Carbondale Reporter

Carbondale Reporter

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

City of Marion City Council met September 23

By Michael Abella | Dec 3, 2019

Meeting 07

City of Marion City Council met Sept. 23.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

Minutes of a Regular Meeting of the City Council of the City of Marion held in the Council Chambers at 6:30 P.M. The City Clerk was instructed to call the roll and the response was as follows:

PHYSICALLY PRESENT: COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Retired Police Chief John Eibeck.

PUBLIC COMMENTS 

Local Attorney and Dairy Queen Restaurant Owner, Tom Wolf, addressed the Council regarding taxes. He commented that grocery stores would not be competing with restaurants because there is no proposed sales tax increase for grocery stores. He asked the Council when the tax increases would stop. He stated in his law practice he does income and estate tax planning. He commented his clients are changing residency to other states due to the business climate in Illinois. He also commented the public does not receive increases in income in proportion to increases in taxes. He stated since Marion is Home Rule, it takes three votes to increase taxes. He pointed out that, in his opinion, past Councils have made poor decisions, such as supporting the Hub Recreation Center.

Dennis Ball addressed the Council regarding the Mayor's 2020 Vision. He stated he thinks it is an honorable plan. He also stated he thinks Marion needs more job creation and control of the mall.

Ron Deedrick of the Egyptian Board of Realtors addressed the Council in support of Resolution 2019-17, committing to the abatement of future property tax levies in 2020 and beyond.

PUBLIC RECOGNITION 

Mayor Absher presented certificates of appreciation to Chris Sollers and Betty Parton for their generous donation to help beautify the Tower Square. They donated funds to purchase six decorative permanently installed trash cans to be placed around the Tower Square.

CENSUS 2000 

Rebecca Robinson of the US Census Bureau addressed the Council regarding the 2020 Census. Rebecca is assigned to Southern Illinois and Williamson County. She stated she has been engaging with elected officials at the local level stressing the importance of the census. She explained that census data is used to create a snapshot of a community. Communities can receive money based on per capita figures. She stressed the importance of everyone completing their census forms.

CONSENT AGENDA 

Mayor Absher requested item B, approving Ordinance 3568 providing for and approving the second 2019 amendment to TIF I redevelopment project area, plan and projects be removed from the consent agenda so he could abstain from the vote.

Commissioner Stoecklin made a motion to approve the consent agenda removing item B. Commissioner Barwick seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER ALL VOTED YEA. COMMISSIONER WEBB ABSTAINED.

Street Department Superintendent Doug Phillips presented Drake Grinnell and Trenton Morse as new hires in the Street Department.

TIF 

Commissioner Webb made a motion to approve Ordinance 3568 providing for and approving the second 2019 amendment to TIF I redevelopment project area, plan and projects, Commissioner Patton seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN ALL VOTED YEA. MAYOR ABSHER ABSTAINED.

POLICE DEPARTMENT 

Mayor Absher, Commissioner Barwick and Police Chief Fitts recognized Retired Police Chief

John Eibeck for his more than 20 years of service to the City of Marion. They presented him with a plaque and retiree badge and wallet. Retired Chief Eibeck thanked Mayor Absher, Commissioner Barwick, Chief Fitts and the community for this honor.

Police Chief David Fitts stated the School Safety Officers will start on approximately October 14th According to Chief Fitts, the delay in start date is to allow time for the uniforms to be ready. Commissioner Barwick made a motion to approve the recommendation by Police Chief Fitts to hire five School Safety Officers to serve the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year per the intergovernmental agreement with Marion Unit #2 School District at $20 per hour with no benefits, to be reimbursed by Unit #2. The five School Safety Officers are as follows: Angelo Hightower, Doug Brinkley, James “Tony" Reynolds, Ben Wilson and Bradley Bosecker, Commissioner Stoecklin seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER ALL VOTED YEA.

Police Chief Fitts recommended hiring Kayce Grant and Brittany Helton, as part-time animal Control Officers at $11 per hour. He stated they have been through the process. Commissioner Barwick stated these are not new positions, these candidates are filling vacant positions. These officers would start October 7th, if possible. Commissioner Barwick made a motion to approve the recommendation of Chief Fitts to hire two part-time Animal Control Officers as presented at $11 per hour. Commissioner Webb seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER ALL VOTED YEA.

