City of Rock Island City Council met Nov. 11.
Here is the minutes provided by the Council:
Present: Mayor Mike Thoms, Alderman Randy Hurt, Alderman James Spurgetis, Alderwoman Jenni Swanson, Alderman Dylan Parker, and Alderman Mark Poulos
Alderman Dave Geenen arrived at 5:44 p.m.
Absent: Alderman Ivory D. Clark
Staff: City Manager Randy Tweet, City Attorney Dave Morrison, City Clerk Judith Gilbert, and other City staff
Community and Economic Development: Delacerda House Hud Permanent Supportive Housing Grant
Colleen Small-Vollman, Budget and Grants Manager, informed Council that the Community and Economic Development Department has agreed to to take over a Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) grant from the Rock Island Housing Authority on behalf of DeLaCerda House. She explained that DeLaCerda House is part of the Continuum of Care. The Rock Island Housing Authority no longer wishes to administer the grant. Ms. Small-Vollman said she was approached by Cathy Jordan from DeLaCerda House to take over the grant. She explained if the City does not take the grant over, DeLaCerda House would lose the funding. The grant money pays for rent, maintenance, and other work for the facility. She said the department has the capacity to administer the grant on their behalf although there may be a learning curve. The grant is $64,000 and goes up based on rental increases.
Alderman Geenen asked if the City will charge an administrative fee. Ms. Small-Vollman replied no; HUD would prefer the City not charge for administrative costs. Alderman Geenen asked if they were fine with the amount of work involved. Ms. Small-Vollman said yes. Alderman Geenen thanked Ms. Small-Vollman for taking it on. He said DeLaCerda is a housing and services provider to people with HIV and AIDS. Ms. Small-Vollman said she has no qualms taking it on because Cathy Jordan has gotten DeLaCerda House back into compliance with the regulations. Ms. Small-Vollman was not sure when they would be taking over the grant; she will keep Council informed. Alderman Geenen asked if the Housing Authority said why they were giving up the grant. Ms. Small-Vollman replied the Housing Authority is moving in a different direction. She stated it has to be the jurisdiction or the local housing authority to administer the grant. She told Council she has been attending the Continuum of Care meetings.
Parks And Recreation: Sylvan Naturalized Park
Parks and Recreation Director John Gripp presented on the Sylvan Naturalized Area and an opportunity. Sylvan is located at 4501 3rd Avenue. He explained the park came about through a program of River Action called Retain the Rain around 2008. He said the naturalized area incorporates several elements and it is designed to educate the public on the importance of retaining stormwater runoff. Mr. Gripp said the buildings of the former oil company on the site were deconstructed in a way to save some of the concrete pads and some of the brick walls to incorporates several elements and it is designed to educate the public on the importance of retaining stormwater runoff. Mr. Gripp said the buildings of the former oil company on the site were deconstructed in a way to save some of the concrete pads and some of the brick walls to serve as overlook areas. Bricks were ground up and used as permeable paths and a number of risers and walkways were created.
Mr. Gripp reported that three and a half years ago, the Parks Department came up with a park type system for park maintenance. There are three types of parks. He explained Type 1 parks are highly visible parks with a lot of use, require the highest level of maintenance, hold special events, have lots of amenities, and tend to generate revenue. He gave Schwiebert Riverfront Park as an example of a Type 1 park.
Mr. Gripp said Type 2 parks are moderately used parks, have sport courts, and seasonal activities. He said the maintenance for Type 2 parks is safety oriented (glass, garbage, etc.). He said Hodge Park is an example of a Type 2 park. Mr. Gripp said they value all parks, but the system spreads the maintenance around and maximizes the dollars to where the people are. He said Type 3 parks are quiet spaces, open, peaceful, with less traffic; they are a place to go and relax. He said the mowing is often contracted out and they look at other options or partnerships to offset the cost of maintenance. Mr. Gripp stated Sylvan is a Type 3 park; it's quiet, peaceful, and has a naturalized area.
