The Carmi City Council met Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Room of the Municipal Building, 225 East Main Street.
Prior to opening the council meeting, Mayor Pollard asked Alderman Winkleman to give the invocation followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Pollard presided with the following Aldermen present: Steve Winkleman, Mark W. Blake, Tracy Nelson, Lance Yearby, Jeremy Courson, Sheila Jo Headlee, Mike Knight, and Doug Hays.
The minutes from the March 19, 2019, council meeting were presented. Motion was made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Knight to approve the minutes as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman present answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard introduced Chief of Police Jason Carter to discuss a few items on the agenda with the first being seeking approval to move forward with the purchase and training of a new full service Police K-9. Chief Carter stated K-9 Orest was purchased in July 2012. Over the past few months, he has been seen by two different veterinarians who have recommended he be retired due to spine issues. Chief Carter explained the cost of a new dog and training would be approximately $16,500. He has already received a monetary commitment of $6,500 from the Drug Task Force as well as funds from the White County Sherriff’s Department. There would be no cost to the City of Carmi. Chief Carter stated in the past, all food for the K-9 had been donated by a local company. The Roads had donated money toward the K-9 vest as well. Alderman Hays stated the K-9 is a very valuable resource to the City of Carmi as well as the County. After some discussion, Alderman Hays made a motion purchase a new K-9 for the City of Carmi. The motion was seconded by Alderman Blake. The motion carried on roll call with all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
Next, Chief Carter requested to transfer ownership of K-9 Orest to Sargent Dustin Buttry, Orest’s handler. Sgt. Buttry will assume ownership and financial responsibility of K-9 Orest. A motion was made by Alderman Hays to transfer ownership and financial responsibility of K-9 Orest to Sgt. Dustin Buttry. The motion was seconded by Alderman Headlee. The motion carried on roll call with all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
Chief Carter then asked the council to approve the appointment of Brent Hammell to the Board of Fire and Police Commission to fill the remaining term of Braden Willis. Mr. Willis has requested to be removed for personal reasons; he was recently married. Alderman Headlee made a motion to approve the appointment of Brent Hammell to the Board of Fire and Police Commission to fill the remaining term of Braden Willis. This term will run from April 2, 2019, to December 31, 2020. The motion was seconded by Alderman Hays. The motion carried on roll call by all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard presented Resolution 04.02.19; A resolution renewing the employee Safety Incentive Program for the period of April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020. Mayor Pollard stated this is the same resolution we have passed in the previous years which has shown to be beneficial in the reduction of safety accidents for the City of Carmi. Alderman Winkleman made a motion to approve Resolution 04.02.19; A resolution renewing the employees Safety Incentive Program for the period of April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020. The motion was seconded by Alderman Hays. The motion carried on roll call with all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
The mowing and maintenance bids for the City of Carmi properties were presented. The bids were as follows:
- Southern Illinois Tree Service – $884.00
- A & A Lawn Service – $1240.00
- Joe’s Lawn Service – $1240.00
Alderman Knight made a motion to accept the bid by Southern Illinois Tree Service for $884.00. The motion was seconded by Alderman Winkleman. The motion carried on roll call with all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
David Coston, City of Carmi Electrical Engineer addressed the council regarding options for generator #11. Mr. Coston discussed the events which have led up to this point i.e. loss of the monthly credits. The discussion continues to hinge on the financing for teardown of generator #11 to determine if an insurance claim can be filed for equipment breakdown. Time is also a factor. Mr. Coston stated he has discussed with IMEA, the company who distributes our power, regarding the situation. He explained that IMEA wants to see some forward progress with generator #11. The original time frame to diagnose generator #11 is July 31, 2019. Mr. Coston stated he can request an extension for diagnostics/repair for generator #11 which he believes, in his opinion, would be granted by IMEA. He also feels we have a very good chance for the equipment breakdown policy to pay for repairs of generator #11 as the City has documentation of maintenance logs etc. Alderman Hays stated after further investigation of the equipment breakdown policy, we (the City) is only required to tear the engine down to the level of the problem, i.e. we are not required to do a complete overhaul on the motor if problem is located in the upper part of the motor. This in turn, could potentially reduce the cost of having the engine diagnosed. Alderman Hays introduced Matt McCandlish who is a mechanic for a company who works on large generators. Mr. McCandlish gave his input on different scenarios regarding generator #11 on diagnosing and repairing it. After a lengthy discussion, Alderman Hays made a motion to spend up to $10,000 to have a diagnostic evaluation done on generator #11 from a reputable company which will determine the cause of engine breakdown. The motion was seconded by Alderman Yearby. The motion carried on roll call with all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
Mr. Coston also addressed the council regarding an issue with the breaker at the Bradshaw Substation. He stated this breaker sometimes will not re-set. This breaker is no longer available. The cost for two new breakers would cost over $100,000 but at this time, the City only needs one. Mr. Coston stated Michael Smith, City Electrician, along with himself will take the breaker apart and evaluate. No decision to purchase a new breaker was made at this time pending further evaluation.
Mayor Pollard stated the City has started flushing fire hydrants on the main line coming into town from the water wells. Starting Monday, April 8th, they will continue flushing from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday. This process should take about 5-6 weeks. We apologize for any inconvenience due to the low water pressure or discolored water.
There will also be a scheduled power outage for Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
The City of Carmi Landscape Waste Site (formerly compost) will be open for the season to the public on Saturday’s beginning April 6, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the same location. At this time, we are still operating under the same rules established in 2005, including the $25.00 monthly fee.
Mayor Pollard stated we have received the estimates from O’Daniel Trucking Company for repair of the tennis courts. Resurfacing them one at a time, a single court costs $18,490.00 with the double court costing $28,400.00. Doing all three courts together would cost approximately $46,890.00. Funding options have been discussed with Brad Lee, CWCHS Superintendent as well as Chris Courty who is the tennis coach.
Mayor Pollard thanked the Firefighters Charitable Foundation for granting the Carmi Fire Department $300.00 which can be used toward equipment or gear.
Mayor Pollard stated we have received a flyer stating they are now hiring for census jobs. You can go online to apply at 2020census.gov/jobs
Mayor Pollard then turned the floor over to City Attorney Greg Stewart to discuss dilapidated properties, the nuisance ordinance, and what can be done from a City standpoint. Mr. Stewart stated this had been addressed on an individual basis with no headway on the matter. Mr. Stewart stated an abandon home is private property and the City of Carmi cannot go onto said property to either clean it up or demolish it. He stated legal proceedings on such properties can be very lengthy and costly to the City with little to no benefits. Mr. Stewart stated we are a governmental entity and we do not have the ability nor the right to tell people what they can and cannot do with their property. If delinquent taxes are involved, the property could be purchased at the tax sale by following the proper procedures. Mr. Stewart said unfortunately all towns are experiencing problems with dilapidated/nuisance properties and there is no easy fix. Mr. Stewart answered several questions a concerned citizen brought forward. Revision of the nuisance ordinance will be evaluated.
Mayor Pollard then introduced City Supervisor Mike Buckman. Mr. Buckman wanted to officially announce his retirement for either the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020. He thanked the City, the mayor, council, and past administration for allowing him to work for the City for 35 years.
Reports from Standing Committees
Alderman Winkleman stated there had been an issue with a sump pump at the Library which was recently repaired. He also stated some of the cameras are not working properly.
At 7:00 p.m. Alderman Courson made a motion to adjourn. Motion was seconded by Alderman Headlee. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman present answering “yes.”
Cynthia J. Attebury, City Clerk
Jeff Pollard, Mayor