Harrisburg City Council met October 4.
Harrisburg City Council met October 4.
Here is the minutes provided by the council:
Mayor John McPeek presided over the meeting with Commissioners Beth Montfort, Natalie Miller, Richard Harper and Mike Weirauch answering roll call.
Pastor Jerry Wells from the Dorrisville Social Brethren Church led the group in prayer and the pledge.
•Announced fire hydrant flushing will begin next week.
•Announced City employees will be canvasing various neighborhoods for information to be used in grant application.
•Announced the Presbyterian Church had the first cleanup day for their stretch of adopted roadway and picked up 24 bags of trash. He stated he had the information if any other group would be interested in adopting a stretch of roadway.
•Ask again for people to stop littering and throwing their grass clippings into the street.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the following items under the Consent Agenda:
1. Regular Meeting Minutes of September 20, 2018.
2. Check Register and Warrant Report for September 2018.
3. Bill from O’Daneil Trucking for patch in the amount of $1,869.00 to be taken out of MFT.
4. Bill from CAID Group for additional testing for Phase II of the old junior high building in the amount of $18,008.90 to be taken out of TIF.
5. Harrisburg Lake:
Petition to Lease:
Clarence Poe - Fourth Addition, Lot 2
Commissioner Montfort seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
City Clerk Sally Wofford stated the IMRF had returned the list of possible eligible candidates for an Early Retirement Incentive. She stated the City had returned to IMRF on September 27 the figures that would be a lump sum payout of benefits for those on the list. She stated it would be at least a couple of weeks before IMRF would send their figures for their cost of the buyout.
Fire Chief John Gunning stated in April Council had approved up to $3,600.00 to purchase six houses from the Saline County Trustee in order to acquire the property and demolish the houses. Saline County Trustee had increased the prices so he was only able to acquire four houses. Chief Gunning stated there were three more properties that he would like to acquire and was asking Council to approve an additional $2,100.00 for that. Mayor McPeek stated Council had approved the sale of property with the receipts to be designated as funds for this sort of thing. Commissioner Harper stated that could not be done because revenue could not be put in an expense account line item. But, he stated, he could authorize the additional amount requested. Mayor McPeek stated he didn’t understand why, if Council had approved the action, it could not be done. Commissioner Harper moved to authorize $2,100.00 be used to purchase properties from Saline County Trustee. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Chief Gunning stated the house on 201 South Shaw had been demolished as discussed at a previous meeting. The City had been holding an $8,500.00 insurance check to apply toward the cost of demolition. The demolition had been completed but the expense, using IDOT approved specs for charges, had been $10,959.24, mainly because of the tonnage in the dumpsters from the foundation. Commissioner Harper stated, at least, the City got most of the project paid for. He moved to accept and deposit the $8,500.00 insurance check. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Chief Gunning stated the old junior high had been retested for additional hazards and the cost estimate for cleanup should be received next week. He stated the immediate problem was that the building needed to be secured. He stated people had been going into the building and, therefore, had been exposed to histoplasmosis, a very dangerous disease from bird droppings, and the building was full of them. Mayor McPeek stated he was aware that it was also discovered that it had been used for a meth lab. Commissioner Montfort asked who the owner of the building still was. Attorney Todd Bittle stated he had been in contact with the owner’s attorney who had misplaced the deed waiting for her signature so another copy had been sent. Chief Gunning stated the City needed to look at the total expenses for cleanup and demolition before proceeding with the application to the Brownfield Grant to make sure all the expenses would be covered. Chief Gunning stated he would work with Superintendent Rick Brown to secure the building.
Chief Gunning stated the Harrisburg Park District had moved a mobile home across the street as a result of a property swap. He was asking Council to approve the move. Commissioner Harper asked what the date of manufacturer on the mobile home. Chief Gunning stated he was not able to determine exactly but he thought it was at least 12 years old. Commissioner Harper reminded him about the City Ordinance that required any mobile home moved into or in the City be no older than 10 years and have a value of at least $10,000.00. Chief Gunning stated it have been moved without his knowledge and he had only been notified about the move when they attempted to get water hooked up to the new location. He stated he had inspected the mobile home and it was in good shape. It was determined the owner, Luke Phelps, and Ron Emery had been notified that it had to be approved by Council but they did not get the paperwork in on time to make the September 20 Council meeting even though the paperwork in the packet was dated September 10. They moved the mobile home anyway. Commissioner Weirauch stated he was hesitant to approve the move because he agreed with Commissioner Harper that it should have been approved prior to the move. Commissioner Harper referred again to the Ordinance regulations. It was determined to consider the issue at the next meeting.
