South Central Reporter

South Central Reporter

Sunday, January 26, 2020

City of Centralia City Council met November 12

By Michael Abella | Jan 16, 2020

Meeting8213

City of Centralia City Council met Nov. 12.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

The City Council for Centralia, Illinois met on Tuesday, November 12, 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; Chief Greg Dodson, Police Department; Rose Aldag-McVey, Economic Development Director; Michelle Liggett, Finance Director; Gayla Harting, Community Development Director; Kala Lambert, Assistant City Manager; Chief John Lynch, Fire Department; Jeff Schwartz, Public Works Director; 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 Elder Burns.

AMENDMENTS AND/OR ADDITIONS TO AGENDA

None

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Prior to the public participation, Mayor Williams reminded those that were addressing the City Council to be respectful and to address the Council and not the audience.

David Jack, a resident of Raccoon Lake, addressed the City Council concerning questions he had in regards to improvements to his property and the shoreline on the lake. He stated that Greg Queen was asked to come before the Council to address the concerns of the Raccoon Lake Association members at the last meeting but he had further questions personally that he wanted to ask. He stated that he has been a resident on Raccoon Lake for 6 years. He stated that he agreed that Raccoon Lake is a great asset to the city. He questioned what needs to be done in order to maintain the shoreline. He questioned if it is a personal responsibility or the responsibility of the City to maintain the shoreline. He stated that more shoreline is being lost each year and he estimates that 6-8 ft. has been lost in the past 6 years. He noted that the South shore is being eroded the most. He stated that this was brought by at last Raccoon Lake Association meeting and there were a lot of residents that were concerned. He stated that he has seen rip rap in some areas but he was not sure what the City is willing to do and what the residents are responsible for. He noted that some trees have also been lost due to erosion. He reiterated that it was a personal concern and he would like to be informed about what the lake residents need to do. He also noted that a couple years ago the lake water level was lowered the water levels to let the residents clean-up and he requested that the City plan ahead and inform residents of this in the future.

David Parker addressed the City Council in regards to his support of Councilman Marshall. He stated that the recent news and social media sources have clogged up the pipeline, it signifies nothing, and is interfering with things that need paid attention to. He stated that what occurred involving Councilman Marshall was a traffic infraction and not criminal. He noted that Councilman Marshall serves the community as a mentor and contributes to the community. Mr. Parker stated that he has no plans to run for public office in future. He stated that there are some known individuals on social media that personally attack, slander, and publish libel. He stated that he considers the incident to be racial and political noting that issues should be attacked instead of people.

Jerry Patton addressed the City Council, requesting that his business be reinstated as a towing company and the Ordinance on the agenda be changed back to the way it was previously.

City Clerk Enke administered the Oath of Office to Police Chief Greg Dodson. He spoke to the large crowd in attendance stating that he was thankful for the opportunity to serve. He also recognized those that he has worked with during his career and his predecessors as well.

CONSENT AGENDA

A Motion was made by Councilman Smith and seconded by Councilman Marshall to Approve Items 1 – 4 of the Consent Agenda.

