City of Murphysboro City Council met December 19.
City of Murphysboro City Council met Dec. 19.
Here is the minutes provided by the Council:
The Murphysboro, Illinois, City Council met in regular session, pursuant to its ordinances, on the 19th day of December, 2017. Mayor Stephens called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and invited Pastor Jerry Hickam to lead the council in prayer. Following the invocation, Mayor Stephens led the council in the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Mayor Stephens then directed City Clerk Cottonaro to call the roll. The roll was called with the following
Present: Barb Hughes, Russell Brown, Herb Voss, Gary McComb, John Erbes, Danny Bratton, Mike Bastien, Gloria Campos, W. J. Pittman
Absent: Jance Curry-Witzman
A public hearing was held from 5:00 p.m. to 5:10 p.m. to review and consider the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. There were no comments.
Motion: To approve the minutes of the December 12, 2017 council meeting and the November 21, 2017 and November 27, 2017 budget meetings. All aldermen received a copy of the minutes, for their review, prior to the meeting. Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Brown Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor. Motion Carried
Motion: To approve the accounts payable, register #648 through December 19, 2017, accounts receivable through December 19, 2017 and payroll through December 19, 2017. All aldermen received a copy of the accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll for their review, prior to the meeting. Motion by Alderman Bastien Second by Alderman McComb Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor. Motion Carried
Alderman Pittman opened the Budget & Finance Meeting.
Motion: To approve hiring a full time employee in the street department effective July 1, 2018. Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Bastien Alderman Pittman called for a voice vote. All were in favor. Motion Carried
Alderman Pittman stated he was not in favor of increases in city license fees.
Motion: To approve an increase in city license fees as recommended effective May 1, 2018. Motion by Alderman Hughes Second by Alderman Voss Yeas: Alderman Hughes, Alderman Brown, Alderman Voss, Alderman McComb, Alderman Erbes, Alderman Bratton, Alderman Bastien, Alderman Campos Nays: Alderman Pittman Motion Carried
Motion: To approve a 15 percent salary increase for the position of chieftain for Chief Swafford from 1/1/18 to 12/31/18. Motion by Alderman Erbes Second by Alderman Bratton Alderman Pittman called for a voice vote. All were in favor. Motion Carried
Motion: To approve a two percent salary increase for non-union department heads beginning 1/1/2018. Motion by Alderman Hughes Second by Alderman Campos Alderman Pittman called for a voice vote. All were in favor. Motion Carried
Alderman Pittman inquired about budgeting for retro pay for the police and Mr. Hollo’s contract. We did not take that into account. Approximately $60,000 in back pay. Mayor Stephens stated we also have the Tina Drive issue to be considered. Mayor stated we are aware of it and we will have to look at our sales tax receipts as they come in and we may need to make some hard decisions later on. Alderman Hughes stated we approved a two percent pay increase last year and then didn’t settle with the police. Alderman Bratton stated the budget is guideline.
Motion: To approve the Proposed 2018 Fiscal Year Budget. Motion by Alderman Voss Second by Alderman Bratton Alderman Pittman called for a voice vote. All were in favor. Motion Carried
Motion: To approve the proposed Tax Levy for 1/1/2017 to 12/31/17. Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Bastien Alderman Pittman called for a voice vote. All were in favor. Motion Carried
No public comment.
Alderman McComb opened the Building and Grounds Meeting.
Attorney Heller gave an update on the North 23rd and Union Pacific issue. He sent a detailed letter plus copies of our maintenance specifics and asked for copies of their maintenance specifics. Alderman Erbes inquired about a time frame and Attorney Heller stated he asked for a 30 day response time.
No public comment.
Alderman Erbes opened the Community Relations Committee Meeting.
There is no old or new business. There was no public comment.
Alderman Bastien opened the Public Improvement Committee Meeting.
Discussion was held regarding the recommendation from the Murphysboro Plan Commission to approve the division of property located off of Flanigan Road and Fiddler Ridge Road. Attorney Heller stated they wished to divide the property into four sections. The McGowan family owned the ground and rental properties and so each is a single family residence and has its own lot. It complies with our subdivision code and requires no changes, they already have street entrances. The Plan Commission has already approved the request. Alderman Erbes asked if water and sewer were separate for each residence and he was told yes they are.
