City Commission Workshop Meeting

September 14, 2020

4:30 p.m.

This Commission Meeting was conducted utilizing Communications Media Technology in accordance with the Governorís Executive Order. Some Elected Officials and Staff members were present in the Commission Chambers while others were present via the Zoom application to respect the social distancing guidelines.


Elected Officials Present in Chambers:

Shirley Groover Bryant, Mayor

Harold Smith, Commissioner, Ward 1


Elected Officials Present Electronically:

Tambra Varnadore, Vice Mayor, Commissioner, Ward 2

Tamara Cornwell, Commissioner-at-Large 2

Jonathan Davis, Commissioner-at-Large 1

Brian Williams, Commissioner, Ward 3


Staff Present in Chambers:

Mark Barnebey, City Attorney

Karla Owens, Development Services Director

Kera Hill, Planning Analyst

Mohammed Rayan, Public Works Director

Scott Tyler, Chief of Police

Penny Johnston, Executive Assistant

Vanessa Cochran, Assistant City Clerk


Staff Present Electronically:

Todd Williams, Information Technology (IT) Consultant


Mayor Bryant called the meeting to order at 4:31 p.m.



Mr. Rayan, Public Works Director, began the presentation for the MLK Restrooms Project introducing John Moore, the architect for the project.† Mr. Rayan further stated that Mr. Moore will discuss the projectís location, review updates, and address questions.† Then, they will proceed to the civil work.† Once the civil work is completed, they will return with the final design and estimate.† The presentation is a part of the minutes.†


Mr. Moore, Project Architect, gave an overview of the restroomsí plan.† He stated that there will be a male and female with 2 stalls on the east and 2 stalls on the west with service areas in between.† He also stated that a fountain will be out front adjacent to the walkway.† He pointed out that concealed controls will be accessed from the back side because traditionally it has proven to be the best vandal proof design.† He also stated that the toilets and sinks will be stainless steel to prevent vandalism as well.† The roof will have an 18 inch over hang, and restrooms will have floor drains, so daily wash downs can be done, and the doors will be on heavy duty mag locks and timers.


Mayor asked if anyone may have any questions.

Commissioner Williams expressed his concerns regarding the 18 inch overhang.† He stated that there would not be enough overhang to cover people in some weather conditions.

City Commission Workshop

September 14, 2020

4:30 p.m.


Mr. Moore, PA, stated that originally a 5 foot overhang was proposed for that reason, but were concerned that it would attract the homeless and vandals in the evening.†


Commissioner Williams stated that the park could close at night and is not like some of the other parks that donít close or canít close.† He further stated that the police could patrol it, or the cameras could alert the activity.


Commissioner Smith agreed with Commissioner Williams regarding the overhang, he further stated that the MLK Park does not close, and it has a pathway people can go through.


Commissioner Cornwell addressed concerns regarding safety issues with swinging doors, and accessibilities for baby changer stations in the men and women restrooms, as well as handicapped stall accessibility.† She questioned if the outside fountain will have the availability for water bottle refills, and accessibility for animals. She also asked if the storage area had a drain in the floor for cleaning purposes.†


Mr. Moore, PA, stated that the issues regarding the changers and water fountain will be addressed, and the handicapped stalls are ADA standard. He added that it didnít have a drain in the storage area, and he will make note to install one.


Mayor Bryant asked if the Commissioners have any other questions.

Commissioner Williams asked if the project will have a safety station to alert emergencies to the police.


Mr. Moore, PA, stated that it didnít, but it is certainly something that could be considered.

Mayor Bryant asked Mr. Moore, PA, if he had any other responses.


Mr. Moore, PA, responded that a 5 foot overhang is a better option to mount cameras on, and it will provide better coverage than the others that are closer to the building.† He also suggested that putting motion light detectors on the outside of the building would discourage vandalism and other unwanted activities.


Mr. Moore, PA, proceeded to discuss the elevations and the materials.† The presentation is a part of the minutes.


†Mayor Bryant stated that the project looks good, and we will move on to the next topic.



Jake Zunamon, Housing Trust Group, made a presentation on a potential purchase and redevelopment of the Heartland Fertilizer Property via Zoom.† The presentation is a part of the minutes.† He stated that the project will be divided into 2 phases and will be based on the funding availability at the state level through affordable housing.† The property taxes to the City will be about 150 thousand dollars per phase per year.† He expressed that 17 million dollars will be requested through affordable housing state monies to build the 24 million dollar project.† He added that the City has put money in to assist with zoning and the Brownfield Study.

City Commission Workshop

September 14, 2020

4:30 p.m.


Mr. Zunamon, HTG, stated that the top goal of the development will be getting local government contributions, which is a minimal of 460 thousand dollars to help with the state funding.

Most importantly, the funds do not need to be available at time of construction, but could come in as late as the project is being built, or days after.† It could also be a loan or grant from the City.


Mayor Bryant reminded the board that the presentations will be a part of the minutes, and this project will be moved to another workshop for further discussion.



Presentation on the Riverside Property

Jeff Burton, CRA Director, stated that the Riverside property is back on the market and extended the contract to real estate agents.† He received 2 letters of interest and is being contacted daily regarding the sale.† It was bought to the board and requested to go through the workshop.† The only thing I have to offer is what was presented the last time.†††

Mr. Burton, CRA Director, stated that if we decide to sell the property, we must look at the long term benefit, and the short term loses, and the cost of to the disposal of the property.† The property was a Brownfield, and fully remediated, and we are receiving tax credits back on the funds that were used to meditate the property.† We used Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) money to begin and finished it, and it is ready to sell.† The property was purchased for 1.1 million, and it is on the market for 2.95 million.† We need to make a decision.† The question to the board is what direction to move forward with or should we have another workshop.

Mayor Bryant stated that it will be on the CRA agenda tonight and a vote can be made at that time.† She also requested that the presentation be a part of the minutes.

Mayor Bryant adjourned the workshop at 6:06 p.m.


Minutes approved:† September 28, 2020




James R. Freeman

City Clerk





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