1. Approval Of The Minutes Of The October 28, 2019 Council Meeting

2. Approval Of The Minutes Of The November 1, 2019 Council Meeting

3. Approval Of The Minutes Of The November 4, 2019 Council Meeting

4. Approval Of Payrolls And Vouchers In The Amount Of $1,078,306.79

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

None

ORDINANCES

City Manager Ramey stated that he was recommending the passage of the ordinance presented. He noted that approximately a year ago, it was brought to the attention of the former Mayor by other Centralia towing companies, that for the previous two years Central City was not allowing Centralia towing businesses to be called for a callout when services were needed in Central City. Central City had only allowed Jerry’s Towing to get all of the calls and the other businesses didn’t feel that it was fair that they couldn’t go into Central City for callouts but Jerry’s could come into Centralia. He stated that it was not based on the ability of Jerry’s Towing but he did agree with former Mayor Ashby that the Centralia businesses should be protected. He stated that there were comments made about it not being fair. He stated that the Centralia tow companies went two years without business from Central City callouts. He stated that it was the decision of Central City and they have the right to make their own decisions and protect their businesses. He added that since they made that decision, the City of Centralia reciprocated. He stated this is when the distance of the companies in the ordinance was changed a year ago to inside the city limits instead of within 3 miles. He stated that there have been requests from the Council and from Jerry Patton to put Jerry’s back on the list recently. He explained that the City accepts tow operator applications each January to begin the annual rotation list. He stated that after the most recent request he spoke to the new Central City Mayor, Ken Buchanan to discuss the issue. City Manager Ramey stated that he would agree to recommend this change to the Council if he had the assurance that Central City would no longer monopolize the towing services by only calling the Central City towing company. He stated that following the meeting, Mayor Buchanan wrote a letter. City Manager read the letter to the Council that stated that per their conversation, he has requested that the dispatchers use the Centralia rotation list for towing services when Central City Police request duty tows as well. He stated that Jerry Patton requested to be put back on the list in November, but he stated that the towing ordinance will allow him to apply in January when the Police Department takes applications for the list. He stated that it is plain to see that getting all the tows in Central City was a lot less than being off the list in Centralia, so he understands why Jerry Patton wanted to be put back on the list in Centralia. He stated that the City acted in good faith to protect their businesses and did not get into a political issue with the Village of Central City since it was their decision concerning who to allow to get their tow calls for over 2 years. Centralia’s restrictions were only for half of that time and it did cost Jerry’s towing some business and gained some the Centralia businesses additional business but it also cost the Centralia businesses due to them not being called out to tow in Central City for two years. He stated that the truth doesn’t always come out completely but if Central City plays nice, Centralia will play nice. He stated that after the discussion with the Mayor of Central City, he spoke to Jerry Patten and now is recommending that this ordinance be approved assuming that they will keep their word. A motion was made by Councilman Sauer and seconded by Councilman Smith to Approve An Ordinance Amending The Centralia Municipal Code regarding Chapter 13, Section 13-60, Subsection E (1), Regarding The Qualifications Of Towing Services Utilized By The Centralia Police Department.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, Councilman Marshall, and Mayor Williams Nays: None

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

City Manager Ramey stated that this property being discussed is West of the intersection of Locust and 4th St. He stated that in the past, the City obtained this property from the Centralia Foundation. He stated that this property is adjacent to Advantage Door who will be developing the business further in this area. He stated that this property has no use to the City and doesn’t disturb the roadway. He noted that some buildings were originally built on the Foundation’s property. He stated that the minimum bid amount is requested and the description of the purpose of the property must be included with the bid. A motion was made by Councilman Jones and seconded by Councilman Marshall to Approve An Ordinance Declaring Certain Real Estate As Surplus Property And Authorizing The City Manager To Solicit Bids For The Sale Of Surplus Real Estate – Approximately.048 Acres Adjacent To 326 S. Locust.

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 Sauer and seconded by Councilman Smith to Approve An Ordinance Waiving The Application Of Chapter 11, Section 11-160 Of The Centralia Municipal Code Regarding The Location Restrictions For Hawkers, Peddlers, And/Or Transient Vendors During A Public Event In The Downtown Area on December 6, 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.

RESOLUTIONS

Councilman Sauer thanked Alan Owen and expressed his appreciation for continuing the boat race event. A motion was made by Councilman Smith and seconded by Councilman Sauer to Approve A Resolution Authorizing The Use Of Raccoon Lake For Boat Races Hosted By The National Boat Racing Association And Alan Owen.

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 Smith and seconded by Councilman Jones to Approve A Resolution Approving the

Temporary Closure of Various City Streets for the Downtown Centralia Christmas Stroll on December 6, 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.

City Manager Ramey stated that this resolution for MFT is to increase the appropriation due to the rock material costs for the streets being a little higher than expected. A motion was made by Councilman Jones and seconded by Councilman Marshall to Approve A Resolution For Maintenance Under The Illinois Highway Code For The 2019 Motor Fuel Tax Street Maintenance 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 Smith and seconded by Councilman Jones 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.

City Manager Ramey stated that the City submitted an application for a grant in the amount of $480,000 for Intermountain Electronics which included $450,000 for building improvements and $30,000 for legal and administrative costs. He stated that he was pleased that they are now asking for the agreement to be signed and they will also be asking for another agreement to be signed during the process to award the grant to Intermountain Electronics for $420,000. He stated that this is $30,000 less than requested, but this will be 18 jobs in the first year and 30-35 new jobs in the next 2-3 years at this facility. He stated that this agreement with the State is for the understanding that they will provide the final grant in the amount of $450,000 with $420,000 for Intermountain Electronics and $30,000 for the implementation costs. Councilman Sauer stated that this is a good opportuning for this Centralia business. A motion was made by Councilman Sauer and seconded by Councilman Jones to Approve A Resolution Accepting A Grant From The Illinois Department Of Commerce And Economic Opportunity.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, Councilman Marshall, and Mayor Williams Nays: None

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

City Manager Ramey stated that the City has sold all of the other leases on Raccoon Lake and this is the final one. He stated that a certified appraisal was received from the City. The lease agreement states that the site must be sold for at least 80% of the appraised value. He stated that this will allow for the City Manager to negotiate a price with the buyer noting that the others previously sold, were sold for 80% of the appraised value. He stated that it will be published and then brought back to the City Council for approval. A motion was made by Councilman Jones and seconded by Councilman Smith to Approve A Resolution Authorizing The Sale Of Surplus Real Estate Pursuant To 65ILCS 5/11- 76-4.1.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, Councilman Smith, Councilman Sauer, Councilman Marshall, and Mayor Williams Nays: None

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

City Manager Ramey stated that this agreement is similar to the previous two chief’s contracts.

