Montpelier City Council held its regular Council meeting. Steve Allred attended by phone, Bobbi Leonhardt was absent.
After paying the bills for the amount of $58,8055.24 with $25,4732.01 being misc. expense and $33,330.24 for payroll, and the regular business of the meeting, the Council moved to the first agenda item. The first item was the Planning and Zoning recommendations for Todd Hunzeker to be granted a conditional use permit. Todd had requested a special use permit for a 10 X 20 ft. digital sign on his property where Can Do Auto was located. He will advertise his business, JJ’s Chevron. Hunzeker had talked with IDOT, and the sign meets their requirements as long as the City approves. P & Z felt that all regulations are being met and recommended approval. The Council motioned and approved the request.
The next item was the property Conveyance of the old City Hall. The property was auctioned off on Nov. 12, 2020. The property was purchased by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The building must be demolished within nine months. The Church is planning to use the property for additional parking. They already own the property between the Library and the old City Hall.
The Council read and accepted Ordinance 665.
Shannon Holjeson addressed the Council. The Council was able to review the plan and gave their final approval to the plan submitted with the Downtown revitalization Grant by Nov. 20.
The Council moved to hold one Council meeting in Dec. and cancel the regular second meeting. The next item was the CDBG Grant Administration Services. The Council moved to accept SEICOG as the administrator of the grant if received.
The Council accepted the resignation of Chief of Police Russell Roper. The Council expressed gratitude for the nine years of service he has given the City of Montpelier. The Council and Mayor had placed Lt. Blake Wells in the Interim Chief of Police until they can post the position and interview. This process will take place in 2021.
Chief Roper stated that he will always be grateful to Montpelier for the support during the past nine years. I value the friendships that will endure and ope quality of life continue to improve there. Forty years ago, I started my career as a Caribou County Deputy. I am going home.
The next item was the appointment of the City Attorney. Currently, the city attorney is S. Doug Wood. He was appointed to this position 18 months ago. At that time, it was to revisit this appointment at the end of 2020. The Mayor stated he felt that Wood should be retained for both the Civil attorney and the Misdemeanor attorney until 2022. The Mayor’s position and three Council positions are up for election in 2021.
Joe Hayes, Prosecutor, elect as of 2021, approached the City in regards to the misdemeanor portion of this job. Hayes feels he would better serve it at this time. Wood responded as to why he thought he could help the City the most effectively for both Attorney positions. The Council decided to table this decision until a committee can be formed and private interviews are held with both candidates. A recommendation will be made to the Mayor based on the conclusion of the committee.
The last agenda item was Michelle Higley addressed the Council as Chamber of Commerce president. Permission of the Council was requested to hold the COVID Christmas Cruisin on Dec. 4. The event will start at 6 p.m. with Santa arriving by Fire Truck, and the tree will be lit. Instead of a light parade, citizens are requested to decorate the vehicle and participated in a City-wide Cruisin to celebrate the local Christmas Season. Instead of sitting on Santa’s knee, families are asked to visit Santa in a drive-by event, stopping to tell him their wishes and receive a Christmas candy cane. The Council approved the event. Hopefully, there will be a good turnout.
The Mayor then heard from the Council members as to any concerns, updates, or comments.
Steve Allred thanked the Council for patients with the grant process and Shannon Holjeson for the effort she has put into completing the grant.
Dan Fisher had the Audit results for the Regional Commission for Council members to review.
Shane Johnson reported that due to the State limiting vents to 10 people, the Arts Council Clue production is on hold.
The Council gave the Mayor a thank you for sound financial decisions to deal with the old City Hall without a large financial burden on the City.
Quin Pope reported that the Senior Center bakery is almost complete. COVID has been a struggle in several ways. He and Bobbi Leonhardt are hoping to work with them to find more revenue streams and ideas. The Trail Center has not met and does not have a scheduled meeting until next year.
Ted Slivinski reported that the current basketball program is on hold because parents could not attend practices and games with the current regulations.
There were no other comments, and the meeting adjourned.