Mr. Gripp said they are in discussion with Cresthill Preservation Group, LLC regarding a potential partnership for maintenance of the park. He introduced Jay Pausch from Cresthill. Mr. Gripp presented a map showing the former Navistar property which is in the process of being sold to Cresthill; they will be having a solar farm there. Mr. Gripp pointed out the bike path all the way east to the Sylvan naturalized area which is all owned by the City. He explained Cresthill needs an easement there to pipe the electricity underground through the park to go into the Moline wastewater treatment plant to support that facility with solar power. He added to do that in Illinois, all of the parcels have to be contiguous with touching borders and where the connection is made, the property must be owned by the people generating the solar. He said they are considering selling a small portion of Sylvan Park. Mr. Gripp said in return for the sale, Cresthill would maintain the park for 25 years; they are putting that agreement together now. If Cresthill should ever sell the property, it would have to remain a park. Mr. Gripp said the agreement will come to Council for approval; it is time sensitive for the sale and solar tax credits.
Alderman Poulos asked who would be doing the solar. Mr. Pausch replied Cresthill will be the developer of the solar system. Mr. Gripp added the Navistar site sale is contingent on a portion of Sylvan Park being sold too. He said they will want to name Cresthill as additionally insured for that property.
Public Works: Enterprise Fleet Management and Vehicle Leasing
Public Works Director Mike Bartels introduced Jacob Mizanin, Fleet Account Manager from Enterprise, and City Fleet Manager Alan Vanderheyden. Mr. Bartels said they have been working on a fleet leasing solution for some of the current vehicles in the Fleet Department. He said they have a very aging fleet and a limited budget to replace vehicles and some have gone past their replacement life. They have been working on a solution to bring to Council.
Mr. Bartels said the current program started in 2016 with eight vehicles for the Community and Economic Development Department; the three-year lease is up now. He said they are looking to expand the current lease program with vehicles for Public Works, Police, Fire, and Parks departments.
Mr. Mizanin gave a brief history of the Enterprise company; he said their focus is on small and medium sized fleets and rentals. He said Enterprise has always been focused on the customer service side. Mr. Mizanin said they work with many taxing bodies. He explained that vehicles as assets over time depreciate very quickly and then stabilize while fuel and maintenance costs medium sized fleets and rentals. He said Enterprise has always been focused on the customer service side. Mr. Mizanin said they work with many taxing bodies. He explained that vehicles as assets over time depreciate very quickly and then stabilize while fuel and maintenance costs increase over time. He said there is an optimal time to sell a vehicle. Enterprise has leases from six months to five years depending on different factors. Mr. Mizanin said safety is also a goal; he reviewed the recent standard safety features in vehicles such as electronic stability control, collision avoidance, blind-spot warning, and rear video cameras.
Mr. Mizanin reported they just got into police vehicles a year and a half ago. He stated they were awarded the Sourcewell Fleet Management in September 2018. Mr. Mizanin stated Enterprise has extended the 2016 vehicle leases for four or five months. He explained he is working on a five-year replacement plan with the City's goals of budget, safety, downtime, and image. Replacements are for some 16.5 year-old service trucks.
Mr. Mizanin gave an example of the numbers and costs for a 12-month lease for a 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Base 4x4 Double Cab. He said leases can be extended if they can't be sold during the optimal time. A spreadsheet was provided with the budget information for the proposed vehicles in the lease plan. Most vehicles will have a 12-month lease; however, dump trucks and fire command vehicles will have a 60-month lease. Mr. Mizanin said the first-year budget would be less than $200,000, but he projects the equity from the vehicles when sold will net $71,000. He explained that money would go into the next round of vehicles. Mr. Mizanin presented a separate spreadsheet for the police squad car vehicles.