A motion was made by Councilman Smith and seconded by Councilman Jones to Approve A Resolution Approving An Agreement With Greg Dodson Regarding His Employment As Chief Of Police.

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

Mayor Williams stated that this ordinance concerning new liquor licenses has been on the agenda three times for consideration and most recently for the reason of requesting more information. He stated that the additional information is included in the packet. He reviewed the information and photos provided from other businesses that are owned and have been remodeled by this gentleman. He stated that this is a winning situation due to the elimination of dilapidated buildings that will become vibrant tax paying entities. He added that competition is what the City is built on. A motion was made by Councilman Jones, the motion was not seconded concerning An Ordinance Amending The Centralia Municipal Code Regarding An Increase In The Number Of Class C Liquor Licenses And The Addition Of The E1 Class Of Liquor Licenses. Due to the motion failing, discussion continued by Councilman Marshall. He stated that he was not able to attend recent meetings due to medical appointments but he needed to put more thought and consideration into his final decision. He stated that he would like to table it. Mayor Williams stated that he has spent a lot of time with these individuals to make this plan right and beneficial to Centralia. He encouraged the Council to vote how they feel and realizes there is controversy about the number of licenses. He stated that this country is built on competition and he also sees it to be beneficial to improve the community and help with growth. He stated that the City has done a good job with housing but he believes that these properties will continue to be dilapidated properties and eyesores if the owners back out and the building remains empty. Councilman Jones stated that he agreed. Mayor Williams added that not approving this could lead to the City dealing with the demolition of the dilapidated property in 3-5 years and they would regret not taking the opportunity to improve the property. Councilman Marshall again asked for more time to consider it. He said this is a big decision, he doesn’t want to hinder businesses coming in to Centralia that will be investing this much money, but he also stated that he doesn’t want unlimited liquor licenses. A motion was made by Councilman Marshall and seconded by Councilman Jones to Table An Ordinance Amending The Centralia Municipal Code Regarding An Increase In The Number Of Class C Liquor Licenses.

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

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

Mayor Williams stated that this business is proposed in a building that will be remodeled at the South end of Centralia. He stated that it has been reviewed and changes have been requested that will benefit the City and improve the look of the property. He stated that the information has been provided concerning the improvements to be made and information about his other operations in Madison, Illinois. He stated that this was previously leased by other individuals that did have some issues but he now intends to operate the business and have multiple employees. City Manager Ramey stated that with this particular ordinance the revision includes that 51% of the sales has to be non-liquor and 500 ft. of the business had to be restaurant space. He stated that the improvements will be attractive compared to the dilapidated building that is there now. He stated that he agreed with former Mayor Ashby that liquor licenses should only be approved when it is for the betterment of Centralia. He stated that both of these places have been derelict properties. He added that it is an independent decision. He stated that is his recommendation to approve it since it is in the best interest of the City. He noted especially since the location on South 15th that will be providing convenience items for the residents and not just a derelict building when coming into town. A motion was made by Councilman Jones, the motion was not seconded concerning An Ordinance Amending The Centralia Municipal Code Regarding An Increase In The Number Of Class C Liquor Licenses And The Addition Of The E1 Class Of Liquor Licenses. Due to the motion failing, discussion continued by Councilman Marshall. Councilman Marshall asked if there was any consequence for tabling the ordinance. City Manager Ramey stated that the business owner already owns this property and will be putting an additional $250,000 into the renovations. He stated the other property owner is investing $750, 000 but he is not sure at what point either will decide to dissolve their plans. He stated that the owner of the proposed Broadway locations had bought and renovated a Roll N Up and also other closed Jumpin’ Jimmy’s locations in the past. A motion was made by Councilman Jones and seconded by Councilman Marshall to Table An Ordinance Amending The Centralia Municipal Code Regarding The Addition Of The E1 Class Of Liquor Licenses.

