City of Mount Carmel City Council met Aug. 6.
Here is the minutes provided by the council:
Invocation was given by Reverend Tony Hodgson.
Present on Roll Call: Mayor Joe Judge Commissioners - Tom Meeks, Eric Ikemire, Justin Dulgar, Rod Rodriguez
Also, Present: City Administrative Assistant Rudy Witsman, City Attorney Kelli Storckman
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mayor Judge requested a motion to approve the minutes of the last council meeting.
Commissioner Dulgar motioned and Commissioner Ikemire seconded to approve the minutes of the meeting held on August 12th, 2019. All present voted Aye by Voice Vote.
Mayor Judge brought the city council meeting to order.
Mayor Judge acknowledged Mount Carmel Eagles Representative Jerry Spruell, who was in attendance seeking council approval for the “Eagles Fall Fest” event to be held on Friday, September 27th and Saturday, September 28th. Mr. Spruell reported the event will be held inside the club and also outside within a secured area of the parking lot. Mayor Judge stated the council will have to approve a special event liquor license for the event and that request will be presented at the next council meeting for approval.
Mayor Judge acknowledged Mark Schmidgall with ST Network, who was attendance to present to the council the services his company provides. Mr. Schmidgall stated ST Network will audit whatever utilities services the city pays for at no cost unless an error and/or overpayment in the city’s favor is found. Mr. Schmidgall further stated his company works on a commission only basis, however the commission is fifty percent. Mr. Schmidgall explained the company audits the tariffs, services fees, demand charges, revenue tax, etc. that are charged on utility bills and not the monthly billing rate, as those rates are set by the utility company. Mr. Schmidgall stated the company partners with not for profit organizations and the current project is to fund a solar farm in the southwest for the tribal nations of that area. Mayor Judge thanked Mr. Schmidgall and stated the council will take the information under advisement.
Mayor Judge announced Treat or Tricking for Halloween will be held on Wednesday, October 30th and Thursday, October 31st from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm each evening.
Mayor Judge reported the last day for the swimming pool to be open is Monday, September 2nd and a Labor Day Celebration will be held with free swimming that day at the pool. Mayor Judge thanked everyone who used the pool this year as well as everyone who rented the pool for parties. Mayor Judge stated there is one day left for a pool party rental, which is Sunday, September 1st.
Mayor Judge thanked the band “Bogard” for its $1000.00 donation to the city swimming pool for upgrades to the pool house. The band held a reunion at the pool house on Saturday, August 17th and the event went very well.
Mayor Judge reported several discussions have been held regarding the damaged city entrance sign on West Ninth Street near First National Bank. Mayor Judge stated this Wednesday is the tentative date for a new sign to be put up in replacement of the damaged one. The Rotary Club donated the replacement sign.
COMMISSIONER TOM MEEKS – STREETS, CEMETERIES AND PARKS
Commissioner Meeks asked residents to please be patient as the chip/seal program schedule has been changed due to the weather.
Commissioner Meeks stressed to residents that bags of yard waste that are set out for the brush crew to pick up should not weigh over fifty pounds. Commissioner Meeks stated the bags will not be picked up if they are over filled.
Commissioner Meeks reported in the last two weeks the street department has continued to mow parks and city properties; and worked on the chip/seal program as the weather permitted.
COMMISSIONER ERIC IKEMIRE – FINANCE AND SENIOR CITIZENS
Statement of Receipts and Expenditures – See attached agenda with financials.
Commissioner Ikemire reported $209,000.00 was received for the general fund, which greatly helps with the revenues for the fiscal year.
Commissioner Ikemire stated city hall has been working on some possible banking efficiencies to help streamline some of the city’s bookkeeping processes.
