Carbondale Reporter

Carbondale Reporter

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

City of Murphysboro City Council met Dec. 03

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Dec 12, 2019

Meeting 02

City of Murphysboro City Council met Dec. 3.

Here is the minutes provided by the Council:

Public Hearing: Public hearing was opened at 5:40 p.m. for public comment on the proposed 2020 Budget. No public was present. Public Hearing was closed at 5:41 p.m.

The Murphysboro, Illinois, City Council met in regular session, pursuant to its ordinances, on the 3rd day of December, 2019. 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 Hunziker to call the roll. The roll was called with the following:

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

Absent: Barb Hughes, Russell Brown

Chief McBride read a letter received from Modern Woodmen of America which congratulated the Murphysboro Fire Department on being honored as Hometown Heroes. It further stated that in honor of your Hometown Heroes recognition, a check was enclosed which was donated to S.T.A.R.T. Kathy Baumann and Ricky Barringer were present to receive the check on behalf of S.T.A.R.T.

The council then reviewed the minutes from the previous meeting. Correction to minutes: under Alderman Announcements, add to the end of Alderman Erbes question…for the sewer plant road.

Motion: To approve the minutes of the November 26, 2019, council meeting with the correction. All aldermen received a copy of the minutes, for their review, prior to the meeting.

Motion by Alderman McComb

Second by Alderman Erbes

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

Alderman Bratton inquired as to:

#829 page 2 Towing bill for Ford? Mr. Lee stated it is the meter reader truck, slip on ice and went off the road, no one was hurt, airbags went off.

#829 page 8 Southwestern Illinois Bus Co? Fan buses to State Championship football game. Mayor Stephens stated he would hold the check, one bus broke down, will be calling the bus company to make an adjustment. Alderman Erbes asked if there were donations received towards the cost of the bus? Mayor Stephens stated approximately $2500.00 in sponsorships plus the ticket sales.

Motion: To approve the accounts payable, register #829, through December 3, 2019, but hold the check for Southwestern Illinois Bus Company, accounts receivable through November 30, 2019, and payroll through November, 2019. All aldermen received a copy of the accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll for their review, prior to the meeting.

Motion by Alderman McComb

Second 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 and Finance related items.

Old Business: Nothing at this time.

New Business:

Consideration of Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2020: Budget Officer Evans stated the Public Hearing has been held, there was no public comment.

Motion: To approve the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2020.

Motion by Alderman McComb

Second by Alderman Campos

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

Motion Carried

Consideration of Proposed Tax Levy for 2019: Mayor Stephens asked how it is comparatively to last year? Mr. Evans stated it is 4.9 percent higher, the police pension line is higher.

Motion: To approve the Proposed Tax Levy for 2019.

Motion by Alderman Bratton

Second by Alderman Bastien

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

Motion Carried

Consideration of TIF Agreement with Derek Pfeaster: Mayor Stephens stated the city attorney reviewed the documentation and made some adjustments. Attorney Heller stated the adjustments had to be done. Mayor Stephens stated both Derek and Amanda Pfeaster’s names are on the deed so both have to be on the TIF agreement.

Motion: To enter into the TIF Agreement with Derek and Amanda Pfeaster.

