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City commission mourns Michael Stull, approves changes to weatherization program and fixes to Central Square AC

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The late Michael Stull Photo courtesy of the City of Douglas's Facebook page The late Michael Stull

Most city commission meetings are pretty mundane. They start the same way, with very little fanfare, and cover the standard agenda items.

The October 9 meeting, however, was different. Commissioners and city employees were still in shock over the tragic death of Michael Stull, 57, a long-time employee of the city's Customer Care department. Stull was shot and killed near Washington, D.C., over the weekend. His 25-year-old son, Nicholas Stull, was arrested and charged in connection with the shooting.



As the meeting began, City Manager Charlie Davis asked that everyone in attendance observe a moment of silence for Stull. A slideshow played on the monitors behind the commissioners. A few sniffles could be heard as the slides scrolled across the screens. Stull was a popular and exemplary employee who was well liked by fellow employees and customers alike. His passing, especially under the tragic and terrible circumstances in which it occurred, cast a shadow over the meeting and attendees. Despite the somber atmosphere, the mayor and commission pressed on.



Commissioners approved a few amendments to the city's Weatherization Grant program. The program is offered to individuals 55 and older. Since the development of this program, only a handful of citizens have taken advantage of the program. Currently, this program is offered to owner-occupied residences at or below 80 percent of the medium area, adjusted for household size. This includes the gross income before any payroll deductions from wages, salaries, overtime pay, commissions, fees, tips and bonuses.



Staff recommended a change that would remove income limits from elderly applicants by eliminating the HUD income limits and redirecting the program to focus on the elderly without the restriction of income. The recommendation also amends the grant to interior/exterior doors, windows and/or caulking or sealing existing windows, and to expand the HVAC requirements to add that if the home is a split-level, they could apply for two units. Amendments include changes in language defining conflicts of interest and the steps that need to be taken if there is a potential conflict of interest.



Commissioners also approved the purchase of Microsoft Office 365 for city computers. The city has to upgrade its technology; the upgrade will cost a one-time fee of $35,652.82 as well as $8,152.82 per month. Additionally, the commission approved a request to fix the air conditioning at Central Square. The estimated price tag of the fix is $139,000. City Manger Davis added that there another request to fix the air conditioning at the Weir and Arts centers will be forthcoming in future meetings. The cost to repair all the air conditioning units will total close to $500,000.



Scott Moore, representing the Downtown Development Authority, spoke to the commission about a proposed change to the DDA district. The proposal would shorten the north and south boundaries of the district to Walker Street on the north and Baker Highway on the south. Currently, the district goes to McNeal Drive on the north and south to the Peterson/Madison split near the new Douglas Square shopping center. The commission did not take action on this item. They heard the proposal for the first time Monday. At a later meeting, there will be a public hearing then commissioners will take a vote.



Commissioners also appointed Darlene Salazar to the Historic Preservation Commission. She will fill the unexpired term of Kevin Davis.

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