Mexico City Council Monday night approved resolutions giving the health unit and senior center funding for services they provide to the community, and passed over another resolution that would have approved Auffenberg Motor Company for a forgivable loan to do a redevelop project at its Liberty Street dealership. This is the second time this issue has come before the council and no action was taken.
All four councilmen and the mayor were present to begin the regular monthly meeting held in the third-floor Council Chambers at City Hall. Councilman Steve Nichols was called away on an ambulance call and the meeting continued.
The City of Mexico contributed $26,875 to the Audrain City-County Health Unit to provide community health activities and $11,000 to the Mexico Senior Nutrition Center to help offset operational costs related to providing programs, activities and nutritional luncheon services. The city has been financially assisting the senior center since 2000 and the health unit since 1999.
ACCHU Administrator Kevin Lowrance and Senior Center Director Sally Crow both thanked council members and the city for their support.
"It's been a good partnership," Lowrance said, noting the 51-year partnership ACCHU had with the city through the soon-to-be defunct compact agreement that funded the health unit for slightly more than five decades. This allotment is the city's final support payment for ACCHU. A mill tax was placed on the ballot and passed in 2011 for ACCHU to receive funding to support its own programs. The health unit's name will also change at the end of the year.
The City's 2012-2013 annual budget allows the funding to contribute to both entities. Council approved the spending for both with 5-0 votes.
The resolution that was passed over by council involved the city entering into a contract with Mex Property I, LLC and Mex Property II, LLC (the Auffenberg Motor Company) to assist in the implementation of the Mex Properties Redevelopment Project.
Mex Properties does own property on the south side of Mexico but according to city officials, the company is currently "desirous of a synergistic relationship with the city." Mex Properties wants to improve its downtown dealership by investing in excess of $200,000. The business also plans to purchase its current location at 202 W. Liberty which they have leased since June 2009.
The purchase of that property is scheduled to close on or before November 2012. The company also purchased the adjoining property, in July, located at 216 West Liberty known as the pawn shop building.
Mex Properties states its desire to grow its dealership in downtown Mexico by making improvements to their current site and building, along with the demolition of the pawn shop building. The improvements will provide better visibility and inventory display of the company's car dealership. Currently, the business has 17 employees.
In the past, the City has made grants and loans for the substantial economic growth and improvements of its downtown and surrounding areas. In this case, the City would agree to provide Mex Properties – upon substantial completion of the redevelopment project – a $5,000 Community Development Rehabilitation Grant and a $5,000 Forgivable Demolition Loan for the clearing of blight and for the economic growth and improvement of their property located in downtown Mexico.
Mayor Ron Loesch said Monday night the council was "not ready to address it." However, council did approve an ordinance conveying a strip of land 3.5 feet in width to Mex Property I, L.L.C.
A search of the real estate records revealed that the City of Mexico obtained title to a certain piece of real estate described in a Warranty Deed dated Nov. 13, 1922 and recorded in Book 100 at Page 291 of the Deed Records of Audrain County.
The real estate is a 3.5-foot strip of land that runs north to south immediately adjacent to the east side of the current Auffenberg Motors building. Mex Property I, LLC (Auffenberg Motor Company) wishes to purchase the property along and adjacent to each side of this 3.5-foot strip of land. City officials said it serves no public purpose to own this real estate and the purchasing landowner has agreed to accept title to the real estate in question for $10 and other good and valuable consideration. Council heard two readings and passed the ordinance 4-0.
Under new business, council approved (4-0) hiring Hoefer Wysocki Architects, LLC for services to update the city's comprehensive plan. The 2011-2012 and 2012 and 2013 annual budgets allow $120,000 for the update of the comprehensive plan. HWA contract amount is $107,830 and an add alternative, with a maximum not to exceed $9,400, for the web-based public outreach program for a total project not to exceed $117,230.
Council also heard and approved the following:
• second reading of an ordinance city code relating to sanitary sewer use charge.
• a dental insurance agreement with Met Life for city employees and their families; and
• appointed Janine Vogel and Sheila Bhatka to the Mexico Tourism Commission.