City of Mount Carmel City Council met October 22.
City of Mount Carmel City Council met October 22.
Here is the minutes provided by the council:
Invocation was given by Reverend Tony Hodgson.
Present on Roll Call: Mayor Bill Hudson Commissioners – Eric Ikemire, Joe Judge Justin Dulgar, Rod Rodriguez
Also, Present: City Administrative Assistant Rudy Witsman, City Attorney Kelli Storckman
Mayor Hudson brought the city council meeting to order.
Mayor Hudson acknowledged Eric Parsley with Commonwealth Engineers, a consulting firm located in Evansville, IN. Mr. Parsley gave an overview of his firm and stated they focus on municipalities by providing water/ wastewater services. Mr. Parsley affirmed his company is readily available and looks to hopefully assisting the city in the future with any upcoming projects.
Mayor Hudson congratulated Todd Gill and the Mission Softball Teams on their tournament over the past weekend. Mayor Hudson stated the tournament brings several people to the city and revenues for the local businesses as well.
Mayor Hudson reiterated the Trick or Treating hours will be from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Wednesday, October 31st. Mayor Hudson stated anyone wishing to receive trick or treaters to please turn on their porch lights, however no one will be “fined” if they are out past 7:30 pm. Mayor Hudson emphasized that parents please consider the safety of their children on how late they allow them to be out Trick or Treating. Mayor Hudson stated Trunk or Treat events or any other type of Halloween parties may be scheduled for any day between now and Halloween.
Mayor Hudson reported City Administrative Assistant Witsman will be giving an update on the leaf pick-up service.
Mayor Hudson stated great progress is being made at the Holly Brook Development located on outer West Ninth Street.
Mayor Hudson addressed the concerns regarding the cancelled Bicentennial Celebration on October 12th, due to the rainy weather. Mayor Hudson stated the 2018 Bicentennial is a year-long celebration with more events forthcoming, however; it started with the Ribberfest Event in April; followed by the July 4th Parade/Celebration; and a Bicentennial Gospel Sing held on September 21st. Mayor Hudson announced the Christmas Uptown Festival and the Christmas Parade are also part of the bicentennial celebration; as well as the State of Illinois Bicentennial Event, which will be held on December 3rd. Mayor Hudson stated even though the planned celebration on October 12th with the Kentucky Head Hunters was the cancelled; the band graciously held a meet and greet event at Homan’s Barber Shop. Mayor Hudson read the proclamation which was prepared to honor the sponsors who donated to the October 12th event as well as to honor the founding fathers of the City of Mount Carmel. Mayor Hudson stated September 21st, 2018 officially marks the two hundredth anniversary for the drafting of the establishment of the City of Mount Carmel. Mayor Hudson announced hand drawn sketches by Andy Cross commemorating the bicentennial year are available for sale through the Wabash County Chamber of Commerce Office. Mayor Hudson thanked everyone who has helped with the Bicentennial Celebrations thus far and reported the Bicentennial Committee is working on some possible events that could help facilitate the cancelled October 12th event.
Mayor Hudson announced Floyd Cramer and Chet Atkins’ grandchildren will be performing on November 18th at Wabash Valley College.
Commissioner Eric Ikemire – Streets, Cemeteries And Parks:
Commissioner Ikemire reported in the last two weeks the street department continued to mow city properties; assisted with the hauling of tables and barricades uptown for the Bicentennial Event; worked on installing a new water line into the street department building; ran the street sweeper; performed yard abatements; patched pot holes in alleys and roadways; trimmed low limbs along streets; and serviced equipment.
Commissioner Joe Judge – Finance And Senior Citizens:
Statement of Receipts and Expenditures – See attached agenda with financials.
Commissioner Judge reported the City of Mount Carmel, as far as the corporate city limits, only receives $224,000 of property tax revenues. Commissioner Judge stated the revenues are minimal compared to the amounts that the other entities in Wabash County receive.
