Bremen Town Council Meeting 09/22/2014by Amy Wenger on September 25, 2014
The potential for future developments and enhancements for the park system were topics that dominated much of the agenda during the most recent Bremen Town Council meeting, held on Monday,September 22.
Council members had an opportunity to delve further into a residual issue from the last session, held on September 8, in which it was revealed that the Mike McIntyre family is looking to donate a parcel of land to the town. McIntyre was present at the latest meeting, and was very willing to clarify various points and reach a compromise with the council about some lingering questions. The site is located near the corner of West Grant and South Birkey streets, ensconced in an area currently being slated for housing development.
McIntyre's original intention was to give the lot to Bremen, but with some stipulations, in that the land would ideally be earmarked for park usage. Language to that effect was also drawn up in an initial draft of a deed prepared by McIntyre's attorney. McIntyre explained that this was done to help protect them from having the property later sold off to prospective buyers, possibly ones that might have other projects in mind that would not necessarily be in the best interests of the neighborhood.
Park superintendent Brian Main, who was unable to attend the September 8 meeting, was on hand to offer his opinion on the subject. While expressing gratitude for the generosity of McIntyre's offer, Main admitted, "We're trying to understand how it would function as a park, and thinking through some of those issues," noting that limited accessibility to the area is among his primary concerns. "I don't think that that piece of land would serve an immediate function for the parks department, but I would see it as an investment for the future," he added. "I could see it being something that could eventually contribute to the park system."
Among some of the ideas that were being considered were the creation of a dog park, a tree nursery, or a playground. McIntyre did express some leniency on how he'd like to see the site be used, only asking that nothing of an industrial nature be situated there.
It was decided by the council that the best course of action at the present time would be to have the family's attorney meet with Town Attorney Anthony Wagner to renegotiate some new terms and details, and report back to the council at an upcoming meeting.
In other matters, Director of Operations Trend Weldy informed the council that some preliminary work on "Phase 1," also known as an environmental study in the former Lebermuth property on South Center Street, is beginning to transpire. Thus far, nothing of particular urgency has been revealed, Weldy said, other than the possible presence of asbestos in some of the older insulation materials surrounding pipes in the building. The firm that is conducting the study is making preparations to collect 20 samples from various points in the building.
The status of the building has been an ongoing topic of conversation among council members over the course of the past several meetings. Suggestions on what to do with the building and the property it rests on have ranged from implementing a "green space" to renovating the building for future use. Main also indicated that the park board has expressed great interest in rehabbing the site and converting it into a skate park. This is likely to be another topic broached for future discussion at an impending council session.
Other issues that required action by the town council included:
- Establishing a timetable for the community's trick-or-treating event. For now, the date has been set for the evening of Friday, October 31. However, if Bremen's football team should host a home game during Sectional tournament action, the date will be pushed back to Thursday, October 30. The reasoning for this is because the local police presence will be busy with the anticipated increased traffic flow during the game, and it's believed that having the law enforcement more readily available for Halloween festivities would be a safer scenario for the children.
- Accepting a proposal from B & B Roofing, in the amount of $43,712, to install steel roofing on the powerhouse and the street garage. The creation of the new pitched roof carries a 25 to 30 year warranty, according to Water and Street Superintendent Alex Mikel, and project results will become apparent by late October or early November.
- Heard an announcement from Police Chief Matt Hassel that the department will be hosting an Open House to unveil recent building renovations. The event will be held in conjunction with the upcoming community Farmer's Market on October 4, and the public is invited to come and see the new additions.
- Conducted a public hearing for the 2015 budget, during which no one was present to voice remonstrance. The ordinance, titled 11-2014, subsequently passed on third and final reading. Also approved on second and third readings was Ordinance 10-2014, which establishes parking restrictions on a few blocks located in residential neighborhoods, including sections of East, Foltz, and Bike streets.
The next meeting of the Bremen Town Council will be held on Tuesday, October 14 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers of Bremen Town Hall. This is a change from the regular Monday evening meeting date, as Monday, October 13 marks the observance of Columbus Day.