Atlantic City Council to hear “E-Notify” texting service proposal & TIF request


March 4th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Note: The City Council meeting will be held at the Senior Citizen’s Center, NOT City Hall**

The Atlantic City Council, Wednesday evening, will receive information from Fire Chief Mark McNees, with regard to the adding of an “E-Notify” text message notification service for emergency responders, to the Cass County Communications Center. Cass County 911 Coordinator Rob Koppert has indicated that if the local fire departments want to add cell phone text notifications of emergency calls, that decision would have to be made by each City Council in the County.

City Administrator Doug Harris says there are some questions as to the relative effectiveness of the procedure, and cost. Harris says while the volunteer firefighters would like to be able to get emergency text messages on their cell phones, it may take as long as 10-minutes for them to receive it. In addition, Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green has indicated it would place an extra work load on dispatchers, and likely require more personnel at the Comm. Center. Harris is expected to recommend the Council refer the matter to the Community Protection Committee for review and recommendation.

In other business, the Council will receive an application request from local developer Don Sonntag, for a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) grant, in the amount of $250,000. The funds would be used to help him construct a 10 duplex condominium housing development known as Southern Height II. The 20 units would be available for sale or rent.

If the Council approves the TIF application, it would be the first under the City’s new policy governing both commercial/industrial and residential developments. Harris is expected to ask the Council to refer the application to the Community Development Committee for its review and recommendation, since the TIF Policy indicates the use of TIF incentives is a discretionary program, and not an entitlement.

There are still many steps the Council must take before any development takes place in the subdivision even if it approves the TIF application, including a public hearing on the City’s Southeast Urban Renewal Plan, discussions with the Atlantic Community School District and County, and other such procedures.

The Atlantic City Council meeting begins 5:30-p.m., Wednesday, at the Senior Citizen’s Center, next door to the Atlantic City Hall.