Commissioner Judge stated he recently received notification regarding a grant through Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana (TMMI) that he had been working on for over a year for the WC Cafeteria and Senior Center and is very pleased to announce TMMI is awarding the center $20,000.00 in grant monies for the Meals on Wheels Program. Commissioner Judge thanked Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana for their great support of the Meals on Wheels Program. Commissioner Judge also thanked the Kiwanis Club in advance for their fundraiser raffle, which will assist the “in-house” meals program at the center. Commissioner Judge encouraged everyone to purchase a raffle ticket as the drawing will be held on November 13th. Commissioner Judge reported he has also applied for a grant for new stairs for the back entrance of the center.
Commissioner Judge reported there has been some discussion of the intersection of Park Road and College Drive, as drivers are not obeying the stop signs. Commissioner Judge advised that concerned citizens wanted to raise funds to put in a flashing LED solar powered stop sign because Friendsville Avenue (College Drive) will become a state detour route in the fall of 2019 with the Cherry Street Bridge closing for construction. Commissioner Ikemire addressed the concerns by stating that himself and City Administrative Assistant Witsman had looked into the issue and had found an option to hopefully fund the much-needed flashing stop signs.
Commissioner Justin Dulgar – Water And Sewer:
Commissioner Dulgar reported the Risley Avenue and the West Third Street Water Towers will both be in full service again upon completion of the maintenance work on the West Third Street Water Tower, tentatively on November 1st. Commissioner Dulgar stated the city has a ten-year maintenance contract with Suez for the refurbishing of the water towers. Commissioner Dulgar reiterated thankfully the hydrants throughout the city will not be “running” once the water tower maintenance is complete. Commissioner Dulgar added the water will be tested at the West Third Street Water Tower, per EPA requirements before it is put back in service. Once both towers are back in service the sediment basins and the clarifiers at the water treatment plant will be cleaned.
Commissioner Dulgar stated the city continues to explore the possibility of a new water treatment facility. Commissioner Dulgar reported that he, Commissioner Eric Ikemire and City Administrative Assistant Rudy Witsman met with Tracy Swanson of Keys Hill Engineering to continue the process and to look at some possible locations for the new facility as well as the possibility of other water sources.
Commissioner Dulgar reported the outfall project at the wastewater plant is complete and thanked Kieffer Brothers Construction for their efficient work on the project. Commissioner Dulgar stated the aeration project is now under way and it will take several months for the completion. Commissioner Dulgar reported a dump truck was recently purchased for the wastewater plant.
Commissioner Rod Rodriguez – Fire, Health & Safety, Garbage, City Hall And Civil Defense:
Commissioner Rodriguez reported in the last two weeks the fire department had twelve runs; attended training conducted by the ambulance service; and tested hoses on the ladder truck.
Commissioner Rodriguez announced Safe Haven had a fundraising dinner and thanked everyone who helped make the event a success.
