South Central Reporter

South Central Reporter

Monday, December 9, 2019

City of Centralia City Council met July 8

By Michael Abella | Aug 13, 2019

Meetingroom05

City of Centralia City Council met July 8.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

The City Council for Centralia, Illinois met on Monday, July 8, 2019, in the Council Chambers at Centralia City Hall. Mayor Williams called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL

Present: Mayor Williams, Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, and Councilman Marshall

Absent: None

Staff Members Present: Dan Ramey, City Manager; Doug Gruenke, City Attorney; Michelle Liggett, Finance Director; Chief Brian Atchison, Police Department; Rose Aldag- McVey, Economic Development Director; Kala Lambert, Assistant To The City Manager; Gayla Harting, Community Development Director; Jeff Schwartz, Public Works Director; Chief John Lynch, Fire Department; Bill Agee, City Treasurer; and Kim Enke, City Clerk

PRAYER & PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Mayor Williams led the Pledge of Allegiance and an opening prayer was offered by David Jack.

AMENDMENTS AND/OR ADDITIONS TO AGENDA

None

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Rebecca Beaupre, an intern at St. Mary’s Hospital, addressed the City Council to discuss the upcoming Health & Wellness Fun Fest at the Recreation Complex on July 18th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. She explained that they are planning health screenings and many events throughout the day for all ages. She encouraged all to attend.

James Powers addressed the City Council in regards to the City’s ordinances and his insurance claim that pertains to his property at 805 Arbor Lane. He stated that the insurance company has issued a check to him that the City is required to also endorse as part of the insurance claim he made following a fire at the residence. He stated that he has been waiting since April to get the check endorsed by the City and has received a letter from the City Manager regarding the requirement to complete the demolition. He stated that if it can’t be resolved, he will seek legal assistance.

Jennifer Price commended the Public Works Department for quickly clearing a tree that fell and blocked Lincoln Street recently. Mrs. Price also addressed the City Council in regards to bicycles being ridden on the sidewalks downtown in the B-2 zoning district per Section 22-18 of the Centralia Municipal Code. She stated that she has noticed more bicyclists on the sidewalks and noted how dangerous it was. She stated that some signs are posted downtown, but she requested that more signs be posted on the North side of Broadway Street to alert the bicyclists. She also addressed her concern of semi-trucks that are driving on streets such as Calumet and Lincoln. She stated that she knows that there are exceptions to the routes for deliveries that can be used, but requested that the truck route be published. She stated that she doesn’t know what the truck routes are and suspects that the out of town truck drivers also are not aware. She stated that the City has spent a lot of money on the roadways and the excess traffic may be damaging the roadways.

Connie Deadmond thanked the City Council and City Manager for their efforts to improve the roadways and continuing the demolition of derelict homes. She questioned why a search committee was formed to hire a new City Manager instead of the City Council deciding. She discussed the previous City Managers and stated that she hoped that the person that is hired is from Centralia as well. She discussed the residency of the members of the committee and negativity in the City.

CONSENT AGENDA

A Motion was made by Councilman Jones and seconded by Councilman Marshall to Approve Items 1-3 of the Consent Agenda.

1. Approval Of The Minutes Of The June 24, 2019 Council Meeting

2. Approval Of Payrolls And Vouchers In The Amount Of $ 545,558.77

3. An Ordinance Waiving The Application Of Section 20-125(B)(2) Of The Centralia Municipal Code And Approving A Request By The McKendree University Bass Fishing Team To Use Centralia Lake On September 14th And September 15th, 2019

Ayes: Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, Councilman Marshall, and Mayor Williams

Nays: None

A majority of the Council voting aye, the motion carried.

REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS

None

BIDS

A motion was made by Councilman Sauer and seconded by Councilman Marshall to Approve The Water Treatment Plant Chemical Bids For 2019-2020.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, Councilman Marshall, and Mayor Williams 

Nays: None

A majority of the Council voting aye, the motion carried

The opening of bids for surplus property was held by the City Clerk for 1518 S. Poplar and 330 Melrose.

