The Carmi City Council met Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at 6:00 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, Mike Knight, and Doug Hays. ABSENT: Lance Yearby
The minutes from the April 16, 2019, council meeting were presented. Motion was made by Alderman Knight and seconded by Alderman Hays to approve the minutes as presented. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman present answering “yes.”
Mr. Greg Stewart, City Attorney, was introduced and administered the Oaths of Office to the following newly-elected City Alderman: Jeremy Courson, Ward 1, Michael Knight, Ward 2, Mark Blake, Ward 3, and James Totten, Ward 4.
For Council Consideration, discussion, and possible approval
Mr. Greg Stewart, City Attorney, discussed the dynamics of the Open Meetings Act and how it pertains to municipalities. Mr. Stewart stated the “act” is designed to make sure the City does most of its business in the public eye. He stated a majority of a quorum is three (3) Aldermen; therefore, three (3) Aldermen cannot be together at the same time as this constitutes a meeting. Mr. Stewart also stated there are very specific rules which allow you to go into executive session; i.e. personnel issues, litigation, collective bargaining, purchase or lease of real estate. Mr. Stewart stated other than the above-mentioned reasons, all City business should be done in open session to allow full view to the public.
Mayor Pollard requested reappointment of Keith Hoskins as a Trustee on the Police Pension Fund Board for a two (2) year term effective May 14, 2019, to May 31, 2021. Alderman Hays made the motion to reappoint Mr. Hoskins to the Police Pension Fund Board for a two (2) year term effective May 14, 2019, to May 31, 2021. The motion was seconded by Alderman Blake. The motion carried on roll call with all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
Next item on the agenda was the reappointment of Ronda Karroll to the Library Board to a term from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021. Alderman Winkleman made the motion for reappointment of Ronda Karroll to the Library Board for the term beginning July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019. The motion was seconded by Alderman Headlee. The motion carried on roll call with all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
A façade improvement application was presented for Grant Gee of Edward D. Jones at 107 N. Church Street. Mr. Gee plans to have the woodwork on the front of the building repaired as well as painting the façade nearest the alley and the facade with the large window and the turquoise panels. The top would be painted as well, off white and dark green, the same colors as the existing façade by the alley. Repairs and improvements will be made to the brick flower box as well. Mr. Gee is requesting 50% matching façade improvement funds up to $2,500.00 after completion of this renovation. The total project cost is estimated to be around $4,000.00. the 50% reimbursement will be made once the project is complete and total receipts are produced showing the final costs, which is according to the Façade Improvement Policy. A motion was made by Alderman Courson to approve the façade improvement grant for Grant Gee of Edward D. Jones up to $2,500.00. The motion was seconded by Alderman Blake. The motion carried on roll call with all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
David Coston, City of Carmi Electrical Engineer, addressed the council with information from recent meetings which were held with the Line Department, Power Plant, and Michael Smith, City Electrician. Mr. Coston stated the meetings were held to prioritize the needs of each department. Mr. Coston stated the Line Department is in need of a newer, larger digger truck as well as a bucket truck. This would allow the Line Department to be able to set their own utility poles in an emergency case as well as begin replacing the larger utility poles throughout the City which are beginning to deteriorate. The estimated cost of a used digger truck is around $90,000.00 and a used bucket truck would be around $60,000.00. Mr. Coston stated the electrical “loop” which is out around the Walmart and Trelleborg area is in need of expanding in order to be able to serve the business in that location more effectively. This would cost approximately $300,000.00. The Power Plant is in need of replacing the cooling towers for the generators which would cost approximately $300,000.00 as well. For the substations, the unit A breaker at Bradshaw Substation needs to be purchased and installed along with a high-voltage disconnect switch to render the transformer a capable “hot spare.” This would cost approximately $100,000.00.
Mr. Coston also provided the council information for updating the ordinance on providing underground electric service. He stated updating the ordinance would have several benefits, including new construction houses and buildings to have a disconnect at the meter box. If there was a fire, this would allow the firefighters to be able to shut off the electricity without having to go into a burning house. The updated ordinance will be presented at a future meeting.
Mr. Coston updated the council on the insurance claim with generator #11. He stated he had just spoken with the insurance adjustor and he is working in conjunction with BHGE to finalize the report. He stated it is looking favorable for payout of the insurance claim and he will keep the council updated on the progress.
Reports and/or updates from Mayor Pollard
Mayor Pollard wanted to remind the citizens to not blow grass clippings into the roadways. Also, we do not have a scheduled recycling day so please do not leave TVs and electronics at the Newton Wire and Cable building located on Third Street.
Reports from Standing Committees
Alderman Winkleman asked what the City can legally do when citizens blow grass in the roadways. Chief of Police Jason Carter stated they have issued warnings for the first offense and will issue a citation for second offense.
Closed Session to discuss personnel and property issues with action to follow:
At 6:45 p.m., Alderman Headlee made a motion to go into closed session to discuss personnel issues. The motion was seconded by Alderman Courson. The motion carried on roll call with all Aldermen present answering “yes.”
At 7:30 p.m. Alderman Headlee made a motion to return to open session and adjourn. Motion was seconded by Alderman Courson. The motion carried on roll call by each Alderman present answering “yes.”
Cynthia J. Attebury, City Clerk
Jeff Pollard, Mayor