At the Junction City Commission meeting Tuesday, the commission recognized employees and made decisions to table the request to lease the city hanger and reject a special use permit for a tattoo studio, among other decisions.

Raven Aero Services requested to lease the city hanger for $1,200 per month. Raven Aero Services restores older airplanes and is currently restoring three airplanes, according to the agenda memo.

Ray Ibarra, director of Public Works said the city is currently receiving $1,000 a month renting six spaces for airplanes and an office space. If the commission approved the leasing of the hanger, the current renters would be given 60 days notice to move their planes.

The Airport Advisory Board voted unanimously to approve the leasing of the hanger before it came before the city commission, Ibarra said.

During public comment, Jared Garetson, who said he rents three spaces at the city hanger, said his business, Garetson Aviation in Junction City, would suffer greatly if he had to move out of those spaces. He said after speaking with the other tenants, he believes the city is obtaining $1,200 currently for renting out the spaces, which would make the request to lease the hanger unprofitable for the city.

“I started this business about a year and a half ago, and I have been renting from the city hanger for approximately three years,” he said. “I’m hoping to see a proposal in the future to add to the airport, to build more hangers to accommodate more people, not push people out.”

Garetson requested that rather than lease the city hanger building to Raven Aero Services, the city lease it to Garetson Aviation for $2,000 a month plus utilities.

“If I did get this lease, nobody that is currently renting there would be out anything. The current tenants would be offered the same storage spaces,” he said. “The reason that this is important enough for me to make this type of proposal is if Raven Aero gets their lease, Garetson Aviation is going to have a big challenge.”

The commission members voted unanimously to table the matter in order to do more research on the subject and to consider the offers before it comes before them again.

In another matter, Drew DeLaFuente, tattoo artist, requested a Special Use Permit to allow a tattoo studio at 314 E. Chestnut St. in Junction City. The zone is a Central Commercial Special District. This is the third time he has requested a Special Use Permit for his tattoo studio.

Tom Addair, of Addair Law in Manhattan, spoke during public comment in favor of DeLaFuente. He stated that DeLaFuente outgrew his first location and the second location had roof issues which created a hazard for those working and receiving services in the building.

The Metropolitan Planning Commission recommended the permit be granted, but Troy Livingston, Planning and Zoning director, recommended the commission reject the MPC recommendation and reject the request for the permit.

Livingston said the district is primarily retail in nature, and the staff are not convinced the location is a good fit.

“The reason we have zoning is to promote orderly and positive development and land use in our community,” he said. “The bottom line is tattoo studios are not allowed in Central Commercial Services District at all.”

Livingston also alleged in the agenda memo that possible illegal activity has been associated with DeLaFuente’s shop.

Addair stated during public comment that DeLaFuente does not have any arrests or charges and there is no open investigation.

“The idea that somehow this man is not an upstanding member of this community who is just trying to do exactly what he did in Chicago and Texas by building a reputable businesses that can then come back and support what we have here, that’s all we’re trying to do,” he said.

The commission followed Livingston’s recommendation to reject the Special Use Permit.

During the meeting, the city recognized the Employee of the Year, Geoff Lewis, who is a mechanic for the city, and Supervisor of the Year, Cynthis Thomas, who serves as the Crime Lab Special Evidence Unit Supervisor.

During special presentations, members of the board of directors for the Geary Community Hospital requested that the city support the Geary Community Hospital and lend funding should it need it before the end of the year, when Stormont Vail is planning to take over operations. The city commissioners stated their support for the hospital in a unanimous vote during the meeting.

At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Pat Landes said he hopes the board of directors at the hospital understand that the need for a financial plan is not going to disappear after Stormont Vail takes over operations, because it will still be responsible for the building and the costs associated with it.

“The hospital, they didn’t make a very good case for themselves when they talked about how much money they lost every year and then they want more money,” he said. “We need to work with our county folks to make sure they have a global plan going forward.”

The city also approved an MOU between the JCPD and USD 475 regarding the anonymous reporting app recently put into effect at the school district called “Stop It.” Chief John Lamb stated that this partnership will ensure better safety at the schools.

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