Harrisburg City Council reviews building elevation permit
The Harrisburg City Council met Jan. 5 to review a building elevation permit.
Here are the meeting's minutes, as provided by the council:
Harrisburg City Council Meeting
Council Room, City Hall
January 5, 2017
The Harrisburg City Council met on January 5, 2017 at 6:00 pm in the Council Room of City Hall
Mayor John McPeek presided over the meeting with Commissioners Natalie Miller, Beth Montfort and
Richard Harper answering roll call.
Pastor Biff Moore from the First Christian Church led the group in prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor McPeek stated that he wanted to remind Council that the City is a commission form of
government and, because the Mayor serves as the Commissioner of Water/Sewer, he can make motions
but he would prefer that motions come from the other Commissioners.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the following items under Consent Agenda:
1. Minutes from the Regular Meeting of December 15, 2016.
2. Minutes from the Special Meeting of December 21, 2016.
3. Check Register and Warrant Report for the month of December 2016.
4. Bill from Rick Rice for Cummins Drive building elevation & permit application in the amount of
$651.61 to be taken out of Council Contingency.
5. Bill from Rick Rice for LOMR-F application at Cummins Subdivision in the amount of
$1,046.09 to be taken out of Council Contingency.
6. Bill from Greg’s Truck Service for cinders in the amount of $2,159.64 to be taken out of MFT.
7. Bill from Williams & Associates for liability and auto insurance in the amount of $155,627.00.
8. Bill from Southern IL Workwear for boots for Police Officer Forrester in the amount of $129.99
to be taken out of Council Contingency.
9. Street sweeper hours for 2016 to be paid to General Fund in the amount of $46,458.20 to be
taken out of MFT.
Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Jim Brown of Brown & Roberts asked Council to refer to the list of City projects in their packets. He
stated they were potential projects and wanted to bring Council up to date on them. The hospital access
road was for the Woolcott Street and the entrance to HMC. He stated there is potential money from
EDA and IDOT but no applications have been filed yet. He stated the EDA funding was 60/40 and the
EDA was 50/50 and, if the City were lucky, it could get funding from both, which would mean it would
cost the City very little money. Mayor McPeek stated that, with the expansion HMC was doing, a new
road would be needed. Brown stated that typically EDA grants were handled by Regional Planning and
IDOT grants were handled by his firm. Commissioner Miller stated that, at the October 6 meeting,
Council had authorized both to apply for the grants because the projects could not be done without grant
money. Commissioner Montfort wanted to clarify that the project was only to improve Woolcott and
was told that was correct. Commissioner Harper moved to authorize Brown & Roberts to proceed with
the IDOT application. Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Miller moved to authorize Regional Planning to proceed with the EDA application.
Commissioner Harper seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Brown stated the Ron Crank Drive extension was to take the road to Wilmoth Street but no design had
been done yet. He understood that Attorney Todd Bittle was talking to the Oglesby’s attorney about an
agreement that would be suitable for both parties. He stated the project would cost a lot of money.
Commissioner Montfort stated her concern was putting a road on private property with Council not
being approached Council about any business wanting to come to town. She stated that, if that were to
happen, she would be in favor of proceeding. Mayor McPeek stated he did not want to build a road to
no-where but he would definitely build for a new business. Commissioner Harper stated his concern was
that Council had not been given any information about potential lot sizes or water/sewer service needs.
Commissioner Miller stated that after an agreement with the Oglesby’s was worked out, she would meet
with Commissioner Harper and Brown and report back to Council.
Brown stated the lagoon optimization project required some history information. He explained the
sewage flow is similar to the drainage flow in Harrisburg. It comes from the Pankey Branch and west
Harrisburg, goes to the treatment plant and is then processed. During events of excess flow, which the
City has a lot of, the excess flow is channeled into the lagoons and then back to the treatment plant as
possible. He stated about 60 acres is being used for storage of excess flow. The lagoons do have the
ability to treat sewage and the City has talked about, designed and received an EPA permit for a pump
station located near Stephanie Church’s business on Veterans Drive that would direct the sewage from
west Harrisburg directly to the lagoons and utilize some of that surface area for actual sewage treatment.
Presently, treatment is done at the plant. He explained that at one time, with a permit from EPA, the
plant was shut down and the lagoons were used for all treatment. The long term advantage for treatment
at the lagoons would be the power demand would be cut at the treatment plant and more could be
accommodated than at the treatment plant. He stated this project has been designed and is sitting out
there. There is a pre-application pending with IEPA but nothing has gone any further. The next step
would be the preparation of a full application and submission of all the documents like what was done
for the Dorris Heights project.
