The Sept. 12 meeting of the Prescott City Council opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.
City Attorney Burton Harding sent a message he would be late as he was coming from another meeting.
Separate motions were made and passed to accept the minutes for the budget meeting of last month and the regular meeting from last month.
Then the motion was made and passed to approve the bills that had been paid last month.
Karen Springer gave the food pantry report. Five families between them donated 341 pounds of food. John Smith donated 100 pounds of tomatoes. Farm Bureau bought a pig from the auction at the county fair, had it butchered and donated 30 pounds of ground pork to the pantry. Joyce and Lonnie Gourley donated $500. Ms. Camacho made a cash donation of $300, but she asked that it not be used as cash, so it was used to purchase 244 pounds of food that could be given out.
Renee Slinkard came on behalf of the Daughters of the American Revolution to encourage the celebration of September 17 which is designated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day as part of Constitution week (September 17-23). The celebration commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. She wanted to have Mayor Kevin Wood sign a proclamation that he, the Council, and the City of Prescott support the ongoing value of the Constitution in our nation.
Jesse Willard said some things have changed about the plans for the nursing home, but he said there is still hope. He wanted to know if the Council could go into an executive session for 15 minutes so he could present trade secrets. Fortunately, City Attorney Harding arrived just then to say it was fine for the council to do that. A motion was made and passed for an immediate executive session with Mr. Willard.
When the council reconvened, a second executive session was immediately asked for. However, James and Rocky Beltz asked if they could speak first. They needed verification from City Clerk Kathy Wood that they should plan for about 150 meals. They have purchased chicken already and have plans to acquire the potatoes and ingredients for other sides soon. The special cooker will probably be set up early next week. They emphasized that pre-orders were supposed to be in weeks ago, but last minute pre-orders may be made by calling City Hall until this Friday (the 16th) at 3 pm. There will be some extras available for on the spot eating, but they will be in very limited quantities.
As soon as they left, the motion was made and passed to have a further 15 minute executive session with Jesse Willard continuing his presentation.
This time when the council reconvened, Council member Fritz Norbury made a motion which Council Member John Maloney seconded that if the nursing home re-opens as a home health center, the city would abate the property tax by 100% the first year, 50% the second year and 25% the third year. The city would sell them electricity at cost for the first three years. This motion passed unanimously. The point was made that the city can only abate the city tax. A different request would have to be made to the county to ask them if they would abate the taxes they would otherwise collect.
A last item of new business was a discussion of a letter from Tricia Purden asking for Mayor Wood to sign a letter of support for Linn County to apply for a Champion Grant. The idea was Prescott would be showing support for building new houses. In the discussion everyone agreed Linn County in general and the City of Prescott in particular could use more and better housing. More people would come to live here, if they had a place to stay. The grant would allow the county to hire someone who could inform the cities here what options are available from the federal government, or elsewhere, to build new, or improved, housing. Attorney Harding made the point the decision was strictly a county decision, but the City of Prescott had nothing to lose by encouraging them to continue the application. After that, a motion was made and passed that Mayor Wood should sign the letter of support.
In Old Business, the discussion of water meters was put off until next month. The mess at the west end of Elm Street may get started being cleaned up. A dump truck was asked to be there for this coming weekend. Meanwhile, City Attorney Harding still has plans to find out when a court date with a judge can be scheduled.
About Coal Center Day, Mayor Wood said the parade is set up, the chicken dinner has been planned and the band is scheduled, although they need a trailer. Norbury said he has a 16 ft. trailer they may borrow, if that is big enough for them. Mayor Wood will find out, and he will also call back the porta potty company to let them know how many will be needed.
From the City Superintendent, Kathy Wood reported a broken sewer had been repaired. Mowing had been done and a new electric pole had been put up on E. 3rd Street next to the pole that was broken a couple months ago.
Mayor Wood added the recent fishing derby went over very well.
City Clerk Kathy Wood said it is time to fill out the four year mitigation plan again. Mitigation is action taken to eliminate or reduce the impact of a natural-, technological-, or human-caused hazard or undesirable event. The plan will be the same as previous years. For the years 2023-2026 if there is an emergency either Kevin Wood or Todd Mead will be the first person contacted.
Attorney Burton mentioned he discovered that if you type "City of Prescott" into a search engine, an ancient website does pop up, though it is badly out of date. He would like the council to make a decision in the next few months either to have someone update it, or to take it down. Clerk Wood said it was originally done by a volunteer, but the city never did any more with it. A short discussion showed a few members thought it might be good to have a working, updated website.
Council Member Zach Gillis reported he talked to Danny McCullough about the sign. McCullough is ready and willing, but he needs to see the paperwork on it. Where will the sign go, how big will it be and so on. Clerk Wood thought the plans were in the office and will look for them.
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