Gardner council heard from a disabled citizen, approved equipment purchases and continued the search for an individual to fill the open seat on the Board of Zoning Appeals.
ADA issues
Gardner resident Gary Carson appeared early in the meeting during public comments to ask when he would get answers to questions he asked in a July 9 email sent to the city clerk.
“If I don’t address this issue here, I won’t get an answer. That’s why I’m here,” said Carson.
A copy of the July 9 email was displayed on the chamber monitors.
Chris Morrow, mayor, told Carson that council did not normally engage in back and forth discussion from the podium during public comments, but they could bring the subject up again during the council updates section of the meeting.
“We always address any kind of concern that anybody has, in public, during council updates, but we do the business of the city first,” said Morrow.
Carson replied, “Good. I’ll look forward to the follow up. Thank you. “
Carson was not present when the topic was discussed later in council updates.
Ryan B. Denk, city attorney, said he had replied to Carson’s July 9 email.
“Jeanne forwarded this email, along with many others Mr Carson’s sent, and I did do a fairly detailed letter back on July 27th,” said Denk. “He’s asking in here what the duties of the ADA coordinator were and are, and he’s also raised numerous other issues including sidewalks and all kinds of things. I went through in the letter…” Denk continued, “and laid out every statutory and regulatory duty that the ADA coordinator has. So that information has been given to him.”
“So the second paragraph in this communication is taken care of then, if you sent him an official letter then…”, said Lee Moore, council member.
The other paragraph questioned whose responsibility it was to address “potential violations” regarding ADA compliance.
Several council members noted that ‘potential’ was an ambiguous term.
“I’m concerned with actual violations. I couldn’t care less about somebody’s idea of a potential violation,” said Moore.
“When I said ‘actionable’ earlier, you know… potential – that’s potential. We’ve got an ADA coordinator, she gives information to the appropriate staff member – they make a determination whether or not it’s even a violation,” said Morrow.
Morrow said he understood Carson’s frustrations but noted that government was a “slow moving beast” that must follow specific procedure and protocols, which takes time.
Morrow said he thought the city has shown commitment to ADA issues, mentioning the establishment of the ADA Advisory Committee as one example. Morrow said he thought Gardner was one of only two regional cities to have even an ADA Committee.
Steve Shute, council president, said he had read every email Carson has sent.
Shute also serves as council representative on the newly formed ADA committee. The committee has only met seven times so far and is still in the process of of assessing ADA compliance of city properties.
“It takes time to get this done, and we just started our assessment process – we’ll wrap that up in October or November and at that point we can actually bring recommendations to the council,” Shute explained.
According to Shute, Carson is frustrated with the city’s responses, in comparison to responses from the county, fire district, school district and other offices he has contacted in the past.
Pumps for water treatment plant
Gonzalo Garcia, utilities director, presented a recommendation from the Utilities Advisory Commission to replace two submersible pumps as part of the Raw Water Pump Project, CIP Project No. WA1602.
Gardner’s water supply is pumped about 2.5 miles from Hillsdale Lake.
Garcia said the two pumps operating at the Hillsdale Water Treatment plant were installed in 1998 and are at the end of expected service life.
To replace the pumps, the commission recommended council authorize the city administrator to execute a supply contract in the amount of $88,026 with DXP SuperCenter.
Motion was made to approve and passed by an ‘aye’ vote.
Open seat on Zoning Board
Council approved staff recommendation to extend the process of appointment to the Board of Zoning appeals until October 5.
In July, council filled two of three open positions to the board. The appointment process to fill the third was extended. During the extension period, staff received one applicant for the position. That applicant was not eligible due to not being a resident of the city.
“We do have to extend the amount of time,” said Chris Morrow, mayor, “On the plus side, four members on the board of zoning appeals is sufficient to meet quorum requirements.”
The extension was approved with an ‘aye’ vote.
League of Municipalities delegate
Council needed to select a delegate to represent the city at the 2016 League of Municipalities Conference. After two council members said they were unavailable, Steve Shute, council president, volunteered to be the delegate at the conference. Shute said he has attended the conference every year that he has been part of the governing body.
Other items
The mayor announced that the Senior Citizen Center is nearing completion of its remodeling. There will be a re-opening ribbon cutting ceremony at noon on October 18. There was also some discussion on the possibility of renaming the building, since it is used for more than just senior citizen events.
Council had two executive sessions at this meeting. The first session was for attorney-client discussion related to pending litigation. The second was to discuss personnel matters related to non-elected personnel.
Council authorized a one year extension for banking services with Central Bank of the Midwest through Dec. 31, 2017. Staff cited excellent customer service and sound ratings as reasons for the selection.The bank has been the city’s banking services provider for over three decades.
The appointment of Scott Dyvad to the Streets, Sidewalks and Stormwater Advisory Committe with a term expiring in August 2018.
A service contract with Midwest Injection, Inc. for $49,900 was approved for the Hillsdale Water Treatment Plant pond clean out.
The next city council meeting is Sept. 19.