Harrisburg City Council met February 7
Harrisburg City Council met Feb. 7.
Here is the minutes provided by the council:
The Harrisburg City Council met on February 7, 2019 at 6:00 pm in the Council Room of City Hall Harrisburg, Illinois.
Mayor John McPeek presided over the meeting with Commissioners Natalie Miller, Beth Montfort, Richard Harper and Mike Weirauch answering roll call.
Pastor Paul Taylor from the Land Street Church of God led the group in prayer and the pledge.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the following items under the Consent Agenda:
1. Regular Meeting Minutes of January 17, 2019.
2. Check Register and Warrant Report for January 2019.
3. Bill from Moran Economic Development for administration of TIF in the amount of $1,952.40 to be taken out of TIF.
4. Bill from Brown & Roberts for South McKinley Street flooding in the amount of $556.09.
Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Jim Brown of Brown & Roberts reminded Council he had been authorized to provide the plans and specs for the Mill Street extension. He stated the estimate was a quarter million dollars. He inquired as to how it was to be paid. He stated, if the intention was to use MFT funds, it would have to be reviewed and approved through Carbondale before starting the project. He stated, if other funds were to be used, the project could start tomorrow. Council agreed Capital Development funds were to be used. Commissioner Miller moved to authorize Brown & Roberts to proceed with advertising for bids. Commissioner Harper seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Brown distributed a map of the McKinley Street area where there were some previously discussed drainage issues; the aerial photo was illustrating two options. He explained there were four problems: 1.) part of the drainage pipes go under a house, 2.) the pipes go from a 24” to a 15” then back to a 24”, 3.) a section of the pipe is laid uphill and 4.) the bottom 200’ has a corrugated metal section that is rotting out. Brown indicated the black circle was the section that was at the incorrect grade.
Brown stated the incorrect grade and the reduction in size needed to be corrected which was illustrated in yellow as Option 1 at an estimate of $170,000.00. After discussion with Superintendent Hefner and Danny Dunn about the condition of the rotting out section, Brown laid out Option 2 which would be replacing the whole system at an estimate of $315,000.00. Brown pointed out the estimates were without a detailed design and, because storm sewers must be at a constant grade and there were some sanitary lines out there also, which can’t be adjusted, there might be a possibility nothing can be done. He continued that, if the grades will work, then the estimates would be as accurate as possible.
Mayor McPeek wanted to clarify that Option 1 would solve the problem where the issue was first brought to attention. Brown explained it would help the situation and solve three of the problems. Mayor McPeek stated he thought they should proceed with Option 1. Commissioner Montfort asked where funding would come from. Commissioner Harper wanted to wait until next meeting before making a decision for him to review the financial situation because it was close to the end of the fiscal year.
Commissioner Harper asked if Option 1 would solve the problem. Brown stated it would not do anything for the lower section that was rotting out. Commissioner Weirauch asked if Option 2 would solve the problem. Brown stated that everything would help the problem. Commissioner Harper stated that was his hesitation, because he wanted to know if it would solve the problem or just be a step toward making it better.
Brown stated it would be a step because of the limitations of the whole system involving downstream of West Harrisburg. He stated when that water gets high, this system’s water doesn’t go anyplace and really high water will cause a backup into this system. Brown stated a lot of the area used to be open ditches. Commissioner Harper inquired about the flow and Brown stated from the High School it was going from east to west, noting the school had recently paved a lot of parking lot and paved area runs off faster. Council wanted to address the issue at the next meeting.
Brown stated there had been a telephone conference with Sam Al-Basha and two other individuals from IEMA and Eric Boe from Brown & Roberts, Clerk Wofford, Commissioner Harper and himself. He stated the project had been for funding for an impoundment east of Harrisburg to help with the flooding. He had been under the impression everything had been going fine but needed some clarification so he had requested a phone conference which had taken place on Wednesday. He stated the bottom line was that, because the County’s flood plan has expired, the City’s project is not eligible for funding until the County’s plan is reactivated, which he had not been aware of until the phone conference. Commissioner Montfort asked if the County was working on it. Brown stated we were told that they had applied for funding. Brown restated this call had been the first time anyone had known there was an issue. Commissioner Harper stated the bottom line was that the County dropped the ball when they didn’t apply to renew in a timely manner. He stated he would like Council to direct Brown to work with Attorney Bittle and draft a letter regarding the issue addressing Alan Ninnes with the County Board and made that as a motion. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Mayor McPeek stated Chief Gunning was not ready to request to advertise for the sale of property.
