City of Mt. Sterling Council met July 17.
City of Mt. Sterling Council met July 17.
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, July 17, 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, Finance Director Cindy Von Holten, Superintendent of Building and Zoning Amanda Schmidt, Superintendent of Public Works Brad Schrader, Fire Chief Gary Cook, Police Lt. Alex Chavira, and City Clerk Marie Rombouts.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Terry Lynch, 614 West 15th Street, asked why the Council did not make a decision at the last meeting for the tattoo studio. He was disappointed that the Council failed to make a decision and make the petitioners wait two more weeks.
Shirley Sharp asked the status of the burned garage. Superintendent Schmidt stated that she has talked with the insurance company and a check is being processed. The car has been removed. Superintendent Schmidt reported that a letter has been sent to have the property cleaned up. Alderman Wise asked if there is a statutory limit for these matters. Attorney Zollinger stated the City can issue a citation for a nuisance. If the owner does not comply, the City can pay to have the property cleaned up and a lien filed against the property.
Alderman Wise made a motion to remove Item H from the Consent Agenda and approve the following items:
A) Minutes from July 3, 2017 B) Bills and Payroll totaling $624,563.98 C) Resolution #2017-7-13 to Close Streets for the Bridge the Community Run and Fiesta Parade D) Resolution #R2017-07-14 to Close Fourth Street for Taste of Fiesta E) Resolution #R2017-07-15 Regarding the.02% Building and Maintenance Property Tax Levy for the Sterling Public Library F) Petition from Sterling Park District to connect Building #2 at 1900 Westwood Drive to the City sanitary sewer system G) Acceptance of the bid for demolition of a single-family dwelling and accessory detached garage at 602 Eighth Avenue The motion was seconded by Alderman Elston. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Alderman Elston made a motion to award the low bid for the Coliseum parking lot lighting to Tri-City Electric Company of Davenport, Iowa, in the amount of $71,558 with an alternate bid included of $4,175 to run conduit to the perimeter trees; seconded by Alderman Stauter. Alderman Wise asked if the City gives preference to local businesses. Superintendent Schmidt stated the other two bidders did not submit alternate bids. Wise prefers to give work to local business and would like to follow up with an ordinance in the future. Alderman Conklin likes the idea but is concerned about this bid because bids were already received. Alderman Stauter agrees but asked about United Electric which is also local. Wise stated the preference for local business should be effective when a bid is within 5% of the low bid. Attorney Zollinger stated the Council can waive the bid process by a 2/3 Council vote. Zollinger recommended accepting the low bid or rejecting all bids. Mayor Lee wants to look into the local preference concept. Superintendent Schmidt stated that if all bids were rejected, it could delay the project for at least two more weeks. Alderman Stauter asked if we would have fewer responses if we had local preferences. Voting: Ayes – Alderman Elston, Stauter, Wilen, and Mayor Lee. Nayes – Aldermen Conklin, Martin, and Wise. Motion carried.
Alderman Wilen made a motion to approve Mayor Lee’s appointment of Scott Wolber to the Hospital Board with a term expiring June 30, 2020 and Alex Segneri to the Band Commission with a term expiring June 30, 2020 to complete unfinished terms; seconded by Alderman Conklin. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
City Management Intern, Madison Hans, discussed the handouts for the Sump Pump and Roof Drain Disconnect Grant Program. The flier describes sump pumps and roof drains, outlines the purpose of the program, and how it works. Participants are eligible for 50% of their cost, up to $400 reimbursement. Work has been estimated to not exceed $600. Applicants may be eligible for 75% of costs if they meet the income guidelines of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Hans explained the City will perform before and after inspections. Alderman Stauter asked if there are specific areas of the city which are more likely to have storm water running into the sanitary sewer. Superintendent Schrader stated it is more likely in the older neighborhoods and downtown. Manager Shumard stated the downtown has nowhere else to run the storm water. Shumard informed Council that $100,000 has been budgeted for this program. Schrader reported that flow meters can be dropped into manholes to determine where most of the water is coming from. Alderman Wise asked how we will raise awareness of this program. Hans expects to send information by mail through the sewer bills, fliers at the front desk, and through Facebook. Mayor Lee feels more comfortable offering help to citizens when they are made aware of problems. Superintendent Schmidt stated the sump pumps are inspected along with electrical services at the time of house sales.
