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Sunnyside City Council Briefs

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Dark Horse Inn liquor license request put on hold

At the request of Councilman Don Vlieger, the approval of the liquor license renewal for Sunnyside's Dark Horse Inn was put on hold Monday night.

Vlieger asked, and received, for the request for approval to be tabled until a more detailed report from the Sunnyside Police Department is available. He said the initial report shows local police were called to the establishment 44 times in 2004.

"Loud music is a lot of it," Vlieger said. "Who would want to be a neighbor to it? Forty-four calls is too many."

Police Chief Ed Radder said he anticipates having a more detailed report on the types of calls his officers responded to at the lounge available by the Jan. 24 Council meeting.

The Sunnyside Council did approve the liquor license renewal requests from STM Market, the Blue Moon Bar and Grill, Highway Fruit and Rite Aid.

Restucci named president of Industrial Development Corporation

The Industrial Development Corporation board of directors, comprised of Sunnyside City councilmen and Sunnyside Port District commissioners, Monday night elected Jim Restucci as the board's president for 2005. He succeeds fellow City Councilman Don Vlieger.

Also named as officers of the 2005 board were Port Commissioner Arnold St. Martin as vice president and City Councilman Bruce Ricks as secretary.

Sunnyside's Industrial Development Corporation, formed in 1982, is charged with facilitating economic development and employment opportunities. The agency helps secure financing for industrial development facilities, through issuance of revenue bonds.

Monday night, the City Council also approved to amend the Industrial Development Corporation's charter, which increases the boundaries of the agency from the city limits to encompass all Sunnyside Port District property.

Four-day work week to continue

City Manager Bob Stockwell Monday night informed the City Council he plans to continue with the 10-hour, four-day work week he implemented for city staff in July 2004.

The six-month trial period, said Stockwell, has proven to be successful.

Stockwell noted that usage of sick leave by city employees decreased by 26 percent since the city switched to a four-day work week, and overtime decreased by 43 percent. He said using an average hourly rate of $20 for the 1,511 hours saved in overtime the last six months, that translates to a savings of more than $30,000.

He also said the city has noted a significant number of visits by customers during the extended hours at city hall Monday through Thursday. Stockwell, too, detailed that initially there was a concern contractors wouldn't have access to city staff for building inspections on Fridays, but arrangements were made so contractors can schedule needed inspections on Fridays by calling in Thursday afternoon.

Council refers annexation request to city planners

The Sunnyside City Council Monday evening, via a 6-1 vote, approved forwarding an annexation request to the Sunnyside Planning Commission.

The Bonny family has filed a notice of intention to commence annexation proceedings. The family's property, about 40 acres in size, fronts both SR-241 and Factory Road. City Manager Bob Stockwell said the Bonny's have indicated they want their property zoned R-1, which is designated for single family, stick-built homes.

Councilman Don Vlieger said he is excited to see R-1 property being added to the city, and asked that Council add a recommendation to the Planning Commission that the property be zoned R-1.

Councilman Paul Garcia, a former member of the Planning Commission, said making such a recommendation when forwarding the annexation request to the Planning Commission ties the hands of the commissioners. Garcia said the city planners should be allowed to arrive at their own conclusions, in terms of zoning designations.

Vlieger disagreed, saying the recommendation is simply a suggestion.

Garcia countered that with Vlieger already saying he wouldn't vote for the annexation unless it's zoned R-1, "...it's more than just a recommendation."

The remaining Council members didn't see it Garcia's way and voted 6-1 to forward the annexation request to the Planning Commission with the recommendation noted by Vlieger.

Police to lease five vehicles

Police Chief Ed Radder's request to sign a lease-purchase agreement for five police vehicles with a Dennison, Texas firm was approved Monday night by the Sunnyside City Council.

The agreement, which totals $140,635, will bring in three marked sedans, an unmarked sedan and one unmarked SUV for use by the local police department. All five vehicles will come fully equipped with police computer equipment.

At the end of the three-year lease agreement the city will take possession of the five vehicles. The plan, said Radder, is to sell the three-year-old vehicles to other police departments while they still have retail value.

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