City of Mt. Vernon City Council met Oct. 7.
Here is the agenda provided by the council:
The Mt. Vernon City Council held a Regular City Council Meeting on Monday, October 7, 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.
Chaplain Jeff Stewart, Director of Pastoral Care at Good Samaritan Hospital, gave the Invocation.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Roll call showed present: Council Member Ray Botch, Council Member Donte Moore, Council Member Jim Rippy, Council Member Mike Young, and Mayor John Lewis.
RECOGNITION OF COUNCIL MEMBER JIM RIPPY
Mayor John Lewis read a Proclamation to recognize the dedicated and loyal service of James Rippy. Rippy committed 30 years of service to Continental Tire, 25 of which were spent at the Mt. Vernon Plant. He served on the Public Utilities Committee and devoted his time to service on the Mt. Vernon City Council from May 1, 2017 to October 7, 2019.
Council Member Jim Rippy thanked the citizens, Mayor and City Council, and City Manager. He wished the Mayor and Council the best for the future and feels that they have done an outstanding job of making progress in the City of Mt. Vernon. Rippy stated that he enjoyed his service on the City Council.
ACCEPTANCE OF RESIGNATION OF COUNCILMAN JAMES RIPPY AND DECLARATION OF VACANCY ON THE CITY COUNCIL
Council Member Ray Botch motioned to accept the resignation of Councilman James Rippy and to declare a vacancy on the City Council. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Botch, Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis.
Mayor John Lewis read the following statement : “Councilman James Rippy, where do I even start? We ran together in our campaign to be elected to this administration. He has been a good friend and mentor to me. Councilman Rippy questioned every imaginable thing possible, but that’s a good thing.
No organization can ever be successful if you surround yourself with “yes” men or women. His tenacity and suggestions have saved this community an enormous amount of money. He and I have had many, many arguments. Some were a little heated, but we always remained friends and we always could call on each other. Councilman Rippy was a force to be reckoned with and you better have done your research and had all of your “t’s” crossed and “i’s” dotted. Councilman Rippy had over 40 years of successful management of large organizations and budgets, so he brought a lot to the table. Mt. Vernon was lucky to have him. Now the final question is, was he successful at his new endeavor, politics? He and I, both from the business world, ran smack dab into governmental bureaucracy and found out why the business community can get things done and government can’t, but I think that caused Councilman Rippy to push harder and yell louder. I checked his campaign literature for the promises he made, and I discovered he accomplished every single one of them in his first 18 months in office. His first priority was to remove the meter tax and he got that done. He wanted to conduct a study to truly define the water/sewer infrastructure issue, he got that done, and it continues today. He wanted 7th Street re-opened and he got that done. He wanted to get all of the remaining laid off workers back to work and he got that done. He wanted to change the ordinance so that the citizens of Mt. Vernon could have their say in front of council and he got that done. Fulfilling all of your promises in 18 months, rather than 4 years is quite an accomplishment. While on this Council, Councilman Rippy has addressed the way bids are done, addressed all our outdated equipment, addressed all the dangerous and dilapidated properties in our city, helped guide the vision for repair and replacement of our water, our sewer, our storm water, our sidewalks, our streets, our lighting, the composition and structure of our work force, helped negotiate 6 union contracts, addressed housing issues within the City, assisted into bringing many of our ordinances into the 21st century, assisted with guiding the City through two major water crisis’s, oversaw increasing the safety and security in our neighborhoods, updating our parks, saving the park lake, and addressed the debt of this City. Most people don’t accomplish that much in an entire term in office, so Councilman Rippy, my hats off to you and I want to thank you for all you have done for this City and its citizens. It’s a job well done, and you and your family should be very proud.”
Council Member Jim Rippy replied that he was proud of accomplishing everything that he and Mayor Lewis ran on during the campaign. Rippy said that appointing Council Member Ray Botch to be the Chairman of the Public Utilities Committee was one of the wisest choices that the City Council made.
Council Member Mike Young wished Council Member Jim Rippy the very best going forward and he thanked him for his service to the community.
Council Member Ray Botch stated that Council Member Jim Rippy is a true legend in Mt. Vernon. He said that Rippy was the conscience of the Council by making things get done right. He was always looking out for the citizens. Botch said that Rippy is a true friend and he wishes him the best of luck in future years.
Council Member Donte Moore stated that the City has lost a great man when it comes to the business of Mt. Vernon.
Mayor John Lewis stated that having many friends in the audience, is a testament to Council Member Jim Rippy.
At 7:20 p.m., Council Member Donte Moore motioned to recess the City Council Meeting. Seconded by Council Member Ray Botch. Yeas: Botch, Moore, Rippy, Young, and Lewis.
