Carbondale Reporter

Carbondale Reporter

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

City of Murphysboro City Council met June 11

By Michael Abella | Jul 9, 2019

Meet

City of Murphysboro City Council met June 11.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

The Murphysboro, Illinois, City Council met in regular session, pursuant to its ordinances, on the 11th day of June, 2019. Mayor Stephens called the meeting to order at 6:02 p.m. and invited Alderman Hughes 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 Hunziker to call the roll. The roll was called with the following:

Present: Barb Hughes, Jance Curry-Witzman, William Pierson, Gary McComb, John Erbes, Dan Bratton, Mike Bastien, W.J. Pittman

Absent:Russell Brown, Gloria Campos

Mayor Stephens introduced the newly hired Telecommunicators: Brianna Hanks and Tonya Howard. Chief Ellermeyer stated that Ms. Hanks just finished her training and is doing well and that Ms. Howard is in her second week of training and is doing well.

Mayor Stephens then read a letter presented to him by Jim Stewart stating his intention to retire as of December 31, 2019. Mayor Stephens stated that Mr. Stewart has been great to work with and has been great for the city. The Mayor continued, stating that

Mr. Stewart’s whole family’s legacy has been to go above and beyond.

The council then reviewed the minutes from the previous meeting.

Motion: To approve the minutes of the May 28, 2019, council meeting. All aldermen received a copy of the minutes, for their review, prior to the meeting.

Motion by Alderman McCombSecond by Alderman Bratton

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

Motion Carried

Alderman Bratton inquired as to:

#780 page 3 Bill Martin – budgeted for replacement of computer

page 3 Eagle Engraving – 4 firefighters will be receiving commendations

page 5 Heartland – met with Alderman McComb, showed the pictures, has weedeated, told Ms. Mulholland to let their check go.

page 10 Redi Mix Solution – replacement of sidewalk

page 12 Sam’s Club – late fee? Was mailed on time. Alderman Bastien asked if have tried to negotiate? Ms. Mulholland stated she will try to get it waived. Alderman Bratton stated as soon as you receive the bill, go ahead and pay, if the council approves.

Alderman Hughes inquired as to:

#780 page 1 & 6 Anna Quarries & Kinkaid Stone Co – cold patch, Kinkaid is cheaper, both are owned by E. T. Simmonds.

Page 3 ESA Inc – lamps & ballast? UV system, you have to replace a percentage of the bulbs each year.

Motion: To approve the accounts payable, register #780 through June 11, 2019, accounts receivable through May 31, 2019, and payroll through May, 2019.

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman McComb

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

Motion Carried

COMMITTEE/COMMISSION REPORTS

Alderman Pittman opened discussion for Budget & Finance related items.

Old Business: Nothing at this time.

New Business:

Consideration of Proposal from ST Network: Attorney Heller stated legally this is fine. Mr. Jason McKee stated he can answer any questions, will work with Ms. Ripley and Ms. Mulholland. Fees are tax deductible, balance goes to the Not-For-Profit.

Motion: To approve proposal from ST Network to work on recovering overpaid monies to utilities.

Motion by Alderman HughesSecond by Alderman Bastien

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

Motion Carried

Presentation of Audit for Fiscal Year ending 12/31/2018 by Kerber, Eck & Braeckel: Anna Guetersloh stated the Required Formal Letter is in the packet. Responsibility of the audit is to give an opinion on the financial statements. The city will receive an Unmodified Opinion for FY2018, which is the highest you can get. The audit went really well, had full access to the books and full cooperation, no adjustments are proposed. Are getting good financial statements throughout the year. The last tab in the packet is the Processes and Procedures Recommendations. These are common is government, the city has good oversight for the payroll process and the disbursement process, would recommend Ms. Ripley be involved in the cash receipts process. Alderman Bratton asked if page 24 is what she is talking about? Yes. Ms. Volle stated that if you do an adjustment it prints out on a report. Some adjustments are really small but need to be done. Alderman Pittman stated maybe some procedural adjustments. Mayor Stephens stated they are good recommendations. Can review the adjustment report himself or someone else can.

Motion: To accept the audit as presented.

