Posted 2/02/16 (Tue)
By Traci Papineau
Commissioner Travis Rettig presented an update at the Ray City Commission meeting Monday on the proposed new city hall and law enforcement offices.
Rough plans were given to the city planner who returned comments and changes on the project; however, the changes were so drastically different than what Rettig presented he wants to meet with the planner to go through the suggested changes.
“I want to have firm numbers to present,” said Rettig.
He feels it is important to keep the project moving forward yet voiced that “We want to use money as efficiently as possible.”
Rettig also addressed a question raised by Tioga Tribune staff on the legality of housing both the city and law enforcement offices together. According to research by the city attorney, as long as the law enforcement part is not a jail, both can be housed in the same building. The current vision, as reviewed by Rettig, is that the law enforcement portion would contain offices, an evidence room and a holding area for detainees. The city hall area would be separate from the law enforcement side so there is no contact between detainees and the general public or city employees. The area would be secure with separate and locked entrances and corridors.
Commissioner Troy Kupper asked Rettig what would be the alternative plan if the full amount for the project is not funded through the one-percent sales tax monies. Rettig said the city might contribute to the funding of their portion of the new building if they lacked the full amount.
Audience member Hal Hickel questioned whether a quorum was present when the commission voted in January on a $500,000 investment in infrastructure for a project by SW Design Build.
A call to the city attorney was immediately placed and Brian van Grinsven said that if a quorum of board members is present for the meeting then a majority of affirmative votes of members present on a motion can pass it. Although some specific motions require a unanimous vote in favor to carry, the attorney verified the vote on the SW Design Build award was proper with three member of the five seat commission present. Commissioner Rick Liesener was absent and the fifth seat is vacant. Kupper and Rettig voted in favor of the funding with Commissioner Ken Munson voting against the motion.
City Engineer Lonni Fleck reported that even though the building permit on the Skywatch Inn project expired Feb. 1, the county granted the project an extension.
She shared an email reporting the motel group is still seeking a national chain.
Munson expressed that since the county is continuing to work with them on the project, the city will also do so.