More issues with Meriden adult business starting to surface
by Dennis Sharkey
More issues involving property on K-4 Highway just outside of Meriden are arising.
Property owner Zach Snyder, who plans on opening a restaurant and bar at the location, spoke with commissioners on Monday.
Snyder has also sought approval for an adult entertainment club that would be part of the proposed business.
Last month Snyder filed a federal lawsuit alleging his First Amendment free speech rights are being violated and Fourteenth Amendment due process rights have been violated after his application for a restaurant, bar and adult club were denied.
In the lawsuit Snyder alleges several times that he was treated unfairly by county officials.
Snyder was again alleging unfair treatment on Monday from the county’s Planning and Zoning office.
After meeting with commissioners, Snyder went to the Planning and Zoning office to request a copy of a record.
Snyder said while making his request office staff set a recording device on the counter and began recording. He said he requested that they turn the tape recorder off.
He said the office’s staff refused to turn off the recorder and Sheriff Jeff Herrig was called downstairs to the office to make sure an argument did not escalate.
He said staff told him he was being video taped and that an audio recording would be no different.
Snyder said the staff eventually turned off the recorder and the copies of the materials he requested were made.
Snyder said afterward that his request was not out of line because he attempted to use a tape recorder when requesting records months ago and was asked to turn it off. He said he complied.
County Planner Duane Bushcher said the office would not comment on anything that has to do with Snyder.
When asked if others are tape recorded he said everyone is video taped when they come into the office.
Snyder also asked commissioners on Monday how they plan to address an issue with a sewer lift station that is on Snyder’s property.
He says the city never obtained a building permit nor a conditional use permit for constructing the lift station. He said the best he can come up with is a late 2006 construction date.
Snyder said the structure is illegal because a building permit nor a conditional use permit were sought by the city for the lift station. Furthermore, there is no paperwork concerning the lift station that is filed anywhere with the county.
“My question for you guys is what are we going to do about this?” Snyder asked. “How is it any different than the Boy Scouts’ foundation that was in the wrong spot?”
“Do you want to know who is paying taxes on that?” he asked. “I am.”
Snyder said he cannot get a tax exemption because it is an illegal structure.
This reporter has examined a copy of a letter that the Planning and Zoning office sent to the city of Meriden that verifies Snyder’s claims to Commissioners.
Snyder said the former property owner Holly Spiess said the only agreement made with the city was an easement for a sewer line.
Chairman Richard Malm said they will contact the city of Meriden to get a response.
“I don’t want to be flipping the tax bill on something that is not mine,” Snyder said. “It’s like the old saying ‘It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission,’” he said. “I don’t agree with that.”
In other actions:
• Former County Commissioner David Christy met with commissioners to request some signs and possibly lower the speed limit further on 62nd Street west of K-4 Highway.
Christy said when he was commissioner they lowered the speed limit on that road from 55 mph to 35 mph because of the frequency of accidents, especially in an area near his home with a steep hill.
He said he would like to see the speed limit lowered to 25 mph for just a short area where the hill is.
“Even 35 for that hill is too fast,” Christy said. “It really is.”
Christy said the lowering to 35 mph has made a big impact in lowering the number of accidents.
Malm said they would be open to putting some signs up and would work on lowering the limit.
• Commissioners met with their health insurance brokers for a six-month evaluation of the plan the county entered into last fall.
The county went from a traditional health insurance plan administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield to a self-insured plan.
Broker Phillip Drescher reported that the plan is paying out more claims than the limit and the stop-loss insurance is being utilized.
Drescher said a self-insured plan needs to be evaluated on a five-year basis and that one year in that cycle will be a bad year.
“I’m thinking we might have that bad or close to bad year right out of the gate,” he said. “You should have some savings in the next four years.”
Drescher said it’s important to reverse the trend to hold down increases in stop-loss premiums.
“Your plan from a claims perspective is running hotter than what I wanted to see,” he said. “But you’re not yet at the maximum point. I’m hoping we can reverse that trend.”
Drescher said he is also working with an employee committee and the health department on a wellness program. He
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