City of Aledo City Council met Sept. 3.
Here is the minutes provided by the council:
The City Council of the City of Aledo met in Regular Session in the Council Chambers of the City Hall building on September 03, 2019. MAYOR HAGLOCH called the meeting to order at 6:35 P.M. The roll was called, whereupon the following answered present:
Aldermen ILA BERTRAND, MICHAEL CHAUSSE, BARRY COOPER, DENNIS DIXON, JIM HOLMES, CHRIS KOPP, and LINDA SARABASA. Mayor CHRISTOPHER HAGLOCH. Alderman TERRY BEWLEY was excused.
Also present were CHRIS SULLIVAN, Interim Administrator / Chief of Police, JUSTIN BLASER, Director of Public Works & Utilities, and JAROD DALE, City Clerk.
An attendance sheet has been marked Exhibit “A”, attached hereto and made a part of these minutes. The media was represented by Cala Smoldt, Aledo Times Record & Rock Island Argus, and John Hoscheidt, WRMJ.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
The meeting was opened in prayer by ALD. Chausse. Appearances: No Report.
Communication & Correspondence: No Report. Requests & Petitions: No Report.
Public Works Activity Report:
Streets: preparation for Antique Days; finished painting crosswalks and parking stalls in the downtown area.
Water: JULIE’s; finals.
Gas: JULIE’s; ordering materials and line-up contractors for the VFW service upgrade; install interpretive panels at the RMA Memorial; budget work; file IDOT records; help with Antique Days preparations; and test underground valves.
Cemetery: Mowing and weed eating.
DPW: budget preparation; Antique Days preparation; building inspections; PW garage floor bid opening; facilities tour with Sarabasa & Dixon; met with Supt. Petrie regarding patch machine work at the MCHS parking lot; and Bike Trail open house.
Aledo Police Department Activity Report: CHIEF Sullivan reported the “9/11 Ride” held every year to honor the police officers and firefighters killed in the World Trade Center terror attack to be held on Saturday, September 7th. They also serve as a moving memorial to all officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. The “9/11 Ride” will stop at the Department’s Police Memorial. CHIEF to address the group and will be speaking, briefly, during their stop at Aledo PD.
CHIEF reported Brookestone is holding its annual golf tournament on Saturday, September 28th. All of the funds raised will be donated to the “Shop with a Hero” program this year. The event starts with breakfast and sign-in from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Golfing begins at 9:00 a.m. at Hawthorne Ridge.
Illinois State Trooper Nicholas Hopkins was recognized by CHIEF Sullivan and noted he was murdered while serving a search warrant on Friday, August 23rd. He was one of three (3) officers who gave their lives in the service of this nation that day and became the fourth (4th) ISP trooper killed in 2019. CHIEF asked that we remember the sacrifice of those thousands of men and women and the impact it had on their families, their friends and their communities.
Administration Report: CITY CLERK Dale reported 353 Court to hold the “Are you an Entrepreneur?” workshop at Aledo BankOrion 2nd floor conference room was postponed to start until Wednesday, September 4th due to a family emergency. The 6-week program will go through Wednesday, October 9th.
CITY CLERK reported after the closing of Reason’s Deli in August, the City sent a certified letter to Jon & Colleen Nation regarding a prior TIF Redevelopment Agreement between the City of Aledo and Nation Properties Inc. The original document was recorded (Doc. No. 368630) on July 13, 2010. A Forbearance Agreement was approved by City Council in March, 2012 with an amendment to the redevelopment agreement and forbearance agreement on December 11th, 2013. Part of that amendment included terms of Paragraph B requiring monthly loan payments to begin if a restaurant halts business in the building.
The City Attorney drafted an acknowledgment form that does two things: (1) gets Jon and Colleen to acknowledge their obligations, and (2) permits Jon and Colleen to individually take over the obligation of the company. Since the City is not changing the obligations, this does not require a resolution or Council approval, but the City Attorney recommended City Staff provide this information to the Council at the next meeting.
Oktoberfest to be held on Saturday, September 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Central Park and the Downtown Business area. A complete listing of activities can be found at www.aledomainstreet.com.
