At the Dec. 4 Whitehall City Council meeting, Mayor Lynn Ochsendorf announced that, after several phone calls, she had good news to report regarding the Army Reserve Center on Country Club Drive.
The previous week, Councilman Chris Rodriguez vehemently questioned the timely filing of the paperwork to the federal government for the city to acquire the facility once the army vacates it in 2009.
It did not appear that former development director Matt Shad would submit the Local Redevelopment Authority’s plan to architects Rogers and Krajnak for them to be able to make the Dec. 15 filing deadline.
Through some unexplained miscommunication, Shad had relayed that the filing had to be on display and advertised for 14 days prior to the submission. However, the mayor’s office discovered that there was only a seven-day period for displaying and advertising the plans.
There will be a public hearing Dec.18, and the city was granted an extension to file by Dec. 31.
Rodriguez had also previously indicated that there were no more extensions possible. He thanked the mayor, Council President Brent Howard and Councilwoman Leslie LaCorte for their diligence and phone calls to find a resolution.
The paperwork has to be filed with HUD headquarters in Washington, D.C., HUD office in Columbus, and Department of Defense in Washington, D.C.
In other business, Howard announced that Mike Shannon was sworn in to the office of City Attorney Dec. 3. Council then appointed Rodriguez to serve the unexpired term of Council-at-Large vacated by Shannon.
Rodriguez now vacates his unexpired term as Ward 1 councilman. He will begin his four-year at-large term Jan. 1. Rodriguez’s Ward 1 seat will also have to be filled ed for the remaining two years.
Howard said council is advertising the position, and is receiving applications in the council office until Dec. 10.
Councilwoman-at-large-elect Jackie Thompson said that she objects to the Ward 1 appointment before the end of the year with only a few weeks left since it blocks her from voting for a fellow council person she will be working with for the next two years.
In further business, Councilman Leo Knoblauch noted that all the railroad tracks are down. He anticipates concrete work and clean up will enable Yearling Road to be opened by Dec. 7.
The next council meeting will be Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Councilman Zach Woodruff was absent from the meeting.