Carbondale Reporter

Carbondale Reporter

Monday, April 6, 2020

City of Murphysboro City Council met February 25

By Michael Abella | Mar 24, 2020

Chairs

City of Murphysboro City Council met Feb. 25.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

The Murphysboro, Illinois, City Council met in regular session, pursuant to its ordinances, on the 25th day of February, 2020. Mayor Stephens called the meeting to order at 6:01 p.m. and invited Father Gary Gummersheimer 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, Russell Brown, William Pierson, Gary McComb, John Erbes, Dan Bratton, Mike Bastien, W.J. Pittman

Absent:Gloria Campos

Presentation of Proclamation to the Boy Scouts: Presented by Mayor Stephens on the

110th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America to the local Boy Scout Troop.

Oath of Office for new Fire Department Employee Joseph Elbrecht: Mayor Stephens swore in Joseph Elbrecht by administering the Oath of Office for a fireman.

The council then reviewed the minutes from the previous meeting.

Motion: To approve the minutes of the February 11, 2020, council meeting. All aldermen received a copy of the minutes, for their review, prior to the meeting.

Motion by Alderman HughesSecond by Alderman Brown

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

Motion Carried

Alderman Bratton inquired as to:

#856 page 5 Usemco? For terminal lift station at the river

#865 page 3 Pat Burke? Incentive for workman’s compensation

#865 page 3 duplicate bill? Duplicate, voided one

Alderman Pierson inquired as to:

#856 page 4 Stenger? To pay for appraisal for 7th Street

Motion: To approve the accounts payable, register #856 & 865 through February 25, 2020. All aldermen received a copy of the accounts payable 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:

Presentation of Financial Reports by Scott Evans, Budget Officer: Year-end results:

City-wide Balance Sheet, compared to 2018 is slightly lower.

Income Statement – motor fuel tax: 7th Street expenses and street overlays; water fund ended with negative balance of $362,249: $100,000 under budget on revenues but did increase the water rate; Jim Stewart retirement payout; sewer collapse at the new hotel site; electric bill increase due to flooding which resulting in having to run the pumps; 20th Street project.

Alderman Hughes asked if January healthcare was paid for in December? Yes.

No public comment.

Alderman McComb opened discussion for Building & Grounds related items.

Old Business:

Consideration of Replacement of the Front Doors at the MYRC: Alderman McComb asked if anyone from the MYRC was present, Oueida Mills was present, is a board member, but did not know anything concerning the doors. Mayor Stephens stated he had spoken to Joe Frye, who is waiting to hear from the manufacturer on pricing, should be present at the next meeting. Tabled.

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:

Request for Update on Hotel Project: Mayor Stephens reported that Brian Donzi, engineer for Kaskaskia Engineering, reported that Ameren is getting together their relocation plan, Frontier and Mediacom were on site today. Mr. Koppeis has given the green light for the construction to begin. The Enterprise Zone application has been received in Carbondale, fee is approximately $12,000, which will be remitted to the city.

Public comment: Don Gladden stated that was the best news he had heard on this project.

Alderman Bastien opened discussion for Public Improvement related items.

Old business:

Update on the code violations at 811 North 14th Street: Alderman Bastien stated the owner picked up the paperwork and demo permit yesterday, has 30 days to get it down.

Discussion Regarding Business Proposal at Jackson Square: alderman Bastien stated Carl Martin could not be present tonight. Mayor Stephens stated the city has a lengthy ordinance regarding billiards and pool halls. Alderman Bastien asked that a copy of that ordinance be placed in everyone’s packet for the next meeting.

New business:

Consideration of Ordinance requiring dwellings to have active water and electric service: Attorney Blake reviewed the main part to be added to the ordinance, that it currently states being connected to the utilities but does not state have active service. This would change that language. It will also cover temporary interruptions of services and language on procedures regarding housing codes for all types of conditions. The first to be given will be a corrective action within a certain time frame. Second will involve placing a placard on the premise, stating is uninhabitable, have to leave. Mayor Stephens stated will resolve situations where the landlord says go ahead and move in, even with deficit of utilities.

Motion: To approve the Ordinance requiring dwellings to have active water and electric service.

Motion by Alderman BrattonSecond by Alderman Pierson

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

Motion Carried

No public comment.