The only bidder and high bidder for 1518 S. Poplar was Herman Rowcliff in the amount of $1,050.00. The only bidder and high bidder for 330 Melrose was Nicholas Heath in the amount of $3,000.00. The bids will be reviewed for approval at an upcoming meeting. Both bids were above the minimum bid amounts required. City Manager Ramey reviewed the conditions that were part of the bid requirements. The bidder for the property at 330 Melrose is required to build on the property and the bidder for the property at 1518 S. Poplar is required to demolish and remove the mobile home that is currently on the property.

ORDINANCES

City Manager Ramey noted that the surplus vehicle in the Police Department is a 2014 Police Car. A motion was made by Councilman Sauer and seconded by Councilman Marshall to Approve An Ordinance Declaring Certain Property To Be Surplus Property And Authorizing The Sale, Trade, Disposal, Or Donation, Thereof.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, Councilman Marshall, and Mayor Williams 

Nays: None

A majority of the Council voting aye, the motion carried

RESOLUTIONS

A motion was made by Councilman Marshall and seconded by Councilman Jones to Approve A Resolution Confirming Appointments Of Certain Individuals To Various Boards And Commissions Of The City Of Centralia.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, Councilman Marshall, and Mayor Williams 

Nays: None

A majority of the Council voting aye, the motion carried

A motion was made by Councilman Jones and seconded by Councilman Smith to Approve A Resolution Approving the Recommendation of the Community Development Department and the Centralia Code Enforcement Department Directing the Demolition or Repair of Certain Dangerous and Dilapidated Buildings.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, Councilman Marshall, and Mayor Williams 

Nays: None

A majority of the Council voting aye, the motion carried

Councilman Sauer requested that the Community Development Director, Gayla Harting, discuss the proposed IHDA grant as well as some of the past grants. She noted that this type of grant is part of the APP grant program. She stated that in round two the City received $50,000.00, in round three the City received $30,000.00, and the pending grant is for $33,400.00. She explained that the funds received are used for dumpster expenses during demolitions. Councilman Sauer commended her for writing the grants. A motion was made by Councilman Sauer and seconded by Councilman Smith to Approve A Resolution Accepting A Grant From The Illinois Housing Development Authority’s Abandoned Residential Property Municipal Relief Program.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, Councilman Marshall, and Mayor Williams 

Nays: None

A majority of the Council voting aye, the motion carried

A motion was made by Councilman Jones and seconded by Councilman Marshall to Approve A Resolution Approving An Agreement With Rhutasel & Associates Inc. To Perform Engineering Services For The South Locust Street Resurfacing Project.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, Councilman Marshall, and Mayor Williams 

Nays: None

A majority of the Council voting aye, the motion carried

Councilman Sauer stated that this façade grant is part of the downtown developments and improvements that have been taking place for several years that includes availability of up to 75% of the expenses for façade improvements. A motion was made by Councilman Sauer and seconded by Councilman Marshall to Approve A Resolution Approving A Forgivable Loan Agreement From TIF #3 To Dimond Bros. For Façade Awning Improvements At 201 S. Locust Street.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, Councilman Marshall, and Mayor Williams 

Nays: None

A majority of the Council voting aye, the motion carried

OTHER BUSINESS

None

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

None

REPORTS

City Manager Ramey commended the Veterans Affair Committee for their work to organize the annual 4th of July Parade that was a great success.

City Manager Ramey discussed the passing of Ray Hanenberger noting his contributions to the community and service to the City of Centralia on the pension board. He noted that a certificate was being sent to the family acknowledging his service.

City Manager Ramey stated that a drain was installed between the parking lot that the City owns and the Centralia Foundation’s parking lot across from the Carillon. He stated that the entire parking lot is going to be paved with blacktop and the Foundation is paying for the entire cost of the project.

City Manager Ramey stated that the brick walls of the City Hall parking lot will begin to be painted this coming week.

City Manager Ramey stated that the City submitted a $250,000.00 minority training grant to allow for more training at some facilities for minorities. He stated that they have not provided a date that they will announce the award, but expects to hear more about it soon.

City Manager Ramey stated that the Public Works Department will be pouring concrete around the swings at Fairview Park in order to install the handicap swings that were purchased last year and also add a covering. Also more concrete will be poured to enlarge the entrances of the dog park area. He stated that sidewalks will also be formed from the entrance of the dog park area to the canopy areas inside the play areas in order to alleviate the muddy conditions at the entrances.

