Carbondale Reporter

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

City of Murphysboro City Council met May 14

By Michael Abella | Jul 9, 2019

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City of Murphysboro City Council met May 14.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

The Murphysboro, Illinois, City Council met in regular session, pursuant to its ordinances, on the 14th day of May, 2019.  Mayor Stephens called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and invited Pastor Charlie Allen to lead the council in prayer. Following the invocation, Mayor Stephens led the council in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Swearing in of Newly Elected Aldermen and City Clerk:  Mayor Stephens swore in City Clerk Gina Hunziker. City Clerk Gina Hunziker swore in newly elected Aldermen William Pierson, Barb Hughes, Gloria Campos, John Erbes and Russell Brown.

Mayor Stephens then directed City Clerk Hunziker to call the roll. The roll was called with the following:

Present:Barb Hughes, Russell Brown, William Pierson, Gary McComb, John Erbes, Dan Bratton, Mike Bastien, Gloria Campos

Absent:Jance Curry-Witzman, W. J. Pittman

The council then reviewed the minutes from the previous meeting.

Motion: To approve the minutes of the April 30, 2019, council meeting. All aldermen received a copy of the minutes, for their review, prior to the meeting.

Motion by Alderman McCombSecond by Alderman Erbes

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried 

Alderman McComb inquired as to:

#772 page 6 Cemetery Mowing-not getting a whole mowing, not mowing hillsides, not weed eating around tombstones, billing for whole mowing, should be adjusted.. He is supposed to call before mowing, only called the first time, has not called Alderman McComb since then. Would like to hold his check until he talks about adjusting the bill.

Mayor Stephens stated he had discussed with him that with all the rain, may want to pass up mowing low lying areas so he won’t rut them up. Alderman McComb stated he isn’t mowing the hillsides, should be able to, also not weed eating between the tombstones on 14th Street. Alderman Bratton stated he agreed with both but there is no excuse for not weed eating or returning Alderman McComb’s phone calls. Alderman Campos stated may need to send him a message that we have your check, you will need to adjust your price. Maybe we need to tell show him what needs to be done. Alderman McComb suggested the Mayor tell him he needs to call Alderman McComb. Mayor Stephens stated he can do that Thursday. Will hold this payment.  

Alderman Hughes inquired as to: 

#772 page 13 Power Plan – worked on both in one trip but charged mileage for two trips. Alderman Pierson asked if the equipment belongs to WWTP? No. Hold the bill.

Page 16 Southern Illinois Waste – does it go through the General Fund Instead of the WWTP? Mr. Evans stated past practice, he believes. 

Page 17 Tweedy Towing – what vehicle? 

Alderman Bratton inquired as to: 

#772 page 12 Tires – what vehicle? Sewer tank truck.

Motion: To approve the accounts payable, register #772 through May 14, 2019, except the mowing bill and the Power Plan bill, accounts receivable through April 30, 2019, and payroll through April, 2019. 

Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Hughes 

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor. 

Motion Carried

COMMITTEE/COMMISSION REPORTS

Mayor Stephens opened discussion for Budget & Finance related items.

Old Business:

Status of Project Reimbursements: Mayor Stephens stated he spoke to Joe Koppeis who said he has not heard from the insurance, he is having his attorney send a letter. Mayor Stephens stated he is sympathetic to Mr. Koppeis’ situation but open to sending a letter. Alderman Pierson asked what the circumstances are. Mayor Stephens answered we moved the sewer line out of the flood plain. Alderman Bratton stated we agreed to pay for the sidewalk out by the airport but Joe paid for it. Mayor Stephens stated we can try to seek a grant to pay our part. Joe agreed to pay our part. May be getting a $100,000 grant towards sidewalks, etc. Maybe we can pay ourselves back out of that? Alderman Bratton stated we paid $30,000. Alderman Hughes asked if a motion is needed to contact Mr. Koppeis by letter or should we give him another two weeks to mourn the loss of his home and mother-in-law? Mayor Stephens asked the council to give him until the next meeting. If nothing is heard, can move forward at that time. Alderman Erbes stated he doesn’t think we need to start suing. Alderman Hughes stated just a letter to give a nudge. 

New Business: Nothing at this time.

No public comment.

Alderman McComb opened discussion for Building & Grounds related items.

Old Business: Nothing at this time.

New Business:

Consideration of donating parcel #14-04-157-013 to First Assembly of God: Alderman McComb suggested donating the half lot on North 17th Street to the church, as they own the other half of the lot and they would accept it.

Motion: To donate parcel #14-04-157-013 to First Assembly of God. 

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Brown

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

No public comment.

Alderman Erbes opened discussion for Community Relations Committee related items.

Old Business: Nothing at this time.