Alderman Bratton opened discussion for Public Works related items.

Old business: Nothing at this time.

New business:

Consideration of Declaring the Water Department 2002 Ford F150 as Surplus: Mr. Lee stated it suffered minor damage but the airbags went off.

Motion: To Declare the Water Department 2002 Ford F150 as Surplus.

Motion by Alderman ErbesSecond by Alderman Bastien

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

Motion Carried

Consideration of MFT Resolution for Safe Routes to School Grant: Mayor Stephens stated it will upgrade the crossings at 21st and 22nd Streets. Will be coordinating with IDOT since they are resurfacing Walnut Street. Mr. Sheffer stated the grant is for $76,000, the resolution is for any overages. Alderman Hughes asked if there is a time limit on the grant? Mr. Sheffer stated he is in contact with them since the delay is due to the IDOT overlay. Mayor Stephens stated it is an IDOT grant.

Motion: To approve the MFT Resolution for Safe Routes to School Grant.

Motion by Alderman ErbesSecond by Alderman McComb

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

Motion Carried

Discussion regarding the development of Venture Lane: Alderman Bratton stated that Samron is putting in an asphalt plant. Previous discussion was the city would purchase the rock, Samron will put in the road for $25,000.

Motion: To approve Samron to put in the road on Venture Lane for $25,000.

Motion by Alderman PiersonSecond by Alderman Bastien

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

Motion Carried

No public comment.

Alderman Brown opened discussion for Public Safety related items.

Old business:

Discussion regarding the Gillenberg Property: Chief McBride stated part of it will be done at night, since it is next to Walnut Street. Alderman Bratton stated they need to let the Police Department know when they are doing that.

New business:

Consideration of Draft Agreement for School Resource Officer: Chief Ellermeyer stated a copy of the draft is in the packet and the school board just received their copy to review. Currently working on a pay scale for review. Alderman Brown asked if this was for just one school? Chief Ellermeyer stated will spend time at all four schools.

Public comment: Ms. Norton asked if due to the collapse of the building, did the other buildings get inspected? Could have been prevented. Start doing inspections on the other old buildings? Mayor Stephens commented it has been talked about before, can revisit it. Alderman Bratton stated he thought the Fire Chief was doing this? Chief McBride stated they have done pre-plans regarding potential hazards and storage. Attorney Blake stated the city has ordinances in place regarding that. Mayor Stephens asked if the ordinance is legal? Has been told that it is not an ordinance that is enforceable. Attorney Blake stated if the owner says you can’t go in, the inspector can’t go in. Would have to go to court, show probable cause regarding a violation of the city code. Alderman Erbes stated so what you are asking can’t necessarily be done.

Alderman Hughes opened discussion for Personnel related items.

Old business:

Discussion regarding making the position of Mayor as Full-Time: Alderman Hughes stated that the committee met yesterday. Sent an email to everyone asking for questions. The only request came from Alderman Campos about putting on the ballot regarding making the position a two-year term. That change could not take effect until the 2025 election. The committee at the present time, with financial insecurities, will not be inclined to recommend any change to the status quo. Mayor Stephens stated he appreciated their consideration regarding this matter. Consider part-time grant writer/economic director/public works director.

New business:

Update on Negotiations: Mayor Stephens stated included in the packet are copies of other contracts. Alderman Hughes stated were presented to the committee previously. Have made an offer and have not heard back from them. Is this a legal procedure?

Presentation regarding the Clerical Contract by Charley Ferguson: Mr. Ferguson stated no negotiations here. Feel like their arguments have been turned aside. Passed out a handout summarizing several towns’ wages. The ladies are grossly underpaid. Look at the other municipalities and internal comparables. Seems like the ladies/clerical have been left out. Offer insurance for the employee but if have a child have to pay. Look at the water billing manager, with minimum wage coming up, will pass her up. Can we start moving forward?

No public comment.

MAYOR’S REPORT

Update on the Ruble Flooding Issue: Mr. Sheffer stated still trying to set up a meeting with Mr. Ruble. Attorney Blake stated Attorney Heller is trying, Cindy Reiman represents him. Mayor Stephens stated try to get moving on it.

