Neighborhood art gallery request in Hannibal goes back to committee


How do you define “Gallery?”

That was the ultimate question asked during Tuesday’s Hannibal City Council Meeting.

The question was asked by 5th ward Council Member Colin Welch when the question of amending the city’s B-Multiple Family zoning to include galleries into the uses classification. The change was recommended by  the Hannibal Planning and Zoning Commissioners who determined that was the best way to accommodate a zoning change request by property owners in the 500 block of Church street who want to open an art gallery in their newly restored home.

The property owners had requested a change to commercial zoning, but since there are no other properties zoned commercial on their side of the street, commissioners did not want to create spot zoning. In opposing the change, Welch expressed concern that anyone would then be allowed to open an art gallery in any neighborhood. The motion to give the ordinance a first reading failed on a vote of 3 to 2 and the issue will go back to the Planning and Zoning Commission with a request from council to refine the definition of “Gallery.”

Council gave emergency reading to an ordinance fixing the city’s Ad Velorem property tax rate. City Clerk Angelica Zerbonia said the proposed rate which includes the General Fund, the Library Fund and the Police and Fire Retirement Fund is $1.1778 per hundred dollars valuation. That is lower than last year’s rate by about 6 cents but Zerbonia said property values have increased and the tax is expected to bring more money for the city.

Council also approved a resolution that will allow Hannibal to accept Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the state and Federal Governments. The money will come from the U.S. Treasury through the state of Missouri to the City of Hannibal. City Manager Lisa Peck said the nearly $3.2 Million will come in two payments. It is not known when that money will come but it can be used in a variety of ways including broadband, water and wastewater services and more. Peck said she believes it can also be used for stormwater projects.

And council approved Mayor James Hark’s declaration of an emergency in the wake of last Thursday’s storm. That declaration will allow the city to waive bids for repairs and cleanup.

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