Motion by Alderman Campos

Second by Alderman Bratton

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

Motion Carried

Consideration of Water Rate Increase: Mr. Evans stated he has no documentation on this, it was just something that was discussed. 2018 had a deficit, 2019 had a slight deficit. Looking forward, will have to pay for the sewer plant road, waiting on reimbursement for the collapsed sewer, wage increase, would be wise to look at an increase. Kincaid could also raise their rates. Alderman Pierson asked what would 2 percent do for us? Mr. Evans stated 2% on residential water sales would be approximately $35,000 to $40,000. Things happen especially with aging infrastructure. Mayor Stephens asked if the timeline for it matters, if we pass something? Mr. Evans stated it would be about four months before the city would see any increase, due to billing. 3% would be approximately $50,000. Alderman Bratton asked just water? Yes. Just residential? It would be for commercial and residential both, all water sales. When does Kincaid determine if they are going to raise rates? Attorney Heller stated when there is a need, there has been no recent discussion. Mayor Stephens asked if we raised the rate last year? 2018. Alderman Pierson asked if the minimum bill includes sewer? Mr. Evans answered yes, increase would be on water only. Mayor Stephens stated need to be fiscally responsible but remember that for some a couple of dollars matters. Alderman Bratton stated when he first came on the council the city was in the hole, didn’t want to raise rates but need to keep it on an even keel, be realistic and fair. Alderman Campos asked if there could be two rates – commercial and residential? Alderman Pittman stated we do have different rates. Mr. Lee stated it is based on size, there are different rates.

Motion: To raise the water rate by 3 percent.

Motion by Alderman Bratton

Second by Alderman Pierson

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor except Alderman Erbes and Alderman Curry-Witzman.

Motion Carried

No public comment.

Alderman McComb opened discussion for Building and Grounds related items.

Old Business: Nothing at this time.

New Business:

Discussion regarding the Loading Dock at MYRC: Mr. Manwaring stated that when they began using it, there was an agreement that the city would use the entire dock. When they leased it to the park district, the city retained use of the loading dock. Things were disappearing so kept it full so no one could get in there or use it. They continued to complain. Spoke to Joe Fry, he did not want them having access to the loading dock. Could divide up the space so they have access but not to the city’s area. Our lease is with the Park District. Alderman McComb asked how many exits are there in case of fire? Mr. Manwaring stated there are two exits at the front of the building, one on the east side and one on the west side. Chief McBride stated two exits are required. Mayor Stephens recognized Ouida Mills. Ms. Mills handed photos taken of the area in question to the council members. She stated it is a safety issue when receiving delivery of items they buy from the St, Louis food market. Hard to get it into the building. The loading dock would make it easier to get the food into the building. Maybe have the Chief look at it. Alderman McComb stated the loading dock has always been used to store Brian’s equipment. Mayor Stephens stated he will have the Chief take a look. This highlights the fact that we need more space to store stuff. The space out at Harrison is full. Alderman McComb stated the Associated Lumber building is coming up for auction, maybe look at it. Alderman Curry-Witzman stated she feels we should consider it, if we can, it is very taxing to get food into the building. Alderman Pittman asked if Mr. Fry could attend the next meeting.

No public comment.

Alderman Erbes opened discussion for Community Relations Committee related items.

Old Business: Nothing at this time.

New Business:

Tree lighting ceremony is this Friday at 6:00 p.m.

No public comment.

Alderman Bastien opened discussion for Public Improvement related items.

Old business:

Discussion regarding the condition of various properties:

1. Old Depot:

2. North 17th Street:

3. South 14th Street:

4. North 19th Street:

5. 902/908 Locust Street:

Alderman Bastien stated have seen a lot of improvement in these properties. He has asked Mr. Kennedy if he will do a quarterly report on these properties, to keep an eye on them. He has agreed to do so. Alderman Bratton stated the Old Depot roof has been contracted and 14th Street looks 300 percent better.

New business: Nothing at this time.

No public comment.

Alderman Bratton opened discussion for Public Works related items.

Old business: Nothing at this time.