Consideration of Bid for Awnings Downtown: Meeting scheduled Thursday with all the building owners. Alderman Hughes asked if pictures of some could be sent? Yes. Alderman Bratton asked what is holding this up? Mayor Stephens stated we have a $60,000 grant and have around $70,000 of awnings people are interested in doing. Some facades have to be made sound to be able to hold the awning first.

Discussion regarding a new Industrial Park: The current Industrial Park is full. Looking at potential parcels. Talking to Cary Minnis to look for EDU money/grants to go along with that. Tacit approval to be exploring this idea. Alderman Hughes asked if looking at property adjacent to the current industrial park? Mayor Stephens answered no, there isn’t any, just looking at different parcels. Alderman Hughes asked about the area that is north of Penn Aluminum. Mayor Stephens stated will need this if it is going to be a growing community. Alderman Hughes stated putting a lot of money into 7th Street. Mayor Stephens stated looking for space for other potential businesses.

Discussion regarding a trip to Washington DC: Executive summit of the 127 Expansion. Had Representative Bost and Bryant, several unions, at the meeting. Created a 124 page report, can see it at SIConnector.com. The section north of Murphysboro to Vergennes is ready, have to have some land acquisition. Apply for grant. $800 million project in total. Traveled to Washington D. C. last year with the group. The #1 ask is for them to get behind this Build Grant from Murphysboro to Vergennes. Would like the council’s permission to travel to help lobby for this. Alderman Pittman asked what the cost was last year? Approximately $1000.

Motion: To approve the funding for the Mayor to travel to Washington D.C.

Motion by Alderman HughesSecond by Alderman Pittman

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

Motion Carried

ALDERMEN ANNOUNCEMENTS/REQUESTS

Barb HughesThanked all who were on the committee for the full-time mayor.

Jance Curry-Witzman Nothing

Russell BrownNothing

William PiersonNeed to consider doing the alleys, some are pretty bad. Mayor Stephens asked that it be put on the agenda for the next meeting.

Gary McCombAsked that the contractor at Gillenberg’s be told he is running a backhoe down brick streets, will have to replace the bricks. Asked to consider 4-10 hour days for the Street and Water Department.

John ErbesNothing

Dan BrattonTalked to the contractor with Chief McBride, either he will be responsible or Joe and Shirley will be, took pictures. Thanked Mr. Murray for the progress on the asphalt plant.

Mike BastienThanked Mr. Ferguson for being here and presenting to the council.

Gloria CamposAbsent

W. J. PittmanNothing

DEPARTMENT HEAD ANNOUNCEMENTS/REQUESTS

Richard BlakeNothing

Sandra RipleyNothing

Scott EvansNothing

Harold ShefferStated used to do the alleys in quadrants. If going to do the worst ones, need to get on it.

Steve McBrideHas submitted 3 grants. Is going to be a peer reviewer for grant applications, which will be very beneficial. Fire at the American Legion was on the outside, kept it to only $500 worth of damage. Firefighters are doing a phenomenal job.

Jamie EllermeyerSgt. Jacob Weber will be going to the state police, great employee, loss for us.

Eric KennedyAbsent

Tim LeeNothing

Brian ManwaringNothing

Darrin MillsNothing

Pat GladsonNothing

Katharine Volle: Wished Darrin Mills a happy birthday.

Leandra Bryant Nothing

Motion: To go into executive session at 7:28 pm for Act 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(5) meetings held 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.

Motion by Alderman BrattonSecond by Alderman Erbes

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

Nays: None

Absent: Alderman Campos

Motion Carried

Motion: To come out of executive session at 7:42 p.m.

Motion by Alderman BastienSecond by Alderman Hughes

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

Nays:None

Absent: Alderman Campos

Motion Carried

Motion: To resume regular council meeting at 7:43 p.m.

Motion by Alderman McCombSecond by Alderman Bratton

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

Motion: To approve all the appraisal reports for acquisition of Right-of-Way for the North 7th Street widening except parcel #11.

Motion by Alderman McCombSecond by Alderman Brown

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

Motion Carried

Motion: To adjourn

Motion by Alderman BrattonSecond by Alderman McComb

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

Motion Carried

Meeting adjourned at 7:44 p.m.

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

Want to get notified whenever we write about City of Murphysboro City Council ?

Sign-up Next time we write about City of Murphysboro City Council, we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.

Organizations in this Story

City of Murphysboro City Council