STREET DEPARTMENT 

Street Department Superintendent Doug Phillips asked the Council to approve the low bids for the competitively bid, budgeted new vehicles as follows:

2020 HV 507 Dump Truck to Rush Truck Center Municipal fleet Springfield, IL for $74,205.00; Bed and Snow Plow Equipment to Woody's Municipal Edwardsville, IL $42,712.00

2020 Dodge 5500 1 Ton Chassis to Absher/Arnold, Marion, IL for $45,741.00; Bed and Snow Plow Equipment Woody's Municipal $23,565.00

2020 F 250 4wd XL Vogler Ford, Carbondale, IL for $30,071.61

Commissioner Webb made a motion to approve the low bids for new vehicles as stated. Commissioner Patton seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN VOTED YEA. MAYOR ABSHER ABSTAINED.

FIRE DEPARTMENT 

Commissioner Barwick stated the City knew prior to construction at the Fire Station the contractor would have to over dig the footings due to unforeseen soil conditions. Commissioner Barwick made a motion to approve the change order request for unforeseen soil conditions to Evrard-Strang Construction for $18,712. Commissioner Webb seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER ALL VOTED YEA.

HUMAN RESOURCES 

The Human Resources Department requested bids for health insurance. Ten bid packets were distributed, and seven bid packets were returned. The seven bid packets were received from Billington Insurance Agency, Clemons & Associates, Diamond Brothers, Insurance Management Services Jonathan Cavaness (2 bids received), Snedeker Risk Management, Freedom Brokers and Central Management Services. There will be no action on these bids tonight since the bids will be reviewed to determine if they meet the bid requirements. Action will be taken at a later council meeting,

CITY ENGINEER City Engineer Brian Ziegler addressed the council regarding Ordinance 3571 Accepting a Subdivision Platted as Kokopelli Estates Phase II Subdivision. He explained there were no new lots in the subdivision and there were eight common areas that were not originally incorporated into the plat of subdivision. Marion Golf wanted to convey these common areas to the Kokopelli Homeowners Association. Commissioner Barwick made a motion to approve Ordinance 3571 Accepting a Subdivision Platted as Kokopelli Estates Phase II Subdivision. Commissioner Stoecklin seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER VOTED YEA.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

Economic Development and Municipal Planning Director Glenn Clarida explained to the council there are two parcels the owners are requesting be annexed into the City for potential residential or commercial development. These parcels are located on East Main Street near the curve and are zoned as agricultural. This property is the former Lloyd McMichael property. Commissioner Webb made a motion to approve Ordinance 3566 annexing parcels 07-20-200

September 23, 2019 014 and 07-20-200-012 addressed as 1805 East Main Street. Commissioner Patton seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER VOTED YEA.

HUB RECREATION CENTER 

Hub Recreation Center General Manager Chris Georgantas asked the Council to consider approving his management restructuring proposal. This proposal would transfer current Fitness Coordinator Melise Oakley to Membership Coordinator at her current $40,000 per year salary and exempt status. This proposal would also consolidate the Sports and Recreation Coordinator position with the Fitness Coordinator position and appoint Chelsey Greenwood to the combined position of Sports & Fitness Coordinator at a salary of $48,000 per year, exempt status. This would be an increase in Chelsey's salary from $38,000 to $48,000 per year. This proposal would add additional duties for current full-time, non-exempt Lead Fitness Attendant Sherry McConnell and increase her hourly pay by $1 per hour to $13 per hour. This proposal would approve additional duties for current part-time Sports Manager, Alek Jimenez and increase his hourly pay $1 per hour to $15 per hour for all Sports Manager job classifications, including Tackle Football Sports Manager, Basketball Sports Manager and Flag Football Sports Manager. Commissioner Patton asked if it would be too much for one person to consolidate the Sports and Recreation Coordinator with the Fitness Coordinator. Chris stated they have been working on consolidating these positions for the last six months. Chris explained this proposal results in an overall savings of $26,970 and reduces management staff by one person. Commissioner Stoecklin made a motion to approve the management restructuring proposal for the Hub Recreation Center as stated. Commissioner Patton seconded the motion

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER ALL VOTED YEA.

Hub Recreation Center General Manager Chris Georgantas explained to the Council he had received four bids for treadmill and stationary bicycle replacement at the Hub. The replacement of this equipment is a budgeted item. Chris is recommending the Council approve the bid from OrthoTech in Herrin, Illinois. The equipment quoted would have a three-year parts and labor full warranty. At the end of the three-year term, the equipment could be traded in for new equipment and the lease could be renewed. The previous lease on this equipment also had a three-year term, but only a one-year warranty on labor. Commissioner Webb made a motion to approve the treadmill and stationary bicycle replacement proposal from OrthoTech; a budgeted item. Commissioner Barwick seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER ALL VOTED YEA.

