By Meladi Brewer
VERSAILLES — Midmark speaks to council about the placement of furniture.
The Versailles Village Council met Wednesday to discuss furniture in the public-right-away, the purchase of utility software, and the purchase of a new skid loader. Chris Kemper with Midmark started the council meeting by speaking on behalf of The Hotel Versailles in regards to placing out-door furniture in the public-right-of-way along North Center Street.
Kemper advised the purpose of the request is a temporary solution to a problem that occurs during events in the 1819 room. In order to accommodate the increased number of guests, The Hotel moves the patio furniture to ensure there are enough tables and chairs for the guests.
“The Hotel is built right up to the right-of-way on Center Street,” Village Administrator Mike Busse said, “so the steps for The Hotel encroach into that public space already.”
Those steps had previously been agreed upon by the Board of Zoning and Appeals, Planning Commission, and the Council. Initially the Hotel was placing furniture on the outside of their building limits near those steps temporarily, but they would like to make it more permanent.
If The Hotel is not allowed to temporarily move the furniture to the right-of-way, they would have to move them off site for each event.
“The alternative is to take all of that off site by trailer- load it up and haul it out, or we can continue to move it over to that east side like we have done temporarily,” Kemper said.
He advised it initially had been intended as temporary, but after having guests utilize the furniture while waiting for tables and realizing they like “having a few pieces outside,” The Hotel began wondering if they could make it more permanent.
“At a minimum we would like to have two benches and a table out there on a regular basis. Then if we have an event and need to pull all the furniture off the patio, we want to be able to utilize that space as well,” Kemper said.
The right-of-way is approximately 10 feet wide, and the steps to The Hotel are within five feet. Kemper advised council the benches Midmark would like to place more on a permanent basis would not exceed the width of the steps.
“There would still be plenty of room for people to maneuver through the area,” Kemper said.
Assistant Village Administrator Kyle Francis advised council that the Hotel was built right up against the right away, and Busse agreed saying “there is no Hotel owned space to put the furniture on.” Francis also raised the idea of putting the park benches back into place that were along center street when the original hotel was standing.
The benches are painted black and would match the aesthetic of the Hotel, if they were to be put back in. They would be public access, and as discussed, the Hotel furniture would be considered public access as well because it would be on the right-of-way.
“If this is in the public right away, I don’t think you could tell people not to use it,” Busse said.
Mayor Jeff Subler said Busse’s comment reminded him of another potential issue.
“Is there an issue with somebody going in to get a drink and coming back out. That public right-of-way is not private property,” Mayor Subler said.
Kemper said guests are not permitted to take alcohol outside of the building, and they have a fenced in area designated for that intended purpose. Todd Dammeyer spoke up and went back to Francis’s previous comments about the park benches. He liked the idea of utilizing those assets.
Kemper said that idea is nice, but The Hotel would like to get approval to temporarily put the patio furniture on the right-of-way for a week during events in order to have the space.
“Just from a cost perspective it is a lot more feasible for us to move it down to the other side of the building,” Kemper said.
Kemper said The Hotel is also concerned about aesthetics. It looks good on the east side of the building, but it does not look good if it is stacked together in a different area. They would like everything to look put together and not thrown to the side.
The council had some concerns, as “what they do for one, they will have to do for all.” However, they agreed to get visuals of the furniture being moved during the next event The Hotel will host. Kemper was advised to take aerial, side, front and back pictures of the furniture being moved for the next event, and there will be discussion on how to proceed forward with a decision, as it was hard to visualize the ask.
“If it is a visual thing than that (moving the furniture) makes the most sense, but if it’s about the right-of-way, I think it doesn’t matter what it looks like at that point,” Subler said. “It depends on what we are determining.”
Kent Paulus asked about what the council did or did not approve of previous businesses. There were discussions about potentially allowing them access, as long as there is a minimum of five feet in distance. Maintaining five feet is difficult, but they agreed with seeing the visualization before making any decisions.
The Planning Commissioner will meet on Monday, June 5 from 6:30 p.m. at the Emergency Services Facility, 320 Baker Road to review the following items: a proposed vacation of an unimproved alley and road right of way at Franklin Street and Reed Avenue, review of proposed revised site plan for Greenville National Bank, review of proposed preliminary site plan for Steve Barhorst for East Wood and Maple Street, and have a preliminary discussion concerning a proposed DORA.
Busse updated council on the EMS squad damage that was done during a fire this past weekend. The Braun EMS squad was slightly damaged while on a fire scene on Kelch Road, and EMS Chief Matt Harvey is in the process of obtaining quotes for the needed repairs. The unit is still fully functional and remains in-service while waiting for the repairs to be completed.
NKTELCO has begun providing internet, TV, and telephone service to customers on the east side of the village. The areas that they are currently ready to provide services to include the Subler Drive Industrial Park, and the area that is bordered by East Main Street, East Ward Street, Olive Street and Second Street.
“They are continuing to install fiber and hope they have the installation fully built out by the end of the year,” Busse said.
The next Versailles Council meeting will take place Wednesday, June 14, at 7 p.m., in EMS Building, 320 Baker Road, Versailles.
To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].