Geneseo Council votes to sell Industrial Park

Beth Welbers
Geneseo Republic

The Geneseo City Council met in regular session Tuesday September 8. The meeting was also live streamed on the City's You Tube channel, details of which can be found on the City of Geneseo website. Councilman Bob James was absent.

Mayor Sean Johnson recognized Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Zack Sullivan, and Chamber of Commerce Week, September 14-18. Director Sullivan thanked the Mayor, and talked about all the events that have been available to participate in with relaxing of Covid 19 restrictions.

Geneseo Double Bucks program had pumped $72,000 into local businesses. Many thanks to Hanford Insurance for the time and resources to make it a successful project. The Cruise the Canal events are sold out through the October date. The Loop Cruises have done a lot to help attract business downtown. Upcoming events will be the last of the Canal Cruise dates, Sidewalk Sale and the State Street Market.

City Engineer Chad VanDeWoestyne reported that the Ash Street lift station project was on schedule and should be opened for bids in October.

An update on the Richmond Hill Park stated that it should be ready to turn over to the City on October 1. Construction was complete except for some fencing of the new turf. The project will come in slightly under budget, provided all the pledges are received.

Finance Director Jamie Matthews stated that the 6/30 financial reports are going to the auditors. She commented that the stop gap measures seem to be working, but the City is not out of the woods yet. January, when the bond payments are due, is not going to be pretty. City Administrator, JoAnn Hollenkamp reminded the Council and any viewers, that event though sales are up, many of the local businesses are just barely getting by, and please Buy Local.

Motion was made to approve the changes to the Ordinances that were discussed at the previous Council Meeting in September, including changes regarding slow moving vehicles, utility deposits and the changes in building permits rate structures was made by Brett Barnhart and seconded by Craig Arnold.

Motion to approve changes in the Animals ordinance was made by Bob Wachtel, and seconded by

Craig Arnold. Additional discussion regarding the radius for residency of City employees resulted in approving a 30 mile radius, which was a motion by Arnold with a second by Martin Rothschild. Arnold was the dissenting vote. The local CURES program was approved with a motion by Barnhart and a second by Arnold.

The sale of the property for the Industrial Park, which had been declared surplus property at the previous meeting was approved at a price of $461,000 to Reese Brothers Holding and Development LLC. Motion was made by Rothschild and Second by Arnold. Mayor Johnson voted yes, as a super majority was necessary to sell the property. City Administrator Hollenkamp stated that she was happy with the purchase price, as it covered everything the City had invested in the project so far, and still leaves the property available for industrial development.

Motion to pay the bills, with clarification on one item requested by Paula Simosky, made by Arnold and seconded by Rothschild. A drone was utilized and took 5 photos of each power pole the City owns between Geneseo and Mid American, to be reviewed for signs of rot. These poles were put in place 50 years ago.

The restrictions on water usage were reviewed prior to adjournment. Chad VanDeWoestyne stated that event though there was rain that week, the aquifer levels remain low, and the residents were still advised to conserve water. The City will monitor the pumping levels to avoid damaging the pumps. There was a drought in 2012, and the city extended it's pumping ability to a lower level in the aquifer, so these levels are concerning.

Motion to adjourn was made by Rothchild and seconded by Wachtel.