MAYOR'S OFFICE 

Mayor Absher made comments on his 2020 Vision. He reminded the audience how his 2020 Vision stated as a way to finance the Council's strategic goals and his concern for developing economic incentives after TIF Districts begin expiring, especially since 50% of all TIF agreements are in one TIF District. He believes Marion will hit a brick wall when those TIF Districts expire. He explained this proposal contemplates setting aside $1 million per year for economic incentives. He reminded the audience that only $300,000 of $1.8 million generated by this plan would be used for new spending. Those dollars would be used for new police officers and to revamp the Code Enforcement Department. The rest would be put away for future use. Mayor Absher explained government is not free and he did not want to raise property taxes to

September 23, 2019 fund City services. He stated most City services, including Police and Fire Department salaries and equipment purchases for various departments are already paid from sales tax revenues. Mayor Absher stated he doesn't apologize for his plan and he promises if it hurts commerce, it will be repealed, and the City will go back to doing business the way we have in the past.

Commissioner Patton reviewed the language in Ordinance 3563 and noticed a date of September 9, 2019 on page 3. Mayor's Chief of Staff Cody Moake stated this would be corrected. Commissioner Barwick made a motion to approve Ordinances 3563 and 3564 raising the Retail and Service Occupation tax rates by 0.75 percent, effective January 1, 2020, Commissioner Patton seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER ALL VOTED YEA.

Mayor Absher read Resolution 2019-17 committing to the abatement of future property tax levies in 2020 and beyond. Commissioner Stoecklin made a motion to adopt Resolution 2019-17 as presented. Commissioner Webb seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER ALL VOTED YEA.

Mayor Absher explained the majority of the Video Gaming Ordinance comes directly from state statute. He explained the City currently charges $100 per terminal per year. Under the proposed ordinance, this would increase to $200 per terminal per year. Also, the terminal operators would be charged $1,000 per terminal per year. This is new as they have never had to pay a fee in the past. This proposed ordinance also caps the number of machines per year to 215. He explained the State has increased the number of terminals allowed per establishment from five to six and from five to ten for truck stops. He stated he does not like video gaming, but that State statute makes him liquor commissioner which makes him the de facto gaming commissioner. He wants to use the increase in revenue to improve the Marion Training Center, Senior Citizens Center and Boyton Street Community Center, Commissioner Barwick made a motion to approve Ordinance 3567 establishing the Video Gaming Code for the City of Marion, repealing Ordinance 3146. Commissioner Stoecklin seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER ALL VOTED YEA.

COMMISSIONER REPORTS 

Commissioner Patton had no report but thanked Mayor Absher for his hard work on his 2020 Vision proposal for the City. He believes it is a step in the right direction.

Commissioner Barwick had no report but agreed with Commissioner Patton.

Commissioner Stoecklin reported the Water Department had four new services and had repaired three watermain leaks since the last Council meeting. He also reported the Water Department had $2,000 in unclaimed deposits that needed to be returned. He stated there is a list of these deposits on the website. He reported he had recently heard of Operation Round Up for Hunger. This is a program where local restaurants ask customers if they would like to round up their bill to the next dollar and donate that portion of the bill to a worthy cause. He would like to contact locally-owned restaurants in town to see if they would want to participate during October to raise money to help fund a free Thanksgiving meal in Marion.

Commissioner Webb had no report but wanted to echo the other Commissioners on the 2020 Vision. He appreciates the Mayor's efforts in developing this plan.

Mayor Absher called out Street Department Superintendent Doug Phillips. He stated Doug has fixed some problems that were 15 to 20 years old. He said he thought Doug was doing a great job for the City.

Commissioner Stoecklin wanted to give kudos to the Civic Center for the number of good and diverse shows they have had recently. He wanted to encourage more people to support the Civic Center.

Mayor Absher announced there was no reason to go into executive session.

Commissioner Webb made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Barwick seconded the motion.

ON ROLL CALL VOTE COMMISSIONERS PATTON, BARWICK, WEBB AND STOECKLIN AND MAYOR ABSHER ALL VOTED YEA.

Meeting Adjourned at 8:00 P.M.

https://cityofmarionil.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Council-Minutes-0923201920191015.pdf

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Marion City Council