City Administrative Assistant – Rudy Witsman:
City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported, for many years, all of the various types of insurance, excluding the health insurance, have been issued through the Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated he is happy to report that through the association’s investments and savings, for the first time in many years, there is a reduction in the premium. City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported the city will pay a $236,555.88 premium this year which is a $20,497.95 savings from last year.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman presented to the council for consideration several possibilities regarding the leaf collection; per extensive research by himself, Commissioner Judge and Commissioner Ikemire. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated a new unit could be purchased, however the cost of one unit is $72,800.00; a used unit was found and could be purchased for $9500.00; a current unit could be repaired by the street department as the city has one unit that is marginally operational and another unit that is not operational but could be rebuilt for an estimated amount of $15,000.00. City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported if the current unit was repaired the city could sell “tickets” for leaf pickup however, it’s possible the unit won’t last the entire pick up season. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated the final scenario is to continue the current policy of picking up bagged leaves and to continue to allow residents to take their leaves to the brush harbor at no cost. City Administrative Assistant Witsman explained if the council chooses to purchase a new unit there is a lead time and the unit would not be available for this year’s leaf season. City Administrative Assistant Witsman emphasized there are timelines to be considered on each of the scenarios except for the current policy of picking up the bagged leaves and the use of the brush harbor. City Administrative Assistant Witsman acknowledged Commissioner Ikemire who stated the leaf pick up service is not included in the current budget and did not feel it was fair to charge a fee to the whole community to compensate for the expense when only a portion of residents used the service. After discussing the possibilities, the council voted to continue picking up the bagged leaves and to use the leaf vac that is operational to pick up leaves for a fee of $30.00. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated he and Street Department Superintendent Dave Easter will work out all the particulars as far as charging the $30.00 fee and the leaf pick up schedule.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated he has contacted several engineering firms for advice concerning the levee, which has been an ongoing problem trying to deal with FEMA and the Corp of Engineers to keep the levee certified. City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported few engineering firms have the expertise to access the viability of a levee. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated he has been in contact with an engineering firm by the name of Clark-Dietz, who has agreed to conduct a study of the levee by taking what is existing with the Core of Engineers and the Illinois Geological Survey to prepare a report to give to the city that will give guidance on how to get the levee recertified as well as funding options. City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported the cost of the study is $16,500.00 and stated even though the expense is not in the budget, he asked the council to approve the study with the money coming out of the Capital Improvement Fund.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman expressed appreciation to the residents along Division Street for their participation in the recent survey. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated the city is applying for a CDAP grant for the sewer maintenance along Division Street and during the application process it was discovered the Federal Government requires a minimum fee for a sewer system. City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported in order to qualify for the grant the city would have to raise the sewer fees by $8.74 and stated that now is probably not the time to put that burden on the residents of the City of Mount Carmel. City Administrative Witsman explained the grant application is on hold until next year in anticipation that the requirements will change and the survey information that was completed as well as the grant work that was completed may be used again next year.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman reviewed the discussion from the last Council meeting to increase the liquor license fees to $1500 for all liquor license holders except B and E. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated the fee increase is provided in Resolution 648 – Liquor License Fees is included within the consent agenda.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported he was informed by Wabash County Clerk Janet Will that a study was completed regarding various fees the county charges and Wabash County will be amending its fees beginning December 1st, 2018. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated the city as well as the county currently charge identical fees for death certificates and birth certificates.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported on December 1st the county’s fees for certified birth certificates will increase to $12.00 for the first copy with additional certified copies being $6.00 and the certified death certificates will increase to $16.00 with additional certified copies being $8.00. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated he is seeking council approval for Resolution 649, which adopts those fee increases for the city and the resolution is included within the consent agenda.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman reiterated within the consent agenda are the first readings of Ordinances 2000, 2001 and 2002; which is the “clean up” of the language concerning the leaf burning as well as Resolutions 648 and 649.
City Attorney – Kelli Storckman:
City Attorney Storckman reported within the consent agenda are suggested changes to three different ordinances; one change was made regarding the prohibiting of the burning of leaves to clarify the wording of the ordinance.
City Inspector – Mike Gidcumb:
City Inspector Gidcumb absent.
Commissioner Judge motioned and Commissioner Dulgar seconded to approve an agreement with Clark-Dietz to complete a study with recommendations regarding levee certification. Cost of the study shall not exceed $16,500.00. All present voted Aye by roll call vote.
Commissioner Dulgar motioned and Commissioner Ikemire seconded to approve to continue picking up bagged leaves and to use the leaf vac that is operational to vac leaves on a fee basis. All present voted Aye by roll call vote.
Mayor Hudson and the Council approved the Consent Agenda, as presented in the agenda dated October 22nd, 2018. The consent agenda included approval of Resolution 648 – Liquor License Fees; Approval of Resolution 649 – Birth and Death Certificate Fees; first reading of Ordinances 2000, 2001, 2002 – Leaf burning prohibited in the city; approval of the minutes for the council meeting held on October 8th, 2018 and approval of paying all bills bearing the proper signatures.
Meeting adjourned 5:55 p.m.