• Last modified 2184 days ago (Aug. 2, 2018)


Free buildings for businesses, even sex shops?

Staff writer

Empty buildings on main street owned by Baker Lofts, LLC, will be offered free to entrepreneurs starting a downtown business, director of Peabody Main Street Association Morgan Marler said.

Ironically, later in Monday’s city council meeting, Police Chief Bruce Burke reported he’d been approached by a Peabody resident interested in opening six new businesses downtown.

It seemed like an answer to the building offer, until Burke shared the list of proposed businesses.

“An escort service, mini adult film theater, a pop shop for dancing with no alcohol served, nude modeling booth, private nude shows, and an adult film store to include adult sex toys,” he said.

Burke said he had consulted with the city attorney and city prosecutor but no written ordinances on types of retail stores were found.

Council members asked Burke to contact the attorney general and seek advisement.

They recommended Burke respond back to Terri Tucker, the resident interested in starting the new businesses, and ask her to attend the Aug. 27 meeting to answer questions.

Council member Jay Gfellor stated that the council would need to work on an ordinance specifying what types of businesses to allow downtown.

Hannah Bourbon presented a proposal to make a four minute promotion video of Peabody.

The effort is being supported by individual community member and businesses. The goal is to inspire a day trip to Peabody.

“It would be used on the city’s website and other social media venues,” Bourbon said.

Council pledged $100 to the video. Videographers have taken some preliminary shots and will be filming again on Wednesday.

After a short executive session, it was proposed to hire Peabody resident Christina Harper-Head as municipal court clerk and police secretary. If she accepts, she will start work Tuesday for training, pending drug and alcohol testing results.

After phoning Harper-Head, Burke stated she had accepted the position.

Due to the extreme drought, council encourages water conservation.

Citizens may have questions as to why conserve water when the city appears to be wasting water by letting it run down the drain. Water lines need periodic flushing. That’s where the water running in the streets comes from, public works supervisor Ronnie Harms said.

Council agreed that if people needed water for livestock or gardens, they could make arrangements to collect the flush water for no charge.

Council member Wilson said the city has already paid for the water so it’s a good idea to get some use out of it instead of draining off to the creek.

Ginger Whitney, chair for the Sept. 22 Fall Festival, reported a full slate of activities being planned.

As her first year leading the project, she feels a little overwhelmed but enjoys the challenge, she said.

Resident Jason Anderson addressed council to ask for an extension on his water bill payments. Anderson had suffered a stroke in February and has since been working to get disability payments.

City treasurer, Liz Harder, addressed financial questions from the council, and said she was there to support Anderson as he has been pro-active in working with the city office.

Anderson’s past due amount was $108.32. An anonymous donor paid the past due amount. Anderson now has a month to gather funds for his current bill.

A final payment of $1000 was approved to pay off the fire truck.

Fire Chief Mark Penner presented a quote for breathing packs for his fire fighters. It was held over to the Aug. 13 meeting so council can decide where it will come out of the budget.

Chief Burke reported a break-in at the city dog pound. Little damage was done and has since been repaired.

The dog involved in last week’s alleged biting incident was the only thing taken.

“I have no reason or evidence to think this was done by the owner,” Burke said. “In fact, the owner called us and said his dog was home. He wanted to know what was going on.”

Marty Stevenson of 407 N. Plum, requested through Burke for an additional 30 days to get the property up to city regulations.

Burke said he visited the property Saturday. He noticed some items had been taken care of but more needs to be done.

A 30-day extension was granted with the provision that no further extensions will be given.

Burke shared a damage assessment report regarding the June 30 storm.

Substantial damage was sustained and National Weather Service termed the storm as a micro-burst weather event.

Burke reported he had purchased a laptop for $699 for the police secretary which will adequately meet the needs. The current laptop will be moved to the city clerk’s office.

City clerk Jylle Wilson said she received numerous calls from upset parents about the pool being closed early.

There are a number of issues regarding the pool that will need to be addressed, said council member Wilson.

It was suggested that Mayor Larsen contact the pool manager and indicate the pool will be open during it’s posted hours, no matter how many people are swimming.

Exceptions would be mechanical problems and weather.

Numerous pieces of equipment were approved for purchase: paper folding machine, city clerk desk and shelving unit, and two metal utility storage units.

Last modified Aug. 2, 2018