Catawba Street hot topic of last night's New Haven Board of Aldermen meeeting

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The New Haven Board of Aldermen met at a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, August 8, 2011.  The board reviewed, discussed, and approved various items throughout the meeting.

Nathan Parmentier was appointed to the New Haven Park Board, replacing Jana Monzyk following her resignation because she no longer lives within the city limits of New Haven.

During the Public Comment section of the Agenda, property owner of 910 Maupin Street approached the board stating he had received a letter from the city.  This letter informed the property owner that his property is in need of improvements and that he has until September 1, 2011 to complete his renovations.  He expressed to the board that the work will start as soon as the material comes in.  City Attorney, Charles Hurth stated that this matter should be taken up between the property owner and the building department and inspector, Leon Riegel.  The property owner thanked Mayor George Panhorst for their conversation on the matter.

The Police Department is not sure where the false Water Boil Order originated (QNHN was the first to break this story within 30 minutes).  An assumption was made that the automated system misdialed the prefix by one number and that it was meant for a different city; as the number it derived from was an out of state number.

Julius Gatzemeyer brought up the situation of Catawba Street in the Public Works Department report.  He believes that it is possible to repair the upper portion of the street and expects it to take 75 – 100 tons of rock ($500-$1000), and two to three days labor for two people.  Mayor Panhorst questioned the board if the work is “worth it” and asked Steve Roth if the street can be vacated or closed.  Roth said "the street can be vacated if the property owners are notified, however I would rather see the street closed than vacated."

There are 11 lots on the street with no residents.  Alderwoman Melissa Venardos brought up the issue of the property value dropping if the street were closed or vacated.  Mayor Panhorst stated that he would rather see the money spent on McNair Street.  Gatzemeyer said, "the rock was placed and ditch work was completed on Catawba Street today."  Roth said, "The city cannot leave the street in the condition it is currently in, it needs to be closed, vacated, or taken care of.”

The question was raised between the difference of closing a street verses vacating a street.  Hurth said, "You can close a street for a parade, road work, etcetera but vacating a street transfers half of the road to one property owner and the other half of the road to the property owner on the other side of the street.  The landowners are then responsible for their portion of the street, and to what specifications the street is to be maintained."  Hurth does not support closing or vacating the street and said, “We are one unhappy person away from a problem.”

Roth was approached by property owner Shawn Groppe about the situation prior to the meeting.  Police Chief Sheible said, "Rather than closing the road, it could be closed to local traffic only."  Mayor Panhorst said, I have bad feelings about this and that closing it is, not going to fly”.  Alderman T. Panhorst would like to see the road maintained to be passible and made a one-way street.

The situation was referred to the Street Committee, Bell and Venardos.  The committee will meet and bring a proposition to the board at the next meeting.

Within the Ordinances and Resolutions, Bill No. 11-1014, “An ordinance relating to the impoundment, care, and disposition of animals in the city” was once again presented; as it was at the meeting on July 11, 2011.  At that time, the bill had not been reviewed by Hurth or the Veterinary Clinic and was not recommended for approval.  At this time, City Administrator Roth has no changes to the bill.  He identified the need to update to the state statutes and regulations to make sure that New Haven is within compliance.  The bill is not expansive and only includes dogs and cats that the New Haven Police have taken into custody.  Police Chief Sheible indicated that there are no changes; the indications expressed in the bill are current practices.  The only change is the fees that are being charged to the city by the Veterinary Clinic, which is $200 per dog and $160 per cat for ten days of care.

Alderman Harold Ray questioned two vehicles that are on Maupin Street, a Chevelle and a Ranchero.  Although they have historical plates, Ray said, "If they are not in working order they must be placed in a building; not visible from the street."  Sheible said, "If a police report was made, Hurth could review it.  Speculations cannot be made until a report is made."  Ray intends on serving a notice.

The Building Department did 13 inspections in July.  Ray questioned the residence of 104 Melrose.  He is wondering if there is anyone living there, if it is an elderly person, or simply vacant.  He looked on the voter registration list and there is no one registered at that address.

The Emergency Management Department informed the board that Chris Miller checked on New Haven Manor as well as other retirement housings throughout the heat advisories, as did the New Haven Police Department.

The next New Haven Board of Aldermen Meeting will be held Monday, September 12, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.