The City Council in Atlantic Wednesday unanimously approved the establishment of rules and regulations for the use of the City’s Truck Parking lot off of Commerce Street. The motion to approve was made by Councilman Steve Livengood, who had earlier met with the Public Safety Committee, which recommended the City establish rules and a fee structures that would help the City address the various needs and problems associated with the site.
Under the rules, only tractors, trailers or similar combinations with a GCWR of more than 26,000 pounds when the towed vehicle’s GVWR is more than 10,000 pounds, will be allowed on the lot. The resolution also allows for no more than three parking stalls to be rented by an individual truck driver, same company or entity. Individuals or companies that legally reside in Atlantic can lease stalls for $1,200 per year minimum. Rental fees are due prior to January 1st of each year, with the lease period for one-year at a time. The City may set aside up to three stalls for short term leases at $40/week, for up to three weeks.
Livengood said the lot needs to be graded at very little cost to the city, a gravel surface added, and some way to designate stalls for the trucks and trailers, such as the addition of posts/signs with a numbering system. There are already concrete “dolly pads” in-place for truckers to drop their trailers and lower the supporting gear. The Council agreed, that the first thing the must be accomplished, is for the lot to be cleaned up.
The Council, on a four-to two vote, approved a request by the Iowa Department of Transportation, to pay for the Design Engineering costs associated with the Highway 6/7th Street Reconstruction Project. Councilpersons Shouse, Halder, Hayes and Hartkopf voting in favor, Livengood and Jimerson voting against. Livengood and Jimerson were opposed to the request because the ultimate responsibility for the road and its condition, falls on the State.
The split vote resulted from the fact there is no guarantee that if the City agreed to pay for some of the engineering costs, the DOT will, as they’ve hinted, bump the project up on their list for 2014 and doesn’t get dropped if funding isn’t available or the schedule gets pushed back. City Administrator Doug Harris said the DOT has agreed to limit Atlantic’s costs to $68,000, and funding approval from the Regional Planning Affiliate 13 for an advance draw down of future federal State Transportation Program (STP) funds, to pay the $68,000 for the design engineering phase. The total cost of the project is estimated at nearly $1.2-million.
Harris said he has received permission from the Regional Transit Authority to borrow ahead four-years and use the STP grant funds, which would mean those funds would not be available for City projects, which will also impact the taxpayers. In other business, the Atlantic City Council tabled until their next meeting on Nov. 6th, action on a resolution accepting and approving the acquisition of properties at 611 Linn and 1200 Birch Street, because the court has not yet released the abandoned properties. And, Mayor Dave Jones issued a proclamation recognizing Phillip Chinitz for his dedication and “tireless efforts to preserve Atlantic’s rich history.”
Chinitz is a lifelong resident of Atlantic, graduated from AHS and served in the military before coming back to town and becoming a sports writer for the local paper. Because of the efforts of Phil and his wife Trena to preserve the knowledge of Atlantic’s rich history, and is recognized as an authority on the City’s past, the Mayor appointed Chinitz as the “Official Historian for the City of Atlantic.”