The Carmi City Council met Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Room of the Municipal Building, 225 East Main Street.
Prior to opening the council meeting, Mayor Pollard asked Alderman 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, Lance Yearby, Sheila Jo Headlee, Jack Lamont, Doug Hays and Mike Knight.
Minutes for the June 7th, 2016 council meeting were presented. Motion 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.”
May 2016 Financial Reports were presented. Motion made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Winkleman to approve the Financial Reports as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
June 2016 Vendor Invoices were presented. Motion made by Alderman Lamont and seconded by Alderman Headlee to approve the Vendor Invoices as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard presented Chamber of Commerce Director Holly Healy to request a donation from the city for the July 4th Fireworks in the amount of nine thousand dollars ($9,000). The city has made this donation for the past two (2) years. Motion made by Alderman Knight and seconded by Alderman Hays to approve the donation request as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard then asked the council to consider Resolution 6-21-16, a resolution for “Re-routing traffic…” for the Kiwanis Club Annual Corn Days celebration to be held October 7 and 8, 2016. Motion made by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Winkleman to approve Resolution 6-21-16 as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard asked the council to consider Ordinance No. 1504, an ordinance establishing Prevailing Wage for the City of Carmi, County of White, and State of Illinois. Motion made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Lamont to approve Ordinance No. 1504 as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard then presented Keith Moran with Moran Economic Development to ask approval for an agreement for Technical Services and Assistance for the Enterprise Zone Application and to ask approval for an agreement with for Professional Services for Establishment for of Tax Increment Financing Area #2. Mr. Moran stated that the State of Illinois is requiring cities to reapply for the Enterprise Zone Program due to poor organization of the program itself. He added that even if you had an Enterprise Zone in the past, you have to reapply which is making it a very competitive process. There are ten (10) questions you have to answer in order to apply. He explained that The City of Carmi would be pairing up with The City of Grayville, The City of Albion, Edwards County and White County. He added that the primary incentive would be sales tax exemption on building materials. Mr. Moran will help fill out the application and that Moran Economic Development has helped Mt. Carmel get back their Enterprise Zone. Economic Project Manager Sandra Irvine stated that all contractors in the area have used this advantage and that our area has three hundred and seventy-three thousand dollars ($373,000) in savings. Mr. Moran believes that the State is showing favor to areas that have had an Enterprise Zone before. There is eleven point five eight three square miles (11.583) in the zone. He explained that some areas in the old zone will be removed, but more will be added to the city. Motion made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Blake to approve the agreement for Technical Services and Assistance for the Enterprise Zone Application as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mr. Moran then spoke about an agreement for the TIF area #2. He explained that they would expand the area from just west of town to downtown and around the old hospital and more easterly throughout town. Monies are transferrable form TIF to TIF. He stated that the Facade Improvement Program can be used to do upgrades on exteriors of buildings. It is a six (6) month process and involves many public hearings. TIF #1 has been around for nine (9) years and has been used by six (6) businesses. Mayor Pollard stated that it is available to be used to clearing trees, and adding lighting. The TIF fund helps people utilize businesses that are currently not being used and it does not increase taxes. Motion made by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Winkleman to approve the agreement for Professional Services for Establishment for Tax Increment Financing #2 as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard presented City Electrical Engineer David Coston to ask for the approval to contract with Duke Energy to replace the lower bus switchgear and maintain all high voltage electrical switchgear at the City of Carmi Light Plant. Mr. Coston stated that the switches in the lower bus have been in use since 1937. The breakers are thrown manually; city employees are now wearing a level five (5) protective suit because of previous arc flash that was caused by an old cable. The upper bus implemented in the 1970s is air vacuum forced and enclosed. He is proposing a twelve (12) year service contract with Duke Energy for maintaining and installing new switch gear. He explained that the price can be negotiated after the twelve (12) year contract. From November 1st through May 1st the city will not incur any penalties from IMEA for shutting the power plant down to install new switchgears. There will be no payment due until May 2017. Mr. Coston added that the relays and breakers need to be tested every five (5) years. The contract includes maintenance and repairs to the upper switchgears as well. The contract also includes hiring Mr. Coston to engineer inside of the power plant. He then explained that the new switchgear would automatically sync with generators when they need to be fired up. If the city chooses to use the service contract with Duke it would cost around two million dollars ($2,000,000). He added that the city gets six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000) a year in credit from IMEA and if we cannot fire up the generators we would lose credit for the month. There is twenty (20) years left on the contract with IMEA. Mr. Coston stated that leasing the equipment and not doing the service contract is not feasible for the city. It cost three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) a year just