New business:

Discussion regarding the Venture Lane Project: Alderman Bratton stated Industrial Park never put in Venture Lane. Mayor Stephens recognized Randy Fricke and Dave Murray. Mr. Fricke stated Samron and Northbridge are currently located out there. Acquired twelve acres on the south side of Industrial Park. Has purchased an asphalt plant and will be relocating it to Murphysboro – Midwest Material Supply. Mayor Stephens asked about the number of new jobs that would be created. Mr. Murray stated overall 30-40. Mayor Stephens stated Venture Lane is critical to the future of this new development. Time is of the essence. Mr. Fricke stated should start having material arrive next week, two to three months to get built. Hope to be producing by the beginning of April. Alderman Pierson asked how the trucks will come in and out. Mr. Fricke stated empty trucks should come in on 7th Street and exit north on Terry Lane and then onto Venture Lane. Alderman Pierson asked with the start of the 7th Street Project, how will you enter? Mr. Fricke answered will come in on Enterprise during construction. Mayor Stephens stated Samron has built roads. Process is typically lengthy, might not meet the benchmark. Can spend motor fuel monies, maximum of $25,000 before have to bid it. Could purchase $24,500 of material, delivered to the site of the project and have Samron work with it. Not typical but would be odd to have someone else build the road when they do that. Alderman McComb asked can you do it in sections? On an annual basis. Alderman Bratton stated he spoke to Mr. Fricke earlier, has some questions. Mr. Fricke stated if the city would supply the rock, they would put it down at no cost. Would be to their benefit. Would we maintain it? Mr. Murray stated Blankenship put together a preliminary on rock and dirt needed. If the city purchased the rock, they would do the road for $25,000.00. Mr. Sheffer stated pay for it with MFT monies. Alderman McComb asked 3” rock for base? Mr. Murray stated would work with the city. Mr. Sheffer stated would need to build it with IDOT standards. Only $25,000 for rock? Mr. Murray stated close to $40,000. Thinks can put down less to start and add to it later as needed. Alderman Bratton asked if put mat down, save on rock and get it done quicker? Mr. Sheffer stated you want to put a good bit down. Alderman Campos asked Mr. Sheffer if $25,000 is for a calendar year? Mr. Sheffer stated at the end of December could buy $25,000 worth of rock and more at the beginning of the year. Not sure but will check. Alderman McComb asked if put it out for bid, call a truck for it easier, would be sooner? Mr. Sheffer stated if using MFT funds have to do it their way. Mr. Murray stated could put material out for bid and get it back pretty quick. Alderman Bratton asked do we have money in the fund? Mr. Evans stated currently have approximately $700,000. The 7th Street Project forecast is $375,000 to $385,000. That would leave a $325,000 balance. We have money in the General Fund for something like this. We would amend the budget and avoid MFT. Alderman Pittman asked about the property owners around it, would they vacate it and sell it to Samron? Mayor Stephens asked do we want to have control of it? Mr. Sheffer stated approximately $100,000 more in MFT. Mr. Evans stated we are getting more MFT monies. Mayor Stephens stated move to allocate the $24,000, to get the project underway. Alderman Pierson asked if we use the General Fund do we still have to put it out for bid? Attorney Heller stated if you have eight votes you can override that. Can do $24,500 tonight and by the next meeting Mr. Sheffer can see if we can do $24,500 in January. Mayor Stephens stated do $24,500 MFT money tonight for material. Mr. Sheffer stated if put their labor through MFT, they can’t do any more work for the city for the year.

Motion: To allocate $24,500.00 of Motor Fuel funds for material for Venture Lane.

Motion by Alderman Pierson

Second by Alderman Bratton

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

Motion Carried

Mayor Stephens stated he appreciates the development, partnership and is happy to work with them. Mr. Fricke stated he appreciated the help with this.

No public comment.

Mayor Stephens opened discussion for Public Safety related items.

Old business:

Discussion regarding the Gillenberg Property: Chief McBride stated no change, still waiting on the insurance companies. Mayor Stephens stated he has had a couple of people approach him, this happened July 12. Chief McBride stated a snow load could be problematic. Alderman Bratton asked Attorney Heller what is the best way to handle the situation? Attorney Heller stated he thinks the county believes the Gillenberg Building should pay the cost of the damage to their building. The county building is not safe, planned to bring it down and build a new building. Gillenberg’s insurance does not think that way. Mayor Stephens stated will have to send letters to all parties involved, this is a public safety issue. Attorney Heller stated could bring demo action against both parties. Alderman McComb asked who is responsible if it falls down and kills somebody? Mayor Stephens stated will wait a couple more weeks but has been carrying on too long.

