The Carmi City Council met Tuesday, June 4, 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, Jeremy Courson, Sheila Jo Headlee, James Totten and Doug Hays. ABSENT: Mike Knight
The minutes from the May 21, 2019, council meeting was presented. Motion was made by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Blake to approve the minutes as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Aldermen present answering “yes.”
For Council Consideration, discussion, and possible approval
An estimate for resurfacing of the tennis courts at Bradshaw Park was presented from O’Daniel Trucking. Mayor Pollard stated the resurfacing had been discussed several months back. The back two courts could be resurfaced for approximately $25,000 with front court costing around $16,000. This price does include the City workers doing some of the ground work. Alderman Winkleman stated due to the poor conditions of the courts, the CWCHS Tennis Teams were unable to hold matches at home. After a brief discussion, Alderman Winkleman made a motion to have both courts resurfaced. The motion was seconded by Alderman Blake. The motion carried on roll call with all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
The bid award for the vacuum sludge beds for the DCEO Grant at the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) was presented for approval. Only one bid was received from White Technologies in the amount of $297,000. WWTP foreman Don Davis was present for any questions. He will be coordinating removal and installation with Kiefer Brothers. Mr. Davis stated the beds were originally installed over 31 years ago with a life expectance of around 20 years. Alderman Hays made a motion to accept the bid for the sludge beds from White Technologies. Alderman Blake seconded the motion. The motion carried on roll call with all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
WWTP foreman Don Davis then went on to discuss the ever-changing EPA regulations for the WWTP. Mr. Davis stated the EPA is cracking down on the phosphorus exchange which the plant is required to monitor regularly and the results have shown elevated levels. This is at no fault of the City. A permit has been applied for and after the permit is received, we will have 2 years for construction and 3 years to be compliant. Mr. Davis presented a couple of options to bring the plant compliant with the regulations, both of which are very costly; one option would be to build a new plant which would cost millions of dollars. Mr. Davis stated the next thing the EPA will be monitoring will be the nitrogen at the the plant. After a lengthy discussion, the council instructed Mr. Davis to begin to gather some numbers and recommendations and bring those back to the council at a future date.
David Coston, City Electrical Engineer presented Ordinance #1427, Revision 2, to the Council for approval. Mr. Coston had presented a “generic” ordinance back a month or so ago for the council to review. The change in this ordinance will serve two purposes; in the event of a fire, the firemen will not have to go inside the house to disconnect the electric and it will also make the homeowner responsible for all underground electrical service. After a brief discussion, Alderman Hays made a motion to approve Ordinance #1427, Revision 2. Alderman Headlee seconded the motion. The motion carried on roll call with all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
Mr. Coston gave an update on Generator #11. He has been in contact with the insurance company who is still waiting on the written report from Baker Hughes General Electric. Mr. Coston stated he has been in working closely with the insurance company who feels the City is not a fault for the breakdown. Mr. Coston stated he will continue to follow up on the issue.
Reports from Standing Committees
Alderman Hays reported the police committee has secured the contract for the school resource officer for the next near with the Unit Five School Board. Alderman Hays also praised the community for their support in funding the new K-9 officer. Alderman Hays stated Chief Jason Carter made one press release and the response has been super. He pointed out funds have been received from children, adults, and business; and it’s a great feeling to have so many people donating. Donations are still being accepted for the new K-9.
Alderman Headless stated the Debt Recovery Program that is used to collect delinquent utility bills has already collected approximately $10,000 for the year.
Reports and/or updates from Mayor Pollard
The Street and Alley Department will begin spraying for mosquitos next week, depending on the weather.
The pool opened last Tuesday and has been packed every day. We are offering some new hours and different programs.
There will be a blood drive at First Christian Church on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Mayor Pollard stated last week Aleta Heern retired after 34 years of service to the City of Carmi. We wish her all the luck in the future with her retirement.
On Thursday, we will also be saying goodbye to Sandra Irvine, City Administrator, who has done an outstanding job for the City of Carmi for over 21 years. Mayor Pollard stated she has helped establish many businesses and jobs in our community. She has handled countless duties and situations in the City over the years. She will be greatly missed. We would like to wish her and her husband Rick a very long and happy retirement.
Business or Comments from Visitors
Mrs. Minerva Lovell addressed the Council regarding the ordinance covering livestock in the city limits. She asked the Council to consider revising the current ordinance to allow livestock in the City limits. She stated Carbondale as well as Chicago allows this. She explained she has about 10 chickens which serve multiple purposes. She stated she gets eggs from the chickens as well as uses the manure to fertilize her garden. She stated the chickens eat insects such as mosquitos. After a brief discussion, Mayor Pollard stated he would look into the matter.
At 6:35 p.m. Alderman Headlee made a motion to adjourn. Motion was seconded by Alderman Hays. The motion carried on roll call by each Aldermen present answering “yes.”
Cynthia J. Attebury, City Clerk
Jeff Pollard, Mayor