Motley votes to spend $570 monthly for planning and zoning services

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

Hometown Planning Services gave the city of Motley three options for its planning and zoning services in November 2012. Due to more research needed and absenteeism at meetings, the Council waited to choose option one at the March 12 meeting.

Hometown Planning provides ongoing assistance with updating zoning ordinances and land use planning services.

The first option from the Alexandria company provides for either five or 10 hours of service each month at a cost of $570 or $1,080, respectively. Any additional hours would be billed at either $76 per hour over the five-hour option or $72 per hour over the 10-hour option. A six-month minimum contract would be signed and any unused hours would be carried over to the following month up to the end of the contract.

That option also included, at no extra cost:

• Updating the zoning information binders;

• Updating the city’s zoning map;

• An annual review of changes made by the state legislature and subsequently updating the city’s zoning ordinance to reflect those changes;

• One training session per month on a relevant zoning or land use topic;

• Use of a Web page on the Hometown Planning’s Web site; and

• Hometown Planning’s presence at regular planning and zoning meeting dates.

The second option offered flat-rate billing for reviewing applications, preparing and attending hearings, site visits and other services. Billing would be at $80 per permit and $400 per application. Attendance at public hearings, council meetings and others would be billed at $350 per session if in person and $80 per hour by phone.

The third option was a straight hourly rate of $100 per hour plus expenses for all work done.

“Why should we spend almost $7,000 a year for the services when we have slow months when nothing is going on,” Mayor Nancy Nieken said. “We have spent $58 per month maximum in the past several months.”

“Option one is an investment in the city,” said Councilman Rob Sampson.

“It’s important to have the Zoning Administration on board with us,” said Councilman Pat O’Regan. “Some months we may spend more than $570, so the first option looks the best. Plus, we get training with option one.”

The new contract will take effect April 1.

Motley City Council briefs

Other business conducted by the Motley City Council Tuesday night included:

• Approving Schlenner Wenner and Company’s audit of the city’s financial statements for 2012;

• Voting to add Councilman Rob Sampson to the Street and Lighting Committee, Councilwoman Amy Hutchison to the Mosquito Spraying Committee and Steve Johnson to the Personnel Policy Guidelines Committee;

• Voting to allow Rod Enberg to pay the city 50 percent of his rent for the use of city property during the time of street construction in 2012. Endberg claimed he could only use the property 50 percent of the time;

• Accepting the donation of two cold-water rescue Mustang suits from the Motley Fire Department’s Relief Association;

• Agreeing that the Police Department’s schedule be given out on a need-to-know basis and that Police Chief Brian Madison would decide who to five it out to;

• Voting that Johnson serve on the Parks Committee with Sampson as the alternate;

• Learning the city’s annual clean-up day is scheduledfor Saturday, May 11;

• Granting an application for a bingo permit to St. Michael’s Catholic Church to be used Sunday, March 24; and

• Setting the Board of Review for April 26.

The next City Council meeting will be held at the Motley City Hall Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m.