Jim Brown of Brown & Roberts stated he had received a call from Mayor McPeek regarding flooding issues at the home of Nolan residence in the 900 block of South McKinley. He stated Eric Boe, of his firm, and Superintendent Rick Brown had already been looking into the issue. They had determined that because the school had built additional parking lots, which created more runoff, that the storm sewer was not large enough to handle the runoff. Commissioner Harper moved to authorize Brown & Roberts to investigate the flooding issue in the 900 block of South McKinley. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Miller stated that 18 dumpsters had been filled during Fall Clean Up Week. Superintendent Brown stated everything had now been picked up from the streets.
Commissioner Montfort stated the Fire Department had been working with Illinois Public Risk Office for online classes, testing and certification of mandated classes.
Commissioner Montfort stated the Police Department now has every Officer trained as a Juvenile Officer, a certified Taser instructor, four certified pistol trainers and 2 certified rifle trainers.
Mayor McPeek read the September 24 letter from the Saline County Board regarding Central Dispatch and the rate. (Copy attached.) He stated that Commissioner Montfort had contacted them before October 1 and informed them it would be discussed at the October 4 Council Meeting.
Commissioner Montfort stated the City currently pays $180,000.00 for Dispatch for non-emergency calls. She stated that 911, by law, has to be provided. She stated out of the 15 entities Harrisburg is the only one paying. She stated they are asking for an increase to $300,000.00 of taxpayers’ money. She had spoken with Sheriff Clore who had assured her that they would not stop dispatch on emergency calls. She stated there is a 911 Board that receives $1.50 for every cell and land line which amounts to $425,000.00 a year. She restated this would be for non-emergency calls and it was up to Council to decide what would be best for the taxpayers.
Commissioner Harper stated he believed Chief Gunning might offer some assistance from the Fire Department. Chief Gunning stated, if the City wanted to move out of the County building, on a temporary basis, a line could be added to the Fire Station to be answered by the on duty person who could forward calls to the necessary area. He stated the downfall to that would be when the men were out on a fire call.
Commissioner Montfort suggested a type of answering service with a recording that stated if it was an emergency to call 911 or then forward the call to the various other departments who would handle the issue after they received the message whenever someone was available.
Commissioner Harper stated Chief Morris also had some ideas. Commissioner Weirauch verified there was a Sargent on every shift. He stated that for $45.00 a cell phone could be purchased and that number could be the non-emergency number given out and the phone assigned to the Sargent on duty to answer. He stated he was not a fan of the “push this number for department whatever” call systems. Mayor McPeek stated the City has a plan to continue dispatch but there were some things that needed to be worked out and would continue to pay the $180,000.00 a year to the County. He stated the plan could be discussed at the next meeting.
Commissioner Montfort wanted the taxpayers to know that Sheriff Clore was not aware of the letter from the County but assured her they would continue to answer 911 calls.
Commissioner Weirauch referred to the 3,558 miscellaneous calls and thought those would be calls such as the animal complaints, water/sewer issues, street lights. Superintendent Kelly Hefner interjected that he had not been receiving after-hours Julie calls. Commissioner Weirauch stated he did not think that was the only problem with Dispatch. Officer Ragsdale and employee Raymond Gunning, who had done Dispatch for a while, both agreed that it was not unusual for an emergency call to come in on a regular land. Commissioner Weirauch stated the City was going to have to do something.
Commissioner Harper moved the City take the necessary steps to take over its own Dispatch. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. Commissioner Harper stated that was the first step and at the next meeting he would report the progress and hope to get it done by the end of this month or by the first part of November. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Weirauch moved to adjourn to Executive Session to discuss Contract Negotiations, Property Acquisition 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 6:35 pm.
Reconvened: 7:55 pm.
Mayor John McPeek presided over the reconvened meeting with Commissioners Natalie Miller, Beth
Montfort, Richard Harper and Mike Weirauch answering roll call.
Mayor McPeek stated there was no action on Contract Negotiations, Property Acquisition and Personnel.
Commissioner Weirauch moved the meeting be adjourned. Commissioner Harper seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Adjourned: 7:56 pm.