HJ - J Bruners Air Conditioner

The Clarinda City Council voted Wednesday, Sept. 11, to grant the easement for the improvements at J Bruner’s and altering the appearance of the facade. Owners Joe and Emily Akers first met with the council Aug. 14 regarding the air conditioning units. After the first unit was installed, they were informed by Clarinda City Manager Gary McClarnon the position of the air conditioners conflicted with the terms of a contract with the city signed by all business owners participating in the facade project. (Herald-Journal photo)

A solution was reached Wednesday, Sept. 11, between the owners of J Bruner’s and the Clarinda City Council regarding the installation of two air conditioning units on the front awning of the restaurant.

The council voted 4-0 in favor of granting the easement for the improvements to the restaurant and altering the appearance of the facade. Council member Jamie Shore, owner of Weil’s Clothing, abstained from the vote since his business was also involved in the facade project.

J Bruner’s owners Joe and Emily Akers first met with the council Aug. 14 regarding the air conditioning units. After the first unit was installed, they were informed by Clarinda City Manager Gary McClarnon the position of the air conditioners conflicted with the terms of a contract with the city signed by all business owners participating in the facade project not to change the appearance of the facade for seven years.

Based on that discussion, the council recommended Joe and Emily attempt boxing in the units to match the appearance of the facade. However, during the Aug. 28 meeting, the council and owners agreed the box only worsened the appearance of the facade.

Therefore, the city council recommended removing the box constructed for the initial air conditioning unit and painting it to match the color of the facade. Joe Akers returned to the city council Wednesday to see if that solution was acceptable.

“We got the unit painted, so hopefully everyone had a chance to take a peek at that. I thought that looked a lot better, Akers said. “It’s an exact match to the paint that’s there, but I may have them darken it a shade because you have a slick service.”

“I think it looks a lot better,” council member Jeff McCall said.

Council member Craig Hill said he wished Joe and Emily had come to the city council for permission before starting the project rather than asking for forgiveness after the first unit was installed. As a result, he said his initial stance was to vote against granting the easement because of the precedence it would be setting.

“But after talking to the contractor, after talking to the customers, after talking with your staff and hearing what you had to say, I believe we need to go forward with this and not hold you up any more,” Hill said. “From the standpoint of your business and the customers and your staff and so forth, we need to make sure we do this. But definitely want to make sure we don’t run into more problems in the future.”

“I think we’re all here to help businesses and that’s what we’re doing with this,” council member Gary Alger said.

Later in the meeting, the city council also approved a change order from Grand Contracting relating to the downtown facade project. The changer order was in the amount of $3,484 to repair water leaks that developed at Weil’s Clothing and Taylor Pharmacy.

The council voted 4-0 to approve the change order. Shore abstained from the vote since his business was impacted by the change order.

In other business, the council approved the appointment of Alan Ascherl to the Library Board of Trustees with a term ending June 30, 2025. Since Ascherl will represent rural residents who live outside of Clarinda, his appointment must also be approved by the Page County Board of Supervisors.

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