The meeting was called to order with a reminder to silence mobile devices. Council President Jerry Bragg led the opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. The minutes from 06/16/2020 were reviewed and unanimously approved. The claims were also unanimously approved.

The council moved on to old business.

Steve Robertson gave an update on the Downtown Revitalization Grant Project. The playground will remain open, but an orange barrier fence separates the playground on the west and north side. The sidewalk presents a natural barrier on the east and south sides. Clyde Compton and Scott Andrews then presented the first reading of the Fencing Ordinance 2020-01. The first reading was passed unanimously. The ordinance will be posted on the door of town hall for public review.

Council then moved on to presentation of the Minimum Square Foot Ordinance 2020-02 first reading. It posits requiring homes in the town limits to have a minimum of 1000 square feet of living area. It also required a dwelling be in place before an accessory building could be built on a property within town limits. The is ordinance also passed on the first reading.

New business started off with a park request from Susan Thayer-Fye of Main Street of Hope for a Studebaker car show on Saturday September 26th from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. The Studebaker group had scheduled a car show for the weekend of Heritage Days and wanted to continue with their show even though Heritage Days was cancelled. Main Street also wanted to hold a rally and a parade to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. Deb Sloane would present her suffrage program from the bandstand.

Susan also asked for bathroom usage for the car show and cruise-ins as the first cruise in is scheduled for August 7th. The fire department had also expressed interest in holding a fish fry in conjunction with the car show to try and recoup lost revenue from the cancellation of Heritage Days, but had not yet fully committed to a presence. The council consensus was no activities in the square until after the construction for the Downtown Revitalization Project was finished.

It was also announced the construction company for Downtown Revitalization Project had asked for a 30-day extension on the square project. Such an extension would mean construction would still be ongoing inside the square during the proposed event. Council approved the event only if it was held in the streets surrounding the square, and not in the square itself. Council agreed there could be no use of the bandstand for a program. They ruled no to using town hall’s bathrooms during the event as they could not be adequately sanitized.

Reopening of the outside public bathrooms was discussed. It has not happened yet this year due to the pandemic and fears of how to keep them sanitized properly. Councilwoman Nellie Meek reminded those present everything was contingent with the Governor’s orders regarding Covid-19 and those order must take precedence over town events. Susan did not feel the Governor’s orders would be violated and a car show had never drawn over 250 people in the past.

Whitney Budd of the Student’s Fund of Hope was on the schedule to ask about another park request, the third annual prayer circle. Local clergy and townspeople meet to pray for a smooth start to the school year and for all the students and teachers. She apologized for being unaware of the park construction and limitations on park use during construction. She would seek an alternative location. She also asked if she would need to seek and alternative location for the Student Fund’s movie night scheduled for October 2nd. The consensus was she would need to find an alternative location for that event as well. That event may not be able to happen at all under the current Governor’s orders as it drew a crowd of over 250y. Council suggested she come back closer to the date of the movie night to check on obtaining park usage for that event.

Council then moved on to the sign ordinance review. Councilwoman Nellie Meek brought up that political signs are supposed to be removed within 10 days of an election. She then posited council business should not be conducted via private emails and texts, everything needed to be voted on in a public meeting. The need for disclaimers on political signs was pointed out. The allowable time limits before and after an election regarding the placement of campaign signs was also discussed. Responsibility for removal of signs was also discussed. Scott Andrews pointed out all signs must be treated the same by the ordinance, political signs could not be treated differently. He also pointed out the possibility for a freedom of speech violation by limiting political signs on private property. He reviewed reasonable standards for political signs and suggested a private working session and more research take place before the sign ordinance could be re-written so as not to violate first amendment rights.

Councilman Clyde Compton read precedence from the Supreme Court and ACLU regarding political signs. Scott Andrews maintained what he had said agreed with Clyde’s readings. Towns cannot restrict signs based on content. Ordinances strictly against or for political signs can not be passed. He again suggested a working session if the town wanted to revisit the sign ordinance.

Pastor Ed Cottrell them presented Main Street’s annual Clean Up Day. He presented dumpster quotes form Best Way and CGS and noted Rumpke had not responded. He also pointed out no paint, solvents or tires would be allowed in the dumpster and suggested they be located in a monitored or fenced area so illegal items did not get dumped before or after official clean up hours. He also presented a quote from Shred-It for document shredding.

Council voted unanimously to hold clean up day again. A tentative date for mid to late August was discussed. Pastor Ed inquired if he needed to go before EDIT to obtain funding. Councilman Clyde Compton suggested they just approve the clean up day and bypass the EDIT committee to make Clean Up day happen faster. Councilman Ed Johnson suggested this was not a good idea and asked how the EDIT members would feel if the approval bypassed them. He also asked why have a committee if they could just be bypassed. Council consensus was the clean up day should be put off until September so it could be presented to EDIT, as town council would have the final vote anyway.

Councilman Clyde Compton then moved on to the next item on the agenda, Building & Zoning violation updates. A review was asked for by Matt Galbraith regarding what happened to complaints in this department after they were turned over to the attorney. Matt Galbraith and Scott Andrews had been in contact via email and had set up a meeting to discuss, follow up and research each case.

Matt Tallent then presented changes to police rules and regulations. He wanted to change the residency requirements for a police officer from a five-mile radius of town limits to a twenty-mile radius. Council voted to amend the regulation from five miles to twenty miles with town council approval on a case by case basis. They then motioned to accept Deputy Joseph Gordan as passed.

Diane Burton then presented employee handbook update ordinance 2020-03 the first reading regarding compliance changes from New Focus HR to the employee handbook. The first change was regarding sick pay earned at the anniversary of employment instead of at the first of the year. Holiday pay was then discussed by Matt Tallent with a change requiring the holiday be worked before floating holiday pay was granted. The policies would be separated in the employee handbook. The ordinance was passed on the first reading.

A motion was passed to install a meter at 209 Raymond Street.

The meeting was opened for public comments. Nellie Meek apologized to the public for the ugliness that night and for her part in it.

The meeting was adjourned.

A link to the council meeting live video feed may be found on the town's Facebook page.