City of Mt. Vernon City Council met April 15
City of Mt. Vernon City Council met April 15.
Here is the minutes as provided by the council:
The Mt. Vernon City Council held a Regular City Council Meeting on Monday, April 15, 2019 at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building, Veterans Park, 800 South 27th Street, Mt. Vernon, Illinois.
Mayor John Lewis called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
Kent Jackson from Family Life Church gave the Invocation.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Roll call showed present: Council Member Donte Moore, Council Member Jim Rippy, Council Member Mike Young, and Mayor John Lewis. Absent: Council Member Jeff May.
PRESENTATION OF JOURNALS
The Journals for the April 1, 2019 Public Hearing regarding Lift Station #14, April 1, 2019 Public Hearing regarding the relocation of the Post Office, April 1, 2019 Regular City Council Meeting were presented for approval.
Council Member Donte Moore motioned to approve the Journals as presented. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis. Absent: May.
VISITORS/CITIZENS REQUESTS/ADDRESSES FROM THE AUDIENCE
No comments were heard.
APPROVAL OF CONSOLIDATED VOUCHERS FOR ACCOUNTS PAYABLE
The Consolidated Vouchers for Accounts Payable were presented to Council for approval. Council Member Jim Rippy asked if the water meter installation was complete. City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel replied that installation is very close to being completed.
Council Member Donte Moore motioned to approve the Consolidated Vouchers for Accounts Payable in the amount of $1,042,076.31. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis. Absent: May.
BIDS AND QUOTES
City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel presented the bid results for the Opdkye Water Tower Project. The bids were for the repair and repainting of the 500,000-gallon Opdyke Elevated Water Tank. A prebid meeting was held, and two possible bidders attended the meeting, however only one bid was submitted. The submitted bid was below the engineer’s estimate of $808,000. City Engineer Brad Ruble recommended awarding the bid to Trikote LLC for $769,900. Trikote LLC has worked for the City in previous tower projects. In addition, the bid will be sent to Illinois EPA for their approval before the work can begin. Council Member Donte Moore asked if the City will know the percentage of IEPA loan forgiveness when IEPA approves the loan. Bechtel stated that before the City signs the loan documents, the percentage will be known.
Council Member Jim Rippy motioned to accept the bid submitted from Trikote LLC for $769,900. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis. Absent: May.
City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel requested permission to seek quotes on copier machine leases for the use in the City of Mt. Vernon Office Buildings. Five leases have expired. The copiers are located at the Police Department, Parks Department, City Clerk’s Office, Fleet Maintenance Department, and the Fire Department.
Council Member Mike Young motioned to seek quotes on copier machine leases for the use in the City of Mt. Vernon Office Buildings. Seconded by Council Member Donte Moore. Yeas: Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis. Absent: May.
Corporation Counsel Bill Howard presented an Ordinance approving a Conditional Use at 1100 and 1112 Broadway for Automotive Sales in a B-1 Primary Business District. The petitioning party is Sledge Motor Sales, LLC. City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel reported that Planning and Zoning Commission approved this request unanimously and no objectors were heard. Council Member Mike Young stated that the property was previously zoned for auto sales. Bechtel stated it previously had a Conditional Use for auto sales, but the Conditional Use did not continue when the former business closed.
Council Member Donte Moore motioned to approve Ordinance #2019-11, an Ordinance for a Conditional Use at 1100 and 1112 Broadway for Automotive Sales in a B-1 Primary Business District. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis. Absent: May.
Corporation Counsel Bill Howard presented an Ordinance approving the Rezoning of Property at 509 Main Street from B-2 – Secondary Business to R-3 – High Density Residential. The petitioning party is Lance McGovern. City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel reported that Planning and Zoning Commission approved this request unanimously and no objectors were heard. McGovern purchased the former Don’s Stereo building and wishes to remodel the two apartments on the second floor and use the bottom floor for personal space.
Council Member Donte Moore motioned to approve Ordinance #2019-12, an Ordinance for the Rezoning of Property at 509 Main Street from B-2 – Secondary Business to R-3 – High Density Residential. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis. Absent: May.
Corporation Counsel Bill Howard presented for First Reading an Ordinance approving an Employment Agreement between the City of Mt. Vernon and Mary Ellen Bechtel.
Council Member Jim Rippy commented that he was not in favor of an employment agreement with this level of management. Rippy stated that he has not seen a current performance review for Bechtel indicating specific measurable and achievable goals. After her performance review, then this Ordinance could be discussed.
Council Member Mike Young explained that the City Council was responsible for conducting the performance review. Council Member Donte Moore agreed that it is the City Council’s responsibility to conduct the elevation. Moore stated that Bechtel is a leader. She has made tough decisions by cutting the budget and transforming City Departments. Moore stressed that a contract is warranted for someone who has given everything to the City.