Alderman Martin made a motion to raise the petition from the table from Haan, John and Paula Gabor for the Special Use Permit at 20 East Third Street to allow for a tattoo studio; seconded by Alderman Elston. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
The tabled motion by Alderman Martin and seconded by Alderman Elston was to overturn the Plan Commission recommendation and grant the Special Use Permit for Haan and John and Paula Gabor at 20 East Third Street to allow for a tattoo studio. Alderman Wilen indicated she has reconsidered her decision based on the community youth and planning for the future. Alderman Conklin is confident that Superintendent Schmidt will enforce the sign code to ensure compliance. Alderman Martin stated provisions can be set for the Special Use. Alderman Wise stated the conditions are set forth in the Ordinance, Section 2. Aldermen Martin and Elston agreed to encompass the passage of Ordinance #2017-7-20 Amending the Zoning Map to Reclassify Property owned by Richard Haan Jr. at 20 East Third Street from Downtown Business to Downtown Business with a Special Use. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – Alderman Stauter. Motion carried.
Alderman Elston made a motion to approve Ordinance #2017-07-19, An Ordinance Authorizing the Issuance of General Obligation Bonds (Alternate Revenue Source), Series 2017 of the City of Sterling, Whiteside County, Illinois, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $10,000,000 for the purpose of financing various public infrastructure projects including stormwater and road improvement projects and paying certain costs of issuance of the Bonds, and providing for the levy of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the principal of an interest on said bonds; seconded by Alderman Conklin. Bob Vale, with Bernardi Securities, stated this is the last step for the Council to set the parameters and security for the bonds. On Friday Vale will be meeting with the rating agency and documents will be finalized. The interest rate is 3.5 to 3.75 for a 20 year issue. Alderman Wise asked if the City will receive all the money upfront. Vale stated the City will not be using all their debt capacity. This will be issued as one, to capture funds now and save money by doing it at one time. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Conklin, Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – None. Motion carried.
Alderman Elston made a motion to approve the sanitary sewer lateral repayment agreement for Terri Wheeler at 406 11th Avenue; seconded by Alderman Stauter. Mayor Lee informed the Council that this gives the homeowner an advantage to pay over three years and it is cheaper to do when the road is torn up. The City’s advantage is there will be no cuts in the new road surface. Voting: Ayes – Aldermen Elston, Martin, Stauter, Wilen, and Wise. Nayes – Alderman Conklin. Motion carried.
Finance Director Cindy Von Holten reported that she had attended an Illinois Department of Revenue meeting to discover that there will be a 2% service fee on all sales tax coming to the City and a 10% decrease in income tax revenue.
Manager Shumard reminded everyone of a cook-out at the Fire Department from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm on Wednesday. Ribbon cutting for the Lawrence Lofts is Thursday at 4:00 pm. Fourth Avenue, north of LeFevre, will have new sidewalk, curb and gutter, and road surface. The project is divided into thirds: donation, school, and city. East 16th Street from 8th to 11th Avenue is progressing and will be extended to 7th Avenue. Intern Hans is working on the ADA transition plan. Hans’s last day will be August 21.
Alderman Martin raised concern about “house for sale by owner” signs appearing around town. He doesn’t want to see this all over and would like Code Enforcement to address.
Alderman Conklin noticed a sign on Lynn Boulevard for Emerald Hill Golf Course and asked how they can do off-site advertising.
Alderman Elston reported movies and concerts are on-going at Grandon. Saturday will be Main Street’s Music Fest. Elston thanked Amanda and Brad for work on a situation. Elston congratulated the Gabors for their endeavors on the tattoo studio.
Alderman Wise thanked Code Enforcement for what they do. He encourages another staff member to continue cleaning up the town.
Mayor Lee thanked Intern Hans for her work on the sump pump and roof drain disconnect grant program. He also thanked Alderman Wise for his input at the meetings. Wise has proposed good suggestions that we should look into.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 7:47 pm.