Mayor’s Report: MAYOR Hagloch reported he has been working with the Nation’s and the city attorney on their TIF acknowledgement form. MAYOR attended the Y.M.C.A. Community Kick-off event held on Thursday, August 22nd with the Chief of Police and City Clerk. MAYOR reported Antique Day’s went very well and there was great participation for the car show and tractor pull. MAYOR also attended the Multi-Use Path open house held on Monday, August 26th at the Aledo Fire Station.
Committee Report: ALD. Holmes reported the Water, Sewer & Storm Drain Committee met on August 26th. The Committee reviewed the applications submitted for the Water/Wastewater Superintendent and Water/Wastewater Worker position. The Committee recommended interviews be scheduled for those two (2) positions. Also, the City notified ILAW regarding a 90-day extension of the water service operations agreement between the City and Illinois-American Water.
ALD. Kopp reported the Finance Committee met on August 26th. The Committee reviewed the V.F.W. Generator project and recommended the item be forwarded to the City Council for final approval.
ALD. Bewley reported the Gas Committee met on August 26th. The Committee reviewed a gas rate study completed by USDI in spring, 2019. The item to be discussed further during budget sessions in fall, 2019.
REGULAR COUNCIL SESSION
Following the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag,
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Motion was made by ALDERMAN BERTRAND and seconded by ALDERMAN SARABASA to approve the meeting minutes of August 19, 2019 as presented. A Roll call vote was recorded as follows:
YES: Bertrand, Chausse, Cooper, Dixon, Holmes, Kopp, and Sarabasa. NO: None. Motion carried. 7 yeas, 0 nays.
FINANCE: INVOICE LIST:
Motion was made by ALDERMAN KOPP and seconded by ALDERMAN HOLMES that the Invoice Listing, which has been marked Exhibit “B”, attached hereto and made a part of these minutes, be authorized and checks issued. A Roll call vote was recorded as follows:
YES: Chausse, Cooper, Dixon, Holmes, Kopp, Sarabasa, and Bertrand. NO: None. Motion carried. 7 yeas, 0 nays.
RESOLUTION NO. 27R, SERIES OF 2019; APPROVING A REDEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT WITH MERCER COUNTY FAMILY Y.M.C.A.:
The MAYOR reported, the City agrees to Reimburse the Developer an amount not to exceed One Hundred Seventy-three Thousand Four Hundred Twenty Dollars ($173,420) to be applied toward that part of the Project that includes architecture, engineering and design work, including soil borings, a topographical survey and renderings (the “TIF Grant”), provided that the Developer has first provided the City with adequate documentation of all such TIF Eligible Expenses together with all of the documentation required pursuant to Article B of the Agreement. The TIF Grant will be paid to the Developer in accordance with the following disbursement schedule:
(1) $50,000.00 on or before December 31, 2019;
(2) $50,000.00 on or before December 31, 2020;
(3) $50,000.00 on or before December 31, 2021; and
(4) $23,420.00 on or before December 31, 2022.
In addition to the foregoing TIF Grant, the City shall waive all building permit fees for the Project estimated in the amount of $3,500.
Motion was made by ALDERMAN COOPER and seconded by ALDERMAN SARABASA to approve Resolution No. 27R, Series of 2019; Approving a Redevelopment Agreement with Mercer County Family Y.M.C.A., 401 SW 2nd Avenue, Aledo, IL., in the amount of $173,420 and shall waive all building permit fees. A Roll call vote was recorded as follows:
YES: Cooper, Dixon, Holmes, Kopp, Sarabasa, and Bertrand NO: None. ABSTAIN: Chausse. Motion carried. 6 yeas, 0 nays, 1 abstention.
