Getting into the swing of things
Getting into the swing of things

It was the second meeting of the year and the second meeting for new city commissioner Louis Ysusi Thursday evening and he wasted no time in digging in to the detailed work of the commission. He questioned city clerk Mike Borovetz on the appropriations listed in the consent agenda and provided to the commission details from research he had done on EMS and potential problems that all EMS organizations face; the commission plans to discuss the details should any questions arise from Ysusi's research.

City building inspector Don Cushing presented for most of the meeting as there were three public hearings on structures to consider them for condemnation as well as five locations to consider for public hearings and one location the city wished to seek bids for removing. Cushing informed the commission that after several years of attempts, no progress had been made on 716 S. 6th St. and the city wished to package it with other structures they will be seeking bids for demolition on. The commission approved the request but Mayor Leonhard Caflisch did ask if a spreadsheet could be put together moving forward to better keep track of the properties on the condemnation list and where they are at in the process.

Of the three addresses considered for condemnation in public hearings, only 725 N. Penn Ave. was condemned. There had been a bedroom fire that caused significant damage to the interior of the house and, although it had not previously been condemned, there had been other issues with the house the city had been working with the owner on resolving. Due to the extent of the fire damage, the structure was condemned.

The downtown structure of 223 W. Main St. had its public hearing to consider condemnation adjourned yet again. Cushing explained the owner told him there were "two serious offers" on the property and if it were condemned that would complicate the process of selling it. The commissioners agreed to adjourn. 

The house at 1228 N. 6th St. had two fires in it but the city has been working with the bank that owns it since those occurred to repair the damages. There were some hiccups along the way with contractors, but the house has been completed and the commission approved a resolution rescinding all condemnation action on the property.

There will be five public hearings on March 22 to consider condemnation on properties. Those are: 606 Fountain St., 721 S. 18th St., 812 S. 5th St., 1110 W. Main St. and 1320 W. Locust St. The owner of 812 S. 5th St. was present at the meeting and informed the commission of his intention to tear down the structure and have it removed, he was waiting on receiving bids. 

Borovetz updated the commission on the status of the 2016 Audit. He conceded that the city was very late on it but explained the auditors had encountered some issues that caused them to expand the scope of the audit. This is what caused the delay, but Borovetz said the auditors had told him the final report should be ready in about two weeks. 

He said there was no way for the city to file an extension on the deadline for the audit to be submitted to the state, but he was not aware of any fines that would be associated with being late. He assured the commission they were taking steps to make sure future audits will be completed in a timely fashion but they wouldn't have the full picture on what changes need to be made until the final audit. 

In other business:

  • The week of Jan. 28 through Feb. 3rd was proclaimed as Catholic Schools Week
  • Penn Ave. was authorized to be closed from 5 to 6 p.m. Feb. 6 so Netflix can take footage of the ICC marching band
  • City licenses were approved for Labette Health Independence Healthcare Center, Forget Me Knotts and Davis Contracting LP
  • A cereal malt beverage license was approved for Gunner's Tavern
  • Commission notified the public of a vacancy on the Park Board. Applications can be found on the city website and will be accepted until Feb. 15.