Mayor Thoms asked if the $27,000 sale price was estimated; Mr. Mizanin said yes. Mayor Thoms clarified that the $3,700 equity goes back into new vehicles the City would lease; that is correct. Mayor Thoms wanted to know how Mr. Mizanin gets to the $3,700 equity. Mr. Mizanin explained the starting price of the vehicle, the cost of the lease over the 12 months which includes depreciation, and ending up with book value. He said the equity is the difference between the book value and the projected sale price. He said the equity can be applied to the next vehicle or the City can get a check for the amount. Mayor Thoms asked what happens if it sells for less than book value. Mr. Mizanin said the costs would go up. Mayor Thoms said the City takes the gain or the loss. Mr. Mizanin said the lease can always be extended if the sale price is not good. Discussion continued.
Alderman Spurgetis asked what types of fuel do the vehicles take; what if the City wanted alternative fuel. Mr. Mizanin replied they can present options with the different costs, for example, a hybrid. Alderman Geenen asked if Enterprise has electric cars. Mr. Mizanin said they can do electric, especially for gator-size vehicles. Alderman Geenen said there are two charging stations in the parking garage. City Manager Randy Tweet said one is for handicapped use.
Alderman Parker asked how maintenance of the vehicles would work; he asked if the City staff would continue with the maintenance. Mr. Mizanin replied yes. Mayor Thoms asked if the lease would include a replacement vehicle if the vehicle is down for service. Mr. Mizanin replied Enterprise does not offer that option with the proposed plan. Mr. Bartels stated only two of the leased vehicles would be used for plowing.
Alderman Hurt asked about some of the vehicles with the 12-month lease. Mr. Bartels replied those are the 2016 vehicles which are being replaced. Alderman Hurt said the current odometer readings show hardly any miles on the three-year old vehicles (5,000 miles); he asked if there were too many vehicles in the fleet. Mr. Mizanin stated the original CED low-miles vehicles from 2016 are being given back to Enterprise. Mr. Bartels added one of those vehicles was wrecked and replaced. Alderman Hurt stated the City is making lease payments on vehicles that are hardly used; it seems very expensive to him.
Alderman Hurt asked if the police vehicles would be replaced with a similar style or would they be downsized. He asked why they are all Tahoes and not standard squad cars from a cost analysis. Mr. Tweet responded that when they looked at replacing the police fleet, many departments were going to SUVs and all wheel drive vehicles. He said they would have a longer be downsized. He asked why they are all Tahoes and not standard squad cars from a cost analysis. Mr. Tweet responded that when they looked at replacing the police fleet, many departments were going to SUVs and all wheel drive vehicles. He said they would have a longer service life (five years instead of four) and have a higher resale value. Mr. Bartels said the all wheel drive is a benefit with snow in the winter.
Alderman Hurt asked if they had done comparison shopping with other leasing companies. Mr. Bartels said they have the Sourcewell purchasing with all vehicles competitively bid nationally. He said they are getting the cheapest price from Enterprise. He said they have not looked at other companies. Mr. Bartels explained it's basically an extension of the current contract and they have been happy with Enterprise. Mayor Thoms said the disadvantage is if they went with Ford leasing, the City is stuck with that brand. He said there are some companies that you can shop different manufacturers like Enterprise does.
Alderwoman Swanson asked for confirmation that Sourcewell has the group purchasing option with a low contract price. Mr. Bartels replied that it is government pricing. He also said they are not replacing the Tahoes with Tahoes, but with the Ford Interceptor SUV model which is a smaller vehicle. He said the Police Department was not happy with the Tahoes. Alderman Poulos brought up the costs of the lights and sirens for police vehicles and would the City get those back or purchase new. Mr. Bartels said they would be re-using most of the lights. Mr. Vanderheyden explained that is why he wants to use a local vendor so they can re-use the equipment and they would just need new bracketry. He added serviceability is another reason for using a local vendor to take care of repairs that his staff can't handle. Alderman Hurt asked who would be doing the installation. Mr. Vanderheyden replied they will use Racom in Moline. Alderman Hurt asked who would be doing the servicing of the vehicles. Mr. Mizanin replied the manufacturer dealerships that have the warranties would be. Mr. Vanderheyden said for oil changes and routine maintenance, the City fleet garage would handle that.