MOTION APPROVING A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE CITY OF ALEDO AND GENERAL GRIND & MACHINE: EMERGENCY HEATING & COOLING CENTER FOR ALEDO:
CHIEF Sullivan reported General Grind & Machine Inc., has offered to help the City resolve this long-term need. GGM has offered to partner with the City of Aledo to assure there is viable, long-term shelter for our residents in the event of an extreme weather-related power outage. GGM has offered to purchase a generator which could be hooked up to the City of Aledo’s gas utility system and which would be capable of powering the entire VFW building. GGM would also pay for all of the necessary electrical upgrades to the VFW facility. Additionally, GGM would purchase and have a propane kit installed, which would make it possible to enter into a memorandum of understanding with a propane supplier. That supplier would agree to bring a propane supply to the alley north of the VFW building and connect it to the generator if there was an interruption in the gas utility supply during an extreme weather incident.
In order to make this possible, the City would need to upgrade its current gas utility service to the VFW. Additionally, the City would need to take care of the ongoing maintenance of the generator.
The Gas Division already carries a line item for gas service upgrades. This is budgeted every year to make certain the City is able to upgrade gas utility services, as needed. Additionally, there will be yearly maintenance checks that need be performed. Those would be similar to the yearly maintenance performed on the generators at both City Hall and the Police Department.
GGM is prepared to make the donation of the generator, pay for its installation, and pay for the electrical upgrades necessary to make it compatible with the VFW building. That donation to this Community will cost GGM approximately $58,000.
Motion was made by ALDERMAN BERTRAND and seconded by ALDERMAN DIXON to approve a partnership between the City of Aledo and General Grind & Machine regarding Emergency Heating & Cooling Center for Aledo located at Mercer County Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1571, 106 SW 3rd Avenue, Aledo, IL., as presented. A Roll call vote was recorded as follows:
YES: Dixon, Holmes, Kopp, Sarabasa, Bertrand, Chausse, and Cooper. NO: None. Motion carried. 7 yeas, 0 nays.
MOTION ACCEPTING THE RESIGNATION OF POLICE OFFICER NICHOLAS THORNDIKE:
Motion was made by ALDERMAN CHAUSSE and seconded by ALDERMAN HOLMES to accept the resignation with regret of Police Officer Nicholas Thorndike. A Roll call vote was recorded as follows:
YES: Holmes, Kopp, Sarabasa, Bertrand, Chausse, Cooper, and Kopp. NO: None. Motion carried. 7 yeas, 0 nays.
MOTION APPROVING THE HIRING OF TROY BROCK AS A FULL-TIME POLICE OFFICER ON THE ALEDO POLICE DEPARTMENT:
Motion was made by ALDERMAN CHAUSSE and seconded by ALDERMAN HOLMES to approve the hiring of Troy Brock as a Full-Time Police Officer on the Aledo Police Department effective Monday, September 16th, 2019. A Roll call vote was recorded as follows:
YES: Kopp, Sarabasa, Bertrand, Chausse, Cooper, Dixon, and Holmes. NO: None. Motion carried. 7 yeas, 0 nays.
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS:
A Joint Public Property, Streets & Sidewalks & Finance Committee meeting to be held on Monday, September 9th at 6:15 o’clock p.m. in the City Council Chambers.
OLD BUSINESS: No Report.
NEW BUSINESS: Discussion of Implications for the City of Aledo created by Passage of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act in June, 2019:
CITY ATTORNEY Walton reported, Governor Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (“CRTA”) into law in late June 2019. The CRTA legalizes private consumption and possession of cannabis for Illinois residents over 21 years of age (“recreational use”). The CRTA creates several issues that the City should promptly consider in the coming weeks and months prior to its effective date of January 1, 2020. Even if the City seeks to ban all cannabis businesses in town, it is important to understand the other aspects of the CRTA and its numerous implications to your City.
Here are the primary questions that the City will need to consider at this time:
Should the City allow or ban cannabis businesses in town?
If cannabis businesses will be allowed to operate in town, what zoning restrictions should be imposed?
If cannabis businesses will be allowed to operate in town, should the City impose a municipal tax on the sale of cannabis?
If cannabis businesses will be allowed to operate in town, should on-site consumption be permitted at any businesses in the City?
Does the City Code need to be revised regarding lawful cannabis use and possession under the CRTA?
Should the City’s personnel policies be revised to comply with the CRTA?