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

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

REPORTS

City Manager Ramey stated that he will be finalizing the IDOT Hickory St. bids to make sure the funds are budgeted. He stated that the numbers appear to be within what was budgeted for the City’s share. He stated that it is a state project that the City Council will not be awarding the bid. He stated that he anticipated the project to continue to be able to be done this spring.

City Manager Ramey stated that he was pleased with the crews work the roads after the recent winter weather. He also stated that the crews have begun leaf vacuuming as well. He stated that there have been discussions previously concerning when to start and stop leaf vaccuming and he stated that it never fails that it will be started too early or too late but he noted that with the City now handling the leaf vacuuming, there is much more flexibility than in the past. He added that if there is a need to continue collection longer they can vacuum 4-5 more days if needed. He stated that it is another benefit of the City handling the vacuuming. He reported that it seems to be going well.

City Manager Ramey stated he previously discussed the 22 year old sewer jet machine. He stated that about 11⁄2-2 years ago the transmission had went out and it had been repaired. He stated that the cost is $1.5M for a new machine. He stated that Jeff Schwartz has been looking at some units that were 5-7 years old that are still in good shape, but the cost is still approximately $200,000. He stated that he expects that the pumps will need replaced and some work on the tank will need done but hopefully it will hold up due to it being an expense that the City is not able to afford right now.

City Manager Ramey reported that he received a dozens of applications for the Chief of Police position from both inside and outside of the Police Department. He stated that many were good applications but Chief Dodson has lived here his whole life, he is vested in the City, and has been on the force for 21 years in addition to serving in Wamac and Central City. He stated that he was proud t be able to make his appointment.

City Manager Ramey responded to the public comments of David Jack. He stated that many know that when they want to do work on the City shoreline properties, adjacent to their own properties on the lakes, they just need to contact Jeff Schwartz in the Public Works Department in order to have Pat Stedelin review it and get permission first. He stated that this pertains to cutting trees or doing rip rap work. He stated that Greg Queen is aware of the policy. He stated there has been a lot of work at the dam on Raccoon Lake over the past few years. He stated that residents have been notified when the water was being lowered in the past. He stated that the association is made aware and it is published in the paper as it is scheduled in order to allow them to do work. He stated that they will continue to notify them when this is scheduled so they can plan ahead if they are wanting to do work. He stated that he does agree that the lake is one of the greatest assets of the City and they will continue to look at development and residential development around it.

City Manager Ramey responded to the public comments of David Parker and thanked him for his kind words. He stated that it has been an honor to work for the City. He stated that he doesn’t run from the decisions made, the decisions are based on merit, and sometimes the decisions don’t get the popularity votes. He stated that he has approximately 5-6 weeks left in his term as City Manager. He added that himself and Mr. Parker have not seen eye to eye sometimes but they don’t hold grudges.

Councilman Jones congratulated Chief Dodson, he stated that he will do a great job for the Police Department. He also stated that 3 new officers have graduated from the Academy. City Manager Ramey stated that they have started in the department but they will be riding with other officers for a while. He noted that these officers will take the department to 22 officers. He stated that the Police and Fire Commission are working on the background investigations of 2 new hires which will take the department to 24.

Councilman Smith congratulated Chief Dodson and welcomed the new officers as well. He also welcomed Jerry’s towing back to towing in the City. He also commended Mike and Judy Sutherland for their continued work on the Veterans Day Celebration honoring 19 veterans.

Councilman Sauer and Councilman Marshall also congratulated Chief Dodson. Councilman Marshall stated that he is intelligent and has a strong background in investigations.

Mayor Williams thanked Elder Burns for offering a prayer at the beginning of the meeting. He thanked David Parker for addressing the Council. He also congratulated Chief Dodson and the Officers that have recently graduated from the Academy. He also acknowledged Bryan Kuder, who was in attendance following a recent heart attack, stating that he was happy to see him up and around and wished him the best. He welcomed and congratulated Jerry’s Towing back as well as a tow company. Mayor Williams congratulated the Orphan Annies Volleyball team that did a great job representing the City of Centralia and stated that their accomplishments were well deserved.

Mayor Williams stated that the City Manager search is continuing to move forward and hopefully in the next few weeks more updates can be provided.

ADJOURNMENT

A motion was made by Councilman Jones and seconded by Councilman Smith to Adjourn the meeting to closed session under 5ILCS 120/2(C)(1) The appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity, under 5ILCS 120/2(C)(2) Collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees, and 5ILCS 120/2(C)(11) Litigation, when an action against, affecting or on behalf of the particular public body has been filed and is pending before a court or administrative tribunal, or when the public body finds that an action is probable or imminent.

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 7:11 p.m.

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City of Centralia Council