The Carmi City Council met Monday, June 16th, 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, Kenny Carter, Sheila Jo Headlee, Doug Hays, Jack Lamont and Mike Knight.
Minutes for the June 2nd, 2014 Council Meeting were presented. Motion was made by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Knight to approve the minutes as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard asked the Council to approve May 2014 financial reports as presented. Motion was made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Winkleman. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard then asked the Council to approve June 2014 Vender Invoices as presented. Motion was made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Blake. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard next asked the Council to approve the reappointment of Laura Saunders and Sharon Martin to the Library Board for a three (3) year term effective July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017. Motion was made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Knight. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Ordinance No. 1478, an ordinance establishing Prevailing Wage for the City of Carmi, County of White, and State of Illinois was presented. A motion was made by Alderman Lamont and seconded by Alderman Headlee to approve Ordinance No. 1478 as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Resolution 6-16-14, a resolution for “Re-Routing of traffic for the Kiwanis Club annual Corn Day celebration to be held on October 10th and 11th, 2014” was presented. A motion was made by Alderman Blake and seconded by Alderman Davis to approve Resolution 6-16-14 as presented. The motions carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard presented WEDG director Sandra Irvine to address council for Mr. Bill Lee of Lee’s Heating & Air who is asking for a one hundred and fifty ($150,000) thousand dollar loan from the city’s revolving loan fund in order to purchase the “Carmi Crossing” Strip mall by Wal-Mart. Mr. Lee will put in his business, Midway Barbecue Shack on the end of the strip mall where Domino’s Pizza was formerly located. Mr. Lee has letters of commitment for the remaining locations in the strip mall and is currently trying to figure out what will be best for Carmi. Director Irvine noted that if they provide the loan to Mr. Lee, the city will be left with one hundred and twenty five (125,000) thousand dollars in the revolving loan fund. Alderman Headlee asked if the title to the strip mall had been cleared. Mr. Lee answered that “yes” it has. Alderman Davis questioned how long it would take to get Midway Barbecue Shack operational.
Mr. Lee responded that he is hoping around thirty (30) days and they have already bought all the necessary equipment. He then stated that he had two letters of commitment from Dollar Tree and Factory Connection which is a clothing retail store. He added that he doesn’t have room for both of them and that Dollar Tree will have sixteen (16) employees and would increase the city’s sales tax income. He also mentioned that AT&T has a lease and wants to stay in the strip mall and that State Finance, however, doesn’t have a lease as of right now and doesn’t provide much income tax for the city. A motion was made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Knight to approve Bill Lee of Lee’s Heating & Air for a one hundred and fifty (150,000) thousand dollar loan from the city’s revolving loan fund as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard brought to council for discussion and selection the Motor Fuel Tax fund projects for 2014-2015. Alderman Headlee explained that there are about nineteen (19) projects that need to be done which would cost approximately four hundred and thirty one ($431,000) thousand dollars. She then explained that approximately ten thousand ($10,000) dollars will be taken in of MFT funds per month. Alderman Headlee said that the city needs to catch up on projects and they have not spent any MFT money the last two (2) years. Alderman Lamont asked if it included oil and chipping of alley ways. Mayor Pollard answered that it could be added. City Supervisor Mike Buckman noted that the city needs to create a good base to make the oil and chip stick and last longer. Mayor Pollard stated that some funds for those projects are in the Water Department budget. Supervisor Buckman stated that the city needs to fix things properly including grinding roads back down to original grade. He added that 10th Street needs to be done before school starts. A motion was made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Headlee to put out for bids for the Motor Fuel Tax Fund Project for 2014-2015. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mr. Greg Stewart, City Attorney updated the council about Phoenix Foundation’s revolving loan and utility bills. Mr. Stewart said that he has received no information or calls from anyone in operations from Phoenix as of too date. He did, however, get a call today, 6-16-14, at 4:15 p.m. from the board. The information that he received from the board included that the state money has been processed in the amount of $1.186 million. He said that the other three hundred ($300,000) thousand dollars was kept by the state and two hundred and eighty nine ($289,000) thousand dollars of the $1.186 million was kept by the IRS because of the tax liens. Mr. Stewart added that the lien from the creditor is over three hundred ($300,000) dollars. He said that the board has hired a CPA to audit Phoenix for 2014 to be finished any day. Mr. Stewart asked the council for permission to contact the State of Illinois concerning an audit to see where the funds are and where it is being spent. Alderman Headlee commented that she believes the board has hired their own CPA firm to do an audit and that the city won’t get anything out of them either and that she thinks the city should to do their own audit. Mr. Stewart stated that the city will not receive any audits from 2012 and back. He added that he may contact the state and they may not do it at all or they may do it at their own pace. Alderman Hays said that the audit will prove to the state of Illinois that the city is trying. Mr. Stewart commented that the powers that be at Phoenix are concerned about this meeting and taking action on state audit because the census is dropping. Alderman Knight noted five (5) days ago, Phoenix had eighteen (18) residents. Greg Hays then said that they had seventeen (17) residents as of 6-16-14. A motion was made by Alderman Knight and seconded by Alderman Davis to give permission to City Attorney Greg Stewart to contact the state of Illinois concerning an audit. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Reports and/or updates from Mayor Pollard
Mayor Pollard reported that the remodeling of the chamber office is almost completed and will give the city room for four (4) desks. The materials, computers and office furniture will all come out of the money budgeted this year for remodeling of the office.