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Hughes

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

Motion Carried

Request by Occupant for Adjustment to the Water Bill at 905 Kristy Lane: Ms. Volle stated you can request an adjustment under special circumstances. This person has had several large water leaks, had one last year so not eligible at this time. This customer feels it is the city’s fault. Has a payment agreement but cannot keep up with it and does not want to. Mayor Stephens stated the leak is between the service main and the home, has already had one adjustment. This person has a history of not paying their bill and tampering. Alderman Pittman asked if they have a payment agreement? Yes. Alderman Bratton asked Attorney Heller his opinion – if we follow our rules, we are ok. Mr. Lee stated it is an old line, constantly breaking but they are not getting it fixed. Alderman Bratton asked if we have documentation? Ms. Volle stated maybe we could do a written agreement, bill is a little over $2000. Alderman Bratton asked if there are rules that we cannot shut off due to an ill child? Attorney Heller stated he will have to check on that. Mr. Lee stated have received letters from doctors to not shut off a service. Alderman Pierson asked if they rent or own? Own. Can we put a lien on it? We can but it ends up behind the mortgage. Alderman Bastien asked about the time frame? The past three billing cycles the leak was gushing. Alderman Bratton asked how much time to give notice? Thirty days. Alderman Erbes asked what the payment agreement is? $200 per month, now the customer does not feel should have to pay at all. Mayor Stephens suggested doing a written payment agreement with her, for $200 a month. Attorney Heller stated he will check on the child issue. Alderman Bratton stated this is not a first time deal, has done this at previous addresses, so no – do the standard procedure and document it. Alderman Pittman stated the standard procedure is no payment agreement, correct? Yes. Alderman Bratton stated to notify her that if she does not make a payment, will be disconnected. Attorney Heller asked what the average bill is? $100. Alderman Hughes stated find out regarding the child situation. Ms. Volle asked do a written agreement to pay by a certain date each month? Mayor Stephens stated it is better to have a written agreement. Attorney Heller stated he agrees and to acknowledge she has been given leeway above the regular procedures.

Discussion regarding South 17th Street/Cripps property: Alderman Pittman stated the property on South 17th Street has been sold to Adam Cripps. Mr. Cripps has asked if he can use the 20th Street tear-up as backfill? Yes. Also asked if he use the bricks from the old Shoe Factory. Mayor Stephens stated he would have to get clearance from the EPA and permission from the owner. Mr. Kennedy stated he cannot have the bricks, you cannot get asbestos out of the bricks. Alderman Pittman stated Mr. Cripps plans to pave part of it as parking for the museum, is going to tear down the fence on South 18th Street, is going to redo the building and bring it all up to code and maybe donate part of it to continue Division Street from 18th Street to 17th Street. Alderman McComb stated the cost to build the street would be a lot. Mayor Stephens stated that appeals to him, connectivity for the city is a good thing, will watch the progress. Mr. Kennedy stated the railroad is back in town and doing clean up.

Consideration of Annual Prevailing Wage Rate Ordinance:

Motion: To approve the annual Prevailing Wage Rate Ordinance.

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman McComb

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

Motion Carried

No public comment.

Alderman McComb opened discussion for Building & Grounds related items.

Old Business: Nothing at this time.

New Business:

Senior Citizen’s Building Doors: Alderman McComb stated the doors on the north side need to be replaced, they are wore out. Estimated cost is $2770.32. They will be ADA compliant when done. Alderman Bratton stated that the city pays so much per year, where are we at? Mr. Evans stated he thinks we are at $7000-8000 already, will check on the amount for the next meeting. Alderman McComb stated he will have it put on the agenda for the next meeting.

No public comment.

Alderman Erbes opened discussion for Community Relations Committee related items.

Old Business:

Discussion regarding Noise Ordinance: Attorney Heller stated he has a copy of Carbondale and Mt. Vernon’s ordinances. Mt. Vernon’s was not much help. Carbondale has an ordinance in the Liquor Code for a special license fee for beer gardens, which allows outdoor noise from twelve o’clock to two a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with an exception for noise from city sponsored events. That may be the way to go – have a special license for a beer garden and how much noise to be allowed. Mayor Stephens stated currently daytime hours are from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm, nighttime hours are from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am., with an exception for city sponsored events. Attorney Heller stated you live in the city, there is lots of noise. 75 feet to 100 feet is not reasonable. Mayor Stephens stated that people have the right to petition our government and we start looking at our ordinances. It is hard to decide who is more important. It is a business district. Alderman Bratton stated that River Rats is in a commercial district. The complaint is good, to have a discussion regarding the noise ordinance. Zoning should be considered, residential should be different than commercial. Alderman Pierson stated only one block off Walnut is commercial, feels 10:00 pm is right, can we check decibels? Alderman Pittman answered would have to monitor it and enforce it. Alderman Pierson stated if it is off at 10:00, he doesn’t mind. Alderman Curry-Witzman stated if we enforce 10:00 pm, growth will decrease, feels like 10:00 pm is too early. For our events, 10:00 pm is too early. Recommends midnight. Alderman Pittman stated bars stay open until 2:00 am. Mayor Stephens stated we are talking about amplified music. At 11:00 pm are ready for it to go down. Get an ad hoc committee and put something together to present. Alderman Pierson, Alderman Curry-Witzman, Alderman Erbes and Mayor Stephens agreed to be on that committee.

