Harrisburg City Council met July 20
Harrisburg City Council met July 20.
Here is the minutes as provided by the council:
The Harrisburg City Council met on July 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm in the Council Room, City Hall, Harrisburg,
Mayor John McPeek presided over the meeting with Commissioners Beth Montfort, Natalie Miller, Richard
Harper and Mike Weirauch answering roll call.
Pastor Tim Godman from St. Stephens Episcopal Church led the group in prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor McPeek made the following announcement:
Local businessman Dennis Murphy has asked me to make this announcement. He is coordinating a
financial group which will be building a new hotel in Harrisburg in the very near future. The exact date for the
groundbreaking has not been set yet. This project will be a 54 room three story hotel located at the corner of
the Bypass and Veterans Drive and will be called Cobblestone Hotel. This will create additional jobs and
sales tax revenue for Harrisburg. This is such an exciting event and will be a great benefit to Harrisburg.
Thank you, Dennis, for helping Harrisburg grow! I and the rest of the Council are in full support of your
Murphy has also informed me that he is seeking additional investors and he can be contacted for more
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the following items under the Consent Agenda:
1. Minutes of the Regular Meeting of July 6, 2017.
2. Accepted the Circuit Clerk’s Court Fee disbursement in the amount of $3,079.48.
3. Bill from Siegels Uniforms for D. Gunning uniform in the amount of $34.99 to be taken out of Council
4. Bill from Illinois Tax Increment Association for annual dues in the amount of $550.00 to be taken out
Commissioner Montfort seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Mayor McPeek stated bids are still being accepted for the sale with a rehab agreement for 24 South Jackson.
Attorney Todd Bittle presented the ordinance to sell and the rehab agreement that he had been instructed to
complete for 129 Shaw. Commissioner Harper moved to pass Ordinance 1735 an Ordinance Authorizing the
Sale of Certain Surplus Real Estate Owned by the City of Harrisburg. Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll
call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Harper moved to authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to sign the rehab agreement for 129
Shaw. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Attorney Bittle stated there were properties located at 600 South Granger, 14 East Lincoln, 115 Big Four and
814 West Raymond that were ready to be advertised for sale with bids to be opened at the September 7
meeting. Commissioner Harper moved to authorize Attorney Bittle to proceed with the advertisement to
accept bids on September 7. Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Keith Moran of Moran Economic Development addressed Council on what will be called the Veterans Drive
TIF. He stated the hotel project that Mayor McPeek announced at the beginning was an important part of that
TIF. The hotel will be the first project and it needs the benefit of a TIF. He stated this TIF will take a little
longer to establish because there were several boundary issues that need to be cleaned up. He stated he will be
working with the County on those issues. He stated that there are some property owners who are currently
inside the proposed TIF area but are not technically inside the City. Those owners will be approached about
annexing because there could be a benefit to them or any prospective buyer.
Moran stated the first step in forming the Veterans Drive TIF would be to adopt a resolution which would
allow any costs associated with forming the TIF to be reimbursed back to the City when funds become
available. Commissioner Harper moved to adopt Resolution 17-0720A A Resolution Declaring an Intent to
Reimburse Certain Redevelopment Project Costs. Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll call vote, all voted
yes. Motion carried.
Moran explained the feasibility resolution is mailed to all affected taxing bodies and is required to notify them
of the intent to form the TIF and its proposed area which is primarily around Veterans Drive. Commissioner
Harper moved to adopt Resolution 17-0720B A Resolution Providing for a Feasibility Study on the
Designation of Areas as Redevelopment Project Areas. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote,
all voted yes. Motion carried.
Moran continued with an ordinance which he stated that, because of the Freedom of Information Act and its
procedures, is a rather antiquated necessity. The ordinance establishes the rules to create a list of anyone who
is interested in receiving information regarding the TIF and noted the taxing bodies automatically are included
in the list. Commissioner Harper moved to pass Ordinance #1736 An Ordinance of the City of Harrisburg,
Illinois Authorizing the Establishment of Tax Increment Financing “Interested Parties” Registries and
Adopting Registration Rules for These Registries. Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll call vote, all voted
yes. Motion carried.
Moran explained the inducement resolution for the hotel project. He stated it was a five to six million dollar
project with ten full time jobs and four part time jobs projected. He stated it would have a great economic
impact on other areas of the City. They were relying on the formation of a TIF and had approached the City. A
TIF would help with future property taxes and reimbursement of some project costs but there was no money
now. The proposed resolution would be for a 75% rebate on property taxes and certain TIF eligible costs. He
stated the City is not obligated to anything by the resolution. The resolution would make certain costs incurred
now, such as property acquisition, TIF eligible. Commissioner Harper wanted to clarify that if there were no
TIF formed, there was not a guarantee of money. Moran stated that was correct. Commissioner Harper moved
to adopt Resolution 17-0720C. Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Montfort stated the Police had received updated training except for one officer who was not
working at present. She stated that, as of August 15, the department would be moving to eight hour shifts. She
stated the new officer would be leaving for the academy soon. She stated the Fire Department had conducted a
Commissioner Montfort stated there has been one Neighborhood Watch group formed and anyone who would
like to be a captain to contact her. She stated she was trying to get some signs. Police Chief David Morris
stated he had an anti-drug budget line item which he stated could be used to purchase some signs.
