Carbondale Reporter

Carbondale Reporter

Thursday, November 14, 2019

City of Murphysboro City Council met September 10

By Philip Gonzales | Oct 8, 2019

Meet

City of Murphysboro City Council met Sept. 10.

Here is the agenda provided by the council:

The Murphysboro, Illinois, City Council met in regular session, pursuant to its ordinances, on the 10th day of September, 2019. Mayor Stephens called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and Pastor Shaker Samuel led 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, Russell Brown, William Pierson, Gary McComb, John Erbes, Dan Bratton, Mike Bastien, Gloria Campos, W.J. Pittman

Absent:None

The council then reviewed the minutes from the previous meeting.

Motion: To approve the minutes of the August 27, 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:

#803 page 1 Rear camera? Police car

page 2 America’s Parking & Remarking? Each year, marking roads

page 6 Tourism support-Laura Varner? Hotel tax & B&B tax

page 11 Terrence Lunden? Alignment of rescue truck

#804 page 1 Recording fees? 7th Street project

Motion: To approve the accounts payable, register #803 & 804 through September 10, 2019, accounts receivable through August 31, 2019, and payroll through August, 2019. All aldermen received a copy of the accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll 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

COMMITTEE/COMMISSION REPORTS

Alderman Pittman opened discussion for Budget & Finance related items.

Old Business: Nothing at this time.

New Business:

Consideration of Health Insurance Renewal Options: Agent Jamie Simmons presented the Health Insurance options. Last year had several large claims, which resulted in a 39% increase in rates. He went back to Aetna, was able to get them to look at the rates again. Still 29% increase. He shopped around, got some comparisons, went back to Aetna again. This time they came up with an 8.7% increase. Recommends staying with Aetna, no employee difference and only a slight rate increase. Budget Officer Evans stated that they had anticipated a 10% increase so kudos to Mr. Simmons. Mayor Stephens stated there is no good reason to not go with his recommendation, is less than anticipated.

Motion: To approve the Health Insurance Renewal option recommended by Agent Simmons, staying with Aetna.

Motion by Alderman BrattonSecond by Alderman Hughes

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

Motion Carried

Discussion regarding Purchase of Police Vehicle – Re-allocation of Funds: Chief Ellermeyer stated he has spoken to the council and the Mayor concerning this and all are in agreement.

Motion: To approve the purchase of a new police car.

Motion by Alderman McCombSecond by Alderman Campos

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

Motion Carried

Discussion regarding Financing Options for new Dump Truck: budget Officer Evans stated he has received quotes from four local and one outside financial institutions for three and five year loans: First Mid, first Bank & Trust, US Bank, Murphy-Wall and Bank of Carbondale. First Mid has the lowest rates, with First Bank & Trust close. Will be financing approximately $47,000.

Motion: To approve seeking financing for the purchase of a new dump truck from First Bank & Trust for a period of three years.

Motion by Alderman McCombSecond by Alderman Pierson

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor, Alderman Pittman abstained.

Motion Carried

No public comment.

Alderman McComb opened discussion for Building & Grounds related items.

Old Business: Nothing at this time.

New Business: Nothing at this time.

No public comment.

Alderman Erbes opened discussion for Community Relations Committee related items.

Old Business: Nothing at this time.

New Business: Nothing at this time.

Public comment:

Alderman Hughes stated the council will be feeding the football team on October 25. Also that IDOT is mowing coming into town, should look good for the parade.

Ms. Ripley reminded the council that they will be walking in the parade Saturday, handing out apples.

Alderman Campos stated she will be volunteering at the Kiwanis tent, will it be okay if she wears her council t-shirt? Yes.

Alderman Bastien opened discussion for Public Improvement related items.

Old business:

Discussion regarding the condition of various properties:

1.Old Depot: Alderman Bastien asked if a demo letter has been sent? Mr. Kennedy stated not yet, need to do a title search. Mayor Stephens asked to send notification to make the roof safe. Spoke to Mr. Carter today. Thinks it is owned by Mr. Schaldemose due to the contract for deed. Mr. Carter will speak to Mr. Schaldemose and try to motivate him.

2.North 17th Street: Mr. Kennedy stated Mr. Beckman is working on this.

3.South 14th Street: Wood picked up, stack of concrete blocks, has weedeated, making progress but is slow.

4.North 19th Street: Alderman Bastien stated Mr. Cripps has the black fencing up, is getting cars out to scrap.

5.902/908 Locust Street: Alderman Bastien stated Mr. Murphy has reached out, has poisoned the tree. Mr. Ensor asked him to cut it down. Mayor Stephens stated the taxes have not been paid, will go on the list.

6.335 N. 22nd Street: Alderman Bastien stated tickets and work orders have been issued to both the renter and landlord. Renter was cited for an illegal burn by the Fire Department. Mr. Kennedy stated that both 902/908 Locust and 335 N 22nd Street will be going up for the tax sale in November.

New business: Nothing at this time.

Public comment:

Alderman Bratton stated that South 17th Street is cleaned up and looking good. Work done by and the property owned by Adam Cripps.

