Should a business be allowed in a residential neighborhood? This was the opening discussion during the June 6 City Council meeting. Joseph Allieri addressed the Council regarding a business which is being operated in his neighborhood. Allieri explained he is concerned with the noise created 5-10 times per day caused by a pressure washer, the traffic in and out and the water draining off into the adjacent yards.
In a previous meeting, Garth Foree had addressed the Council with concerns of someone operating the same business in a residential area without a business license. The City then sent the owner a letter asking him to purchase a business license. The business license was purchased as required without complaint.
City Attorney Michael Williams advised the council, sharing the policy states any businesses being run in a R-2 zoned property is against code. Williams stated, “This includes any business, including daycares.” Alderman Melissa Hays asked, “Is there any way we can approve business licenses in R-2 zones on a case by case basis?” Williams suggested the City send a letter to the business owner, rescinding their business license and refunding his money. Alderman Jeremy Moss stated, “We need to rewrite our business license ordinance to clarify what kind of businesses are allowed in R-2 zones.” The board asked Allieri how the power washer noise was different from someone mowing their grass, Allieri replied, “People do not cut their grass 5-10 times a day for 20 minutes at a time.”
Alderman Connie Painter announced her retirement of helping with the Fourth of July festivities didn’t last long. Painter explained she was organizing the events for St. Jude’s Park this year, which will start after the Parade. Painter asked the city to supply extra trash cans, picnic tables, handwashing station and restrooms, along with blocking off Catherine, Vine and Court Streets for events. The board voted with all in favor for Painters requests concerning the Fourth of July festivities.
During the Public Works Report, Administrator Jackie Pangborn requested permission to solicit bids to repair cemetery headstones. Pangborn stated, “I noted there are about 21 broken headstones in need of repair. This is budgeted annually, but has not been done for a few years.” The board approved Pangborn’s request with all in favor. PeopleService’s representative George Hulet introduced the new manager, George Hausdorf. The council discussed the additional chemical costs and amending the contract for the next fiscal year to better reflect the actual cost. Hulet explained the company is trying to lower the chemical costs by going out for bids currently.
The Public Safety Report was given next. The council decided not to assist with the Humane Shelter, of Perry. The School Resource Officer contract was discussed. Attorney Williams stated the school needed to fill out more information in the contract before the contract could be voted on. Williams shared the school needed to enter the dollar amounts and a start date.
During the Administration Report, the Sunshine Law Training was scheduled for July 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers. The training requires 20 people to be in attendance and is mandatory for all council to attend. Mayor John Long suggested we reach out to Paris, Monroe County and Palmyra to see if they would like to attend. This is a public meeting and anyone can attend.
The council discussed the Monroe City Police Department adding a Code Enforcement Officer to the staff during the Nuisance Meeting Report. The officer had already been added to the budget. The officer would be hired to enforce the city’s nuisance violations and possibly take over as building inspector.
The Park Board Report was given by Alderman Painter. Painter shared the positive feedback received from the community at the recent cemetery walk being held in the St. Jude’s Church. The City’s summer help will be helping work on a list of projects for the parks. Painter shared complaints from citizens in the community who had complained about the pool needing a senior citizen discount. The council voted to allow the pool to charge senior citizens 65 years or older $2 admission, with proof of age, noting this will not change the price of the water aerobics class.
During the Mayor’s report, Mayor Long selected his appointments for the upcoming year except for City Attorney. The City will need to solicit Requests for Qualifications, per policy. All appointments were approved with all in favor.