City Council Meeting
City of Carmi
October 21, 2013
The Carmi City Council met Monday, October 21, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Room of the Municipal Building, 225 East Main Street, Carmi, Illinois.
Prior to opening the council meeting, Mayor Pollard asked Alderman Steve Winkleman to give the invocation. The prayer was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Pollard presided with the following aldermen present: Steve Winkleman, Mark W. Blake, Keith Davis, Sheila Jo Headlee, Doug Hays, Jack Lamont and Mike Knight.
Minutes for the October 8, 2013 council meeting were presented. A 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 Alderman answering “yes.”
September 2013 financial reports for the City of Carmi and Carmi Light and Water Departments were presented for approval. A motion was 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.”
Vendor invoices for the City of Carmi and Carmi Light & Water Departments payable in October 2013 were presented for approval. No comments or questions were expressed by Alderman regarding the vendor invoices. Motion by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Headlee to approve and authorize payment of the October 2013 vendor invoices. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard introduced Mr. Ray Mitchell the Executive Director for the Carmi Chamber of Commerce to address the council. Mr. Mitchell notified the council that the Chamber of Commerce along with Francis Matheny has started a drive to raise money for new Christmas decorations to be utilized throughout the city; she has raised approximately a thousand dollars to date and the Chamber of Commerce is planning on matching that amount of money she has raised. The Chamber of Commerce is not going to be asking the city for any donations for decorations this year, but will be sending out a Christmas solicitation letter to members for donations next year in 2014. Mr. Mitchell asked council for permission to stage the It’s A White County Christmas parade on Saturday, November 30, 2013 starting at 10:00 a.m. which will start at the Baptist Church on Main Street going to Oak Street, to Third Street, to Stewart Street, to Cherry Street, to Main Cross Street, cross Main Street and end at Veterans Memorial Park. Mr. Mitchell asked the council for permission to close a portion of South Main Cross Street from Main Street to the alley to stage the Santa House and Christmas Train in that portion of Main Cross Street. Mr. Mitchell gave compliments to the council for doing a survey for the street closure on their website and that the majority of the public he has spoken with like the Santa House and Christmas Train being in a blocked off area of the Main Cross Street. Mr. Mitchell said he would be available to assist the city in setting up and tearing down the decorations if needed. Motion made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Hays to close the streets or a portion of the streets on the parade route for It’s A White County Christmas parade as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.
Mayor Pollard presented for council consideration the closing of South Main Cross Street from Main Street to the alley from November 18th, 2013 to January 8th, 2014 (depending on the weather) for placement of the Santa House and Christmas Train. Mayor Pollard gave notice that during the previous meeting the council had discussed finding an alternative location and that he had made contact with White County Senior Citizens Center and WROY-WRUL, both locations said NO to using there lots. The only other location other than Main Cross Street would be the park at the Carmi Library and he felt that location was too far away from downtown. The on-line poll put on the City of Carmi website had a total of eighty-two (82) voters with 61.73% were for the closing and 32.1% were against the closing of Main Cross Street for the Santa House and Christmas Train. Alderman Headlee questioned Alderman Hays’s comment at the previous meeting about the closing of Main Cross Street affecting Kevin Gire Truck Repair Center and why he could not bring trucks down South Locust Street and Alderman Hays replied that it was difficult at times for Mr. Gire’s to make the turn in a semi from South Locust Street onto Robinson Street. Alderman Hays believes that the two months that the street would be closed is too long a time period and that he has spoken with other citizens and they are all in agreement that it is too long as well. Carmi Times reporter Braden Willis suggested using the VFW parking lot and Mayor Pollard believes that would be too far out the way and would detract from people shopping downtown. Mr. Mitchell notified the council that the Chamber of Commerce would be putting together an evening shopping stroll as part of the It’s A White County Christmas. Motion made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Lamont to close a portion of South Main Cross Street for the Santa House and Christmas Train from November 18th, 2013 through the first available day after Christmas. The motion carried on roll call by six (6) Alderman answering “yes” and Alderman Carter and Alderman Hays answering “no.”
