Council considers many projects, approves land for concession stand
By Jason Musselman
The Toulon City Council approved up to $800 in truck accessories and a new travel, meal and lodging expense ordinance, but considered many more items.
The truck accessories include a new warning light bar and mounting bracket plus side steps for the new blue Dodge truck used for plowing snow.
Alderman Art Nutzhorn made a point that the city should probably have both to reduce the likelihood of an insurance claim. City employee Mike Richardson noted the truck had otherwise worked great earlier this week in the first snowfall it had seen.
The council approved up to $800 with $300 for a mounting bracket, $250 for the light bar and $220 for the side steps. Richardson added none of the things are necessary, “but they’ll make the truck last longer.”
Also approved was the new State required expense ordinance outlining reimbursement of travel, meals and lodging. The city will use the GSA standards provided by the Federal Government, which change over time according to fuel and related costs. A search on the internet at any given time can tell you the current rates for the area, which are right now $91 per month for lodging and $0.535 per mile.
The council considered, but ultimately tabled the ordinance codification project that’s been the subject of the past two month’s meetings. The quote from American Legal Publishing for $7,500 would organize and verify all the city’s ordinances.
Of the total cost, 40% would be due at the time of the agreement and 40% due within 3-6 months when the initial book is completed and the balance due upon final changes. With two members absent, Connie Jacobson and Rob Finney, the council decided to table until more members can weigh in.
Also discussed was a drainage issue in the alley to the north of the Methodist Church.
Richardson explained it has “always been a problem” and it revealed itself after the parking lot was placed in the lot that used to contain grass. Lowering the alley is an option, but might cause problems for structures near Washington Street where the alley would then drain.
The problem stems from a storm drain that won’t drain for whatever reason, possibly collapsed. Richardson says they’ve tried to jet the drain clean with no success. The city will continue to investigate.
A new bakery is considering opening shop in Toulon. Theresa Olmsted has approached the council about TIF funds for her plan of opening “Lucy Dot’s.”
The council and she both received a copy of a loan agreement just prior to the meeting, which would be a tax rebate program instead of normal TIF funds. Mayor Larry Hollis explained many of the expenses that Olmsted would have, would not be TIF eligible so the tax rebate loan is a better option. The city would recoup its funds on the taxes generated by the business.
Olmsted is hoping to go into the same building as Cakes Et Cetera was, but is still working with the building owner, Kenny Richardson. The pharmacy, which had hoped to go in the same building, has apparently fallen through, according to Hollis.
The council also discussed, but did not approve, a quote for $3,998 to inspect and clean the water storage tank and water tower from Midco Diving.
The dive team option would allow the city to maintain water in both, preventing downtime that draining would cause, but would not allow the tower to be painted (due to moisture from it being full).
Midco would send a team of divers in and record everything they see and do on a DVD. The quote is pending upon the tower opening being large enough for the divers to enter. Design plans are to be reviewed to verify that it is large enough.
The council approved use of a subdivision lot just east of Terry Warren’s gym for a new sports complex concession stand. The Toulon Civic Association is spearheading a joint effort with the summer recreation program to replace the existing concession stand, but on city ground and not the school ground for financial reasons.
The city stated they would be willing to run the power, water and sewer as their contribution to the program, but only voted on the use of the lot for now.