RECOMMENCEMENT OF CITY COUNCIL MEETING
At 7:45 p.m., Council Member Mike Young motioned to reconvene the City Council Meeting. Seconded by Council Member Donte Moore. Yeas: Botch, Moore, Young, and Lewis.
APPOINTMENT AND SWEARING IN OF NEW CITY COUNCIL MEMBER
Mayor John Lewis presented Joseph Gliosci to the City Council for their advice and consent for the appointment as the new City Council Member.
Mayor John Lewis read the following statement: “I want to explain a little about the process this Council went through on picking the replacement for Councilman Rippy. This process started 3 weeks ago today when Councilman Rippy informed us of his future plans. #1, we knew it was going to be difficult to fill his shoes and #2, we wanted to find someone that brought to the table the tools which we needed at this point in Mt. Vernon’s history to keep moving forward. We have over 60 projects going right now, we have a 55.5-million-dollar budget to manage, as well as numerous entities looking to make investments in our community. I don’t think people actually realize how much Mt. Vernon has going for it today, even with the business climate in the State today. We desperately needed someone who could hit the ground running. We wanted someone with a proven track record, a proven history of successes. We decided after much discussion that we did not want to bring anyone into this position to give them a “leg up” in the upcoming election, so we did not care if they would run or not run, just what expertise they could give us right now. We wanted to find someone that was committed and dedicated to this community and demonstrated that through being active within the community. This decision was a consensus arrived at by this whole Council after weeks of discussion. We looked at numerous suggestions that we received. In the end, we all agreed that Joe Gliosci was the person Mt. Vernon needed at this time. Former Councilman Jeff May was such an asset to this City because of his vast knowledge of finances. Because of his expertise, this City had the tools and guidance it needed to embark on this difficult journey to fix the City’s financing and repair our infrastructure. Joe Gliosci brings those same tools to this Council Table for the citizens of Mt. Vernon. Joe came to Mt. Vernon in 2005 and from day 1 has been active in this community. Currently, he is Vice President of the Jefferson County Development Corporation and scheduled to take over as President for 2020- 2021, he is the Past President of Cedarhurst Administrative Counselors serving 8 years with 2 years remaining and has been a Rotarian since 2005. Previously, he was Past President of the Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation where he served 3 years total, Past President of the United Way of South Central Illinois where he served 6 years total, Past President of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce where he served 7 years total, Past Treasurer of the YMCA of Jefferson County where he served 3 years total, Past Treasurer of the Jefferson Marion Washington Community Development Corporation where he served over 5 years total and former District Manager of the Boy Scouts where he served 3 years. As to his work experience, Joe Gliosci was Market President of Old National Bank in Mt. Vernon for 3 years, Community Bank President of Peoples National Bank in Mt. Vernon for 6 years, and currently is the Illinois Regional President for Legence Bank for the last 3 years, responsible for 12 branches in Illinois. We believe Joe Gliosci is the right person for this job at this time and I think Mt. Vernon is blessed that he said yes when asked to serve.”
Motion by Council Member Ray Botch to appoint Joseph Gliosci to fill the vacant City Council Position. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Botch, Moore, Young, and Lewis.
City Clerk Mary Jo Pemberton swore Joseph Gliosci into office. Council Member Joe Gliosci took his place at the City Council table.
PRESENTATION OF JOURNALS
The Journals for the September 16, 2019 Regular City Council Meeting and the September 27, 2019 City Council Workshop Meeting were presented for approval.
Council Member Ray Botch motioned to approve the Journals as presented. Seconded by Council Member Donte Moore. Yeas: Botch, Gliosci, Moore, Young, and Lewis.
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 Ray Botch motioned to approve the Consolidated Vouchers for Accounts Payable in the amount of $1,860,587.39. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Botch, Gliosci, Moore, Young, and Lewis.
BIDS AND QUOTES
City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel presented the bid results for the resurfacing of 12th Street and the replacement of a box culvert at Forest Avenue. Bechtel explained that the funding for the project comes from the part of the proceeds of the former Revolving Loan Funds. The State of Illinois allowed the City to apply for two grants to recoup the Revolving Loan Funds. The first grant was used for 24,000 linear feet of water line improvements and the second grant is for the resurfacing of 12th Street. Soon, the replacement of the 12th Street water line will begin. The Engineer’s estimate was $589,594.00. Two bids were received. Staff recommends awarding the project to the low bidder, Rooters Asphalt Company for $661,465.02. Bechtel reported that the amount over the estimate will come from the Quality of Life Fund.