When and how will the City’s Police Department need to comply with the expungement provisions of the CRTA for minor cannabis-related offenses?
Cannabis Business Establishments:
Prohibition of Cannabis Business Establishments
The City may entirely prohibit or significantly limit cannabis business establishment locations in their jurisdiction by ordinance. Thus, the City will need to initially consider whether to allow cannabis business establishments in town, and if these cannabis businesses will be permitted, the City will need to determine (1) in which zoning districts the businesses may be located, (2) whether distance limitations should be imposed in relation to other more “sensitive” uses, and (3) whether to impose a municipal sales tax on cannabis sales in town.
Zoning Regulation of Cannabis Businesses
If the City allows cannabis business establishments, the City may enact reasonable zoning ordinances regulating cannabis business locations through “conditional uses”. The CRTA grants broad discretion to municipalities with regard to fashion these “conditional uses”. The CRTA does create a few explicit restrictions on location: (1) a craft grower may not be located in an area zoned for residential use and may not be located within 1,500 feet of another craft grower or cultivation center; (2) an infuser may not be located in an area zoned for residential use; and (3) a dispensary may not be located within 1,500 feet of the property line of a pre-existing dispensary.
The City may also enact ordinances that govern the time, place, manner, and number of cannabis business establishments, including minimum distance limitations between cannabis businesses and in relation to other locations deemed sensitive by the City/City (i.e., schools, daycares, nursing homes, etc.). If cannabis businesses are allowed in town, the City/City may also want to consider placement of the business, hours of operation, and other related issues. The restrictions must be consistent with the CRTA. For example, the CRTA provides that a dispensary may operate between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The CRTA also authorizes the City to establish civil penalties for violation of an ordinance or rules governing time, place, and manner of operation of a cannabis business or a conditional use permit.
Regulation of On-Site Consumption
Generally, smoking cannabis is prohibited in any place that is banned under the Illinois Smoke Free Act. Further, under the CRTA, consumption of cannabis is prohibited in “public places”, which includes all buildings owned or leased by the State of Illinois or a local governmental unit and “any place where a person could reasonably be expected to be observed by others”. Moreover, the CRTA indicates that a “public place” does not include a private residence, unless it is used for licensed child care, foster care, or similar social service care. However, the City may authorize on-site consumption of cannabis at either a cannabis business establishment or “other entity” by granting a special or conditional use, and such use is then not considered to be in a “public place” under the CRTA. Cannabis may be used in a variety of ways (i.e., smoking, consuming edibles, or applying topical solutions); thus, whether the municipality will allow individuals to use cannabis within certain business establishments is an important consideration. The City will need to decide whether it will authorize on-site consumption, and if so, whether such consumption will be limited to consumption in a cannabis business, such as a dispensary, or whether it will authorize on-site consumption at a different type of establishment, such as a cannabis lounge, hookah bar, or a health and wellness establishment.
Imposition of Municipal Sales Tax & Other Revenue
The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR) will initially issue 75 Dispensing Organization Licenses before May 1, 2020. This number of dispensary licenses increases thereafter such that up to 500 licenses may be issued after January 1, 2022. DFPR will also issue licenses for the other types of cannabis businesses.
If the City does permit cannabis businesses in town, the City may, by ordinance, impose a separate municipal tax on the sale of non-medical cannabis in 0.25% increments up to 3.0% of gross receipts from sales of cannabis. If the City does permit cannabis businesses in town, the City should impose this maximum 3.0% sales tax on all cannabis sales. Further, the revenues from this municipal cannabis sales tax will be unrestricted funds that can be used in any manner designated by the City. If the City seeks to designate where these revenues will be allocated, this should be done in the ordinance imposing this sales tax.
When implementing a municipal sales tax, the City will need to adopt an ordinance imposing the sales tax and then notify the Illinois Department of Revenue (“IDOR”) that the sales tax ordinance has been adopted. IDOR implements new sales taxes on a quarterly basis (January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1), provided notice has been given to IDOR no later than the start of the prior quarter. For example, for the implementation of the municipal cannabis sales tax on January 1st, the ordinance must be passed and notice provided to IDOR by no later than the preceding October 1st. Even if the City decides to prohibit cannabis business establishments, the City will still receive a portion of State revenue from the Local Government Distributive Fund to use for crime prevention programs, training, and interdiction efforts, including detection, enforcement, and prevention efforts relating to illegal cannabis markets and driving under the influence.
