Nokomis Council Discusses Several Downtown Issues

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The Nokomis City Council met on Feb. 25 with a variety of items on the agenda, predominantly in the new business section of the meeting. After Commissioner Voyles gave a summary of city revenue receipts from the state, which included $4,894.55 from IDOT for the motor fuel tax allotment,  $1,174.11 from Department of Revenue for video game tax in January and $16,949.57 from revenue for November's share of the sales tax revenue amongst other receipts, the council moved on to new business.

Commissioner Hard brought up the problem of sidewalks blocked by the conditions of various buildings in town.  The commissioner said he had contacted most of the owners of the buildings in the problem areas and some had already responded they would fix the issues.  One particular building has had an instance of falling brick that poses a danger to the public.  He said this owner had been notified previously and will now be sent a letter.  Others on the council reviewed and confirmed the ownership had already been told once they could apply for a business district grant to help with the repairs to the building.

Commissioner Hard's old business report included presenting Nate Ruppert's request for a park permit for the use of Fred B. Johnson Park to hold his annual Model A Day event.  The Model A day will take place on Sept. 14 and as part of the permit, he requests that south Spruce Street be closed and the city provide barricades as usual.  On a motion by Alan Hard and second by Commissioner Voyles, the council approved the park permit.

Commissioner Brookshire wanted to start discussion on the approach to Casey's that floods and holds water.   Due to their parking lot being higher than the street, a problem is caused with excessive rain or melting of snow that pools in the street.  With the recent freezing, it presents an even larger problem by causing large patches of ice.  One thought presented was that the storm drain for the area could be extended to facilitate drainage.  Brookshire said he would approach IDOT for help on the matter.

During his report, Brookshire also raised a question as to whether there was money in the budget for removal of the old water tower in the water department funds.  He had a general discussion with a firm on the removal and tower specs had been requested.  Brookshire wished to confirm money was in the budget before proceeding on the project.

Mayor Hill reported there was to be a request to the council to grant a liquor license, which prompted a brief review of the ordinance for such licenses.  The licenses fall into three categories and which have defined uses.  A Class A license allows for consumption and the ordinance limits the number issued to five.  Class B licenses are for package liquor sales and are limited to three active licenses.  A Class C license allows for the sale of beer and wine to be served in a restaurant with meals.  Currently, the city has issued the limit for all licenses and the ordinance would have to be amended or a new ordinance created to allow a license to be granted over the defined limit.  It was believed the new request might involve consumption, package sales, and gaming.  The council determined a definite plan for what the new business might be requesting was needed.

The mayor also requested a street sweeper be incorporated into the new budget plan.  The council said this would fall in the operating budget of the street department.  

In an update on the sale of the city truck approved in the Jan. 11 meeting, it was reported a bid package was being put together.  Notice of intent to accept bids on the sale of the unit must appear in the paper as public notice for three consecutive weeks.  The council is planning to have the proper notification put together in order that the winning bid would be announced at the last council meeting in April.

Earlier, in the hearing of visitors, a potential buyer for the lot at 602 Herman addressed the council with questions regarding his potential use of the property and the availability of water and sewer at the site.  He questioned whether it was against ordinance to put a double-wide on the property.  Ordinance requires it be a 1976 or newer model.  Also, he was informed the property had sewer service, but not water at this time.  Commissioner Berkshire agreed to investigate further the possibility of access to city water.

The council also unanimously approved the paying of city bills in the amount of $21,230.16.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:33 p.m. on a motion by Voyles, seconded by Berkshire.

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