City Manager Ramey stated that IDOT Engineer, Jon Schaller, submitted a letter to the City following a recent MFT audit. The review was conducted for the MFT calendar year 2017. The letter explained that the documentation review was done to determine compliance and the review found no discrepancies during the 2017 period.

City Manager Ramey discussed the red ribbons that had been placed throughout town by individuals after a recent shooting incident. He stated that someone had asked him if they could place the red ribbons around the City. He told the person making the request that they would need Council approval. They acknowledged the need for approval, but proceeded to place the ribbons without approval. He stated that now the banners and strips are becoming eyesores due to fading and falling down. He stated that he will be asking those that put them up to also take the time to remove them now. He stated that if they don’t remove them then the City will be removing them.

City Manager Ramey addressed Mrs. Price’s concerns during public participation. He stated that the garage that was struck by the tree she referred to will need to be condemned. He also discussed his concerns with motorized bicycles in addition to her concern of bicycles on the sidewalks downtown. He reported that he has asked the Chief of Police to discuss the motorized bike laws with the City Attorney. He stated that the motors on the bikes are similar to weed eater motors and they can move at higher rates of speed which are dangerous. He stated that he will have some signs placed in the areas of the sidewalk that Mrs. Price requested.

City Manager Ramey addressed the Ms. Deadmond’s concerns during public participation regarding the search committee. He explained that the Council is doing exactly what she is requesting. The committee is reviewing the resumes and selecting at least three applicants to be reviewed further and considered by the City Council. The City Council will see every resume, will complete the final selection, and be hiring the next City Manager not the committee. The search committee is narrowing down the candidates and providing extra help to the Council in order to review the applicants instead of a company being hired to do it. He stated that it is too premature to determine if the Council is going to require that they be from inside or outside of the city.

City Manager Ramey responded to Mr. Powers concerns during public participation. He recalled a previous conversation with Mr. Powers regarding the Broken Wings Foundation that involved the zoning of his property for use other than residential. Mr. Powers stated that the board of the foundation will be looking for property in other areas of Centralia and not this property on Arbor Lane. There was discussion about the process and steps that the City and Mr. Powers had taken to demolish his property following the fire at his property. The City Manager stated that a demolition permit was issued and signed by Mr. Powers that stated the entire home and foundation would be removed. The City Manager also stated that the City does not have the insurance check. Mr. Powers explained that he has the check, but it needs to be endorsed by the City. City Manager Ramey stated that the insurance company will typically give the insured the claim amount, but also may require the City sign the check due to knowing that the City could go back on the insurance company in some cases if they don’t ensure that the home is torn down. He stated that once the City signs the check, the City is also clearing the insurance company completely of any responsibility. City Manager Ramey stated that he had a conversation with Gayla Harting due to Mr. Powers deciding to make it a residential property again. He stated that he instructed her to assign the completion date and also not require him to tear it down entirely. He stated that by setting a deadline, he wanted to avoid a year passing and the owner still determining if he would or wouldn’t rebuild. He stated that if he doesn’t follow thru, the City would have to go to court. Mr. Powers stated that it wasn’t written in the contract that way. City Manager Ramey stated that he thought Mr. Powers was satisfied since that was his intentions. City Manager Ramey asked that Gayla explain the history of this issue. Gayla stated that it was a residence that had burned and needed demolished. She stated that the house wasn’t getting demolished so the City condemned the house and sent the legal paperwork. She stated that the insurance company contacted her to see if the demolition was complete. She told them that it was not and they told that they were going to hold $10,000 out of the insurance claim funds. She stated that approximately over year ago, a check was sent to the City for $10,000 but it was returned to the insurance company asking that they did not issue the City the check but they should contact the City once it was complete. The insurance company once again reached out to the City due to Mr. Powers contacting them stating the demolition was complete. The insurance agent stated that he would be sending the insurance check to Mr. Powers payable to both the City of Centralia and Mr. Powers and when it was complete the City could sign the check. She stated that the Code Enforcement Officer and she went to the property to inspect it and the demolition was not complete at that time. She stated that there was still a lot of debris from the fire, trees were down, and a partial section of the home was still on the foundation. She stated that they spoke to Mr. Powers and he stated that he was going to complete it. She stated that she went out another time and part of the foundation of the house and rotting flooring was still there. He stated at that time that he had changed his mind and would be rebuilding but he acknowledged that he signed the demolition application that stated it would be demolished to the ground. At that time he wanted to know if the City would consider doing anything different. She stated that is when she spoke to the City Manager and told Mr. Powers after the meeting that the City would work with him if he would go thru with the agreement. She stated that he told Gayla and the Code Officer that is what he wanted to do. She also noted that he mentioned a date that the work had to be completed per his insurance company. City Manager stated that he and the staff will continue to work with Mr. Powers. Mr. Powers stated that the way the agreement is written, the City has access to the property without informing him. City Manager Ramey stated that if he would agree to it and start working on the house the City would endorse the check. Mr. Powers stated that he has been working on the property recently. Mayor Williams suggested that the City Manager and Mr. Powers meet to discuss this further.