Mr. Tweet responded to Alderman Hurt's concern about mileage; he said they look at that when considering replacement. He said the Chief Building Official's vehicle has been sitting for most of the last two years. He explained the inspection vehicles often don't get a lot of mileage because they are just going locally in town as opposed to a snow plow which is driving the streets repeatedly.
Mayor Thoms thanked them for looking at the options and being creative. Mr. Tweet said the biggest advantage is the City does not have the big upfront cost for vehicles. He explained they originally looked at leasing because the cost to lease was less than the amount they were putting aside every year to purchase a replacement in ten years. He added they don't have a lot of maintenance because the vehicles are not that old and they look nicer. Mr. Tweet said it's a huge advantage to not having the big upfront cost.
Public Works: 11th Street / US 67 Improvements
Mr. Bartels discussed the 11th Street (US 67) corridor and improvements that have been made. He explained that it is owned by the State of Illinois, but it is a federally marked route. He said the resurfacing or reconstruction of 11th Street is the responsibility of the state with the exception of the City's infrastructure or utilities. He added the City is also responsible for sidewalk repairs when they are completed in conjunction with a resurfacing or reconstruction project.
Mr. Bartels stated the City has an intergovernmental agreement with the state for the maintenance of 11th Street. He said it also includes the entire IL-92 corridor. He said it's a ten- year agreement to 2025. The City is reimbursed for the maintenance costs on a quarterly basis and receives $90,000 per year; of that amount, $40,000 is for the 11th Street maintenance. Maintenance requirements include pothole patching, temporary patching, snow and ice control, crack sealing, cleaning, street sweeping, and all routine operational services. Alderman Parker asked how the reimbursement is calculated or negotiated. Mr. Bartels said he could look into that; he believes it's based on a linear foot. Mayor Thoms asked if there were annual increases. crack sealing, cleaning, street sweeping, and all routine operational services. Alderman Parker asked how the reimbursement is calculated or negotiated. Mr. Bartels said he could look into that; he believes it's based on a linear foot. Mayor Thoms asked if there were annual increases. Mr. Bartels replied yes, but it's a small amount.
Mr. Bartels reviewed the completed improvements: sidewalk and ADA ramps replaced on the west side of 11th Street between 25th Avenue and 37th Avenue making that section ADA compliant; reconstruction of the 11th Street and Blackhawk Road intersection; 87 streetlights were replaced with new conduit, wiring and upgraded to LED; and NPC-11 (Nonprofit Consortium) is a group of 14 nonprofits working to install banners on power poles and streetlights and other projects. Mr. Bartels showed pictures of some of the projects that he mentioned.
Mr. Bartels discussed pedestrian access obstacles on the east side of 11th Street: streetlights are in the middle of the existing sidewalk; the retaining walls have failed or are needed to retain hillside and prevent erosion onto the sidewalk; and the right-of-way width is limited. Mr. Bartels said the right-of-way from 31st Avenue to 33rd Avenue extends about ten feet behind the sidewalk; however, from 33rd Avenue to 45th Avenue, the right-of-way is within about a foot from the back of the sidewalk. He said it is challenging to do any kind of work; they are looking at permanent easements or acquiring right-of-way for future reconstruction. He said that is very expensive and takes a lot of time as well as requires state approval.
Mr. Bartels reviewed the approval process for any proposed improvements on 11th Street. He explained a complete submittal and review process from IDOT is required. He said projects such as retaining walls, road diets, and reconstruction projects could take at least three years to be approved prior to bid letting. Mr. Bartels stated the light project took about two years to get approved for funding and approvals from the state and the federal government. Mr. Bartels said they probably submitted the plans 24 times for that project which was only $100,000.
Mr. Bartels said the City Engineer has started preliminary conversations with IDOT's district engineer regarding potential cost sharing for any future improvements. He said they are also looking at applying for grants even though the City doesn't own 11th Street.