Rippy replied that there is no documentation listing the goals and objectives. Rippy explained that when it comes down to evaluating someone, everyone needs to objectively sit down and agree on the goals. This takes away personal opinions.
Council Member Elect Ray Botch explained that he was in the City Manager profession for 35 years. He reported that the International City Manager Association found that between 75 to 90% of City Managers have contracts. Botch stated that a City Manager’s job is difficult, and the job changes every day. The goal of the City Manager is to make the City Council look good and everyone has seen the tremendous job that Bechtel has done.
Mayor John Lewis stated that he will take the fall for not doing Bechtel’s evaluations. No one does evaluations except the boss which he and the Council are her bosses. He did not ask for evaluations because he has only received glowing accolades about Bechtel’s performance. To remedy this, Mayor Lewis distributed evaluation forms to the Council with instructions to return the completed forms to the Human Resources Office by Monday, April 22nd. Lewis said that the Council can make any comments or goals for the City Manager.
First Reading was held.
Corporation Counsel Bill Howard presented for First Reading an Ordinance approving the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Budget.
Council Member Donte Moore motioned to suspend the rules on voting on an Ordinance. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis. Absent: May.
Council Member Donte Moore motioned to adopt Ordinance #2019-13, an Ordinance approving the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Budget. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis. Absent: May.
Corporation Counsel Bill Howard presented a Resolution approving a Conditional Sign Permit for an Off-Premise Sign at 101 S. 45th Street. The petitioning Party is Dusty’s Outdoor Media, LLC. Attorney John Hundley was present to represent Micky Carman of Dusty’s Outdoor Media, LLC. They are requesting the construction of a sign on the Huck’s property. Hundley reported that the Chili Restaurant’s Manager had differences, but this was worked out by adjusting the size and the height of the sign. The sign is a double-sided LED sign. The Planning and Zoning Commission approved this request by a 3-2 vote. No objectors were heard.
Council Member Jim Rippy motioned to approve the Resolution Approving a Conditional Sign Permit for an Off-Premise Sign at 101 S. 45th Street. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis. Absent: May.
Corporation Counsel Bill Howard presented a Resolution for the Maintenance of Streets and Highways Utilizing IDOT Motor Fuel Tax Funds. City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel presented the roadways to be funded by MFT. This resolution is needed in order for IDOT to approve the bidding process to use MFT Funds.
The roadways are:
1. Homestead – Salem Road to Fairway
2. Casey Avenue – 15th Street to 12th Street
3. Casey Avenue – 12th Street to Railroad
4. 15th Street – Cherry to Conger
5. East Perkins Avenue – Rackaway to Railroad
6. Pace – 11th Street to 9th Street
7. South 20th Street – Broadway to Casey
8. North 42nd Street -- Richview to City Limits
9. Alley from 20th Street to 18th Street, South of Broadway
10. Alley from Casey to Jordan behind the Elks Club
11. A portion of South 26th Street from Forest to Veterans’ Memorial Drive
Council Member Donte Moore motioned to approve the Resolution for the Maintenance of Streets and Highways Utilizing IDOT Motor Fuel Tax Funds. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis. Absent: May.
Mayor John Lewis presented the March 2019 City Department Activity Summary.
Mt. Vernon Police Department handled 2014 calls, which equals to about 65 calls each and every day. 147 people were arrested during the month. There were 167 criminal charges and 30 warrants served. They also conducted 472 traffic stops resulting in 181 citations, of which 5 were for use of cellphones. 18 people were arrested for D.U.I., they had 55 drug charges, responded to 96 traffic crashes, answered 92 alarms and had 156 community contacts. The Detective Division was assigned 60 new cases, referred 10 cases to the States Attorney and had 2 crime scene call-outs. The Tactical Unit was not deployed and our K9 team had 23 deployments. Due to a new phone system that was being installed, we do not have an accurate count on the number of calls into the Police Department for the month of March.
The Fire Department responded to 278 alarms, of which 208 were recorded as EMS related, 7 of the responses were recorded as fire related, and 4 of the responses were recorded as hazard related. They responded to 5 structure fires, 1 cooking fire, 1 vehicle fire, 14 motor vehicle accidents, 12 false alarms, and was requested and gave mutual aid on 3 calls. The Fire Inspection Dept. performed 5 business site inspections and 4 consultations. The Fire Prevention Division performed 11 public education events, 1 car seat installation, 1 fire prevention presentation and 1 sponsored blood drive event with the American Red Cross.
The Public Utilities Department responded to 13 water breaks, repaired or replaced 18 services, processed 256 work orders, processed 152 JULIE locates, removed 28 idle meter accounts, replaced 2 valves, repaired or replaced 3 fire hydrants, and had 88 red letter disconnects. On the sewer side, they responded to 10 service calls resulting in 8 backed up sewer mains, 3 sewer mains repaired, 3 manholes repaired, 15 routine sanitary and storm mains cleaned resulting in 5,056 linear feet of main cleaned and 2,781 linear feet of main televised.