COMMISSIONER JUSTIN DULGAR – WATER AND SEWER
Commissioner Dulgar reiterated the final workshop meeting with Donahue and Three I Design was held on Friday, August 23rd, regarding the water treatment facility. Commissioner Dulgar stated the city now has two options to consider; build a new standard water treatment facility or build a new conventional facility with softened water. Commissioner Dulgar reported the standard treatment facility would be approximately $8.1 million and the facility with softened water would be approximately $9.9 million. Commissioner Dulgar reported the rehabilitation of the current water treatment plant was considered, however that expense was close to the same amount as building a new facility. Commissioner Dulgar stated, something to take into consideration, is the warnings from the Illinois EPA of how the chemistry of the water can be affected when the way it has been treated for years is changed. Commissioner Dulgar presented each of the council members with a copy of the report to take under advisement and stated any questions or concerns will be addressed by himself, Donahue or Three I Design.
COMMISSIONER ROD RODRIGUEZ – FIRE, HEALTH & SAFETY, GARBAGE, CITY HALL AND CIVIL DEFENSE
Commissioner Rodriguez reported in the last two weeks the fire department had eleven runs; provided mutual aid to the Gibson County Fire Department during a tanker truck fire; and a safety training meeting will be held tonight at 6:00 pm at the fire station.
Commissioner Rodriguez stated the Fall Fix-Up/Clean-Up week will be September 30th through October 4th. Commissioner Rodriguez reminded residents that electronics, televisions, microwaves, and construction material of any kind are items that will not be picked up. Commissioner Rodriguez stressed that residents cannot not leave the items sitting out if they are not picked up by Republic Services.
CITY ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT – RUDY WITSMAN
City Administrative Assistant Witsman stressed, during the pick-up/clean-up week, Republic Services will not pick up mattresses and box springs unless they are completely wrapped in plastic. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated this is Republic Services’ policy to protect their workers from any type of contamination.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported Wabash Valley Services had an online auction for some of their equipment at its Browns facility. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated a bid in the amount of $20,750.00 was submitted on a John Deere Loader to replace the aged loader the street department currently has. City Administrative Assistant Witsman recommended that council approve the purchase.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated the property owner in the one hundred block of Cedar Street asked the city to look into the possibility of only allowing parking on one side or the other as the street is narrow. City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported he has instructed Police Chief Turner to check out that area and advise the council if the request is feasible. City Administrative Assistant acknowledged Police Chief Turner, who stated he had monitored the street and at this time because it is a low traffic area he felt a “no parking sign” on one side of the street was not a necessity, however he would continue to monitor the area to help make a fair assessment.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman reiterated the resuming of the leaf pick-up service has been discussed at various times throughout the past year. City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported Street Department Superintendent Dave Easter has been in contact with a supplier from Evansville, Indiana, who will bring in a leaf machine for the city to look over and possibly try out in anticipation of purchasing the machine.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman reiterated at the previous council meeting the fee that is added into the water bill for garbage collection was presented for discussion. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated a fee increase will be necessary in order to continue the brush pick up service, as the previous fee of $13.00 will no longer support the program due to the rate increase from the new contract with Republic Services for garbage collection. City Administrative Assistant Witsman opened the meeting for discussion by the council and it was clarified that the fee increase will cover the operation expenses, only, with no profit revenues for the garbage fund. The council approved an increase of $6.00, which will increase the garbage fee on the water bill to $19.00.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman presented to the council Ordinance 2019, which repeals Ordinance 870, an adoption of international energy conservation code. City Administrative Assistant Witsman reviewed the ordinance along with City Inspector Mike Gidcumb and explained Ordinance 870 stated the city had to be in compliance with the State of Illinois Statues. City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported it would be in the best interest of the city that Ordinance 870 be repealed and let the administration of the ordinance of the conservation code fall back on the State of Illinois rather than the City of Mount Carmel.
City Administrative Assistant Witsman reiterated the replacement of yields signs with stop signs as well as putting up new stop signs at certain intersections was brought up for discussion during several council meetings. City Administrative Assistant Witsman provided the council with a list of the signs that are to be installed at various intersections throughout the city. City Administrative Assistant Witsman reported he had just been contacted today about the installation of a stop sign at the intersection of East Fourth and Plum Streets, which is a “T” road intersection and asked council approval to add that request to the sign list.