Mayor Pollard brought up for discussion changing Seventh Street between Oak Street and Crebs Avenue a one way street or a no parking zone during school hours only. Mayor Pollard noted that at the previous council meeting it was decided in discussion that making Seventh Street a no parking zone would not work and that Alderman Headlee had been in contact with the head of Pre-K concerning the alley. Alderman Headlee noted that a portion of the alley was owned by a private citizen and that they would not allow the school to use it. Mayor Pollard said that it would be best to make Seventh Street a one way from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and that the Alderman were given a copy of the ordinance’s that were in effect for the other schools. Mayor Pollard introduced Mrs. Millie Pate from Pre-K to give an explanation of the current problem’s they are experiencing with traffic at the school. Mrs. Pate explained that the problem has increased over the last several years because more high school aged kids are driving now and that bus funding has been reduced causing more Pre-K kids to have to be dropped off instead of riding the bus. Mrs. Pate explained that there have been several suggestions given to her to resolve the problem, but none of them were sufficient for their facility. Mrs. Pate asked the council to keep in mind if they were to make Seventh Street a one way, could they allow parking on both sides of the street as not to disrupt the parking of the home owners that live there and if drivers going to the high school would turn off of Oak Street, turn onto Conger Street and turn onto Crebs Ave. that would allow them direct access to the high school parking. Mrs. Pate along with Chief of Police Randy Hamblin has put out parking cones to help the situation. Mrs. Pate appreciated the council and Mayor for their consideration in trying to resolve the problem, keep the children safe that attend there and coming up with a plan that would work for all parties involved. Alderman Davis gave a suggestion of reversing the one way to come from Crebs Avenue to Oak Street and would keep the high school traffic off of Seventh Street. Chief Hamblin added that it would help the home owners who park on the east side of Seventh Street and would cause them to be parked with the flow of traffic if they were to reverse the one way. Alderman Hays questioned if the one way were coming from Crebs Avenue to Oak Street would it end at Oak Street or at Leggett’s Market parking lot. Mayor Pollard explained that most of the traffic on Seventh Street flows from Oak Street towards Main Street and that is why he was suggesting the one way from Oak Street to Crebs Avenue instead of reversing it. Alderman Winkleman noted that there could be a significant amount of traffic backed up on Oak Street in the mornings that would be hazardous. Mrs. Pate noted that there was already traffic backed up on Oak Street in the mornings.
Chief Hamblin suggested if flashing lights and signs could be used and only be activated at the necessary times during school hours, it would minimize the impact on the neighborhood and the traffic flow. Ms. Pate asked if the council decided to make the street a one way could the school receive support in the beginning from the Police Department to help establish the new rules. Alderman Winkleman inquired if the school had a crossing guard on duty during those times the children were dropped off and picked up. Mrs. Pate replied that there were flashing crossing lights in front of the school and that teachers and volunteers were busy taking care of the children inside upon their arrival as ordered by state mandate. Alderman Winkleman questioned Mrs. Pate that if a crossing guard were there would it help the situation. Mrs. Pate replied that she honestly did not know. Mayor Pollard noted that an ordinance would have to be drafted and brought back to the council for a vote. Council agreed that the one way would best be suited to run from Oak Street to Crebs Ave. and would not hurt deliveries to Leggett’s Market.
Reports and/or updates from Mayor Pollard
Mayor Pollard would like to thank all the city employees who helped prepare and clean up during Corn Day. Special thank you to Chief Hamblin and his department for handling the added road closures and for all their hard work during Corn Day. Overall Corn Day seemed to be a pretty good success.
The grant the city had applied for to purchase playground equipment for Eckerle Park has been denied and recently we have purchased a set of playground equipment for Burrell Woods’s campsite that was on sale, we will continue to watch for further sales of equipment to purchase for Eckerle Park.
There had been contact with an individual who has purchased handicap swings for other communities in the surrounding area. The individual has purchased some of the swings for Brownsville Attendance Center and are available to anyone who would like to use them. If we see a need for a handicap swing in the future he would be more than happy to help with a donation.
There has been an electronic recycling day set for Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 at the old Newton Wire & Cable building.
Trick or Treat hours for the City of Carmi are set for October 31st from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00p.m.
Reports from Standing Committees
Alderman Knight gave notice that the bush hog tractor is going to have to be replaced before the next mowing season; it is over eleven (11) years old. The tractor had to be repaired last month at a cost of $3,400 and those repairs are starting to become expensive. Mayor Pollard suggested for them to start looking at leasing, purchasing a new tractor or sub-contracting the bush hog mowing.
Alderman Lamont questioned how the traffic flow on Ninth Street during Corn Day worked for the Police department? Chief Hamblin replied that it worked well; the only problem they incurred was establishing the flow of traffic and then changing the flow of traffic back.
Alderman Davis commented that he would be getting estimates for fifty-five (55) gallon barrels of oil for the Light Plant and after he received those estimates they would be purchasing two (2) to three (3) barrels per month to refill the stock needed for the generator engines.
Alderman Carter noted that the new fuel tanks have had a few glitches and the airport personnel have called the contractor to come and fix the issue.
Business or Comments from Visitors
Richard Cook questioned if there had been any results given for the website poll concerning the liquor ordinances. Mayor Pollard replied that he would be reading those results when the discussion of the liquor ordinances was brought back up again.
Alderman Headlee added that Todd Atteberry has done a wonderful job with the new City of Carmi website.
City Supervisor Mike Buckman gave notice that the Water Department would flush fire hydrants at night time starting on October 28th and it would take approximately five (5) weeks of flushing. Alderman Blake noted that the flushing has always been done at night because the home owners were using less water at night rather than the day time. Alderman Lamont noted that the neighboring City of Fairfield flush hydrants during the daytime and have been doing it for years. Supervisor Buckman gave notice that a main water valve was going to be replaced on Haley Drive and would cause some issues for the residents.
A motion was made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Davis to go into closed session for the purpose of discussing personnel and property issues with possible action to follow.
At 6:23 p.m., council went into Closed Session.
Motion by Alderman Carter and seconded by Alderman Knight to return to open session.
At 7:31 p.m., council went back into Open Session.
Motion by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Headlee to accept a one year contract with a 2% pay increase for Chief of Police Randy Hamblin. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
At 7:40 p.m., council voted to adjourn by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Brian K. Allen, City Clerk
Jeff Pollard, Mayor