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(PANA) — Following an extended debate, the Pana City Council voted to approve an extension in time for a redevelopment project with Pathfinder Disc during its Monday night session in the Council Chambers of Pana City Hall. They vote was 6-2.
The project, at 18 East Second – said to be one of the oldest buildings in Pana – has been plagued by delays and problems with the roofing contractors Whitney Roofing of Effingham. Owner Nick Elliott appeared before the Council at the last meeting asking for the extension and payment for the roof replacement. The building has not been hooked up for electrical service it was stated.
During Monday’s meeting, it was said the roofing contractor is not finished with the roof and they would not return until they are paid. But later in the meeting, it was mentioned there is a meeting with the roofing contractor on Friday of this week.
The revised agreement calls for up to a $40,000 reimbursement for the roof and extended the completion deadline to Dec. 1, 2023.
Third Ward Alderman Steve Scott objected to the extension at the earlier meeting and also objected during the debate Monday night. He asked that the matter be tabled until the next meeting, pending the meeting with the contractor. He said he had a conversation with the owner last week and was told he would not have the project done until after the first of the year. Also, Scott asked City Engineer Greg Holthaus to inspect the roof work before the city paid for the work.
Kirby Casner, city economic development director, called it “a unique situation.” She noted several other development projects in the city are also behind schedule. She reminded Council members before they had Elliott on board as the developer, the cost of demolition of the building had been pegged at $120,000. Casper said it stipulates in the agreement, payment would not be made until the roofing work was deemed completed, which is apparently not the case at the present time.
In the end, the agreement was approved with Scott and First Ward Alderman Tim Eddy voting, “no.”
Another vote, extending the “substantial completion date” of the development of the Jack Flash project was approved 7-1. The agreement with Wortman Development, LLC was extended until Dec. 31, 2023. Eddy voted “no.”
Three ordinances were acted on for first reading during the meeting. They include the topics of building permit fees; the establishment of a commercial overlay district; and definitions of home occupation. The home occupations ordinance would change the status of home businesses which would not require Special Use Permits to include barbershops, beauty shops and dog grooming shops. They all received unanimous backing. A final vote will come at the next Council meeting in November.
A fourth ordinance dealing with accessory dwelling units, was set aside and returned to the Planning and Zoning Commission for further study. An accessory dwelling unit is defined as something such as a “mother-in-law suite.”
Ben Spreen of Benton and Associates Engineers reported the city should receive its permit to build a new waste water treatment plant in the next two to three weeks. He estimated bid specifications for the plant should be out in December with bids due in February of 2024.
The Council voted to apply for an Urban and Community Forestry Grant of up to $30,000. The money will be used to remove trees with Ash Boar Disease in Kitchell and the planting of new trees. Casner said 17 trees have been removed thus far and she estimated at least 17 more trees will need to be removed.
It was suggested the budget be adjusted to reflect the increase in spending which will be planned in the next fiscal year.
The meeting adjourned at 7:37 p.m. Next meeting of the Pana City Council is Monday, Nov. 13, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Pana City Hall, 120 E. Third St.