The Rolla City Council’s agenda was filled with new business during their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Ordinances and talk of a Fiscal Sustainability Committee who’s job would be to consider the economic sustainability and stability of the city, were a few highlights.

The Rolla City Council’s agenda was filled with new business during their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16. The meeting was moved to Tuesday in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Prior to the discussion on new business. Floyd Jernigan, parks and recreation director, gave the annual Centre and Parks report to the council. Floyd began with a general overview, citing a lower capital expense in 2017 than in 2016, with an increased pass membership to The Centre.

Floyd also highlighted The Centre’s aquatics, fitness and recreation programs, along with several other statistics that will be discussed in an upcoming article in The Rolla Daily News.

The first item of new business, an ordinance consolidating several lot’s of the Cowan’s Addition into one lot through a re-subdivision process. According to council documents, “all of the parcels involved in this lot consolidation…are owned by the Meyer Rentals LLC,” who is the applicant for the ordinance. Their goal, according to the ordinance, is to establish a “mini-storage facility” on the resulting parcel.

The proposers of the ordinance requested a final reading by the council, who agreed and passed the ordinance.

The council also heard the first reading of the ordinance potentially changing 901 Oakland Drive into two lots, and the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into a sewer user agreement with Kenneth L. Light for his property located at lots 7B and 6A in Audubon Place, Rolla. Light has submitted an application for annexation of the property, according to the ordinance.

A memo from Rolla Municipal Utilities (RMU) was included in council documents, saying RMU “support[s] annexation at this time” to provide electric services. According to the memo, if the property annexes after construction, RMU “will not be able to provide electric service.”

Following the discussion regrind the lots in Audubon Place, the council heard a request to amend Rolla’s Planning and Zoning Code, “in a way that adjusts the height regulation for various zoning districts.”

City Administrator John Butz said many businesses are following the trend of higher walls for their buildings, and it makes sense for the city to amend their codes to meet the needs and desires of business and property owners. Butz added they will still be considering issues such as overcrowding when figuring the new height requirements.

At a previous council meeting, Dec. 18, new ways to notify the public about potential land use changes would be implemented.

Currently, notifications are provided through mail and posted in The Rolla Daily News. The committee recommended the following additional methods of communication:
* Notification on Rolla’s government website and social media
* Posting physical signs on each side of the street within the subject land parcel
* Expanded area for mail notifications

Engaging new notification methods would increase the total cost of processing land use change proposals, according to council documents. Processing these requests includes a staff review and report, as well as the creation of a presentation for the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council.

Council documents say that since these are public services, the council does not expect the full costs to be recovered. However, without an increase of fees, the recovery rate is expected to drop about 3 percent.

During the portion of the meeting reserved for fiscal claims and transactions, the council awarded a bid for one 10 cubic-yard packer truck for environmental services, as well as awarding financial adviser services for sewer capital improvements.  Funds were also transferred from the Parks and Recreation Sales Tax Account to Cover the Recreation Operating Deficit.

Finally, the Mayor began an introductory discussion regarding a Fiscal Sustainability Committee, who’s job would be to consider the economic sustainability and stability of the city. One of the topics included in the discussion is how to make up for declining sales tax revenue as more residents are shopping online for different needs.

This discussion will continue in future city council meetings, alongside the final readings for the above ordinances. The next Rolla City Council meeting will be on February 5.