Attorney Bittle stated that Clerk Wofford had received a set of plans from Frontier Communications to lay some fiber optic lines. However, Frontier does not have an agreement like Futiva and Clearwave have for their fiber optic programs. He was asking Council to allow him to create a similar agreement for Frontier. Commissioner Harper moved to authorize Attorney Bittle to review formats for a Frontier Communications agreement. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Attorney Bittle stated Southeastern Illinois Cooperative had notified Clerk Wofford that their 25 year agreement had expired. They had sent a draft for updating the agreement. He asked for authorization to review the agreement and present it at the next meeting. Commissioner Harper made that a motion. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Miller stated Spring Clean Up would be March 11 through March 25 with Monday through Friday hours to be 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm. She stated the public could drop off at the old roundhouse or there would be house pickups by contacting the Street/Alley Department.
Commissioner Montfort thanked Peabody Coal for donating to the Fire Department vests and equipment to be used for active shooting training so the Department can follow new State guidelines that require them to be trained just like the Police Department.
Commissioner Montfort stated the High School Safety Director Scott Isaacs and David Morris are working with the Fire Department and Police Department on active shooter training.
Commissioner Montfort stated the Memo of Understanding from SIC was in the packets for Council review. She stated there were some language issues but other towns had signed off on it. She wanted it clear that, if there was a problem at the college, the City would help but the City’s first priority would be the City. She stated it could be approved at the next meeting.
Commissioner Montfort stated the shooting range project had been turned over to the Public Property Commissioner Weirauch for the location but moved to approve proceeding with its construction. Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Harper referred to TIF Administrator Keith Moran’s letter detailing payments as per redevelopment agreements. He moved to make payments to DPS Properties in the amount of $2,048.94, Morello’s Restaurant in the amount of $287.68, Wooded Hills in the amount of $3,161.27 and Villas of Hollybrook (Keystone-Harrisburg Properties, LLC) in the amount of $94,191.12 to be paid out of TIF. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Mayor McPeek thanked all the City employees for working out in the today’s weather.
Mayor McPeek moved to direct the Merit Board to hire a new Police Officer and bring it before Council. Commissioner Weirauch stated there is a hiring freeze in effect. Commissioner Miller said that was done away with and it was for 318 only. Commissioner Montfort read from the Minutes of November 15, 2018 which indicated the hiring freeze was in effect until the ERI was paid in full and did not indicate it was for 318 only. Commissioner Miller argued it was a hiring freeze and this would be a replacement. Commissioner Montfort stated the hiring freeze would have to be lifted and restated for 318. Commissioner Harper stated what was needed was three fewer people paid out of General Fund. Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll call vote, Commissioner Miller and Mayor McPeek voted, yes; Commissioners Montfort, Harper and Weirauch abstained. Motion did not pass.
Citizen Cynthia Winters addressed Council regarding a skunk problem in her neighborhood. She stated the problem had been ongoing for five years and several solutions had been attempted. Fire Chief Gunning will look into obtaining an IDNR permit to kill and report back to Council. In the meantime, it was suggested that more traps be acquired and set out.
Citizen Paul Taylor addressed Council regarding a new Police Officer. He identified himself as the Police Chaplain. He wanted to share with Council that he believed they were being run to death and stated the hiring freeze should be lifted. Commissioner Montfort stated she was going to get them help but she wanted to do it the right way.
Commissioner Harper moved the meeting be adjourned to Executive Session to discuss Personnel. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, Commissioners Montfort, Harper and Weirauch and Mayor McPeek voted yes. Commissioner Miller voted no. Motion carried.
Adjourned: 6:29 pm. Reconvened: 7:51 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 Personnel.
Commissioner Harper moved to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Adjourned: 7:52 pm.