City Manager Ramey stated that he was happy to hear that the hospital is sponsoring the Health & Wellness Fun Fest once again this year. Councilman Jones asked if discounts would be offered for blood work or various screenings at the event and thanked Ms. Beaupre for organizing the event. Ms. Beaupre stated that they are currently finalizing the details of the specific screenings. She stated that there will be blood pressure screenings, lung cancer screenings, and other cancer screenings.

Councilman Jones noted the numerous demolitions that have been approved recently. He also noted the ways the City can improve businesses through the use of façade loans and other TIF incentives as available.

Councilman Smith thanked Calvin Lawson, Carleka Spann, and the other organizers of the recent Rock the Block event at Laura Leake Park. Mayor Williams asked Mr. Lawson to discuss the event. He reported that there were approximately 200 people that attended and it was very successful. He stated that there was informational booths and numerous activities. He stated that they also plan to hold the event again next year and thanked the Council for their support.

Councilman Smith also thanked Rebecca Beaupre for organizing the upcoming Heath & Wellness Fun Fest and for working as an intern in Centralia.

Councilman Smith stated that he has heard from various fishermen that there are no longer signs at the lake that state the length of fish that are able to be kept, noting that he thought it was 15 inches. He added that he wasn’t sure who to direct that concern to but the signs had been removed and wanted to share the concern of the fisherman.

Councilman Smith stated that there is a home at 17 Holiday Terrace that had burnt. He stated that it is not being maintained and the neighbors are concerned due to it becoming an eyesore. He requested that it be looked into further.

Councilman Smith thanked those that organized the 4th of July Parade, the veterans that participated and also thanked all past and present veterans for their service.

Councilman Smith also asked for an update from one of the members concerning the City Manager Search Committee progress.

Councilman Marshall also thanked Rebecca Beaupre for organizing the upcoming Heath & Wellness Fun Fest.

Councilman Marshall addressed the concern of Ms. Deadmond. He stated that by having a committee helping the Council with the City Manager Search, it brings the community closer to the process and get them involved.

Mayor Williams thanked Mr. Jack for offering the prayer at the beginning of the meeting and noted the positivity at the meeting.

Mayor Williams thanked Mr. Lawson for helping with the Rock the Block event that he attended. He thanked Rebecca Beaupre for the information about the Health & Wellness Fun Fest and noted that he will be attending that event as well.

Mayor Williams commended the Chief of Police and his department for their recent and ongoing efforts.

Mayor Williams stated that the City Manager Search Committee is moving forward with the selection process. He addressed the concerns of Ms. Deadmond by stating that the members were selected from with a variety of backgrounds. He added that each of the individuals are interested in the betterment of the City of Centralia and want the city to flourish. He stated that he understands that residents want a hometown person to be hired, but if the City has the opportunity to bring someone to Centralia that is the best candidate and will do the best job, then it should be that person.

ADJOURNMENT

A motion was made by Councilman Jones and seconded by Councilman Smith to Adjourn the meeting.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, Councilman Marshall, and Mayor Williams 

Nays: None

A majority of the Council voting aye, the motion carried, and the meeting was adjourned at 6:59 p.m.

https://cityofcentralia.org/vertical/sites/%7BFC680FE7-BE5C-4903-A103-67AF5EF51655%7D/uploads/07-_July_8_2019.pdf

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City of Centralia Council