Alderman Pierson asked what Ok means on the citations list. Mayor Stephens stated ok means the issue has been resolved.

Alderman Bratton opened discussion for Public Works related items.

Old business:

Discussion regarding Truck Usage on South 20th Street: Alderman Bratton stated with some way to keep the semi’s off, turn blind eye to farmers, horse trailers. Alderman McComb stated the weight limit on Shomaker is not enforced but no sewer line. 20th Street has old manholes, won’t take the truck weight. Alderman Bratton stated Samron is working on 20th Street now. Mayor Stephens added that ET Simonds will be there next week. If we budget concrete manholes to replace the brick, will we allow trucks then? Alderman McComb answered no, would still roll the blacktop at the stop sign. If we do safety checks, word will get out and they will quit using the road. Mayor Stephens asked Mr. Mills his opinion. Mr. Mills stated he agreed with Alderman McComb regarding the manholes but we rebuild them all over town. Mr. Lee stated the sanitary are brick. Mayor Stephens stated replace manholes and allow trucks or send all down Shomaker and upset those. Thinks ought to keep off but no practical way to re-route the trucks. Alderman McComb stated the County put up safety sign and they won’t drive there. Truckers don’t pay taxes. Should go down 149 which is a truck route. Alderman Bratton asked about the soil on Shomaker? Mr. Sheffer stated he thinks it is worse than on 20th Street. Mr. Lee stated it is very sandy. Mr. Sheffer stated they could look at lining the manholes. Alderman Erbes asked how the trucks would be weighed? Mayor Stephens stated have an H plate designation. Alderman Pierson asked how many trucks go down the street? Mr. Mills stated he has no idea. Mayor Stephens stated there is no good answer. Let the trucks run, do not have the people to enforce it. Alderman Bratton stated can enforce it. Alderman Campos stated we are going in circles, we have a duty to the residents. Streets need to be used. Alderman Pierson stated if we do restrict the trucks will have to put a plate restriction, no place to weight the trucks. What is the weight for an H plate? Alderman Bratton answered 26,000 pounds. Would eliminate just about everything – semi’s, dump trucks. Alderman Pierson stated he thinks should leave it alone. Alderman Bratton asked Mr. Mills if it is feasible to put in concrete manholes? Mr. Lee stated that lining them would be better right now. Mr. Sheffer stated it would cost approximately $75,000 to install a new one. Alderman Erbes asked if could do something while fixing the street? Mr. Sheffer stated can do lining any time. Alderman Bratton asked if Mr. Sheffer would price them? Yes.

Motion: To place an H plate limit up at 20th Street and Shomaker.

Motion by Alderman McCombSecond by Alderman Campos

Alderman Bratton called for a voice vote. Opposed by the majority.

Motion Failed

New business:

Discussion regarding the WWTP road – Purchase of Culverts: Mr. Sheffer stated would cost $84,623.17. Alderman Bratton stated would save time if they are on site. Will leave the culverts out of the bid. Mr. Stewart stated he will get with Mr. Sheffer regarding the ordering of the culverts.

Motion: To approve the purchase of the culverts needed for the WWTP road construction.

Motion by Alderman ErbesSecond by Alderman Bastien

Alderman Bratton called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Discussion regarding the WWTP – Schreiber Maintenance Boost: Mr. Stewart stated this is a maintenance boost. Schreiber came in and thinks it is needed this year. Cost estimate of approximately $15,000 but will probably be less.

Motion: To approve the maintenance boost.

Motion by Alderman HughesSecond by Alderman Brown

Alderman Bratton called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Ordinance amending Groundwater Ordinance in the area of 20th & Walnut Streets: Attorney Blake stated this is for the area of Hucks, remediation done, asked for no further remediation. IEPA asked for the description to be expanded, this is a minor change.

Motion: To approve the Ordinance amending the Groundwater Ordinance in the area of 20th & Walnut Streets.

Motion by Alderman PittmanSecond by Alderman Brown

Alderman Bratton called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Public comment:

Alderman Campos stated the Poplar Street alley on 11th Street is sinking again. Mr. Mills stated he will check on it.

Alderman Brown opened discussion for Public Safety related items.

Old business:

Discussion regarding the Gillenberg Property: Chief McBride stated that Joe summers is working on getting bids. He has contacted the County engineers regarding the Willis building next door. Orange fencing was put up by the city. Fager-McGee offered the higher metal fencing for temporary use, that has been put into place.