Council Member Donte Moore motioned to award the project to the low bidder, Rooters Asphalt Company for $661,465.02. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Botch, Gliosci, Moore, Young, and Lewis.
City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel presented a Change Order for the Aquatic Zoo Concrete Project. Bevis Construction Inc. was awarded the bid on January 1, 2019 for $36,360.05 based on the drawings provided by FGM Architects, G1.0.0 and A0.01, FGM Job No. 19-2762.01. Assistant City Manager Nathan McKenna explained that when the City applied for the Aquatic Zoo’s annual permit, it was discovered that the State of Illinois requires pre-approved architect plans. Because of the amount of the proposed decking space, additional drainage was required.
Council Member Ray Botch motioned to approve the Change Order for the Aquatic Zoo Concrete Project. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Botch, Moore, Young, and Lewis. Abstain: Gliosci.
City Attorney David Leggans presented for First Reading an Ordinance Declaring Surplus Municipal Property. City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel explained that the property to be sold are thirty-nine (39) vehicles.
Council Member Donte Moore motioned to suspend the rules to vote on an Ordinance. Seconded by Council Member Ray Botch. Yeas: Botch, Gliosci, Moore, Young, and Lewis.
Council Member Donte Moore motioned to adopt Ordinance #2019-40, an Ordinance Declaring Surplus Municipal Property. Seconded by Council Member Mike Young. Yeas: Botch, Gliosci, Moore, Young, and Lewis.
City Attorney David Leggans presented for First Reading an Ordinance Amending Article 21, Section 21-124 “Definitions and Illustrations” and Article 21, Section 21-300 “Schedule of District Regulations”. This Ordinance amends the definition of “Automotive Services Station” and adds a definition for “Truck Stop”. City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel explained that previously a “Truck Stop” was not clearly defined and it sets conditions for a Conditional Use in Class B-3 Zones. First Reading was held.
Mayor John Lewis presented the September 2019 City Department Activity Summary.
“Fire Department” responded to 376 alarms and calls. The City Hall Station answered 192 alarms, the Airport Station answered 11 alarms, and the 42nd Street Station answered 173 alarms. Of the responses, 289 were recorded as EMS related, 14 of the responses were recorded as fire related, and 9 of the responses were recorded as hazard related. They responded to 3 structure fires, 6 rubbish fires, 1 vehicle fire, 6 trash fires, 15 motor vehicle crashes with injuries, 1 motor vehicle/pedestrian accident, 3 power lines down, 22 false alarms, and was requested and received 1 mutual aid and gave mutual aid on 2 calls. They also responded to 3 carbon monoxide incidents. The Fire Inspection Dept. performed 2 business site inspections, 5 consultations and 2 Plan Reviews. The Fire Prevention Division performed 7 public education events, 5 car seat installations, performed 2 school fire safety drills, and taught 1 fire extinguisher training class. This month, the National Fire Prevention Week is October 6- 12. The FD would like to remind our citizens to plan and practice a home fire escape plan. A home escape plan in the event of a home fire, can save valuable time and you or your loved one’s life. Also, be sure to have working smoke detectors and check them once a month.
“Engineering and Inspection Department” They conducted 75 10A inspections, out of 75 inspections, 67 properties received occupancy certificates. There have been 42 nuisance postings and approximately 16 were abated by the City. There were 2 properties condemned and there were 16 building permits totaling $1,017,653.
“Public Utilities Department (2 months Aug & Sept)” responded to 34 water breaks, repaired or replaced 76 services, processed 355 work orders, processed 272 JULIE locates, 41 water samples were collected, 1 hydrant was repaired, 35 site restorations, and had 126 red letter disconnects. On the sewer side, they responded to 19 service calls resulting in 13 backed-up sewer mains, 7 sewer mains repaired, 4 manholes were raised, conducted 5 grease trap inspections, had 3 new tap inspections, installed 240 foot of new sewer main, installed 2 new manholes and 18 routine sanitary and storm mains cleaned and or televised resulting in 4,330 linear feet of sanitary sewer main cleaned and 752 linear feet of sanitary sewer televised and spent 36 hours hydro digging.
Council Member Ray Botch welcomed Council Member Joe Gliosci to the City Council.
Council Member Ray Botch reported that the Cured in Place Pipe (CIPP) begins tomorrow on Lakeshore Drive.
VISITORS/CITIZENS REQUESTS/ADDRESSES FROM THE AUDIENCE
No comments were heard.
No Executive Session was held.
Council Member Mike Young motioned to adjourn. Seconded by Council Member Donte Moore. Yeas: Botch, Gliosci, Moore, Young, and Lewis.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:09 p.m.