The Columbus City Council looks to fill some holes on various city boards tonight when it meets at 5 p.m. at the Municipal Complex.
Three spots on the eight-member Planning Commission are soon to be vacant with the expiration of Wayne West”s and McArthur Inge”s terms and the resignation of 30-year board member Tyson Graham. Attorney P. Nelson Smith Jr. of the firm Hicks & Smith has submitted an application and will be considered for appointment by the council.
Neither West nor Inge has submitted an application for reappointment to the commission.
Membership on the Planning Commission brings an inherent measure of power as the commission can deny requests for zoning changes or allow them to advance to the City Council. However, Columbus Chief Operating Officer David Armstrong says the unpaid position is “probably more work than anything.”
Adjustments and Appeals Board
The city will also discuss openings on the recently formed Adjustments and Appeals Board, which handles grievances and appeals related to building codes.
Four of six positions on the Adjustments and Appeals Board have been filled since its inception in April, but no applications have been received to fill the final two positions. Armstrong says the extensive education and experience required to sit on the board drastically narrows the pool of potential applicants. The final two positions call for an “electrical engineer or contractor” and a “registered design professional with architectural or structural experience.”
No business has come before the board since its inception, but Armstrong says a quorum exists if all four members are present.
More on the agenda
Other business to come before the board will include:
- Consideration of changes to the city wrecker policy.
City Attorney Jeff Turnage says the policy is being amended to prohibit return fees on cars which have been towed. He said the city has received complaints from citizens after one of the city”s five or six rotating contracted wrecker services charged a pull-out fee on top of the $130 towing fee and the $30 nightly storage fee. All of the fees go directly to the wrecker services.
- Request to abandon sections of Ninth Avenue South from Second Street to Fourth Street South, and Third Street South from 10th Street South to the south line of Illinois Central Gulf rail right-of-way.
Columbus Housing Authority Director Earl Weeks is asking that the property be abandoned for the purposes of constructing a new 5,000-square-foot Housing Authority office building. The Housing Authority already owns the property, which was originally platted for street construction, but was never developed and consists of an empty field. Weeks expects the single-story office building to cost approximately $800,000 and construction to begin after Thanksgiving. The project is funded by rent received from Columbus” 480 Housing Authority apartments and funds from the Office of Housing and Urban Development.
- Request to hire a full-time Property and Evidence Control Technician for the Columbus Police Department.
The technician will “receive, identify, classify, process, store, safeguard, oversee delivering of and release of evidence from an Evidence Analyst, case agents/detectives, and others.” As well as maintain documentation, prepare evidence for laboratory testing and testify in court as necessary.
Police will present a candidate to the board Tuesday who meets the requirements of holding a bachelor”s degree and has one year of experience in a related area.
Jason Browne was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.
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