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Danville City Council – LIVE! (4/5/16)

(Editor’s Note: Yuck. This article is a mess. I’m in the editing process now, but it’s going to take a while.)

SouthsideCentral was LIVE! for Monday’s Danville City Council meeting. We’re in the editing process now.

Tonight’s business session only has one item of major interest, that being the probable approval of the indoor shooting range just below Riverside Health & Rehabilitation Center.

We’re underway! Sherman Saunders leads the prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Alonzo Jones is out tonight.

Rachel Covington & Julie Brown accept a proclamation for Averett’s Center for Community Engagement and Career Competitiveness.

City IT Director Inez Rodenburg talks about the city’s new websites that have been recently introduced.

Here’s an example of the new features of the city’s website.

Harold Garrison is up first in the public comment section. He’s speaking against the proposed precision machining project at GW.

Harold Garrison shows examples of things that have been 3D printed.

School Board members Steven Gould & Ed Polhamus have no visible reaction to Garrison’s comments.

Mike Miller is up next in the public comment section. He asks for North Main Street access to the Riverwalk Trail, and floats the idea of a pedestrian bridge due to the dangerous intersection at River Street.

In a quick addition to the agenda, Council passes a resolution to hire Ken Larking as city manager. Larking has been working as interim city manager since Joe King retired. I knew this was going to happen and had expected it last month. That being said, this was a surprise to me and all other media.

Ken Larking takes his oath of office from City Clark Sue DeMasi with his family beside him. I’m really not sure why the city manager needs an oath of office.

Larking’s contract is for a $150,000 annual salary, a $500 per month car allowance (he doesn’t get a city car), and $3000 per year for his own personal retirement fund. For reference, Joe King’s annual salary was $167,000 when he retired.

No wonder Amanda Paez was at tonight’s meeting. Heh.

We move to regular business. It’s almost all zoning and special use permit issues tonight. First, a 0.005 acre alleyway on Pine Street is vacated for future use. Next, a special use permit is approved for restrooms at the newly remodeled Abreu-Grogan Park on Memorial Drive. Fred Shanks questions why the restrooms will have a holding tank and will need to be pumped by the city. Planning Director Ken Gillie explains that due to the city’s water intake just above the park, building a sewer line was too expensive. Shanks asked that if Duke Energy was paying for the remodeling, couldn’t they have also paid for a pumping station? Shanks asks Ken Larking to see how much it will cost to pump the sewage using Public Works.

We move to a city zoning ordinance change that defines what a “indoor shooting facility” is and also extends Urban Agriculture to the Neighborhood-Commercial zoning class. This has to be done for the next zoning cases to be heard.

And here we go with Phil Strader’s special use permit application for the indoor shooting range located just below Riverside Health & Rehabilitation Center on Riverside Drive.

School Board Chairman Ed Polhamus speaks to explain that the school board’s recorded opposition to the shooting range was only the proximity to Bonner & Westwood Middle Schools.

Phil Strader answers council’s questions about the indoor shooting range.

Council asks Strader some questions about the business proposal. Sherman Saunders also asks questions, so he can join in the debate when needed and when he wants to. The proposal passes unanimously. After that, North Main Baptist Church’s request for Urban Agriculture flies through. Around the horn session is next. Everyone offers congratulations to Ken Larking for getting the city manager job.

We move to the work session (editing in progress).

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