Mayor Pollard noted that he has had more comments again about turning the street lights on Main Street to flashing yellow after a certain hour. There have also been comments made about lowering the speed limit at Sunnybrook Meadows.
Mayor Pollard stated that starting July 1st, the new office hours for the public will be Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. which will allow the office personnel to get caught up on paperwork.
Mayor Pollard then apologized that he didn’t have on the agenda about moving the July 7th meeting since that Friday is the 4th. He said if anyone is planning a long weekend and wanted to move the meeting to Tuesday a motion could be made to do so. No motion was made.
Mayor Pollard commented on the Deep Roots festival at Burrell’s Woods. He explained it was free to attend and there would be a variety of live music being played.
Jason Carter then introduced the city’s new police officer Josh Moore and explained that he is working on getting a house here in Carmi.
City Supervisor Mike Buckman gave a little summary on some projects going on around the city. Mr. Buckman has engineered drawings of some MFT projects. He first talked about 7th Street by the High School and that they want to create more parking and install a sidewalk in order to get the parking off of the street during school days and also during ball games. He gave an update on the airport construction which includes a pilot’s lounge and sidewalks. Supervisor Buckman said that they are working on painting fire hydrants red, marking them for water pressure and painting the curbs for no parking spaces. He said that sidewalks are being put in across town. He added that several electrical hookups are taking place around town. He commented that he has talked with David Coston about Bradshaw and 6th Street substations. Supervisor Buckman then said that several culverts are being installed and that trees are being cut every day. He also gets calls weekly about a water main extension on Route 1, with ten (10) potential customers. Alderman Winkleman asked about the holdup of Industrial Park. WEDG director Sandra Irvin stated that the EDA demands that the city own all property before they can build the new road and the city is waiting on railroad executives. Alderman Blake asked if the buckled sidewalks at the high school will be fixed this year. Supervisor Buckman answered that the tree trimming crew is cutting down all of the gumball trees and then the sidewalk will be replaced. He then added that it will take five (5) years for us to get caught up on all the projects.
Reports from Standing Committees
Alderman Hays stated that the new Police Chief and officers are working great together and that the police department is running as smoothly as ever.
Alderman Lamont asked if the railroad crossing replacements would take place soon. Supervisor Buckman answered that it should take place sometime this summer.
Business or Comments from Visitors
A Citizen stated that the owner of the property at 5th Street on the southwest corner lives out of state. The property is not being taken care of and the grass is covering up a sidewalk. WEDG director Sandra Irvine stated that the last time he was contacted was in the spring of this year. Supervisor Buckman noted that the owner of the property lives in Kentucky. Mayor Pollard said they will cut the grass and charge the property owner. He added that the city needs an ordinance to bill property owners when the city has to mow their properties.
Motion made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Headlee to adjourn. The motion carried on roll call by each alderman answering “yes.”
At 6:27 p.m., the council adjourned
Brian K. Allen, City Clerk
Jeff Pollard, Mayor