Mayor McPeek clarified that the project would be $1.7 million. Brown stated there is an IEPA loan that
could be applied for that has low interest and is for sewage and treatment. He reminded Council about
the Dorrisville watermain project that used the low interest loan fund and some money from DCEO. He
stated they have money for water as well as sewage. Commissioner Harper stated the City was able to
do a lot of improvements over the past few years with grants. Brown reminded Council the sewage
treatment plant is 60 plus years old, has some issues and is in a flood plain. Superintendent Kelly Hefner
stated the power bill is between $7,000.00 and $8,000.00 and newer equipment would lower that cost.
Commissioner Harper asked about the cost of chemicals. Superintendent Hefner stated the annual
chemical cost has increased to about $50,000.00 partly because of the increased testing that has to be
done but more up to date equipment should reduce the chemicals needed. Superintendent Hefner stated
the City had applied for DCEO money in the spring and had been turned down. Mayor McPeek stated
that Superintendent Hefner and Brown should talk to Alene at Regional Planning and see what, if
anything, can be applied for at this time. Commissioner Harper wanted to have more information on the
cost to the City.
Brown stated that several homes in the McHaney Street area that were annexed in do not have sewer. At
the time they were forced annexed in, Council told them that the City would work toward getting sewer
in that area. Mayor McPeek asked if there were grants for that and was told no. Superintendent Hefner
stated there had only been a cost estimate done on it. Commissioner Montfort asked how many homes
that involved and was told about 25 homes. Commissioner Harper wanted to see some numbers. Brown
stated it would not be Phase I and II but would be done as a total project.
Brown stated the Duffy pumping station issue had just popped up. Superintendent Hefner stated there
would be a letter coming from EPA about the situation. Superintendent Hefner stated there are 17
pumping stations, with some in remote places. When the pumping stations go down, a flashing red light
and a horn goes off. In remote locations, there is no one who sees or hears warnings and the City is not
aware of it until a complaint is received about sewer backing up in someone’s basement. Superintendent
Hefner stated that is what happened at the Duffy station. He stated the letter would ask that the City
install some sort of telemetry so the City would be notified of a failure before any damage is done.
Superintendent Hefner stated the City has that system on the water tanks and the lagoons. He suggested
starting with the most remote locations and do a few a year.
Mayor McPeek asked about the water line breaks around the square. Superintendent Hefner stated that
system is original and over 100 years old with cast iron pipes. He stated that, since the square is in the
new TIF, the City should look at doing a design for replacement. He stated it would not be an easy
project. He informed Council about new regulations for lead and copper sampling including possibly
sampling at every drinkable faucet in the school system. Currently the City does three lead and copper
samples every other year. That regulation would put the City doing 150 lead and copper samples every
year. Because of the Flint, Michigan problem, everyone is thinking about it when children are involved.
The three samples cost $600.00. If that regulation comes down, it will be a considerable cost to the City.
Superintendent Hefner stated that, with the breaks in the cast iron lines, lead and copper samplings will
be required as well as boil orders. He stated the infrastructure around the square is the oldest in the City
and replacing it is a definite project to work toward.
Brown stated that in 2014 Council wanted to look at replacing the cast iron lines that were in the system.
His office submitted an application to IEPA which should be ready to come out of the process.
Approximately $5 ½ million worth of cast iron waterlines were identified, just like the ones around the
square, and the replacement is essentially what was done for the Dorrisville waterline project.
Brown stated the other “sleeping giant” is the lead solder joints on lines as well as lead lines to a lot of
homes. Superintendent Hefner stated that, whenever his department comes across a lead line, they are
replaced but there are still a lot of lead service lines.
Brown stated previous Mayor Fowler had asked his office to turn in an application to clear an area of
brush and some trees by Holly Brook Assisted Living. Brown sent in an application to Randy Shafer at
IDOT in order to clear it and put it in a condition to be mowed. The permit should be coming soon. The
project would be done in house as per Superintendent Rick Brown.
Commissioner Montfort stated she had moved seats in order to see any speakers better. She also said she
had supplied packages of M & M’s in honor of Mayor McPeek – MM.
Commissioner Montfort thanked Police Chief Whipper Johnson for supplying safe rides on New Year’s
Eve to about a half dozen people. She noted the new Mayor rode with an officer on New Year’s Eve.
Commissioner Montfort moved to extend the contract of Mike Sullivan for Animal Control at a rate of
$18,500.00 a year with a $900.00 stipend for insurance to continue through December 6, 2019.
Commissioner Harper seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Montfort stated the video games in Harrisburg had $7,554,297.00 put in year to date with
the City receiving $104,929.60.
Mayor McPeek thanked Superintendent Rick Brown and his crews for clearing the roads after the
Mayor McPeek moved to appoint Jonathan Gericke to the Police Pension Board for a term until the
second Tuesday of May 2019. Commissioner Montfort seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion
carried. Mayor McPeek noted that Gericke and Mike Williams were the City’s representatives on that
Mayor McPeek stated he would be in his office on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 am if anyone had
something to discuss.
