Port Authority gets loan forgiveness from city

09_fishing_6115ANOTHER BIG ONE  — Barney Barnhart holds his fish caught on Thursday at the Ron and Juanita Prewett pond.  He was part of the group from PMC Extended Care Unit that went fishing.  I-O Photo by Pat Lee

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

With hat in hand, the Pondera Regional Port Authority (PA) was asking the city to forgive one loan and for $1,000 for a railway track study on Monday evening.

Council members passed, on a  4-0 vote, Resolution-1077 authorizing the forgiveness of repayment of a CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) loan for $6,000 including interest.

It has become common practice over the past few years for the city to forgive the PA for a CDBG-RLF (Revolving Loan Fund).

The CDBG-RLF was first created from the repayment of the CDBG loan to ITB through the PA which began in 2007.

Since then, the PA has made 16 loans totaling $441,041.23. Last year there were three loans for $94,324.39 and so far in 2012, there have been two loans for $181,000.

One person has filed for bankruptcy and the other is delinquent in payments. The amount uncollected from these two loans is $104,525.40.

PA Manager Cheryl Curry also got the OK for $1,000 to help with a feasibility study to see about making better use of railroad tracks currently not in use.

Council members seemed reluctant in granting the $1,000, however, it passed on a 4-0 vote. Curry noted that the county is going to use a portion of PILT funds (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) for the railroad study. City Finance Officer Agnes Fowler was asked where the $1,000 would come from and she told the council, “I won’t comment until the budget is done.”

In other business, six residential building permits were approved by the zoning board. They included putting in new fences, a window and a shed.

The council officially accepted the resignation of alderman Wayne Anderson, who, with his wife will be moving to New Mexico.

In addition, the resignation of Stephanie Moerkerke, due to job relocation, was read and accepted. Moerkerke works at the library.

It was noted that the city is out of compliance with the ADA (American Disabilities Act) and has 14 items to take care of. Just a couple of these include moving a mirror up six inches in a bathroom at the Legion Park and replacing some door handles.

Mayor Wendy Judisch said these wouldn’t be changed all at once, but will be over a period of time. “It’s too expensive to do all at once.”

The planning board made a recommendation for a preliminary plat at the Industrial Park for seven commercial lots.

A specifics and design report will be sent to the DEQ for review and approval.

Prior to filing the first plat, a number of improvements will be installed. They include paved roads with gutters and curbs, water facilities; street and traffic control signs; fire protection improvements and utilities at each lot.

The board also recommended three variances; the length of roadway with a cul-de-sac; sidewalks and trees.

However, in the outgoing draft, sidewalks were not included. Being an Industrial Park, foot traffic is expected to be low and truck traffic high. Sidewalks could potentially encourage walkers. A large amount of pedestrians would not be ideal for this area because of conflicts with large truck traffic.

On the topic of trees, the proposed subdivision is intended for commercial use, not residential. It was decided to leave the planting of trees to be decided by future tenants, if and what type of trees would be planted.

As for the cul-de-sac, Vermont Street is designed to be a dead end street for this development.

An easement is included on the plat from the end of the cul-de-sac to the property line to accommodate a future connection to a potential development to the north.

The city council meets every first and third Monday at 7:30 p.m. in city hall, 411 1/2 S. Main.

The public is always invited and encouraged to attend and see their government at work.