Harrisburg City Council met March 21
Harrisburg City Council met March 21.
Here is the minutes provided by the council:
Mayor John McPeek presided over the meeting with Commissioners Natalie Miller, Beth Montfort, Richard Harper and Mike Weirauch answering roll call.
Pastor Dan Masters from the First Church of God led the group in prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioner Harper noted the IDOT invoice on the Consent Agenda was for the Rt. 13 traffic light, not St. Mary’s Drive. He made a motion to approve the following items under the corrected Consent Agenda:
1. Minutes of the Regular Meeting of March 7, 2019.
2. Accept Saline County Circuit Clerk court fees in the amount of $6,479.41
3. Bill from So. IL Local Media Group for ad for Mill Street extension bids in the amount of $137.98 to be taken out of Capital Improvement.
4. Bill from IDOT for (corrected) Rt. 13 traffic light in the amount of $5,706.27 approved on July 19, 2018 to be taken out of Council Contingency; approve now to be taken out of MFT. 5. Harrisburg Lake:
Robert E. Summers - Second Addition, Block 1, Lot 15
J. Karsten Rilying - First Addition, Block 2, Lot 12
James and Judy Beckham - Second Addition, Block 2, Lot 20
Commissioner Montfort seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Attorney Todd Bittle informed Council that Frontier had submitted a site plan for an underground line and Clerk Wofford had noted they did not have an agreement similar to Futiva or Clearwave. He was presenting to Council an agreement that Frontier had not yet seen but mirrors the language in other agreements. He stated it could be approved and the Mayor authorized to sign upon Frontier’s acceptance of the agreement. Commissioner Harper made that motion. Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Attorney Bittle stated the ordinance was to complete the sale for 214 East Ford that Council had accepted a bid at the last meeting. Commissioner Miller moved to pass Ordinance 1771 an Ordinance Authorizing the Sale of Certain Surplus Real Estate Owned By the City of Harrisburg. Commissioner Harper seconded.
By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Commissioner Harper moved to authorize the Mayor to sign the deed to 214 East Ford. Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Jim Brown of Brown & Roberts distributed copies of recent emailed paperwork that indicated the IEPA loan for the watermain rehab had been awarded. He stated the $2,821,781.40 loan would be at a 1.38 percent simple annual interest rate and it also qualified for a $1,500,000.00 loan forgiveness. He stated this was outstanding news.
Brown stated there were 20 easements that had been attempted on the watermain rehab project. There were some sanitary and storm sewers that were closer than 10 feet to the waterline. He stated new regulations required that 10foot separation and that was the reason for needing the easements. He stated all but six have been acquired and five of those had committed to the easement. The one remaining was still being worked on and Attorney Bittle may have to be brought in to help with it.
Brown stated the Phase 2 of the 2014 Watermain Rehab project was replacing the remaining cast iron lines in the City. He stated the loan applications in the packets needed the Mayor’s signature. Commissioner Harper moved to authorize the Mayor to sign the necessary documents for the loan. Commissioner Weirauch seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Brown stated there had been a bid opening for the Mill Street extension. There were four bidders and the low bidder was Ben Teston of Pinoy Construction with a bid of $171,027.91. Brown stated that acquiring the property from the owner had not been done yet and Attorney Bittle would have to be authorized to prepare the documents for that before the bid could be awarded. Commissioner Harper moved to authorize Attorney Bittle to prepare the paperwork that is necessary for the City to either have control of or ownership of the land for the extension of Mill Street south of Sloan. Commissioner Montfort asked if there were businesses coming in or was the City putting in a road but no businesses were coming in. Mayor McPeek stated he hoped there would be businesses coming in and believed the road would help with that. Commissioner Miller seconded the motion. By roll call vote, Commissioners Miller, Harper and Weirauch and Mayor McPeek, voted yes. Commissioner Montfort abstained. Motion carried.
Commissioner Harper stated that Attorney Bittle should use his judgment as to the correct type of deed.
Rick Lane, the owner of the property asked to address Council. He stated there had been platted streets and alleys on the property at one time. He stated no business would want to build on the property without access roads. He stated he has spent $650,000.00 already to improve the property and needed the City’s help to promote the property for businesses.
Fire Chief John Gunning stated the City is holding an insurance check that would cover the cost of demolition of the fire damaged property of Steve Ragan. Ragan has not started the demolition or rehab but, Chief Gunning was asking that Council authorize Clerk Wofford to endorse the check when the project had passed his inspection. Commissioner Harper stated that previously Council had waited until Chief Gunning had informed Council the project was complete and he wanted to follow the same procedure. The authorization was tabled.
Superintendent Kelly Hefner stated the 2019 Consumer Confidence Report was available for review in the Clerk’s office, the Water Department Office and on the website.
Commissioner Miller reminded everyone that Spring Clean Up would be through March 25. Commissioner Montfort gave the video gaming numbers for the past few years.
Commissioner Montfort stated the Police Department had begun posting on Facebook a Monday Blotter with the tickets that had been issued for the week and it was receiving positive feedback.
Commissioner Montfort stated two Firemen had received 200 hours of training.
Commissioner Montfort stated three Firemen had participated in the rescue task force for school shootings and eventually all Firemen would have the same training in order to provide assistance to the Police Department if needed.
Commissioner Harper stated the 2019/2020 Budget being presented at the meeting would be available for review in the Clerk’s office. He stated a Public Hearing would be held at 5:45 pm prior to the next Council Meeting on April 4 when it could be passed.
Commissioner Weirauch stated he had met with Wes Sherrod from the Saline County Board to discuss some caskets being stored in a County building. He stated he was looking into some avenues to dispose of the caskets and would have information at the next meeting.
Mayor McPeek stated that Commissioner Montfort may not be at the next meeting so he wanted to thank her for her service on Council.
Mayor McPeek read a letter from Superintendent Hefner that indicated he would be retiring next month and his last day of work would be April 15.
Wes Sherrod addressed Council regarding the caskets owned by the City that are being stored in a County building. He stated he was going to empty the building and seek a business to occupy it. He had an idea of possibly holding an auction with items from the City, the County and other County cities. At that auction, he wanted to also list excess County property and invited the City to do the same.
Sherrod asked that any profits received from the possible sale of the caskets be split with the County.
He lamented the financial situation of the County and stated they had even considered closing the jail to meet their financial goals in addition to the 7 1⁄2% across the board cuts this year with layoffs and 7 1⁄2% cut next year as well as more layoffs. He stated their goal was to meet the financial needs without borrowing money.
Sherrod stated he was aware that Commissioner Harper had budgeted $201,000.00 for Central Dispatch. Commissioner Harper stated that just because it was budgeted did not mean that amount would be distributed.
Commissioner Montfort asked why the County was paying for 13 road commissioners and 13 of every piece of equipment. Sherrod stated they would have to wait to make any changes until the current terms were up in four years and then it would have to be put before the voters.
Mayor McPeek directed Sherrod back to the Central Dispatch issue. Sherrod clarified the $201,000.00 would start with this May for a two year contract. Commissioner Harper stated he was thinking a three year contract. After some exchanges, Clerk Wofford asked Commissioner Harper if he would be meeting with Sherrod before the next meeting to negotiate and then put it on the next Agenda. Commissioner Harper stated he would do that.
Commissioner Harper moved to adjourn. Commissioner Miller seconded. By roll call vote, all voted yes. Motion carried.
Adjourned: 6:41 pm.