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Councilors discuss Town Plaza Apartments

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Roswell City Councilors congratulated the Roswell High School football team

Roswell City Councilors congratulated the Roswell High School football team for its state championship during the city council meeting on Thursday night. Mayor Dennis Kintigh reflected on his opportunity to speak with the team prior to the championship game, and thanked educators and coaches who engage the youth of Roswell. (Alison Penn Photo)

Officials also set public hearing on changing meeting times

The Roswell City Council on Thursday discussed problems at the Town Plaza Apartments, which are facing condemnation, while also approving a number of agenda items.

The bulk of the one-and-a-half hour full city council meeting was dedicated to presentation of the city’s new branding effort. In addition, the council approved three resolutions and authorized advertisement of a public hearing for next month’s meeting, which will address changing the times of the future city council meetings. All of the councilors were present, with the exception of Councilor Jacob Roebuck.

• The first resolution, approved unanimously, was to align the city’s budget with the Department of Finance’s newly implemented Local Government Budget Management System (LGBMS). Finance Director Monica Garcia called this a “housekeeping” matter.

• As discussed at a previous special meeting, the council approved the amended 2020-2024 Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan with a vote of 8 to 1. Councilor Caleb Grant cast the lone dissenting vote.

•The final resolution approved Thursday declared the city’s intention to use the $1.5 million Urban Development Action Grant funds at the Roswell International Air Center (RIAC). The council’s vote was unanimous.

Town Plaza

During the reports given at end of the meeting, City Manager Joe Neeb shared a slideshow of photos taken at Town Plaza Apartments, at 1201 W. McGaffey St., to show the council what the city is facing. An inspection and notice of potential condemnation of the apartments took place on Jan. 10 and there are provisions for the property owner to contact the city by Thursday, before the city proceeds with condemnation.

The apartments’ owner was given until Thursday to come to an agreement about fixing a number of problems identified by city officials.

Calling attention to sewage leaks on the property grounds and improper water line fixes, Neeb said the city had been receiving calls and complaints about the property from the residents. He also said there has been evidence of vagrants, electric problems and other “hazards.”

Councilor Steve Henderson said the Town Plaza situation was “an embarrassment for the community.”

Councilor Juan Oropesa asked what will happen to tenants who don’t qualify for Section 8 vouchers — which can help reduce rent for those who qualify — and Bill Morris, community development director, said the city will provide hotel rooms for one week for a “handful” of these tenants.

Oropesa also asked why it took to long to condemn the apartments. In response, Morris said the units had been inspected individually, but not the whole site until Jan. 10. Morris said it is now policy to address facilities as a whole.

Other business

In regard to the public hearing on the city council meeting times, Councilor George Peterson voted in opposition, while other councilors approved the measure.

In his report, Neeb said beginning in March city council meetings are planned to be held in the Roswell Convention & Civic Center, in place of the Basset Auditorium in the Roswell Museum and Art Center. Elections for mayor pro tem, a councilor who acts as mayor if the need arises, are planned for next month’s city council meeting, Neeb said. Oropesa is the current mayor pro tem.

As part of the consent agenda, Highway Supply Inc. was awarded $110,052.94 for the RIAC airfield marking project.

Weeds are to be cleaned up at around 35 different properties in the city and seven dilapidated structures are required to be demolished or removed.

The Roswell High School State Champion football team and coaches were also recognized by the city at the beginning of the meeting.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.