New Business:

Consideration of Amending Chapter 27 – Noise Ordinance: (See below)

Consideration of Request to close alley behind River Rats – A Dive Bar: Both of these go together. Mayor Stephens stated Luke Griffin is present. He is the Owner of River Rats. Mr. Griffin stated he would like the noise ordinance to change from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm for the one evening, May 18th. He is having a lot of musicians in and would like to be able to play for an extra hour if needed. Alderman Bratton stated he has no problem with it.

Motion: To approve the request of River Rate – A Dive Bar’s application to extend the noise ordinance from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm on May 18th.

Motion by Alderman BrattonSecond by Alderman Bastien

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Bald Knob Cross Golf Scramble: Received a note thanking us for sponsoring a hole for the fund raiser.

No public comment.

Alderman Bastien opened discussion for Public Improvement related items.

Old business:

Discussion regarding the condition of various properties: Alderman Bastien stated:

1.Old Depot: Mayor Stephens stated this is a never ending issue, wonder if the condition of the roof is a violation? Mr. Kennedy stated he will send a letter. Mayor Stephens asked how the council feels, do we want to take any action? Alderman Bratton said to send a nice friendly letter that no work has been done on the Old Depot building in a year, last thing we want to start is legal proceeding, what date will you be starting work on the building? Mayor Stephens asked that someone go with him to meet with the owner. Alderman Campos stated take a letter to him. Alderman Hughes stated that notes from when Mr. Schaldemose attended a council meeting, he stated he planned a roof by the end of the year – ask him if he has any idea when? Mayor Stephens stated he will meet with him with Alderman McComb. Alderman Bratton stated the windows are not boarded up, that is a violation.

2.North 17th Street: No new information.

3.South 14th Street: Mr. Kennedy stated the dumpster is there, sitting empty, a letter has been sent. Alderman Bratton stated he has spoken to the person doing the demo, will get to it as soon as he can, rain is hampering him. Alderman Hughes stated the letter was sent to the property owner. Mayor Stephens stated the neighbors have been complaining. Alderman McComb asked if Chief McBride and Chief Ellermeyer were able to get in the Laclede Hotel building? It is scheduled for next week. Alderman Bratton asked that the Laclede Hotel be put back on the agenda.

New business:

Consideration of Ordinance to set the public hearing date for the Downtown TIF Redevelopment Plan and Project: Ms. Ripley stated July 9 at 5:30 pm before the regular council meeting.

Motion: To approve the ordinance to set the public hearing date for the Downtown TIF Redevelopment Plan and Project for July 9 at 5:30 pm.

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Erbes

Mayor Stephens called for a roll call vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

No public comment

Alderman Bratton opened discussion for Public Works related items.

Old business:

Discussion/Update of flooding issue and legal action: Attorney Blake stated Mr. Sheffer is going to look at what is needed. Mr. Sheffer stated he will need a legal description of what is needed, is trying not to get on Mr. Ruble’s property for the survey. Alderman Bratton stated the school gave us permission last time. Mayor Stephens asked Attorney Blake are there any solutions when Mr. Sheffer talks about problems regarding surveying Mr. Ruble’s property? Attorney Blake stated will need to file an action requiring him to allow a surveyor on the property. Mayor Stephens asked if a motion by the council is needed? Or a letter from the attorney? Attorney Blake answered will see what Mr. Sheffer needs first. Mayor Stephens stated we know we need to lower the culvert. Mr. Sheffer stated will need access to railroad property, lowering the culvert will result in water going onto Mr. Ruble’s property. Will need some type of retention. Alderman Bratton asked Mr. Sheffer is there any possible way at the next meeting to know what we need? Mr. Sheffer answered if we can do this on school property, will try to do that. Alderman Bratton stated we need to sit down and talk to the school district regarding partnering on this expense. It is a safety issue. Maybe attend a board meeting. Mayor Stephens stated once we get some cost estimates, he thinks they should help with the cost. Mr. Sheffer stated could possibly pursue another DCO grant, with the school having to close due to flooding. Mayor Stephens stated can reach out to Cary Manis for help with the grant.

New business: Nothing at this time.

No public comment:

Alderman Brown opened discussion for Public Safety related items.

Old business: Nothing at this time.

New business:

Consideration of declaring police department weapons as surplus and to offer the officers the first opportunity to purchase at trade-in value: Chief Ellermeyer stated will sell back for the trade in value, $5400. The balance will come out of the seized assets fund, net cost of $6529. Alderman Hughes asked if ok to sell to an employee? Yes.

Motion: To declare police department weapons as surplus and to offer the officers the first opportunity to purchase at trade in value and purchase new weapons for the police department.

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Campos

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Consideration of purchase of new weapons for the police department: Chief Ellermeyer stated the Glock 40’s are ten years old and the sights are fading. Contacted Keesler for trade in, switching to 9mm, better weapon. Eighteen Glocks, holster included, $10,472. plus two extra for total of $11,929.