City Administrative Assistant Wtisman reported in order to allow golf carts on city streets an ordinance has to be developed. City Administrative Assistant Witsman stated they can only operate on city streets; cannot operate on state highways; they can cross a state highway at a designated intersection as long as it is a ninety degree angle; can only operate on city streets that the council designates and only on streets that the speed limit is no more than thirty-five miles an hour. City Administrative Assistant Witsman further stated the council will have to designate what type of vehicle would be allowed, as the state statues allows for a variety of four different types of vehicles. City Administrative Assistant Witsman explained it is not the intent to pass an ordinance at tonight’s council meeting but to determine what verbiage to include in the ordinance. After a lengthy discussion, the council decided to allow golf carts/UTVs only, and to charge a $50.00 annual fee. City Administrative Assistant stated he will prepare the ordinance and hopefully present it at the next council meeting.
CITY ATTORNEY – KELLI STORCKMAN
City Attorney Storckman no report.
CITY INSPECTOR – MIKE GIDCUMB
City Inspector Gidcumb absent.
STREET DEPARTMENT SUPERINTENDENT – DAVE EASTER
Street Department Superintendent Dave Easter no report.
POLICE CHIEF – RYAN TURNER
Police Chief Turner reiterated at a previous council meeting a discussion was held regarding the police department going into an agreement with Motorola and Richland County. Police Chief Turner stated, unfortunately, the police department could not come to an agreement with Richland County. Police Chief Turner reported the current computer system used for dispatching is out dated and the company that serviced the computer system is no longer in business. Police Chief Turner stated the State of Illinois is mandating a system upgrade in the near future. Police Chief Turner reported Motorola has submitted a new proposal for the computer system with the city’s portion being $51,590.00, which does not have to be paid until May, 2020 and Wabash County 911 will pay the $138,000.00 start-up portion as well as the cost of a new server. Police Chief Turner asked the council to take the request under advisement as a final contract is being prepared by the Wabash County State’s Attorney to be presented at a future council meeting. The council gave Police Chief Turner the approval to move forward with finalizing the contract.
FIRE CHIEF – FRANCES SPETH
Fire Chief Speth reported the fire department received the new generator last week, which should be operational within the next two weeks.
Fire Chief Speth reminded residents that open fires are only allowed in fire pits or fire rings and construction material is prohibited from being burned within the city limits as well as the use of flammable liquids to start fires.
Commissioner Dulgar motioned and Commissioner Meeks seconded to pay all bills bearing the proper signatures. All present voted Aye by voice vote.
Commissioner Ikemire motioned and Commissioner Rodriguez seconded to approve Ordinance 2018, confirming fees for disposal of garbage. The fee is set at $19.00. Waive second reading. All present voted Aye by voice vote.
Commissioner Meeks motioned and Commissioner Dulgar seconded to approve Ordinance 2019, which repealed Ordinance 870. Waive second reading. All present voted Aye by voice vote.
Commissioner Dulgar motioned and Commissioner Rodriguez seconded to approve Resolution 660, which involves placing stop signs at various intersections. All present voted Aye by voice vote.
Commissioner Meeks motioned and Commissioner Rodriguez seconded to approve the purchase of a 1998 John Deere Loader for $20,750.00. All present voted Aye by voice vote.
Commissioner Dulgar motioned and Commissioner Rodriguez seconded to go to executive session to discuss the possible purchase of real property for public body use. The reason to go to executive session is stipulated in the Illinois Compiled Statues 5 ILCS 120/2 (c) (5). All present voted Aye by roll call vote.
Regular session of council meeting recessed at 6:20 p.m. for executive session.
Executive session ended at 7:03 p.m.
Regular session of the recessed council meeting resumed at 7:05 p.m. with all members present.
Commissioner Ikemire motioned and Commissioner Dulgar seconded to approve Mayor Judge and City Clerk Witsman to meet with the owners of 631 N. Market Street to negotiate a deal to purchase the property to be used for the benefit of the city. All present voted Aye by roll call vote.
Meeting adjourned at 7:06 p.m.