Discussion regarding Adult-Use Cannabis: Mayor Stephens stated have already received a communication from the Ministerial Alliance. Now have a copy of a letter to the Editor in the Southern Illinoisan newspaper. Alderman Bratton stated he passed out the copies of the letter from the southern. (Read part of the letter out loud.) The city of Marion voted 4 to 1 not to allow it. We can’t control the county but we can control what we do. Can’t see putting the temptation out there. Would like the council to vote no. God depends on us to make good decisions. Alderman Curry-Witzman stated she talked to constituents, a lot of them were ok with this, would be tax money. But said she stated that we don’t allow alcohol at the Apple Festival, Hometown Christmas. The uniqueness and family orientation of the city of Murphysboro, try to do something different, keep doing that, and being family oriented - that resonated with me. Alderman Pittman stated that we have the Blues Fest, Parrish Fest, Jazz Fest, Brews Fest and they are not alcohol free. Alderman Campos stated she personally does not like being put in this position, to vote on legalizing drugs. Does not feel our community needs a marijuana shop, already have enough problems our police department deals with. Does accept medical marijuana but not recreational. Has heard both sides – revenue can help the town. But not right now, not yet. Alderman Brown stated he is against it. When he was working on the police department, someone broke into the funeral home, they chased him, he fell, turned over and had a gun pointed at the police officers. Alderman Erbes stated he has read the article, decision has already been made to legalize it. The first licenses are for medical dispensary. Don’t know when the second round will be. Mayor Stephens stated only 75 licenses will be issued, probably most in Chicago. Alderman Erbes stated the Mayor of Marion voted no. Alderman Bastien asked about the application fee. $5000 non-refundable application fee, $30,000 fee for the first year, $100,000 fee to renew the second year. Attorney Blake stated there are five different licenses, with different fees and licensing for adult use. There are more available than dispensing licenses. Alderman Bratton stated just want it to not be available in Murphysboro, not trying to change the law. Mayor Stephens stated can only opt out of the retail sale. Alderman Hughes asked if can not allow anyone in the city to grow it? Attorney Blake stated the city can regulate that, can be separate or together. Alderman Brown stated he had a kid seven times for marijuana and he was out in less than a year.

Motion: To allow a business or individual who has a state cannabis license to operate within the city limits.

Motion by Alderman PittmanSecond by Alderman McComb

Mayor Stephens called for a roll call vote.

Yeas: Alderman Hughes, Alderman McComb, Alderman Erbes, Alderman Bastien, Alderman Pittman

Nays: Alderman Curry-Witzman, Alderman Brown, Alderman Pierson, Alderman Bratton, Alderman Campos

Absent: None

Tie-Breaker: Mayor Stephens Nay

Motion Failed

Mayor Stephens stated he will direct the City Clerk to ask for a referendum be placed on the ballot, asking the constituents what their position is in regards to this matter. Attorney Blake stated he will check on the procedure for an advisory referendum.

New business: Nothing at this time.

No public comment.

Alderman Hughes opened discussion for Personnel related items.

Old business: Nothing at this time.

New business:

Update on Selection of Chief Operator at WWTP: Mayor Stephens stated the position has been offered to and accepted by Patrick Gladson. Alderman Hughes stated will post his position to hire a replacement. Mr. Stewart stated Mr. Gladson was going to attend the meeting but had a family obligation.

Update on Hiring of Water Billing Clerk: Alderman Hughes stated an offer was made to a candidate today, have not heard back yet.

No public comment.

MAYOR’S REPORT

Consideration of Sponsorship for Murphysboro Football/Basketball Games: Mayor Stephens was approached by Mike Murphy. Will not be receiving any commission, volunteers at WDBX one day a week for a couple of hours. The Booster Package is $720 and will receive live mentions.

Motion: To approve the purchase of the Booster Package from WDBX for $720.00 for the 2019-2020 Murphysboro Football and Basketball season.

Motion by Alderman PittmanSecond by Alderman Campos

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

Motion Carried

Mayor Stephens will be emceeing the Grand Stage at the Apple Festival again this year.

ALDERMEN ANNOUNCEMENTS/REQUESTS

Barb HughesMethodist Church annual Apple Pancake Breakfast this Saturday.

Jance Curry-Witzman Will be singing Friday at the Apple Festival.

Russell BrownNothing

William PiersonNothing

Gary McCombWill have four community service workers Sunday to clean up around the Police Department and courthouse. Mayor Stephens stated that this provides a good thing for the city and thanked Alderman McComb.

John ErbesNothing

Dan BrattonNothing

Mike BastienNothing

Gloria CamposCome see me at the Kiwanis stand.

W. J. PittmanNothing

DEPARTMENT HEAD ANNOUNCEMENTS/REQUESTS

Richard BlakeNothing

Sandra RipleyNothing

Scott EvansNothing

Harold ShefferNothing

Steve McBrideOctober 3rd will be hosting the Cobelt Association Dinner & meeting, cost approximately $1000. Have obtained a corporate sponsor for half, will be doing a raffle to help offset the balance.

Jamie EllermeyerNothing

Eric KennedyNothing

Tim LeeBoth water towers have been repaired. $500 over budget for the

Boot Camp water tower. Will be leaving tomorrow for Springfield

To attend the Operator of the Year awards ceremony.

Brian ManwaringAbsent

Darrin MillsNothing

Jim StewartNothing

Katharine Volle:Nothing

Motion: To adjourn

Motion by Alderman McCombSecond by Alderman Bratton

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

Motion Carried

Meeting adjourned at 7:29 p.m.

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

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City of Murphysboro City Council