New Business:

Request for Variance to Noise Ordinance – River Rats A Dive Bar on June 15, 2019 and June 29, 2019: Mr. Luke Griffin asked for the noise variance and stated would like to change the June 15 date to June 22. He was contacted by Nashville artists who want to play in Murphysboro. June 22 is for a class reunion who want to bring in a DJ. He is asking for 11:00 pm, he keeps an eye on everything, has talked to the other neighbors and they are ok with it. Mayor Stephens stated the nature of the business has changed, has sympathy for the neighbor, knows it has to be impacting her. Mr. Griffin stated he will have the back wall on and the roof, the fence is done and has the band facing the bar.

Motion: To approve the request of River Rats – A Dive Bar’s application to extend the noise ordinance from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm on June 22 and June 29, 2019.

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman McComb

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor except Alderman Pierson who voted not in favor.

Motion Carried

Alderman Hughes stated he is doing things to bring people in. Alderman Bratton asked how late Brews Brothers go? 11:00 pm. Asked Mr. Griffin that when the band shuts down to try and keep the crowd held down. Mr. Griffin stated he would do that.

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: no movement at this time.

2.Laclede: Chief McBride sent the letter making the request and will follow-up.

3.North 17th Street: Mr. Kennedy is working on it.

4.South 14th Street: working on it, Alderman Bratton will call.

New business:

Discussion regarding Walnut Street Signage and Sign Ordinance: Mayor Stephens stated that no one seemed concerned. Attorney Heller stated that signs within ten feet of the road right-of-way, that is constantly violated. Mayor Stephens stated that code enforcement has used their discretion. Personally does not mind non-profits signage versus business signage. Alderman Pierson asked if the Walnut Street sign is illegal? Yes. Attorney Heller stated the feather sign is located right where the intersection can be blocked and is right on the sidewalk. Also only allowed one sign per business. Mr. Kennedy stated also has temporary sign verbiage, which most take down at night. The sidewalk is the right-of-way. If it is closer than ten feet to the right-of-way then it has to be ten feet off the ground. Attorney Heller stated the ordinance is a little out of date. Alderman Bastien stated it is advertisement, it brings in tax dollars. Mr. Griffin asked if they are not supposed to put banners up in the boulevard? Mayor Stephens answered it can be put on the building but not the boulevard. Alderman Bastien asked if there were any suggestions? Alderman Bratton stated that the council needs to address the sign ordinance at some point. Attorney Heller asked the council to give Attorney Blake a couple of months to look at other city’s ordinances. Alderman Bastien stated will table for the time being.

Public comment: Library Board member stated that he feels the feather sign is a serious safety problem, due to the proximity to the street and it blocks the sidewalk.

Alderman Bratton opened discussion for Public Works related items.

Old business:

Discussion/Update of flooding issue and legal action: Mayor Stephens asked if this should be discussed in executive session since it involves possible legal action? Attorney Heller stated the closer we get to a legal strategy, should be using executive session. Mayor Stephens stated this will be discussed in executive session.

Discussion regarding Status of Current Projects:

1.WWTP Road and Water Line Relocation/Replacement: Mr. Sheffer stated they are finalizing the COE review. Existing four-inch main serves the house and plant. If we cover, will be twelve feet of fill and will be expensive for repairs. Mayor Stephens stated is it in with the costs already expected. Mr. Evans stated we have over $1 million in CD’s. After we have paid for 20th Street and the WWTP, will bring the total down to under $600,000. Mr. Lee thinks his crew could put it in, no one will be without water. Mr. Stewart stated he can help Mr. Lee with it. Mr. Sheffer stated would just need an EPA permit. Alderman Bratton asked when would we have to pay for the wetlands? Mr. Sheffer stated as soon as the COE is finalized it will be due, before we get the permit.

