City of Mt. Sterling Council met June 5.
City of Mt. Sterling Council met July 5.
Here is the minutes provided by the Council:
Mayor Charles “Skip” Lee called a meeting of the Sterling City Council to order at 6:30 pm on Monday, June 5, 2017. Roll call. Present: Aldermen Bob Conklin, Retha Elston, Joe Martin, John Stauter, Christine Wilen, and Jim Wise. Absent: None.
Also present were City Attorney Tim Zollinger, City Manager Scott Shumard, City Management Intern Madison Hans, Superintendent of Building and Zoning Amanda Schmidt, Head Librarian Jennifer Slaney, Superintendent of Public Works Brad Schrader, Fire Chief Gary Cook, Police Chief Tim Morgan, and City Clerk Marie Rombouts.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
There were no communications from Visitors.
Alderman Elston made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda as follows:
A) Minutes from May 15, 2017
B) Bills and Payroll totaling $1,537,629.49
C) Petition from Team Great Strides to hold a bucket brigade on June 17, 2017 for Cystic Fibrosis
D) Ordinance #2017-06-15 for the City of Sterling, Whiteside County, Illinois Ascertaining the Prevailing Rate of Wages for Laborers, Workmen and Mechanics Employed on Public Works in the City The motion was seconded by Alderman Conklin. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Alderman Elston made a motion to approve Mayor Lee’s reappointment of Rhonda Borgmann, Carol Siefken, and June Shearer to the Library Board for a three-year term, expiring June 30, 2020; seconded by Alderman Conklin. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Alderman Elston made a motion to approve Mayor Lee’s appointment of Kip Aitken to the Police Pension Board for a two-year term, expiring June 30, 2019; seconded by Alderman Martin. Chief Morgan stated Kip Aitken was approached to fill John Miller’s position. He has attended a meeting and is ready to serve. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Alderman Elston made a motion to approve the Proclamation recognizing June 7, 2017, as the celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Salvation Army in Whiteside County; seconded by Alderman Martin. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried. Mayor Lee presented the Proclamation to Envoy DeShawn Johnson of the Salvation Army. Mayor Lee read the proclamation into the record. Envoy Johnson thanked the City for recognizing the 125th year of the Salvation Army in Whiteside County. Johnson stated we stand together moving forward to help the most needy. Salvation Army helps with finances, food, and spirituality. Johnson invited all to attend the celebration lunch on Wednesday.
Alderman Conklin made a motion to award the bid for East 16th Street from 8th Avenue to 11th Avenue to Twin City Construction in the amount of $205,777.25; seconded by Alderman Martin. Manager Shumard reported that with the good pricing, we hope to add another block on East 16th Street. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Alderman Martin made a motion to approve Ordinance #2017-06-16, An Ordinance Authorizing the Issuance of General Obligation Bonds (Alternate Revenue Source), in one or more series of the City of Sterling, Whiteside County, Illinois, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $10,000,000 for the purpose of financing the costs of certain capital projects within the City and paying for costs related thereto; seconded by Alderman Elston. Bob Vail with Bernardi Securities explained this ordinance sets the parameters of the bond issue. Alderman Martin asked if rates will be increasing and if the maximum is $10 million. Vail stated rates could increase. $10 million is the maximum on this issue and the City can possibly issue more bonds in three years. Alderman Wise asked how the City’s bond rating is affected by the State. Vail acknowledged that the State’s financial status does affect the City’s rating is still good. Alderman Wise asked if these bonds are using the 1⁄2% sales tax and dedicated to stormwater and roads. Manager Shumard assured the Council this will be devoted to stormwater projects and associated streets. Alderman Wise asked at what point the Council will be choosing the projects. Manager Shumard explained that could be later this summer. Alderman Wise wants to assure equal distribution of funds across the City and present a schedule to the public. Mayor Lee stated that during budget, specific projects will be outlined. Alderman Conklin stated that projects are prioritized with school schedules and traffic patterns. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Mayor Lee asked Superintendent Schmidt to present information on the request to waive fees for the United Way of Whiteside County. Schmidt explained United Way is petitioning the Plan Commission for a Special Use Permit to place a sign in the right-of- way on First Avenue. Only the $150 would be waived; United Way would pay for all notifications. Dianna Verhulst with United Way explained the building is not easily identified. The sign will shine the light on United Way and that will be the Fall Campaign. The sign will match the style of the building. Verhulst stated the sign will cost $3000 and she is applying for grants to reduce those costs. Alderman Stauter asked if we would be setting a precedent by waiving fees. Attorney Zollinger stated there is a difference between profit and non-profit. Alderman confirmed that notification fees are being paid. Martin suggested that administrative fees could be waived for non-profits, in general.
Alderman Elston made a motion to waive the $150 fee for the Plan Commission hearing on a Special Use Permit for United Way of Whiteside County; seconded by Alderman Conklin. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Chief Morgan reported the Consolidated Dispatch has offered the Director position to Claudia Garcia and she has tentatively accepted. The consolidation will begin June 26.
Superintendent Schrader reported that new curb and gutter is done at Avenue J and 8th Street. They will be starting on 8th Street between 1st and 3rd Avenues soon.
Superintendent Schmidt announced that Code Enforcement is fully staffed. Rob Horn accepted the full-time position and there is a part-time summer helper to keep up on weed complaints. Alderman Stauter asked if they are catching up on mowing because they seem out of hand. Schmidt did not feel there were more than other years. Alderman Wise asked if these properties receive liens for mowing. Schmidt stated the City invoices the property owner first. If not paid, a lien is placed on the property. Attorney Zollinger is unsure if mowing bills can be sent to IDROP, like utility bills. Schmidt explained a five-day notice is sent for the property owner to comply before the City mows the lot.
Manager Shumard reported the City is still working with the GSDC on the Best Cobb building. The EPA grant awarded to Dixon is the one that Sterling has been applying for repeatedly and we used the same grant writer. Shumard introduced Madison Hans, the intern from University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She will be working on sewer roof drain grants and a vendor for a social media application to keep citizens up-to-date on City happenings. Hans admitted she did not know what a sump pump was before starting this job.
Alderman Martin reported he served hot dogs at the Sterling Police Department’s Bicycle Rodeo on Saturday.
Alderman Elston stated the band concerts start on Wednesday. The first movie in the park will be next Tuesday. Elston asked Chief Cook if the fire truck will be at the movies. Cook said they will be when possible. Elston congratulated Pam Eggmeier for ten years of service at the Daily Gazette. Elston indicated that flashover training was very interesting but made her aware of how claustrophobic she is. Elston also thanked Schrader and Schmidt for solutions to her complaints.
Alderman Wise thanked Chief Morgan for the Police Department’s diligence at Propheter Park. The neighbors are happy with the Police presence.
Mayor Lee recognized Memorial Day, Armed Services Day, and three young men from the area attending the Naval Academy.
Alderman Martin made a motion to move to “closed session” at 7:37 pm to discuss collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives under subsection (2) of 5 ILCS 120/2(c); seconded by Alderman Elston. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried. Manager Shumard announced there would be no business after the closed session. Alderman Wise excused himself because of a prior commitment.
Alderman Martin made a motion to reconvene the open meeting at 7:44 pm; seconded by Alderman Conklin. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Stauter, and Wilen. Nayes – None. Motion carried.