Regulation of Cannabis Possession and Use:
Permissible Use and Prohibited Activity
The CRTA provides that it is not a violation of any law or local ordinance for persons 21 years or older to lawfully possess and use cannabis. The City may no longer issue ordinance violations to persons 21 years of age and older after January 1, 2020, provided that the person is using and possessing cannabis within the following limits established under the CRTA. Illinois residents 21+ may possess 30 grams of raw plant cannabis, 500 milligrams of THC in a cannabis-infused product, and 5 grams of cannabis in concentrate form. Non-residents may possess half of those amounts. Also, Illinois residents 21+ who are registered qualifying patients under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act can cultivate (grow) cannabis in home for personal use up to a limit of 5 plants per household. Registered qualifying patients may possess any amount of cannabis cultivated in accordance with the CRTA, provided any excess of 30 grams of raw cannabis remains secured.
Thus, the City may enact local ordinances to regulate the lawful possession and use of cannabis that are consistent with the above. But, local ordinances cannot prohibit “home grow” for medical use or unreasonably prohibit personal cannabis use. This means that municipal ordinances must be revised to allow lawful possession and use of cannabis as permitted by the CRTA, but can continue to prohibit the unlawful use of cannabis in other situations. For example, a person under the age of 21 possessing cannabis may be prosecuted for an ordinance violation. For individuals possessing amounts of cannabis in excess of the amount permitted by the CRTA, the provisions of the Cannabis Control Act apply, and an individual would be subject to the penalties provided therein. Additionally, persons not authorized under the CRTA to “home grow” who grow up to 5 plants of cannabis are now only subject a civil law violation, but at higher levels will still be a criminal offense up to a Class 1 felony.
Any cannabis product, paraphernalia, or property that is possessed, owned, or used in connection with the use of cannabis as allowed under the CRTA may not be seized or forfeited. However, the CRTA does not prevent seizure or forfeiture of cannabis that exceeds the possession limits described above.
Vehicle Related Criminal Violations
The Illinois Vehicle Code was amended to provide that no driver may use cannabis within the passenger area of any motor vehicle. Further, no driver or passenger may possess cannabis within any area of a motor vehicle on a highway in the State except in a sealed, odor-proof, child-resistant cannabis container. Violation of either provision results in a Class A Misdemeanor. The same penalties apply to drivers and passengers who are medical cannabis cardholders, a cannabis caregiver, cultivation agent, or dispensary organization agent.
Law enforcement officials may use “validated roadside chemical tests” or standardized field sobriety tests when investigating drivers suspected of driving under the influence of cannabis. Refusal of such tests operates the same way as tests administered for drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. A person who is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle is deemed to have given consent to validated roadside chemical tests; refusal results in a 12-month suspension of driving privileges. A 6-month suspension is imposed for those submitting to the tests and determined to be impaired.
The City may continue to enforce reasonable “zero tolerance” or drug-free workplace policies, or policies concerning drug testing, smoking, consumption, or possession of cannabis in the workplace provided that the policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner. The CRTA requires that any employee determined to be impaired while in the workplace must be afforded an opportunity to contest that determination.
Importantly, the CRTA amends the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act (“RPWA”), which prohibits employers from taking an adverse employment action, including the hiring of a person, based on the individual’s use of lawful products while off duty and not at the workplace. The CRTA also amends the RPWA to clarify that “lawful products” includes cannabis. Thus, an employee who lawfully uses cannabis outside of work and is not impaired or under the influence of cannabis during working hours (while on duty or while “on call”) should generally not be subject to adverse employment action on that basis alone.
Personnel policies should be revisited to ensure compliance with the revised RPWA. The City should be cautious of implementing drug testing policies. Refusing to hire an applicant, or disciplining a current employee, on the sole basis of testing positive for cannabis would violate the RPWA.