2.7th Street Widening and Water Line Replacement: Mr. Sheffer stated the relocation is included in the 80/20 split cost, so the city only has 20% responsibility. Waiting on the signed copy back from IDOT. Looking at Spring of 2020/2021. Mayor Stephens asked where the contract is at? Mr. Sheffer stated he will check on it. Mr. Evans stated the motor fuel fund has approximately $700,000. The 7th Street cost will hit in 2020/2021 plus 20th Street will equal approximately $628,000. Would basically deplete the motor fuel funds. Mayor Stephens asked about the increase on motor fuel tax? Mr. Evans stated we currently get 55%. Mayor Stephens stated he heard the increase will be in a different fund, surely we will get some portion of that.

3.20th Street Sewer Collapse and Roadway Paving: Mr. Sheffer was down there today. Contractor tried the camera, could not get very far. Pretty extensive cracks, it is clay pipe. The city had already decided to replace it, it will be $120,000 total to replace the whole line section. Will be going farther with the overlay, additional cost of approximately $70,000. Alderman Bratton stated going from manhole to manhole, do one patch until the funds build back up, not re-surface the whole thing. Mr. Sheffer stated already doing some of that stretch. Alderman McComb asked if going to the manhole at the alleyway? The only way to protect that is not allow trucks on it. Attorney Heller stated would have to do by load limit. Mayor Stephens asked Attorney Heller to explain. Attorney Heller stated that is the only way he has seen it done. Alderman McComb stated could be by axles. If taking the time to fix, need to keep the trucks off. Alderman Pittman asked about alternate routes, are they prepared for it? Alderman McComb stated Walnut Street to Commercial Street is already tearing up. Mayor Stephens stated will have it put on the agenda.

Motion: To approve replacing the sewer line from south manhole to the north manhole.

Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Bastien

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

Motion Carried

4.Big Muddy MGP Clean-Up Project: Held up due to the river, rain.

Discussion regarding condition of WWTP Backhoe (repair or replace): Alderman Bratton stated it is repaired. Mr. Stewart stated he met with Mayor Stephens after the meeting, the backhoe is fixed. He had someone look at it, there are some serious problems. Mr. Lee has gotten some prices, we take his and he gets a new one. Alderman Hughes asked what the cost to repair was? $2500. Will it increase in value? Yes. Mr. Lee stated he priced a new deluxe 2019, in stock for $92,825.00, same as the one Mr. Mills purchased in 2015. Priced a 2018 with four hours $88,000. Priced a third one for $84,000. Add a light kit for around $300 to the second and third ones he priced and will be the same as the first one, minus the trade-in. Alderman Bratton stated will know at the next meeting. Mr. Lee stated if we have paid off the one piece of equipment, can use it towards this.

New business:

Consideration of Final Payment to E.T. Simonds Construction Co for Overlay Projects: Mr. Sheffer stated he has checked the work, they re-installed the sidewalk on 9th Street, it is acceptable.

Motion: To approve the final payment of $35,812.78 to E.T. Simonds for Overlay Projects.

Motion by Alderman Hughes Second by Alderman Pittman

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

Motion Carried

Request for Handicap Parking Space at 324 Murphy Street: Mrs. Barbara Zimmerman requested a handicap parking sign in front of her home, can only park on the north side, not the south side and it is hard to maneuver on the north side, to walk to and to get out of the car. Alderman McComb stated that Mr. Kennedy had tried to do this on Spruce Street but couldn’t legally. Mr. Kennedy stated have to be certain width, they changed the law in October, not sure what it is now. Alderman McComb stated can’t reserve a handicap spot for one person. Alderman Bratton asked if Mrs. Zimmerman has a handicap parking permit? Yes. If she parks in front of her house there is no sidewalk and there are tree roots. Alderman Bratton asked if Mr. Kennedy will find out what can and cannot be done? Yes. Table until the next meeting.

No public comment:

Mayor Stephens opened discussion for Public Safety related items.

Old business: Nothing at this time.

New business:

Consideration of Request for Street Light at 421 Murphy Street: Mayor Stephens stated Alderman Brown had looked at this. Ms. Mary Kay Thomas stated that Ameren had installed a residential LED light at her home that she is paying for. Would like for the city to pay for a light to be put up on the pole across the street, this would light up the street. Alderman McComb stated that the light at his house also lights up part of the street. Alderman Bastien asked if the city would be paying? Alderman Hughes asked if Ms. Thomas would take hers down if the city has one put up? No, she will keep it. Chief Ellermeyer stated he would look at the area to see where additional lighting would help.