Commissioner Montfort stated the person from Williamson County had given her some information regarding
signs and Superintendent Rick Brown stated he had some catalogs listing signs.
Commissioner Weirauch shared information regarding Korean War veteran Corporal Edward Lee Borders
whose remains had finally been identified. The veteran would be arriving in St. Louis on July 27 and then be
escorted back to Harrisburg to his funeral home for services and burial on July 29. He gave some of Borders
military history and the long process it had taken to be able to identify the remains. He stated the route to the
final resting place would be lined with flags which was done by an individual. He stated it would be a
memorable and honorable occasion.
Citizen Judy Cape addressed Council with her personal opinion after her recent appointment to the Police
Pension Board. Her first concerns had been about insurance but she stated she was now aware that she was
covered through her personal policies. She was also concerned about the fact that there were no written
policies or rules. When she contacted the Department of Insurance, she was informed that there should be
policies and procedures but noted the Police Department’s Attorney Dennis Orsey had stated that wasn’t
She stated she had been appointed on May 9 but had received no information from anyone until she received
the July 9 Agenda. Cape was aware a new member had been elected but had not been notified of that. She
referred to State statutes which state that a successor should be elected through a special election conducted by
the Board but that had not happened. She wanted clarification of the responsibilities of the Board. She
believed the new member was not elected according to statute. She stated she would be receiving 32 hours of
training but that training was regarding investments. Mayor McPeek asked who conducted the Board
meetings. Cape stated that Orsey conducted them. Commissioner Harper asked if all the Board members had
not been given information. Cape responded that she could not speak about the other members but felt the
President should let everyone know about issues and that was part of her reasoning that there should be rules,
regulations and policies.
Citizen Terry Maynard wanted to know what happened in Executive Sessions because he never saw any
minutes from them. Attorney Bittle explained that the minutes were reviewed every six months and Council
made a decision at that time to either open particular minutes or keep them closed. He stated that after Council
comes out of Executive Session and reconvenes the Open Session, any actions that are taken as a result of the
Executive Session are announced at that time.
Maynard pointed out the northeast section of town where the original TIF had been established was in
disarray. He stated he didn’t want the City to start something and not help that part of town. He referred to the
money that was in that TIF when it was closed and thought some of that should be used to clean up around
Citizen Jonathan Gericke stated that Attorney Orsey obviously does not know everything. He also stated that
he was against TIF districts and believed they were taking money away from those who need the taxes and
TIFs were a misappropriation of funds.
Commissioner Harper moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss Property Acquisition, Possible
Litigation and Personnel. Commissioner Montfort seconded. By roll call vote, Commissioners Montfort,
Harper and Weirauch and Mayor McPeek voted yes. Commissioner Miller voted no. Motion carried.
Adjourned: 6:46 pm.
Reconvened: 7:12 pm.
Mayor John McPeek presided over the reconvened meeting with Commissioners Beth Montfort, Richard
Harper, Natalie Miller and Mike Weirauch answering roll call.
Mayor McPeek stated there was no action to be taken on Property Acquisition or Possible Litigation.
Attorney Bittle informed Council about a provision in State statues in regards to liens and sale of properties.
The provision states that once a property is posted for high grass/weeds, a non-owner could mow the property
and place a lien themselves on the property with possibly foreclosing to collect on the lien to obtain possession
of the property. He pointed out how that procedure could benefit the City by the Code Enforcement Officer
having less to mow, lien paperwork not having to be processed and legal fees to foreclose would not be
involved for the City. The non-owner would bear the expense. Commissioner Harper stated he had no problem
with Attorney Bittle doing that for property near his parent’s home but he was concerned about it causing
problems for others who would not have the ability to follow the process correctly. Commissioner Weirauch
expressed concern also. Commissioner Miller was in favor of it. Commissioner Montfort suggested looking
into it. Attorney Bittle stated the 318 contract was worded in such a way that it might be possible for the
mowing to be subcontracted out.
Commissioner Weirauch moved the Family Medical Leave requested by Kim Higgins on July 2, 2017 be
approved, pending receipt of sufficient certification from her health care providers. The proper forms will be
provided to her to be returned and considered at the August 17 City Council Meeting, unless the information is
received in time to be considered at the August 3 meeting. Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll call vote,
all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Harper moved to adjourn. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes.
Adjourned: 7:21 pm.