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Minutes: City Council Meeting of February 21, 2017

The Carmi City Council met Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 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, Keith Davis, Lance Yearby, Sheila Jo Headlee, Jack Lamont, Doug Hays and Mike Knight.

Minutes for the February 7th, 2017 council meeting were presented. Motion made by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Lamont to approve the minutes as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”

Mayor Pollard asked the council to approve January 2017 Financial Reports. Motion made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Winkleman to approve the Financial Reports as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”

Mayor Pollard then asked the council to approve February 2017 Vendor invoices. Motion made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Davis to approve the Vendor Invoices as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”

Mayor Pollard asked the council to consider Ordinance No. 1522, an Ordinance regulating mobile homes and mobile home parks (rescinding and replacing Ordinance No’s 1319 adopted February 4, 2002 and 1363 adopted March 20, 2006). He explained that the mobile home park on West Drive does not have to follow the city regulations because they must follow the state regulations. City Clerk Brian Allen further explained that the mobile home park has been grandfathered in and that new mobile home parks would have to follow different regulations. Motion made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Blake to approve Ordinance No. 1522 as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”

Mayor Pollard then presented City Engineer David Coston to give an update on the Municipal Light Plant Lower Buss and report on the electrical cost of service study. Mr. Coston stated that the lower buss is being removed and replaced by Duke Energy. The transformer for the Bradshaw substation will be ready to set on a concrete pad in March and a large crane is needed to set the transformer. They will service the old transformer when the new unit is setup to handle electricity. Next, Mr. Coston explained the cost of service survey. He stated that there are three (3) types of customers; residential, commercial and industrial and each type of customer has a different rate. The last rate increase was around five (5) years ago. Dan Kearns with Coston Engineering explained more about the cost of service to customers and what they are paying. He stated that the rates need to match the costs. He added that the city is not in the business to generate a profit. You do not want one customer paying the balance of another customer’s energy. He explained that the real revenue and the real expenses from our own data using the model shows that the costs will be more than the revenue soon and the possibility of the city not being able to pay bills because of this is a real possibility. This could happen as soon as 2017. One of the issues with this is the payment to Duke Energy from the IMEA credit. There is also quite a bit of aging infrastructure around town such as utility poles. Mr. Coston stated that the rates are fine the way that they are expect for the “cost adjustment factor” wording in the Ordinance. He would like to look at monthly expenses as a 12-month rolling average. This would spread and average out the cost on the bill instead of hitting everybody at once. He stated that he is looking for feedback from citizens and the council. Alderman Winkleman commented that the cost adjustment factor is the citizen’s biggest complaint because they do

not understand that power costs vary so much from time to time. Mr. Coston stated that there are now smart meters available that track the customer’s own usage and the time of day the electricity is used. The advantages are that you can control the electricity that you use and it shows the peak usage for the whole city. That way you can pick and choose when you cook supper or do the laundry based on how much electricity is being used around the city at that time. Alderman Headlee asked how much a smart meter would cost. Mr. Coston stated that it is one hundred and fifty dollars ($150) for the meter. Infrastructure is then needed around the city so it ends up being around two hundred and fifty dollars ($250) each. They would allow each customer to be billed on their individual usage. He added that smart meters are available for water meters too. Mr. Kearns stated that changing the “cost adjustment wording” in the Ordinance will save the council from looking at the rates every five (5) years and possibly having to raise them. Mayor Pollard commented that Mr. Coston wanted to introduce the findings from the cost of service survey and that the council can decide what they want to do from here.

Reports and/or updates from Mayor Pollard

None

Reports from Standing Committees

None

Business or Comments from Visitors

None

Motion made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Winkleman to go into closed session. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”

At 6:00 p.m. the council went into closed session to discuss personnel issues with possible action to follow.

Motion made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Lamont to return to open session and adjourn. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”

At 6:15 p.m. the council adjourned.

 

Brian K. Allen, City Clerk

Jeff Pollard, Mayor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recording on Clerk’s computer: …open with Windows Media Player

Documents / My Documents / COUNCIL MEETINGS / MINUTES / 2017 / 21 FEBRUAR MIN / Council Meeting. 2.21.2017.MP3