Consideration of taking responsibility of the billing for the lighting at the parking lot East of the Sr. Citizen Center: Mr. Kennedy had looked at the lights due to being turned off. City is not paying for these. Spoke to Ameren lineman, suggested look into Ameren installing poles and lights. Would be cheaper. Mayor Stephens stated good security for that lot.

Motion: To assume responsibility of the billing for the lighting at the parking lot East of the Sr. Citizen’s Center.

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Pierson

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

No public comment.

Alderman Hughes opened discussion for Personnel related items.

Old business: Nothing at this time.

New business:

Mayor Stephens stated he met with Mr. Ferguson of the Laborer’s and the clerical staff has submitted a proposal. Aldermen Hughes, Erbes and Brown have served as the committee in the past, would they like to continue? Yes. Will meet May 20th at 5:00 pm, committee will meet at 4:00 pm. Alderman Hughes asked if Mark will be there? Mayor Stephens was not sure. Alderman Hughes stated Mark said he has talked to Mr. Ferguson. Alderman Erbes stated he has spoken to Mark. Alderman Hughes asked Ms. Ripley if she will be there? She can be.

No public comment.

MAYOR’S REPORT

Last Friday the Mayor attended a meeting of the Southwest Connector Group. They have voted to determine the route they will be advocating for. Will get with IDOT for the application to secure funding for north of Murphysboro to Vergennes, since that part is engineered, has right of way and is ready to go.

Motion: To go into executive session at 7:02 pm to discuss matters related to 5ILCS 120/2(c)(1) regarding the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body.

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Campos

Yeas: Alderman Hughes, Alderman Brown, Alderman Pierson, Alderman McComb, Alderman Erbes, Alderman Bratton, Alderman Bastien, Alderman Campos

Nays: None

Absent: Alderman Curry-Witzman, Alderman Pittman

Motion Carried

Motion: To come out of executive session at 7:24 p.m.

Motion by Alderman McCombSecond by Alderman Bastien

Yeas: Alderman Hughes, Alderman Brown, Alderman Pierson, Alderman McComb, Alderman Erbes, Alderman Bratton, Alderman Bastien, Alderman Campos

Nays:None

Absent: Alderman Curry-Witzman, Alderman Pittman

Motion Carried

Motio

Mayor Stephens stated he would entertain a motion to consider an increase for Lt. Laughland.

Motion: To increase Lt. Laughland’s pay by 5% starting January 1, 2020.

Motion by Alderman BastienSecond by Alderman McComb

Mayor Stephens called for a roll call vote.

Alderman Campos – yesAlderman Bastien – yesAlderman Bratton – no

Alderman Erbes – yesAlderman McComb – yesAlderman Pierson – no

Alderman Brown – noAlderman Hughes – no

Mayor Stephens casted the tie breaker vote and voted yes.

Motion Carried

ALDERMEN ANNOUNCEMENTS/REQUESTS

Barb Hughes Nothing

Jance Curry-Witzman Absen

Russell Brown Nothing

William Pierson Glad to be back

Gary McComb Nothing

John Erbes Asked Chief McBride if the material is ordered for the fire station, should be complete tomorrow.

Dan Bratton Nothing.

Mike Bastien Welcomed Alderman Pierson back, look forward to working with him.

Gloria Campos Murphysboro Main Street has done an awesome job of putting in the planters. Also Princess For A Day fundraiser at 17th Street. 

W. J. Pittman Absent 

DEPARTMENT HEAD ANNOUNCEMENTS/REQUESTS 

Richard Blake Nothing

Sandra Ripley Nothing

Harold Sheffer Received cost estimate of annexation areas, are from 2006.

Steve McBride Nothing

Jamie Ellermeyer Asked when Lt. Laughland’s 5% raise starts? January 1, 2020

Lt. Laughland Nothing

Scott EvansAuditors did an exit conference today, nothing notable. Will present at the June 11 meeting.

Eric Kennedy Nothing

Brian ManwaringThe fiber optic cable has developed some issues, lost internet, delayed emails, texts, JULIE’s. The end has gone bad, water in it. Still have one good strand. Spoke to Burke Electric, would be $500 to re-terminate the fiber. Would cost $3000 to replace the fiber with new ends. Would be a new type of fiber, would provide a lot more flexibility. Would the council like to do the $500 or $3000? Alderman Campos asked how old it is? 5-6 years old. Alderman McComb asked about the other cable? All are outdoor rated. Alderman Bratton asked what the new cable longevity would be? Probably 10-15 years. Alderman Campos thinks we should replace it. Mayor Stephens stated it will be an agenda item for the next meeting.

Jim Stewart Nothing

Katharine Volle Nothing

Motion: To adjourn

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Campos

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.

http://www.murphysboro.com/government/administration/council_meetings/meeting_agendas_and_minutes.php

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City of Murphysboro City Council