New business: Nothing at this time.

No public comment.

Mayor Stephens opened discussion for Personnel related items.

Old business: Nothing at this time.

New business:

Discussion regarding Resignation of Lieutenant Laughland: Chief Ellermeyer stated voted to increase his pay in January 2019 due to his resignation.

Motion: To accept Lieutenant Laughland’s resignation as of May 8, 2020.

Motion by Alderman McComb

Second by Alderman Bratton

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

Motion Carried

Consideration of Department Head Salary Increases: Ms. Ripley stated the increases are 2.5 percent. Mayor Stephens stated per previous discussion, it was a 5 percent increase for Lieutenant Laughland.

Motion: To adopt a 2.5 percent salary increase for non-union department heads with the exception of Lieutenant Laughland.

Motion by Alderman McComb

Second by Alderman Pittman

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

Motion Carried

Mayor Stephens introduced new employee Katie Caraway who is in the water billing office. Ms. Caraway stated she is happy to be working with the city and looks forward to a future with the city.

No public comment.

Mayor’s Report

Consideration of Annexation of Property: Potential annexation of property at Rt.127 & 149 area. Attorney Heller stated nothing more to report, he has not heard from Scott Maloney.

Aldermen Announcements/Requests

Barb Hughes Absent

Jance Curry-Witzman Nothing

Russell Brown Absent

William Pierson Nothing

Gary McComb Will have 4-5 kids doing community service at the lighting of the Christmas tree to help with trash pickup.

John Erbes Nothing

Dan Bratton Thanked Jim Stewart for all his hard work, he will be missed.

Mike Bastien Nothing

Gloria Campos Welcomed Katie Caraway and also thanked Jim Stewart.

W. J. Pittman Congratulations to the High School football team and the basketball team had their first win last night.

Department Head Announcements/Requests

Ed Heller Nothing

Sandra Ripley Reminder to RSVP for the Christmas party Friday, December 13. Also to remember Leandra on the loss of her son.

Scott Evans Nothing

Harold Sheffer Nothing

Steve McBride Had a couple of calls today, one was a traffic crash and the other a medical call from the high school. Principal Ellermeyer called and commended Firemen Alexander and Dosch on how they handled the situation.

Jamie Ellermeyer Big support for the football team.

Eric Kennedy Nothing

Tim Lee Nothing

Brian Manwaring On behalf of the football team, thanked everyone for all their support and for the fan buses.

Darrin Mills Absent

Jim Stewart Thanked everyone.

Katharine Volle: Nothing

Leandra Bryant Absent

Blaine Ensor: Nothing

Motion: To go into executive session at 7:23 pm for Act 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(5) meetings where 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, for Act 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1) meetings held to discuss the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee or legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity, for Act 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(2) meetings on collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees and for Act 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(11) meetings held to discuss litigation “when an action against, affecting or on behalf of the particular public body has been filed and is pending before a court or administrative tribunal, or when the public body finds that an action is probable or imminent, in which case the basis for the finding shall be recorded and entered into the minutes of the closed meeting”.

Motion by Alderman Campos Second by Alderman Bratton

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

Nays: None

Absent: Alderman Hughes, Alderman Brown

Motion Carried

Motion: To come out of executive session at 7:40 p.m.

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman McComb

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

Nays: None

Absent: Alderman Hughes, Alderman Brown

Motion Carried

Motion: To resume city council meeting.

Motion by Alderman Campos

Second by Alderman Bratton

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

Motion Carried

Motion: To adjourn

Motion by Alderman McComb

Second by Alderman Pittman

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

Motion Carried

Meeting adjourned at 7:41 p.m.

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

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City of Murphysboro City Council