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Adel Council acts on rezoning requests – City also purchases property for downtown use

Adel Mayor Buddy Duke called to order the Monday, July 17, 2023, regular session of the Adel City Council. 

Council Members present were Terry McClain, Greg Paige, Walter Cowart, Celestine Hayes, and Jody Greene.

Others present were  City Manager Mark Barber, City Clerk Rhonda Rowe, City Attorney Tim Tanner, Police Chief Chad Castleberry, and several members of the public.

Councilman McClain gave the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Approval of minutes  Councilman Paige made a motion to approve the minutes of July 3, 2023, as presented. Councilman McClain seconded with all in favor.

Ordinance #23-03

This ordinance, rezoning property of Sherlene Johnson located at 210 N. Martin Luther King Drive from R-8 (Residential) to R-8M (Residential), was read for the second time. The application stated that the rezoning was being requested in order that a mobile home might be placed on the parcel.  

Councilwoman Hayes made a motion to deny the ordinance. Councilman Paige seconded with all in favor.

Ordinance #23-04

This ordinance, rezoning property of Artis Bailey and Cynthia Folsom Bailey located at 827 N. Elm St. from WLI (Wholesale Light Industrial) to GB (General Business), was read for the second time. The purpose of the rezoning is to allow for a childcare learning center, preschool, afterschool, summer day camp, and an all-purpose event space to be placed on the parcel.  

Councilwoman Hayes made a motion to approve the ordinance. Councilman Paige seconded. The decision was unanimous.

Property purchase

Mayor Duke advised the current property for sale in which the Council had authorized the city manager to negotiate with the property owner, along with pricing parameters, has been reviewed and the title search completed with no findings.  

City Attorney Tim Tanner said the title was clean, with no liens. Additionally, there is no record of a prior business such as a gas station or dry cleaner located on the property that would trigger an environmental review.

The property parcel is identified on the tax map as A007-128.  Councilwoman Hayes asked how much the purchase price will be and for what purposes the property will be used.

The city manager advised the property consists of .92 acres and is located between West Third and West Fourth Street, beside the railroad tracks. This would broaden the footprint of the downtown area, he said. “We have thought about utilizing it for more green space, but have also received permission from the railroad to move the caboose to this area. It could be used for open air events, including a farmers market.”

The appraisal on the property was $92,000; however, the City can purchase it for $80,000.

A member of the audience, Altheia Paige, asked if this was the building with the glass.  She was advised there is no building on the property.  

Councilman Greene made a motion to approve the purchase of the property. Councilman Cowart seconded. The decision was unanimous.

Fairy Gear

Ms. Gear, who resides at 611 W. 2nd St., complained to the Council concerning the use of fireworks.  

She said “the 4th of July is gone, but it sounds like a war zone” in her area.  She said she had called 911 and was told they couldn’t do anything about it: The state law only requires they have to be finished by 12 a.m. (midnight). She said, “It sounds like a bomb bursting, and it’s terrible.  There’s old people over there, babies over there, and people work. This is a city, and there are city ordinances.” She added that “where it’s coming from, these people don’t work, they don’t do nothing!”  

She asked this be taken into consideration and looked into.

Other comments

Mark Barber –

• Introduced Brandie Dame, who has been hired as the Community Engagement Director.

• Congratulated Main Street Director Dana David on the “Christmas in July” event held the past Saturday. It was a huge success, he said.

Celestine Hayes –  

• Asked about the update on the utility billing.

She was advised “the programmer is getting it down to the final details.”

The $400 credit as well as the allocation of the balance over the 24-month period should be provided at the same time, according to city officials.

The customer will be billed for the current month’s usage, plus 1/24th of the prior balance will be added to it.  

Altheia Paige asked if the City is going to work with those who couldn’t do the 24-month payments. “They will have to decide whether to pay the City or buy food or medicine,” she said.

City Manager Barber said, “We are willing to speak with anyone, but the Council has adopted a 24-month pay period.”

There was no further business, and the meeting was adjourned.

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