to own the power plant and half of the power plant runs on the lower bus, that is questionable. The cost of the service contract with Duke would cost one hundred and eighty-six thousand dollars ($186,000) a year. He added that you can add different projects to the service contract as needed. Mayor Pollard stated that the City Attorney Greg Stewart and IMEA have both approved the service contract. Alderman Davis asked what would happen if a construction problem came up. Mr. Coston stated that they would lose credit from IMEA for those months. He added that the contract is locked in and Duke has figured in future risks. Mayor Pollard added that the service contract would give the city security. Mr. Coston added that the service contract does not cover generators however, the city would only lose one (1) and half of the power plant runs off of the switchgear. Alderman Winkleman voiced his concerns about the generators lasting the span of the twelve (12) contract. Mr. Coston stated that the new generators are not built as well as the old generators that the city has and that Fairbanks-Morse just checked on them and said that they were still in good shape and running well. They also do not have power to them all the time like the switchgear does. Alderman Winkleman then asked where the money is going to come from to pay for the contract. Mr. Coston stated that the city needs to do a cost study for electricity and that a rate study is done every five (5) years in bigger communities. City Clerk Brian Allen stated that the cities insurance premium for the power plant is going to be raised if the power plant stays the way it is now. City Supervisor Mike Buckman stated that the cooling towers at the power plant need to be fixed as well. Mr. Coston replied that the cooling towers are not a safety hazard. Mr. Buckman stated that as other issues come up the city will use the extra funds from IMEA and that the credit money will be used one way or the other. Mr. Coston explained that at the end of the twelve (12) year contract, the city can buy the equipment at fair market value. The new switchgear will interface with the new SCADA system. Alderman Winkleman stated that the city needs to do a rate study to see how they compare to other places. Mr. Coston stated that it cost five thousand dollars ($5, 000) an hour to run generators at the power plant. Alderman Hays stated that he would take a twenty cent ($0.20) rate increase to cover the Duke Service contract. Motion made by Alderman Lamont and seconded by Alderman Davis to approve the service contract with Duke Energy as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Reports and/or updates from Mayor Pollard
Mayor Pollard informed the council that this Thursday (June 23rd) from 6:00-9:00 there will be a Jeep/Rock Crawler Cruise in/on the parking lot at James Cook State Farm. There will be music, food vendors, and trophies. The proceeds raised will go towards the Chamber of Commerce CEO Program There will also be Bicentennial jelly bracelets for sale to help fund some of the Bicentennial events. The cost of the bracelets will be five dollars ($5.00) a piece or five (5) for twenty dollars ($20.00).
Mayor Pollard then stated that on Friday, July 1st at the Burrell Park Campground shelter there will be music and karaoke from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. The public is welcome to join the campers for the entertainment. On Saturday, July 2nd the Lions Club will be hosting their annual car show at the White County Fairgrounds. There will also be music and karaoke from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. again at the campground and the public is once again welcome. On Monday, July 4th the Bicentennial Concert will be taking place at the city property next to Burrell Park & Campground. There will be signs directing the public where to go. The Bradshaw’s will be taking the stage at 4:00 p.m. with Barry Steed and A Band Called River will take the stage at 6:00 p.m. There are a few confirmed food vendors that will be present such as Tropical Sno, Mimmo’s Pizza, and The Green Onion with a few more that may show up. There will be plenty of parking so he hopes that everyone will show up, brings a lawn chair and enjoy the evening. The concert will be over in plenty of time for everyone to get to town to enjoy the fireworks
Mayor Pollard then wanted to share some exciting things going on at the city offices. A feasibility study was done and they show that Carmi could support a thirty-five (35) bed motel to be located on or around the Industrial Park and Wal-Mart area. The company is now in the second stage of preparing the financial cost to build and they will be seeking investors. They have also been contacted by an ATV dealer wanting to locate in Carmi along with another strip mall located next to Wal-Mart. The last contact he had with Tumble Time Cheer, they were looking to purchase from the college. Taylor Eye Care’s new location is now open and the Taco Factory is looking to open in July. Dollar General is breaking ground on their new store and they are starting to get some interest from some new restaurants. Carmi may be on the verge of a growth spurt which will definitely help the economy.
Reports from Standing Committees
Alderman Hays stated that Police Chief Jason Carter caught and ticketed a sixteen (16) year old driver that was doing donuts at Burrell Park by using the new security camera system.
Alderman Lamont said that the Fire Department has had officer elections and that everything stayed the same. He then asked if the city is trimming trees. Alderman Davis answered that yes they were trimming some, but they had to be pulled off to install the new LED street lights.
Alderman Headlee commented that the finances after six (6) months are down and she is asking the foremen of the departments to tighten up their budgets.
Alderman Blake stated that Tommy Felty approached him at the white goods site and wanted to commend city employee Brooke Walters on how nice she was to him when he came into the Light & Water Office.
Business or Comments from Visitors
Motion was made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Winkleman to adjourn. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
At 7:07 p.m. the council adjourned.
Brian K. Allen, City Clerk
Jeff Pollard, Mayor