City Council Meeting
City of Carmi
May 5th, 2015
The Carmi City Council met Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 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. The prayer was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Pollard presided with the following Aldermen present: Mark W. Blake, Keith Davis, Sheila Jo Headlee, Doug Hays, Jack Lamont, Mike Knight and Steve Winkleman. Alderman Kenny Carter was absent. Mayor Pollard explained that Mr. Carter was absent because of his work schedule.
Minutes for the April 21, 2015 council meeting were presented. Motion made by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Headlee to approve the minutes as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman answering “yes.”
Mayor Pollard then asked Greg Stewart, City Attorney to administer Oaths of Office to the four (4) aldermen elected in the April Consolidated Election. Mr. Stewart then swore in incumbent Aldermen Jack Lamont, Ward 1, Mike Knight, Ward 2 and Mark W. Blake, Ward 3. He then administered the Oath of Office to the newly-elected Lance Yearby, Ward 4.
Report by Mr. Greg Stewart, City Attorney
Mr. Stewart then presented an overview of the city’s nuisance ordinances. They provide for procedures to remedy acts or offenses that violate acceptable public standards. He defined a nuisance as “anything that a reasonable person would conclude as offensive—noise, odor, failure to maintain property and things of that nature.” The city’s abatement procedures and penalties generally provide for written notices from the city to the offender (property owner and/or occupant), with a demand that the offense be corrected within a set period of time. If the responsible party does not rectify the problem as mandated, the city may impose fines of $25 to $750 for each offense. Each day that a violation exists, constitutes a separate offense. Therefore, a 10-day violation could result in a $7,500 fine. In the situation where uncontrolled weeds or grass exceed 12 inches in height, the landowner in violation can be served a written notice, requiring them to correct the problem within 10 days. If the owner does not respond as directed, the city may proceed to rectify the problem, keeping account of the expense with the cost to be charged to the owner. The city will file a lien for the cost of the services provided. In the event that the violating property has a tenant, the city will notify both owner and tenant.
Report by Mr. David Coston, City Electrical Engineer
Mr. Coston updated the Council on the implementation of the SCADA system and other upgrades to the electrical system. Mr. Coston began by saying that a written summary of this report will be given to Brian Allen, City Clerk, who will get copies to the council. Monitor control installation is nearly complete. Equipment continues to be evaluated, updated and tested. Coston walked the group through the status of the City’s five substations. He explained that testing of circuit breakers, transformers and other electrical equipment is not only for operational and safety purposes, but also in order to meet insurance liability and protection requirements. Insurance providers may raise premiums or drop coverage if power plants do not adhere to acceptable standards of operation. Coston’s strategy is to institute an ongoing practice of rotating reliability and maintenance testing of the city’s electrical system on a three to five year basis.
New high efficiency street lights have been installed in front of the high school. They are providing improved lighting and better color at street level. The goal is to replace all streetlights on Main Street by the end of the year. This can be done with the help of a grant offered by the IMEA (Illinois Municipal Electric Agency)—the cooperative that provides Carmi’s electricity.
The Electric Department is in the process of inventorying all of our utilities including all of the old utility poles in the city. These eyesores can become safety hazards. Cable and telephone companies are obligated to transfer services to new poles.
We are continuing to map the utility system and collect data. Some of this data is passed on to independent companies who provide specialized testing of electrical equipment.
Mr. Coston encourages the city to move toward an automated inventory system, which would work with the existing work order system. The software upgrade which would allow for this would cost about $5,000. An annual maintenance charge of about $1,000 would also be required. Such a seamless system would allow all departments to utilize a running inventory.
Mr. Coston encouraged the Council to begin the planning process allowing for in installation of another meter point whereby power would be supplied to the city’s electrical grid. Presently, the Bradshaw Substation provides the only point of power delivery to the city. A transformer at that location powers the entire town. If it fails, the city would be forced to rely upon generators in our power plant, which would cost $1,000 per hour to run. In addition, it could take a year to replace that type of transformer. He emphasized that with the age of the power plant, equipment failures can be expected. The addition of a second transformer would provide redundancy should the first one fail.
Mr. Coston will be bringing a comprehensive proposal to the Council so that they may determine their strategy and prioritize the plan.
Mayor Pollard stated that Mrs. Lacey Moore with CWCJHS is requesting to close Robinson Street from Rice Street to Jessup Street for the Junior High 5k race start and finish line area from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2015. He asked Jason Carter, Police Chief to provide any additional information concerning this request. Chief Carter stated that the actual race would not start until 7:30 p.m. but registration and other activities would begin at 5:30 p.m. The race will start at the Carmi Public Library and ends at Washington School where other activities will occur. The route will include Robinson Street, Church Street, Possum Road, Paint Creek Lane, Bohleber Drive, Abelson Drive and Plum Street. Since the streets will only be partially closed, 12 to 13 volunteers, Fire Department personnel, and officers from the Carmi Police Department and Police Auxiliary will monitor the race at various locations. Carter said that last year was the first year for this event and that there were no problems. Motion made by Alderman Hays and seconded by Alderman Lamont to approve the closure of Robinson Street as requested. The motion carried on roll call by each alderman answering “yes.”
Reports and/or updates from Mayor Pollard
Alderman Lance Yearby has been appointed Co-chairman on the Airport Committee (Alderman Mike Knight, Chairman) and Co-chairman on the L&W Administration, Light Plant and Electric Distribution Committee (Keith Davis, Chairman).
The FEMA floodplain buyout is in the final phase and Jeff Guisewite will begin the demolition on Monday
Mayor Pollard reported about the persistent problem we are having with Republic Services because all of the trash is not being picked up on schedule. He complained to the driver’s supervisor and later the head of Republic Services came to the Mayor’s office and apologized about the problem they had created and assured us that it will not happen again. However, Mayor Pollard received a text from the Republic head that all of Paint Creek Lane did not get picked up today. The Mayor will follow up on this latest development. By the way, a company out of Evansville notified us that they could haul our trash.
Mayor Pollard invited everyone to join him in the Walk the Block event to start at 5:30 p.m. The purpose of this event is to provide mental health awareness.
If it doesn’t rain, Saturday will be Opening Day at Bradshaw Park for the Summer Recreation League. Mayor Pollard thanked all of the organizations and other volunteers who have worked to get the park ready for the special day.
Reports from Standing Committees
Alderman Knight said that he wanted to echo the Mayor’s thanks to all who have worked to prepare Bradshaw Park for this summer’s events.
Alderman Headlee asked if any of the aldermen had suggestions concerning the “salvage yard” issue that was discussed at the last meeting. She went on to say that it might be possible that there is language the nuisance ordinance that would address the problem.
Alderman Yearby thanked all of the people who came to the meeting in support tonight and said that he looked forward to working with Council. He also said that he appreciated the voters who voted for him.
Business or Comments from Visitors
A visitor asked when the mosquito spraying was scheduled to begin. Mayor Pollard said that he would follow up with city personnel about the mosquito spraying.
Motion was made by Alderman Headlee and seconded by Alderman Davis to go into closed session for the purpose of discussing property issues with no action to follow. The motion carried on roll call by each alderman answering “yes.”
At 6:25 p.m. council went into closed session.
Motion made by Alderman Winkleman and seconded by Alderman Blake to return to open session and adjourn. The motion carried on roll call by each alderman answering “yes.”
At 6:32 p.m. the council adjourned.
Don Kittinger, Deputy City Clerk
Brian K. Allen, City Clerk
Jeff Pollard, Mayor