school building. The second site on the lot across from the school building would wait until the City knows the use of the school building. The land for the project would be leased by the investor from the City. There was no further discussion and Mayor Steven closed the public hearing.

Novak Electric is asking for approval to move forward with the project. Approval would allow for paperwork to be drawn up by the lawyers, to be able to work with the investor, and for use of the land. TJ moved the approval to move forward with the project, second Randy. Mayor Steven asked for a roll call vote. Vote is as follows: TJ, aye, Emily, aye, Randy, aye, Jerry, aye, Tom, nay. Vote passes.

Resolution 20180108 is to approve the Howard County Multi-Jurisdictional Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. This plan needs re-approval every 5 years and allows the County and cities within the county to apply for funds in the event of a disaster. Randy moved Resolution 20180108 be approved, second Jerry. Mayor Steven asked for a roll call vote. Vote is as follows: TJ, aye, Emily, aye, Randy, aye, Jerry, aye, Tom, aye. Vote passes.

Mr. Roethler was not present at the meeting.

There were 2 bids for the fire truck. The 1st opened was from Jake Burke for $500.00 and the 2nd opened was from Scott O’ Brien for $1,500.00. Discussion from the Council was that they thought it was worth more and to have the fire truck advertised again on govdeals.com with bids to be in by 12:00 P.M. (noon) on March 9th. TJ moved to decline the bids and re-advertise on govdeals.com, second Randy, carried.

Kevin O’Brien talked to the Council about selling a tractor with mower that the park owns and has not used in years. They would like to sell by sealed bids. Discussion was to advertise it with the fire truck on govdeals.com and have the bids also due at 12:00 P.M. (noon) on March 9th.

Discussion was on the school building. In October 2017, the Council approved to rent the “art room” to Todd Koester for $200.00 a month with the understanding that this may be a temporary agreement as the City is looking at plans to renovate the entire first floor for other uses. Since approval, Todd has had some requests for the room. The requests are to make the west door handicapped accessible, remodel the bathroom to make it handicapped accessible and add air conditioning. TJ informed Mr. Koester that the City could make the west door handicapped accessible. However, until the City knows the future use of the school building, the City will not remodel the bathroom. It was also discussed that Mr. Koester could do the same as the Elma Early Childhood Center did for air conditioning in the preschool room. The EECC wrote grants for mini splits and did receive grant money. The City then shared the remaining cost with EECC. The mini splits would then be the property of the City should EECC not need them in the future. The Council agreed that this could be done with Mr. Koester for the “art room” also. Mr. Koester thanked the Council for these answers and would be speaking with his board.

Discussion was on future use of the school building. The Library Board met on December 18th with the City Council in a work session, and George Lawson. After discussion with Mr. Lawson and the Council, the Library Board voted “yes” to move forward. Bruce Weigel requested that a committee be formed to help in the process of moving forward. It was agreed that a committee should be formed that would be able to meet multiple times during a month, with multiple entities to gather more information. Bruce suggested there be representation from each entity involved. TJ and Emily agreed to represent the City, as well as Shannon, Bruce and Erin Ludwig will be involved and someone will be speaking with  EECC and Renee to name members from these groups. Bruce also mentioned that The BRIDGE Organization, Inc. voted in favor of paying half of a more comprehensive study up to $5,000.00 for the future of the school building.

Discussion from Scott O’ Brien was that the Fire department held a vote for officers at their last meeting. Officers voted in are: Scott O’Brien, Chief, Jeff Biwer, Assistant Chief, Tony Lentz, Assistant Chief (inactive), Dennis O’Brien, Captain, Jason Gardner, Captain, Kevin O’Brien, Training Officer, Zach Ptacek, Training Officer, Don Friedhoff, Safety Officer. TJ moved the Officers be approved, second Randy, carried.

Discussion was that the sewer plant is frozen again and that there needs to be a building to cover it to run properly. Dennis was asked to get bids for a building.

Shannon discussed with the Council a phone call that was received that the Elma American Legion has requested a piece of military machinery for a memorial. In order to receive the equipment, the Legion needs a letter on City letterhead stating that they have approval to place the military equipment on City property. The Legion talked about placing it on the railroad tracks by the flag lot, but placement would depend on the piece of equipment they are issued. The Council agreed to have Shannon write a letter to allow The Elma American Legion to place a piece of military equipment on City property. Shannon also mentioned that it is budget time and any changes need to be made now. Mayor Steven discussed that Tom would take Laura’s place on the City’s committees.

Mayor Steven had no further comments.

TJ moved the meeting be adjourned, second Randy, meeting adjourned.