Operating before an audience of 10 Centralia’s Board of aldermen dealt with a zoning and annexation question.
In one way it was an unusual meeting. Ward I’s Don Bormann chose to
sit in the audience instead of at his spot on with the other five aldermen.
During the brief public hearing for an annexation request regarding a lot on Rodney Griffin Street, on the west side of Hwy. 124 the aldermen heard a letter from Jim and Mary Peeper expressing concerns and opposition to the annexation, rezoning and development of a lot on West Rodney Griffin Drive.
Boyd Harris, who along with Thomas Schupp, is one of the investors in the project said it was a shame some people stereotyped people based on the type of homes they lived in: “Nevertheless there is a need for affordable single and multi-family housing in Centralia.”
Harris referenced a note form the Special Road District’s Tim Chrisman that said, contrary to the Peepers’ concerns, West Rodney Griffin could handle the potential traffic. “But due to its location it would usually be the last road served by city services.”
After the brief hearing, with no objections from the aldermen, Mayor Tim Grenke asked City Administrator Heather Russell to put the annexation request, which had previously been approved by Centralia’s Planning and Zoning Commission, on the agenda for the July 16 meeting of the board of aldermen.
Bormann had sat with Harris because he had surveyed the potential development for Harris’ business and wanted to avoid any potential conflict of interest by participating in the discussion as an alderman.
After the hearing, he returned and took his seat as Ward I alderman.
From there the moved on to energy futures. They voted to amend an agreement with NextEra power Marketing, Juno Beach Fl., to trade power resource zones. The vote was unanimous with Ward 1’s David Wilkins absent.
Russell said the trade would protect the city from losing money due to a stock split.
John Wiggins was sworn in as a part-time police officer for the city of Centralia. He is a full-time member of the Veteran’s Administration Police Department in Columbia. The aldermen unanimously approved his appointment.
Grenke also reappointed Rhonda Brandow, Marilyn Dick and Linda Luke to the Centralia Library Board.
Ward II’s Robert Hudson abstained from the Luke vote as he is her son.
They also reappointed Denny Rusch to the Board of Adjustment.
At 7:24 they went into closed session to discuss a property purchase. They returned at 7:40 p.m. and said no votes had been taken other than to return to open session.
They next adjourned and reconvened as the Public Works and Public Utilities committee.
Russell said the energy efficiency project had so far completed all weather stripping and window caulking on Centralia City Hall and the police Department.
Hoffman said the dust control project was so far successful on Ivy, Campbell and South Columbia Streets.
He also gave an update on the Mayes Meadows project, he should be issuing request for bids on the project and have them by the end of July. The project includes curb and gutter as well as storm sewer improvements.
Next, they discussed competing bids for a skid loader – equipped with pallet forks and a brush cutter, one from Martin Equipment – Ashland, the other from Henderson Implement – Columbia. Russell said it was for information only, the actual vote would take place during their July 16 full board meeting.
Under water and sewer, they heard from Mike Forsee. He said to deal with a valve repair in front of Adams and Hobby Horse, he would have to temporarily shut off water to Sunset Gardens. Forsee estimated the water service would be interrupted for no more than one hour, at the most.
Forsee said if the forecast lack of rainfall is accurate the city would not have much water for its farmer-partners’ irrigation. “We’ve pretty much got what we’re going to get for a while.”
They discussed closing Railroad Street for the Chamber of Commerce’ Wine Walk, July 28, from 3 to 8 p.m., at the request of Central Bank. The bank will be hosting a band during the event.
Russell reminded the aldermen that no alcohol in open containers would be permitted on city streets. The winery stands will be inside the participating city businesses. Bormann and Hudson expressed concern about people carrying their open wine outside on the streets. Bormann asked that signs be posted within the participating businesses, that open containers were not allowed on the city street or sidewalk. It passed 3-2. Hudson and Landon Magley voted against it. “To me it’s going to be a lot of hard work keeping people from drinking outside.” Magley said Central Bank could host the bank and wine drinking in their parking lot and “save everybody a lot of problems.”
Magley brought up the red jeep on South Allen street. “There aint no way it has been moved in 72 hours… It’s got a flat tire.”