Mr. Bartels discussed future improvement options including a road diet / reconstruction going from four lanes to three lanes. He explained that would require getting an Intersection Design Study done before getting approval. The road diet would include a bike lane and would require retaining walls and new sidewalks for pedestrian traffic. Mr. Bartels said another option would be a resurfacing project for the four lane street with minimal sidewalk improvements for ADA accessibility only (at the intersections). Mr. Bartels explained that after resurfacing, the road could be restriped from the existing four lane configuration to a three lane configuration (two travel lanes and a bi-directional turn lane). He said any of the options would require water main replacement because it is in terrible shape and needs to be replaced. Mr. Bartels said the cost to replace the section from 25th Avenue to 42nd Avenue is about $1,000,000. He presented cost estimates for the projects of 31st Avenue to 45th Avenues (4,600 linear feet and 56 feet wide): $8,500,000 for the road diet / reconstruction option and $5,050,000 for the resurfacing option. Both estimates include the cost of the water main replacement.
Mr Bartels said he was asked to look at options for the Watchtower site. He presented a cost of $1.3 million to grade to drain the 19 acre site and add six to eight inches of topsoil, seed, fertilizer, and mulch. Another option to grade the site to drain and add four inches of aggregate surface would cost $1.7 million. Mr. Bartels said material costs alone for the topsoil and aggregate are around $300,000 to $500,000 for rock and topsoil.
Mr. Tweet stated they have submitted the 11th Street site to the state for one of the City's capital projects for resurfacing the entire stretch. Mayor Thoms asked if both the water and sewer mains would need to be replaced. Mr. Bartels replied it would just be the water main and he has $400,000 budgeted for it in the estimate. Mr. Tweet said a resident has asked if there is any assistance for a retaining wall on 11th Street. He said DARI is interested in putting some money mains would need to be replaced. Mr. Bartels replied it would just be the water main and he has $400,000 budgeted for it in the estimate. Mr. Tweet said a resident has asked if there is any assistance for a retaining wall on 11th Street. He said DARI is interested in putting some money in the 11th Street corridor plus there is a small amount of TIF money that could be used for a cost-sharing program for homeowners wanting to put in retaining walls. Mr. Tweet said it would be difficult to do just one property.
Alderman Spurgetis said he thinks of different classifications of improvements to make 11th Street more marketable such as maintenance and beautification. He appreciates the report and will share it with NPC-11.
Alderman Parker asked if there was any benefit for the City to have a Complete Street policy on the books so if any improvements on 11th Street get approved and funded that sidewalks would be included. Mr. Tweet said it does not require them to include the sidewalks, but they try to work with the state. Alderman Parker asked about enlisting Bi-State for ways to fund the 11th Street projects. Mr. Bartels said they have, but they have to know which option they want. Alderman Parker said his preference is the road diet. Mr. Tweet said it's what the state wants to do; the City would not refuse a project.
Alderman Poulos asked about adding soil to 19 acres. Mr. Tweet explained some aldermen had asked what it would cost to make the Watchtower site usable for perhaps a soccer field until the City got a developer. Mr. Tweet said he asked Mr. Bartels to come up with costs for that. He added you can't even walk across the site now. Alderman Poulos said it would not be worthwhile to spend $1.3 million for grading and then a developer comes in and takes it all away. Mr. Tweet said Council had asked for costs for what it would take. Alderman Hurt said he had asked for those costs to help make the site more marketable; he thanked Mr. Bartels. Mr. Tweet said as a follow-up to Alderman Parker's question, the section from 25th Avenue to 37th Avenue included sidewalks and not just ADA intersections. Mr. Tweet said eventually it would continue to 42nd Avenue after the Watchtower site is developed.
Alderman Parker asked staff to contact Bi-State as they are a good resource for funding infrastructure projects. Mr. Bartels said the 30th Street project was just awarded; that is five years out. Mayor Thoms said they have submitted for bike trails through Bi-State.
Alderman Spurgetis asked about trimming trees and maintaining a weed-free appearance along 11th Street. He believes there is a wish list coming from NPC-11 with lower cost items. Mr. Bartels said lighting the streetlights made the tree problem more noticeable, so they have started trimming trees and will continue to work on that.
The study session concluded at 6:02 p.m.