Mayor McPeek wanted to remind the public there is a Council approved procedure for addressing
Council which states that a person should fill out a form in the City Clerk’s office by noon on Tuesday
before the meeting in order to allow Council time to gather information and possibly offer a resolution
to any issues in a more timely fashion. The procedure is a resolution and that resolution states the total
time allowed for public comment is 15 minutes which offers 3-5 minutes per person.
Mayor McPeek stated he was working on filling the empty Commissioner position. He wanted anyone
who was being considered to speak with the other Commissioners before making the appointment. He
hoped to offer an appointment at the February 2 meeting.
Mayor McPeek asked Superintendent Hefner to update Council on the HMC project. Superintendent
Hefner stated the site plan filed by HMC creates a couple of issues. He would like Council to authorize
the engineer to take a look at the impoundment for their water run off on the north side of Woolcott. He
would also like to see some sort of agreement because they are in the process of moving their emergency
generator from the south side of Woolcott to the north side of Woolcott. They have laid conduit for it
across a waterline which creates a safety issue. In another instance, his Department has actually dug up a
high voltage line because it was not marked. He believed it was going to be the same situation with
HMC because as far as Ameren is concerned the power feed is to the hospital not to the backup
generator. He has discussed this with someone from HMC who was going to take it to their board but he
wanted Council to be aware of the situation before signing off on the site plan. He noted that now people
knew where the lines are but in the future, unless someone locates their utilities, it could be an issue.
Superintendent Hefner’s concern about the impoundment issue was that, even though there are a couple
of impoundments in the design, he could not determine what would be acceptable for the amount of
runoff they are going to create. He needed a motion for Brown & Roberts to review their design for their
impoundments. Commissioner Harper moved for Brown & Roberts to review their design for their
impoundments. Commissioner Montfort asked if this would solve the problem that local residents have
had about the runoff. Superintendent Hefner stated they are going to be tying into some of the City’s
infrastructure for some of their runoff. Commissioner Montfort wanted to clarify that the City was going
to make sure no one was going to get flooded and create any of the issues that have been discussed in
the last few months. Jim Brown stated that they are working in a limited area and the ponds are almost
built but he was sure the ponds will not solve all the flooding out there. Commissioner Montfort asked,
if there is flooding, is the City going to be liable or will the hospital be liable. Brown stated the site plan
was only for the parking lot on the north side so the plan can only be looked at for what is going to be
coming off the north side but the rest of it was not being addressed. He was adamant that everyone needs
to understand that. Superintendent Hefner stated he wanted to make sure there were no problems being
compounded before he signs off on behalf of the City. The specs they sent with the plan were not
adequate and the engineer had sent Superintendent Hefner additional specs which indicated they were
planning on tying into City infrastructure. Commissioner Miller moved for Brown & Roberts to review
the HMC expansion plan. Commissioner Harper seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion
Superintendent Hefner and Brown reiterated the major safety issue with not having mapped out a live
electrical line to the generator running over a water line and, therefore, would not show up when a
JULIE is done. Brown restated that Ameren would only mark to the transformer, not from the hospital to
the backup generator. If an outside company came in years from now to do repairs, a JULIE would not
indicate the live electrical line over the water line.
Citizen Denzil Butler addressed Council regarding the 1000 block of Webster Street and the trash.
Mayor McPeek stated the City was going to get aggressive with cleaning up the City and assured Butler
he would have the situation looked into.
Citizen Angela Stout was concerned about the dilapidated houses and junky yards in Harrisburg. Mayor
McPeek stated he was working on a plan like he had told Butler. Stout questioned why door to door pick
up was discontinued. Mayor McPeek stated it was money and manpower. Superintendent Rick Brown
stated he has 5 fewer employees and, when people set stuff out by the curb, there were others who went
through it and spilled trash everywhere which made the pick up even more time consuming. Mayor
McPeek stated that during clean up weeks anyone who was senior or disabled could call the Street
Department for a pickup. Stout suggested those who were working off fines could help but
Superintendent Brown stated there would still have to be someone to drive the truck.
Stout also suggested a nativity scene on the square like Marion has.
Citizen Jonathan Gericke stated that every morning when he walks, he picks up trash. He believed
everyone should take personal responsibility for helping to clean up the City and encouraged everyone
to pick up something every day.
Mayor McPeek moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss Collective Bargaining, Personnel and
Possible and Pending Litigation. Commissioner Montfort seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes.
Adjourned: 6:53 pm.
Reconvened: 8:08 pm.
Mayor John McPeek presided over the reconvened meeting with Commissioners Natalie Miller, Beth
Montfort and Richard Harper answering roll call.
Mayor McPeek stated there was no action to be taken on Collective Bargaining, Personnel and Possible
and Pending Litigation.
Commissioner Miller moved to adjourn. Commissioner Montfort seconded. By roll call vote, all voted
yes. Motion carried.
Adjourned: 8:09 pm.