The Carmi City Council met Monday, August 18, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Room of the Municipal Building, 225 East Main Street, Carmi, Illinois.
Prior to opening the council meeting, Mayor Pollard asked Alderman Steve Winkleman to give the invocation. The prayer was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Pollard presided with the following Aldermen present: Steve Winkleman, Mark W. Blake, Keith Davis, Sheila Jo Headlee, Doug Hays, Jack Lamont and Mike Knight. Alderman Kenny Carter was absent.
Minutes for the August 4, 2014 council meeting were presented. Motion made by Alderman Knight and seconded by Alderman Hays to approve the minutes as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard presented Keith Botsch, City CPA to give the financial report for the City of Carmi and Light & Water Departments. Mr. Botsch stated that the City of Carmi has a positive excess of sixty six thousand, nine hundred and forty six dollars and one cent ($66,946.01). The MFT fund has a positive excess of eighty three thousand, one hundred and forty three dollars and seventy five cents ($83,143.75). The Library fund has a deficit amount of forty three thousand eight hundred and thirteen dollars and fourteen cents ($43,813.14), he added that after real estate taxes are collected the Library Fund will be out of deficit and would be on target for the projected 2014 budget. Mr. Botsch informed the council that the Light and Water Department has a deficit of four hundred sixty nine thousand three hundred and eighty four dollars and twenty six cents ($469,384.26), with the true deficit of ninety one thousand dollars ($91,000). He added that the Light Department has revenue of three million five hundred and eighty one thousand nine hundred and seventy nine dollars an ninety nine cents ($3,581,979.99), which is a little behind budget due to the cool summer months. The Light Department had a deficit of one hundred forty four thousand six hundred seventy six dollars and sixty three cents ($144,676.63), with a true deficit of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500). The Water Department had a deficit of two hundred and eight thousand ninety one dollars and six cents ($208,091.06), with a true deficit of one hundred and three thousand one hundred dollars ($103,100). Mr. Botsch suggested the possibility of a water rate increase of five (5) percent which would have given the Water Department a thirty five thousand dollar ($35,000) increase in revenue. The Sewer Department had a deficit of one hundred thousand eight hundred sixty four dollars and twenty two cents ($100,864.22), with a true deficit of fifty eight thousand seven hundred and thirty three dollars ($58,733). He informed the council that the annual tax levy was coming up in December and that Police Pension Fund is the biggest expense. Mr. Botsch stated that he needed some direction from the council to decide the rate but added that most years they go up point five (0.5) percent. The Police Pension Fund will be hit hard this year, with the retirement of two police officers.
Mayor Pollard asked the council to approve the July 2014 Financial Reports for the City of Carmi and Light and Water Departments. Motion was made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Blake to approve the July 2014 Financial Reports as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard asked the council to approve and authorize the August 2014 Vendor Invoices for the City of Carmi and the Light & Water Department. Motion was made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Hays to approve the August 2014 Vendor Invoices as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard then asked the council to consider Ordinance No. 1479, an ordinance approving an amendment to redevelopment agreement #3 between the City of Carmi, White County, Illinois, and Taylor Properties of Southern Illinois, LLC, developer and approving land sale agreement for real estate in the Carmi Industrial Park. Motion was made by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Knight to approve Ordinance No. 1479 as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Reports and/or updates from Mayor Pollard
Mayor Pollard sent out letters to all of the utility customers explaining in greater detail the AquaLine protection program. He explained that he did this because there was a lot of confusion with the blue opt-out cards and he wanted to give the customers an additional thirty (30) days to make a decision.
He added that work has started on the pond at Burrell’s Woods. They have taken the shelter apart to be moved and torn down several trees. He also reminded the public about the BBQ and Blues event going on this weekend at Burrell’s Woods.
Holly Healy from the Chamber of Commerce is putting together a Halloween Weekend at Burrell’s Woods on October 24th and 25th. He wanted to remind the public that this event will be a City/Chamber event so camping spots will be reserved just for that weekend.
Factory Connection opened Saturday morning and was very pleased with the large turnout.
City Supervisor Mike Buckman then gave a report. He informed the council that the city will be flushing fire hydrants the end of September and the first of October and they will provide section B for fire hydrants. They are checking for street light outages as well. He added that on Tuesday, August 26 & Wednesday, August 27, they will be digging for water lines at Burrell Street and Ninth Street and will be looking for water mains. Supervisor Buckman and City Electrical Engineer David Coston attended an IMEA meeting recently and received a lot of important information for the city including power purchase, building contracts, free legal team, mutual aid (storms), rate schedules, energy efficiency, and overall operations. He added that safety protocols are being added from IMEA, and used the example of the city’s linemen having to wear not only fire retardant shirts but fire retardant pants as well. He brought up a question from the foremen’s meeting; in the past, homeowners paid for culverts and the city installed it for them. The city is having problems with homeowners complaining about the culverts and wanting them fixed. He asked who should pay for that. He stated that he doesn’t feel like the homeowners and taxpayers should have to pay to have it fixed. Mayor Pollard told the council that they needed to come up with a policy for drainage and culverts for homeowners.
Mayor Pollard then mentioned the road closure for the Christmas Train and Santa House. He said that if the council wants to move it so they don’t have to close the road, then they need to start thinking about a new spot for it.
Reports from Standing Committees
Alderman Knight stated that some batteries on machinery were stolen at Burrell’s Woods.
Alderman Hays told the council that Sheriff Doug Maier thanked the city for the work on the new generator pad at the city/county jail. The city bill was only three thousand one hundred dollars ($3,100) for the month.
Alderman Lamont thanked everyone for the flowers and prayers for the loss of his wife.
Alderman Headlee stated that she was proud of the fire department for the quick response for the fire on Saturday.
Alderman Davis stated that there was a power outage this weekend due to a lightning strike.
Business or Comments from Visitors
Citizen Richard Cook asked if the council could change the time the lights on Main St. start flashing yellow at night. Mayor Pollard said that they could check into it and see what the public thinks about it.
Braden Willis asked why Teddy Allen’s track hoe is parked at Burrell’s Woods. Mayor Pollard answered that they are the ones who are working on the pond.
Motion made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Lamont to go into closed session for the purpose of discussing personnel and property issues with no action to follow. The motion carried on roll call by each alderman answering “yes.”
At 6: 19 p.m. the council went into closed session.
Motion was made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Lamont to return to open session and adjourn. The motion carried on roll call by each alderman answering “yes.”
At 6:42 p.m. the council adjourned.
Brian K. Allen, City Clerk
Jeff Pollard, Mayor