City of Mt. Sterling Council met June 19.
City of Mt. Sterling Council met June 19.
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 19, 2017. Roll call. Present: Aldermen Retha Elston, Joe Martin, John Stauter, Christine Wilen, and Jim Wise. Absent: Alderman Bob Conklin.
Also present were City Attorney Tim Zollinger, City Manager Scott Shumard, City Management Intern Madison Hans, Finance Director Cindy Von Holten, Superintendent of Building and Zoning Amanda Schmidt, 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 June 5, 2017
B) Bills and Payroll totaling $540,671.76
C) Petition from Hospice of the Rock River Valley to hold a Bucket Brigade on July 1, 2017 to support the building project
D) Partial Pay Request #2 for 2016-2017 Street Program to Civil Constructors in the amount of $76,342.88
E) Partial Pay Request #3 for ADA Sidewalk Improvements to Civil Constructors in the amount of $10,507.94
F) Refer to Plan Commission a Petition from United Way of Whiteside County at 502 First Avenue for a Special Use Permit to allow construction of a ground sign in the right-of-way
G) Refer to Plan Commission a Petition from Dyn Sterling LLC (in the 4400 Block of East Lincolnway) requesting to replat existing Lot 6 into 3 new lots for new construction
H) Refer to Plan Commission a Petition from Kunes Country Auto at 2811 Locust to Expand the existing Special Use Permit to Expand the Employee Parking Lot for the Dealership The motion was seconded by Alderman Martin. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Alderman Elston made a motion to approve the Proclamation designating June 19, 2017 as the Official Juneteenth Celebration in Sterling, Illinois; seconded by Alderman Stauter. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Alderman Wilen made a motion to waive the bid process to purchase a Fire Department Boat from Clark for $29,997; seconded by Alderman Martin. Chief Cook reported the boat can float in six inches of water, the motor can be raised, and parts will be interchangeable with Rock Falls’s boat. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Alderman Stauter made a motion to pass Resolution #R2017-06-12 Authorizing Acquisition of Real Property, Parcel 11-14-301-004, property directly behind Northland Mall; seconded by Alderman Elston. Attorney Zollinger explained the property is owned by a tax buyer and the amount currently owed is $9797. Manager Shumard stated this property may be used for future storm water projects. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Mayor Lee set the bond hearing aside until Bob Vail with Bernardi Securities was available at the meeting for questions.
Alderman Elston made a motion to approve the collective bargaining contract with International Association of Firefighters (IAFF Local #230)1, effective May 1, 2017 through April 30, 2020; seconded by Alderman Martin. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Mayor Lee opened a public hearing at 6:47 pm pursuant to the requirement of Sections 10 and 20 of the Bond Issuance Notification Act of the State of Illinois, as amended on the plans to issue General Obligation Bonds (Alternate Revenue Source), Series 2017 in the amount not to exceed $10,000,000. There were no public comments. Alderman Wise asked about the ad valorem taxes and the possibility of the State holding tax payments to the City. Attorney Zollinger stated there is no guarantee that the state will continue payments but appeals can be made to the Illinois Department of Revenue. Bob Vail with Bernardi Securities stated that ad valorem taxes would be property taxes if the sales tax could not cover the bond payments. Alderman Wise asked if storm water utility fees are still being considered. Mayor Lee explained the storm water fees have been put to bed with the passage of the 1⁄2% sales tax. Alderman Stauter stated the sales tax eliminates the need for the storm water utility fees and the bonds get us working on these projects instead of waiting for an accumulation of funds to start at a later date. Alderman Martin reminded everyone that sanitary sewer fees are increasing because the need for replacing the wastewater treatment plant is in the near future. If property taxes are frozen and the City cannot meet their pension obligations, other means will be necessary. Mayor Lee closed the public hearing at 6:56 pm.
Manager Shumard reported that bids for the Avenue G bridge repairs came in above the engineer’s estimate, because of the painting. Willett, Hofmann & Associates is looking for other bridge painters. The Greater Sterling Development Corporation (GSDC) will be administering $500,000 from a former revolving loan fund. GSDC is proposing to start preliminary work at the Lawrence Brothers Building with $125,000 and create an events fund with $75,000. The remaining $300,000 will be retained for new revolving loans. Shumard reported he has been working with Stanley about the old National building and the best method to clean up the site. Rock River Energy has sent letters out for the changeover to Dynergy as Sterling’s electrical supplier. To retain Dynergy’s rates, citizens have nothing to do; they will automatically be enrolled for savings. Shumard announced that Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will be making no further payments after June 30. Shumard mentioned that he would be meeting with Strand on Friday morning to begin planning storm water projects. Strand did the storm water management plan.
Alderman Wise asked when the Council would become involved in the selection process. Manager Shumard stated selection would take place when projects could be outlined and know which can be handled without additional property being purchased.
Alderman Martin asked what is happening with Recyclebank. He stated there are minimal rewards for citizens recycling in Sterling.
Alderman Elston reported the first movie was last Tuesday with plenty of kids’ activities beforehand. Elston was pleased to see the Gus Macker return to Sterling.
Alderman Stauter asked if City crews would be picking up tree limbs/brush from Saturday night’s storm. Superintendent Schmidt reported Code Enforcement has been informing property owners of their responsibility to dispose of their yard waste. Manager Shumard stated a Press Release can be done to remind citizens of their responsibility. Shirley Sharp added that for the tax dollars paid the City should provide pick up. Superintendent Schrader stated that clean up last time took three to four months, which requires pulling guys from the curb projects. Rayce Yohn suggested asking for volunteers to help clean up yards. Mayor Lee suggested contacting Pastor Tribley as he was looking for projects to be completed. Alderman Wise mentioned the storm debris and asked if the City has looked into privatizing pick up.
Mayor Lee thanked Aldermen Elston and Stauter for presenting keys to the City for a guest conductor and performer at the last week’s concert. Lee asked when the riverfront would be open for public use. Manager Shumard stated weeds need to be sprayed and lighting installed for a path. Mayor Lee would like to see a private partnership in this area. Manager Shumard asked if he should proceed with a planner.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 7:27 pm.