Engineering and Inspection Departments conducted 53 10A inspections, 28 of those properties received occupancy certificates. There have been 10 nuisance postings. There were 3 properties condemned, 6 properties were demolished and there were 11 building permits totaling $959,495.
Mayor John Lewis introduced Ray Botch to give an update on the Public Utilities Committee. Botch read the following report:
“The Utility Infrastructure Committee is completing our second year of operation. The City begins a new Budget on May 1st. This Report covers our work progress for May 1, 2018 through April 30, 2019.
2018 - 2019 BUDGET
Our goal is to upgrade the City's Water and Sewer Infrastructure in the shortest time possible. To accomplish this, we selected several funding methods: 1. Home Rule Sales Tax 2. 2% Annual Rate Increase 3. Short Term Bank Loans 4. The IEPA Low Interest Loan Program and 5. Year End Cash Balance.
Cash Balance $ 967,000
2% Meter Fee 323,000
Sales Tax 1,859,000
Meter Loan 2,700,000
TOTAL REVENUES $5,849,000
Beginning in 2017, we conducted many studies and surveys to identify and prioritize our needs. In 2018, we began to improve our infrastructure. In an effort to reduce our unbilled water loss, 6,700 Kamstrup Meters have been installed. The Vernwood Tank has been rebuilt with 2 new pumps. All of our Water Tanks now have new vaults with Telemetry Equipment that allows the SCADA System to monitor and control the water delivery system. Engineering and IEPA Loan Applications have been completed for the Opdyke Tank and Lift Station #14.
SCADA System $ 132,000
44th Street Sewer 91,000
Storage Tank Improvements 1,064,000
Main Street Alley Sewer 102,000
Mid-Town Sewer Survey 44,000
12th Street Water Main 483,000
Grit Chamber Inlets 41,000
Lift Station #14 Engineering 310,000
Water Meters. 2,595,000
Water Main Engineering 40,000
Magnolia Water/Sewer 116,000
Water Main Replacement 71,000
TOTAL EXPENDITURES $5,089,000
CASH BALANCE APRIL 30, 2019 $ 760,000
2019 - 2020 BUDGET
Cash Balance $ 760,000
2% Meter Fee 370,000
Sales Tax 1,860,000
Meter Loan 4,390,000
TOTAL REVENUES $7,380,000
Next year a sewer cleaning and needs survey will be done for the City's Northeast Section. An Engineering Contact is in place for the 2020 and 2021 Water Main Replacements. The Opdyke Storage Tank and Lift Station #14 improvements will be done. We will make our first loan repayment for the Water Meters.
Sewer Inspections/Cleaning $ 470,000
Bethel Lift Station 100,000
Opdyke Tower 1,010,000
Lift Station #14 3,640,000
Water Main Replacement 100,000
Meter Loan Repayment 587,000
TOTAL EXPENDITURES. $6,032,000
CASH BALANCE APRIL 30, 2020 $1,348,000
Ray Botch distributed the projects for the Utilities Infrastructure Revenues and Expenditures for 5/1/2018 through 4/30/2024. Most of the projects will be financed by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). Botch thanked the Public Utility Commission Members along with City staff for their dedicated work. Council Member Jim Rippy thanked Botch for his work and expertise.
No comments were heard.
VISITORS/CITIZENS REQUESTS/ADDRESSES FROM THE AUDIENCE
Horton Petties commented on the security at the City Park. He spoke on assigning a security guard or the installation of cameras at the Park to deter some of the unlawful activity. Petties suggested that a sign listing the Parks rules and regulations be posted. City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel reported that the City is looking into the cost of signage, the message, and placement of the signs at the City Park.
City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel gave an update on the City Park Lake dredging project. The project turned out to be bigger than expected and about one half of the dredging is complete. Additional funds were budgeted in next fiscal year to complete the project.
Assistant City Manager Nathan McKenna reported that the USDA APHIS Wildlife's Services has one more round of oiling of geese eggs before the 120 eggs can be removed.
Council Member Mike Young stated that improvements at the City Park are dear to his heart and he supports the efforts. He stated that a majority of the public want to keep the lake.
Candy Luzar, 900 S. 26th Street, thanked the Council for their commitment to improving the City Park Lake. She explained that she is a board member for the Jefferson County Historical Society and invited everyone to attend her presentation regarding the history of the City Park on April 27th at 2 p.m. at the Historical Village.
Luzar spoke on the Mt. Vernon Yacht Club that she and Bud Davis created. The Grand Launch of the remote-control boats will be at Veterans Park Lake on April 23rd from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Everyone is invited.
No Executive Session was held.
Council Member Mike Young motioned to adjourn. Seconded by Council Member Donte Moore. Yeas: Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis. Absent: May.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.