Motion: To approve the division of property located off of Flanigan Road and Fiddler Ridge Road. Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Brown Alderman Bastien called for a voice vote. All were in favor. Motion Carried
The fence dispute on Division Street was discussed. This is an issue between Regina Jones of 1836 Division Street, Candace Jacobs of 1826 Division Street and Frances Weber of 1828 Division Street. Ms. Jones addressed the council for herself and her mother, Frances Weber. She distributed handouts. Candace Jacobs put up a fence between two proprieties-Ms. Jones and her moms. Fence should be 3’ from property line and shed 5’. Bob Eaton did a survey for Ms. Jones. Jacobs are disputing the survey but they haven’t had a survey done for themselves. Attorney Heller stated since the dispute is about property lines the circuit court-civil side has to settle it, the city can then enforce the ordinance after the court settles the dispute. This is a land dispute between three parties. There is an ordinance violation, we can ticket for shed. We cannot determine boundary lines or damages. Alderman Erbes inquired if a permit was issued before building the fence. No it was not. Alderman Voss stated since they didn’t get a permit to put up the fence or shed can’t we ask to remove the fence. Attorney Heller stated we can cite for no permit but doesn’t know about having them remove the fence. Mayor Stephens thinks a fine should be issued for fence being placed without a permit and see if we can get it removed.
Motion: To approve to proceed as far as we can to enforce this, ticket Ms. Jacobs and pursue to see if we can remove the fence. Motion by Alderman Voss Second by Alderman Erbes Alderman Bastien called for a voice vote. All were in favor. Motion Carried
Alderman Bratton opened the Public Works Committee Meeting.
Mayor Stephens stated he had talked with Tim Lee regarding his request to carry over more vacation days than what the contract allows. Tim has a 3 pm appointment at Barnes and that is why he isn’t here. Mayor Stephens stated that Tim has a considerable amount of sick, vacation and comp time on the books, and he can take that and then if he still needs time we can consider past practice of borrowing other’s time or go in the hole on time. Alderman Bratton stated we should continue to monitor and not address until he has used up his sick days, etc. Don’t want to set up a precedent. We will continue to monitor and discuss later.
No public comment.
Alderman Brown opened the Public Safety Committee Meeting.
Discussion regarding the ordinance amending the offense of fighting by agreement. Chief has done further research of what other towns have done and Attorney Heller’s office has also researched. The 1999 ordinance is not a good ordinance and Chief Roberts wants to pursue enforcement, however, the judge doesn’t like our ordinance, it is too simplistic. Chief Roberts and Attorney Heller are coming to a middle ground on the wording. A new ordinance will be prepared for the next meeting.
No public comment.
Alderman Hughes opened the Personnel Committee Meeting.
Mayor Stephens stated he has not heard anything regarding the police contract, just waiting. Alderman Hughes gave an update on the position in the street department- we are beginning interviews. Alderman Campos inquired how many applicants for the position; mayor said 15-20. Darrin said when he applied there were 108 applicants.
No public comment.
Mayor stated the following:
1. He met with Ameren, Tim Lee, Darrin Mills and Eric Kennedy. In February Ameren is tearing down the plant by the Big Muddy River and the Ameren building across the street from Kentucky Fried Chicken. 2. Met with Illini asphalt at J. T. Blankenship and expressed our displeasure on the surfacing. Mayor said the guy agreed to take the issue back to his boss about adjusting the bill. Not sure about fixing the problem but if they do fix it it won’t be until spring.
Alderman Erbes asked if there were any plans for the Ameren Walnut Street building and Mayor Stephens stated that the clean-up is much more extensive at that building then the one by the river as there is so much more contamination.
Barb Hughes Have a nice holiday
Russell Brown Informed Eric that the brick building behind him has no roof and someone took the plywood from the door and kids are playing in there. He ran them off but it is a safety issue.
Herb Voss Safe travels and Merry Christmas
Gary McComb Nothing
John Erbes Thanks for holiday party. Very good.
Dan Bratton Party was nice, we enjoyed it. He would like for Mr. Hollo to give an update report every two months about what he’s doing on grants. Alderman Hughes inquired when did Mr. Hollo’s contract start. No one was sure of start date.
Mike Bastien Meat tray from Ozburn Insurance Agency for council’s enjoyment. Tray came from Jack’s Meat Market.
Gloria Campos Broken windows update. Chief Roberts stated they used marbles and a slingshot. There was no physical evidence, no witnesses and the cameras caught nothing. Wished everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
W. J. Pittman Nothing
DEPARTMENT HEAD ANNOUNCEMENTS/REQUESTS
Edward Heller Resumed talks with Carl Homan’s attorney regarding the shoe factory walls. The issue is if Carl is mentally able to make a contract to take down the walls. If he is okay all is okay, if not mentally okay it will take more maneuvers.
Sandra Ripley Nothing
Scott Evans Nothing
Steve Swafford Merry Christmas
Chad Roberts January 16th at 6:30 p.m. at the Senior Center there will be a banquet and awards for the police. He wants to make this an annual event. It will be catered and is funded by local donations. The council is invited. The new cars are equipped and rolled out.
Eric Kennedy Nothing
Darrin Mills Nothing
Jim Stewart Nothing
Motion: To adjourn Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Hughes Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor. Motion Carried Meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.