Shelbyville Daily Union

December 20, 2013

City Council hears Chautauqua plans

Valorie Eversole Daily Union Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union

---- — The Chautauqua Planning and Preservation Committee presented its business plan for the 110-year-old building to the Shelbyville City Council Monday evening.

The Council asked the committee to design a plan before the council would decide on the building’s future or fate. An engineering report is also expected in February 2014 to aid in that decision.

Mark Shanks and Keith Endsley presented the plan which addresses structural issues, business goals and plans to manage it as a viable multi-use building.

“This plan is a living document - a guiding document to move forward,” said Endsley.

“We will use this plan as a tool for fundraising and grants,” Shanks said. “This is a phased process to make it a usable and profitable building.”

Ideas for the building include a possible museum aspect with historic displays on each of the panels, hosting concerts and programs, housing various shows and expos, plays, dances, reunions. The building has also been popular in the recent past for weddings.

Shanks noted that a sliding fee scale may be used for events held in the building.

“The community support is here with more than 1,300 supporters on our FaceBook page,” Shanks said. “We have support of the (Shelbyville) Chamber of Commerce and the (Shelby County) Office of Tourism.”

“There is a demand for using the building in the state it is in now,” Endsley added.

Proposed building improvements were also presented including ADA compliant restrooms, heating and cooling system, and hard surface flooring.

Shanks assured that they would check into what could be done without compromising the “Historical Significant” classification that has been awarded to the building.

Although the council took no action after hearing the report, they approved the designation of Mark Shanks as a authorized signatory on the account for the Chautauqua building. The account require multiple signatures for check writing.

In other business, the council heard from city attorney Jack Kiley regarding the Lidster Hotel building and the burned building on North Morgan Street.

Kiley said that a search revealed the owners of the Lidster was a defunct corporation in Ohio and that there were tax liens on the company.

According to statutes the owners of commercial buildings have to be given a timeframe to remediate or demolish the building. If the owners do nothing, then the city can demolish the building and try to recoup the expenses.

“There is no question the Lidster need to come down,” Kiley said.

The building poses a danger from large pieces of broken glass as well as unsafe floors inside. Outside walls have collapse in recent years, posing more danger Vagrancy is still an issue the police department has had to deal with.

“That building has so many holes it would be extremely expensive to try to just board it up,” said Police Chief David Tallman. “The faster the thing can be brought to the ground the better off we’re going to be.”

The council gave Kiley the approval to proceed with trying to contact the owners, giving them 30 days to respond.

Kiley said the owner of the burned building on North Morgan wants to put in temporary electricity, reroof the building and enclose it. Commissioner Fogleman questioned the viability of the building and asked if a building inspector could check it out.

Commissioner Thom Schafer proposed that fees for licensed commercial brush disposal at the city dump be set at $300 beginning in January. There will still be no charge to the general public

City Clerk Carrie Jones reported adjustments to the tax levy ordinance which include raising the police pension fund to $150,000. The levy was approved.

Commissioner Fogleman reported that the old squad car sold for $9,800 on eBay and the buyer has received it. Fogleman commended Tallman on the work he did on the car to get it in saleable condition. However, as the buyer was driving it back to Ohio, the car required some mechanical work costing the buyer about $600. The council agreed to reimburse the buyer $500 for his expenses.

“The car only booked at $6,000. He gave us so much for it,” Fogleman said. Other cars have been sold for $2,500 in the past. This was the first time selling a car on eBay.

Commissioner Gib Smart reported that the Aquatic Center netted $28,000 this season. The pool has been painted and new lane markers for the swim team have been laid. He also reported that Kyle Ladd has resigned as manager of the Aquatic Center and that Mary Bolinger has agreed to take over the position. Ladd will assist in the transition.

Following executive session, the council approved the contract with the Fraternal Order of Police. Included in the contract are a 35 cent per hour pay raise in each of the next three years, employees contribution to their health insurance will raise from $50 to $70 per month, and the city will pay all the pension.

Collective bargaining is still ongoing with the operating engineers. The engineers have filed a grievance against the city for delaying. Fogleman that the allegations are not true.

“We’ve given them multiple offers. The ball is in their court,” Fogleman said.