The regularly scheduled council meeting was held on Tuesday, November 5, 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, James Totten, Jeremy Courson, Sheila Jo Headlee, Mike Knight, and Doug Hays.
The minutes from the October 15, 2019, council meeting were presented. Alderman Hays made a motion to approve the October 15, 2019, council meeting minutes as presented. Alderman Nelson seconded the motion. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman present answering “yes.”
For Council Consideration, discussion, and possible approval
Mayor Pollard asked the council to consider Christmas bonuses for the City of Carmi and Carmi Light and Water. In 2018, the employees received $60.00 plus $5.00 per year longevity for full-time employees and a flat $60.00 for part-time employees, firemen and EMA members. A motion was made by Alderman Headlee to give Christmas bonuses to the City of Carmi and Carmi Light and Water employees at $60.00 plus $5.00 per year longevity for full-time employees and a flat $60.00 for part-time employees, firemen, and EMA members. Alderman Courson seconded the motion. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman present answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard stated the street sweeper was in need of replacing. The price of a new unit is approximately $200,000. At the current time, it is only being ran approximately 2-3 days per month due to breakdowns. Over the past few years, approximately $20,000 to $30,000 has been spent on repairs. Mayor Pollard stated he had looked for a used sweeper and found one around $99,000 but it was a gas motor which would not be big enough for the city. Alderman Winkleman recommended going ahead and getting pricing on a new unit.
David Coston, Electrical Engineer, addressed the council again with some recommendations to move forward with generator #11. Mr. Coston recapped the events associated with generator #11 over the past several months. He updated the council stating Cooper Machinery Services had completed the tear down of the engine on October 12, 2019. Originally a proposal was to be available by tonight’s meeting but Mr. Coston had been notified that a written proposal would not be completed by tonight. However, he stated he did receive a call prior to the meeting from a representative of Cooper Machinery Services with a verbal estimated cost to repair engine #11. Mr. Coston stated he was told it would cost approximately $600,000 to repair the engine. Mr. Coston stated he had received clarification from the insurance company regarding restrictions on the claim money we received. The insurance carrier “highly” recommends to spend any claim money within the “realm” of loss which in this case is equipment breakdown of engine #11. This would include equipment repairs, preferably in this department with the loss, however any equipment would be sufficient. Mr. Coston stated we are currently having issues with our digger truck and our bucket truck, both of which are over 20 years old. Jason Belford, employee of the Line Department, stated at the current time, the 2-man bucket truck is not able to be controlled from the bucket as the controls are not working. He stated the person standing on the deck of the truck has to raise and lower the bucket which is a safety hazard. He also stated the truck has been in for repairs multiple times over the past several months. Mr. Coston stated he had priced some used trucks which for both trucks would cost approximately $160,000. The next issue of concern is the cooling towers at the Light Plant. Mr. Coston stated to repair the existing radiator system would cost approximately $400,000 to $500,000. An alternative to cooling radiators is to utilize an evaporative cooling tower. He stated these units are typically cheaper and easier to install as they are modular units. The approximate cost for this type of unit would be approximately $250,000 which is approximately ½ the price of repairing the existing radiator system. Mr. Coston stated if the City did not find it economically feasible to repair engine #11, the radiator unit could be utilized to help dissipate heat from other engines in the system dropping the evaporative cooling tower price to approximately $150,000. In conclusion, Mr. Coston stated he had always petitioned to have engine #11 repaired in order to receive the IMEA credits; however, due to the cost of the repair, he stated he would be more inclined to use the claim money for needed equipment and repairs to the Light Plant and Line Department. Mr. Coston stated he strongly recommends the Council to vote tonight to authorize $160,000 for the purchase of a replacement bucket truck as well as a digger truck. He stated the council also needs to consider which direction they want to go regarding the cooling radiators at the Light Plant. After a lengthy discussion, Alderman Hays made a motion for the purchase of a replacement bucket truck as well as a digger truck authorizing the Mayor to spend up to $160,000 for both. The motion was seconded by Alderman Headlee. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman present answering “yes.”
Reports and/or updates from Mayor Pollard
Mayor Pollard thanked everyone who participated in the Trunk or Treat. He stated, “Even though it was freezing outside, we still had a very good turnout.”
Mayor Pollard reported the City of Carmi has fulfilled all of the obligations to the Illinois Department of Transportation on our Compliance Review #71. This audit covered all the receipts and disbursements of the Motor Fuel Tax Fund for the period of January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018.
The Veteran’s Day ceremony will be held on Monday, November 11, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial Park.
White County Christmas is just around the corner. The window decorating forms are due by Tuesday, November 12th with the judging to take place on Tuesday November 19th. The forms are to be turned in to the Chamber of Commerce. The lighted Christmas parade will be November 30th at 5:30. All entries should be turned into the Chamber of Commerce by November 25th. There is no specific theme for this year’s parade, just be creative in showing your holiday spirit. The entry forms for both events are available on the City of Carmi website or you can pick them up from Chamber of Commerce director Shana Northcott.
Mayor Pollard thanked the following businesses for purchasing lighted Christmas wreaths to decorate the street lights on Main Street: Botsch and Associates CPAs, First Bank, First Insurance, Southern Illinois Title, Shepherd Insurance, Dave Matheny State Farm, H.D. Bean Jewelers, Merle Norman, Special Effects, Main Street Café, The Courtyard, McDonalds, and Fairfield Memorial Hospital.
Greg Brown, Airport Manager, stated the filming for the drag racing series has ended for the year. He will be talking to the company over the winter months to see if they are interested in filming next year.
Reports from Standing Committees
Alderman Courson reported the Fire Department has received their new turnout gear. Alderman Totten reported the Fire Department as well as the EMA Service received a grant from Enterprise TE Products Pipeline Company in the amount of $864.00 each.
Closed Session to discuss property issues with no action to follow:
Alderman Headlee made a motion at 6:15 p.m. to enter into closed session to discuss property issues with possible action to follow. Alderman Courson seconded the motion. The motion carried on roll call with each Alderman present answering “yes.”
At 6:45 p.m. Alderman Headlee made a motion to return to open session with no action and adjourn. The motion was seconded by Alderman Blake. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman present answering “yes.”
Cynthia J. Attebury, City Clerk
Jeff Pollard, Mayor