City Council Meeting
City of Carmi
September 15th, 2014
The Carmi City Council met Monday, September 15, 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 City Supervisor Mike Buckman to give the invocation. The prayer was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Pollard presided with the following Aldermen present: Mark W. Blake, Kenny Carter, Keith Davis, Sheila Jo Headlee, Doug Hays, Jack Lamont and Mike Knight. Alderman Steve Winkleman was absent.
Minutes for the September 2nd, 2014 council meeting were presented. Motion made by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Davis to approve the minutes as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Financial Reports for August 2014 were presented. Motion made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Knight to approve the financial reports as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
September 2014 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 Mr. Brad Lee, Superintendent for Carmi-White County School District #5, to present information concerning a one (1) percent sales tax referendum for county schools. Mr. Lee stated that they have nineteen (19) less teachers and twenty one (21) less support staff since the state cutbacks went into effect in 2007. He explained that ‘if it is not currently taxed, it will not be taxed.’ The tax revenue can be used for safety and security improvements, energy efficiency, additions and renovations, to pay off building bonds, ongoing maintenance, new school facilities, durable equipment, fire prevention and life safety, land acquisition, parking lots, demolition, and architectural planning. The tax revenue cannot be used for salaries and benefits, instructional costs, operating costs, buses, textbooks and computers, and movable equipment. He explained how the funds could be used in Carmi-White County Unit #5; upgrade existing facilities and grounds, enhance security at existing buildings, pay for future projects with sales tax rather than property taxes, provide relief to current bonds, and new construction in the long range. He said that the projected revenue would be seven hundred fifty thousand ($750,000) dollars annually for White County Unit #5 schools. Two hundred and fifty thousand ($250,000) of that would be used to pay down the ten (10) million dollars’ worth of bonds. Next, Mr. Lee explained how the funds would be used in Grayville CUSD #1; upgrade and maintain existing facilities, abate a portion of property taxes by paying down outstanding bonds, fund future projects with sales tax instead of property taxes, and fund new construction. Finally, he explained what the funds would be used for at NCOE Unit #3; upgrade existing facilities and grounds, continue to enhance security at existing buildings, update technology infrastructure, and fund future projects with sales tax instead of property taxes. He explained that there are two (2) ways to decrease property taxes: reduce and avoidance. The benefits of this tax include that all individuals would pay this tax, any individual shopping in White County will contribute, it is estimated that twenty (20) to thirty (30) percent of revenues would come from individuals living outside of White County, and it is considered a “fairer” tax than property tax. Mr. Lee stated that the tax follows where the student lives, no matter where they go to school. He explained the
ballot language that will appear in November and stated that it must be a majority vote to pass. The tax would start in July of 2015 with school districts receiving checks in October, 2015. He stated that Saline, Williamson, Franklin, and Hamilton counties have already passed this tax.
Mayor Pollard then introduced Mr. Greg Hays of THS Entertainment to request an alley closure and use outdoor music for an Elk’s fundraiser on Saturday, September 27, 2014. Mr. Hays stated that this fundraiser is for local charities like shop with a cop, and the hoop shoot. Tim Ash, formally of Carmi, will be performing. He is asking to close the alley behind the Elk’s. They will be able to cook on-site and are only closing the ends of the alley. Music will be played until 11:00 p.m., but realistically 10:00 p.m. Motion was made by Alderman Lamont and seconded by Alderman Blake to close alley at 3:00 p.m. and play music till 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 27th. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard presented to the council for consideration moving the council meetings time and day. He explained that 5:30 p.m. is a little early for people who work especially if they want to eat dinner before the meeting. He suggested that they bump it back to at least 7:00 p.m. like it used to be and that they move the day as well so that it will not interfere with holidays. He added that the meetings will still be the first and third weeks of the month. Alderman Knight stated that he would give more time on the second meeting of the month to look over board financial reports. Alderman Blake stated that the only conflict was fire department truck training. Motion made by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Knight to move the meetings to Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. beginning in October. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Reports and/or updates from Mayor Pollard
Report from City Electrical Engineer David Coston
David Coston gave an update on the new SCADA system being installed at the City Light Plant. He explained that the line crew is asking to speed up the monitoring system so that they do not have to manually reset a substation breaker. The welding shop has started working on substation buildings to house equipment. He explained that his company has been doing a street light survey and has found that about ten (10) percent of street lights are currently out and that fifty (50) percent of the survey is completed. LED lights are going to be used in front of the high school and as lights burn out; the idea is to replace them with LED’s that would be more cost effective. He announced that the safety inspection for substations will be completed by a firm out of Evansville, Indiana this week. Energy efficiency rebates for citizens can be used for the public sector, industrial upgrades, and residential upgrades. There is twenty seven thousand five hundred and eight dollars ($27,508) available to spend. His thought was to spend seven thousand five hundred and eight dollars ($7,508) on LED upgrades for street lights in front of the high school. The remaining twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) could be separated into four five thousand dollars ($5,000) awards to industrial upgrades. He stated that IMEA has a program called “Recycle my Refrigerator” that will pay you fifty dollars ($50) and they will pick it up. Insurance adjuster on May 5th inspected the light plant, and did not give a good report. Mr. Coston met with him again in August to comply with his recommendations for upgrades. He will be attending a meeting at IMEA in November.
Reports from Standing Committees
Alderman Knight stated that the erosion at Bradshaw Park is being filled in. He added that the removal of the old score board at Bradshaw Park is beginning. He stated that the work continues at Burrell’s Woods pond.
Business or Comments from Visitors
Citizen Paul Schumaker asked how much sales tax the city collects from the ¾ percent sales tax. The council answered around forty to fifty (40-50) thousand dollars per month.
Motion made by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Headlee 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 6:39 p.m. the council went into closed session.
Motion was made by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Knight to return to open session and adjourn. The motion carried on roll call by each alderman answering “yes.”
At 7:31 p.m. the council adjourned.
Brian K. Allen, City Clerk
Jeff Pollard, Mayor