Also, the City may not rely solely on a positive drug test as evidence of impairment in the workplace because drug testing generally does not indicate when an employee consumed cannabis. Instead, the City will need to learn how to identify cannabis intoxication. The CRTA explains that an employee may be considered to be impaired or under the influence if a good faith belief exists that an employee manifests specific, articulable symptoms while working that decrease or lessen the employee’s performance of their position. The City must also update policies to establish a written procedure for employees to contest the basis for such a decision.
The CRTA requires local law enforcement agencies to expunge records of an arrest for or other action related to minor cannabis offenses, provided that the report was not associated with a conviction or a disposition for a violent crime. A “minor cannabis offense” is a violation of Section 4 or 5 of the Cannabis Control Act, concerning not more than 30 grams of any substance containing cannabis. These records between January 1, 2013, and June 25, 2019, must be expunged by January 1, 2021. These records between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2012, must be expunged by January 1, 2023. And, these records from before January 1, 2000, must be expunged by January 1, 2025. Individuals with records for other misdemeanor or Class 4 felony cannabis offenses will be able to seek court action for expungement of their records.
Thus, the City’s Police Department will need to review their records related to cannabis offenses in order to meet these dates, which may likely be a significant undertaking for the Department. All hard copies and electronic copies of these records will need to be expunged (destroyed). At this point in time, it is unclear whether ordinance violations are covered by this provision as well. We will continue to monitor developments in the law with respect to expungements and provide you further guidance as soon as we are able.
The legalization of adult-use cannabis does not alter the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. Thus, it remains that the City may not prohibit or unreasonably restrict medical cannabis dispensaries.
CITY ATTORNEY Walton recommended the Ordinance & Police Committee review the items discussed this evening and to hold a public forum to receive public comment from Aledo’s residents. The City to consider imposing sales tax and was noted we have until the beginning of next year.
The Personnel Committee to review the employee policy and report back to City Council.
Fall Clean-Up Days: DPW Blaser reported Fall Clean-Up Days to be held for one (1) week only and will be curbside beginning Monday, October 21st, 2019. All items are to be placed curbside by 4:00 a.m. that day.
CITY COUNCIL provided a consensus to approve the Fall Clean-Up Days schedule as presented.
Motion was made by ALDERMAN CHAUSSE and seconded by ALDERMAN COOPER to adjourn to closed session to discuss:
A. Review of Executive Session Minutes Section 2(c)(21) Open Meetings Act
A Roll call vote was recorded as follows:
YEAS: Sarabasa, Bertrand, Chausse, Cooper, Dixon, Holmes, and Kopp. NO: None. Motion carried. 7 yeas, 0 nays. The meeting was recessed to closed session at 7:31 P.M.
RECONVENE IN OPEN SESSION:
Council reconvened in open session at 7:36 P.M. Roll call was taken with the following answering present: ALDERMEN BERTRAND, CHAUSSE, COOPER, DIXON, HOLMES, KOPP, and SARABASA, MAYOR HAGLOCH, as well as, CHIEF SULLIVAN, CITY ATTORNY WALTON, and CITY CLERK DALE.
RESOLUTION NO. 28R, SERIES OF 2019; REGARDING THE RELEASE OF CLOSED SESSION MINUTES AND DESTRUCTION OF CLOSED SESSION VERBATIM RECORDINGS:
Motion was made by ALDERMAN CHAUSSE and seconded by ALDERMAN BERTRAND to approve Resolution No. 28R, Series of 2019; Regarding the Release of Closed Session Minutes and Destruction of Closed Session Verbatim Recordings. A Roll call vote was recorded as follows:
YES: Bertrand, Chausse, Cooper, Dixon, Holmes, Kopp, and Sarabasa. NO: None. Motion carried. 7 yeas, 0 nays.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, motion was made by ALDERMAN KOPP and seconded by ALDERMAN COOPER that the meeting be adjourned. A Unanimous voice vote followed in agreement. Meeting was adjourned at 7:37 P.M.