Consideration of Purchase of 2019 Dodge Durango: Chief Ellermeyer stated there are no 2019 Ford Explorers left. The Durango is less expensive, would be paid for out of Seized Assets. They are holding one for us. Alderman Pittman asked if it has the same issue as the Chargers? No, the problem has been corrected. Alderman Bratton asked about the gas mileage? Comparable. Mayor Stephens asked what the balance left is? $14,000 plus the offset of the sale of weapons and old trucks auctioned. Alderman Bratton asked if that doesn’t include those from Public Works?

Motion: To approve the purchase of a 2019 Dodge Durango for the Police Department to be paid for out of the seized assets fund.

Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Erbes

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

Motion Carried

Walk Behind Saw: Alderman Bratton stated they currently rent a walk behind saw to cut the streets. Mr. Lee stated there is a used one for sale at Wright’s for $1500. This is the one they have used in the past, rental is $200 per day. Alderman Bratton stated could use the money from the sale of the log splitter and the rest to buy the used walk behind concrete saw and a blade. Mayor Stephens stated can put it on the agenda under Public Works. Alderman Bratton asked if can spend up to $1700? Mayor Stephens stated he believes department heads can spend up to $1500. Alderman McComb asked if it is self-propelled? No, push. Alderman Bratton stated can poll the council, to see who is on board with the purchase. Mayor Stephens stated he is not comfortable doing that, need to be judicious in purchasing equipment. Can always call Wright’s and ask them to hold it. Mr. Lee stated he will call them and ask. Alderman Bratton stated can take the money out of what was sold at auction. Alderman Bastien and Alderman Pierson said they are both ok with that. Alderman Hughes asked if that would be an accounting nightmare? No. Mr. Evans stated can split it evenly between the Water Department and the Street Department.

Public comment: Alderman Curry-Witzman stated that a constituent had contacted her concerning a safety issue. On South 17th Street past Spruce Street, there is a small gap in the fencing but it is covered with trees. Some kids stepped out from the gap and almost got hit. Alderman McComb asked whose property is it? Mayor Stephens stated he will get with Chief Ellermeyer. Alderman Curry-Witzman stated the problem is with the tree limbs. Mr. Kennedy stated he will talk to Mr. Jennings.

Alderman Hughes opened discussion for Personnel related items.

Old business: Nothing at this time.

New business: Nothing at this time.

No public comment.

MAYOR’S REPORT

Motion: To go into executive session at 8:21 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 and the purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body is being considered, including meetings held for the purpose of discussing whether a particular parcel should be acquired 5ILCS 120/2(c)(5)

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Hughes

Yeas: Alderman Hughes, Alderman Curry-Witzman, Alderman Pierson, Alderman McComb, Alderman Erbes, Alderman Bratton, Alderman Bastien, Alderman Pittman

Nays: None

Absent: Alderman Brown, Alderman Campos

Motion Carried

Motion: To come out of executive session at 9:07 p.m.

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Pittman

Yeas: Alderman Hughes, Alderman Curry-Witzman, Alderman Pierson, Alderman McComb, Alderman Erbes, Alderman Bratton, Alderman Bastien, Alderman Pittman

Nays:None

Absent: Alderman Brown, Alderman Campos

Motion Carried

Motion: To resume regular session.

Motion by Alderman Hughes Second by Alderman Pierson

Yeas: Alderman Hughes, Alderman Curry-Witzman, Alderman Pierson, Alderman McComb, Alderman Erbes, Alderman Bratton, Alderman Bastien, Alderman Pittman

Nays:None

Absent: Alderman Brown, Alderman Campos

Motion Carried

ALDERMEN ANNOUNCEMENTS/REQUESTS

Barb Hughes Condolences to Alderman Pittman about his grandma.

Jance Curry-Witzman Nothing

Russell Brown Absent

William Pierson Nothing

Gary McComb

John Erbes Nothing

Dan Bratton Nothing

.

Mike Bastien Nothing

Gloria Campos Absent

W. J. Pittman Nothing

DEPARTMENT HEAD ANNOUNCEMENTS/REQUESTS

Ed Heller Nothing

Sandra Ripley

Harold Sheffer Nothing

Steve McBride Nothing

Jamie Ellermeyer Nothing

Scott Evans Nothing

Eric Kennedy Nothing

Tim LeeWash out 17th Street water tower Thursday and will do an assessment, will have to take out of service. Had a leak on that tower, put in a golf tee to plug it, will have to be repaired.

Brian Manwaring Nothing

Jim StewartKeep Kendall Glodo’s family in your prayers.

Motion: To adjourn

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Pittman

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

Motion Carried

Meeting adjourned at 9:12 p.m.

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

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City of Murphysboro City Council