South Central Reporter

South Central Reporter

Sunday, January 26, 2020

City of Centralia City Council met November 25

By Michael Abella | Jan 15, 2020

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City of Centralia City Council met Nov. 25.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

The City Council for Centralia, Illinois met on Monday, November 25, 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 Sauer, and Councilman Marshall

Absent: Councilman Smith

Staff Members Present: Dan Ramey, City Manager; Chief Greg Dodson, Police Department; Rose Aldag-McVey, Economic Development Director; Michelle Liggett, Finance Director; 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 Pastor Nancy Peebles.

AMENDMENTS AND/OR ADDITIONS TO AGENDA

None

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Matthew Patrick addressed the City Council in regards to requesting that tress in Laura Leake Park be relocated in order to have a t-ball and baseball field at the park for a league.

Vernell Burris addressed the Council in regards to requesting that Laura Leake Park be utilized for more sports such as t- ball and baseball. He also addressed the Council in regards to the two liquor licenses on the agenda. He stated that the Council should be striving to encourage new businesses and not denying businesses. He noted that there is free enterprise in the United States and it allows the businesses to determine if they fail or survive. He stated that there are two dilapidated buildings that are not occupied and he feels the Council should be encouraging businesses to open and come to Centralia. He stated that he feels that Illinois is not a business friendly state and the city is also not being business friendly. He asked the Council to move on the two items on the agenda to give these businesses a chance in Centralia.

Chief Dodson introduced both Lt. Jamie James and Sgt. Trent Timmons. He explained the promotion process and thanked the Police & Fire Commission as well. City Clerk Enke administered the Oath of Office to Police Lt. Jamie James and Sgt. Trent Timmons with many family, friends, and member of the department present.

CONSENT AGENDA

A Motion was made by Councilman Marshall and seconded by Councilman Jones to Approve Items 1 – 5 of the Consent Agenda.

1. Approval Of The Minutes Of The November 12, 2019 Council Meeting

2. Approval Of The Minutes Of The November 19, 2019 Work Session

3. Approval Of Payrolls And Vouchers In The Amount Of $ 773,476.20

4. A Resolution Setting Regular Meeting Dates For The Centralia City Council And Various Boards And Commissions For Calendar Year 2020

5. A Resolution to Declare Certain Water and Sewer Accounts Owed to the City as Uncollectible Accounts and to Authorize Closure of the Accounts

Ayes: Councilman Jones, 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

Councilman Sauer noted that this proposed ordinance would allow for the drilling of offset wells. City Manager Ramey stated that the attorney reviewed the ordinance. It was vague when referring to gas or oil wells and this amendment was necessary to state that either are permissible. The permits approval process has not changed which requires the wells to be approved by the City Manager and if denied the City Council could then review it. He noted that this ordinance is the same as it has been since 1963, it just clarifies the language. A motion was made by Councilman Sauer and seconded by Councilman Jones to Approve An Ordinance Amending The Centralia Municipal Code Chapter 15, Article II To Amend Section 15-48 Regarding The Issuance Standards For Oil Well Permits.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, 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 Jones and seconded by Councilman Marshall to Approve A Resolution Approving The Disbursement Of Funding Per Development Agreement From The Tax Increment Finance District #4 To Country Bob Inc. In The Amount Of $37,915.55.

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

Nays: None

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

City Manager Ramey noted that the FAA turns everything over to IDOT and the airport gets funds appropriated in addition to other grants. He stated that they require a 5 year plan and this plan that is proposed will be approximating $9 Million in improvements and the city will receive 90-95% in grant funds. The improvements include runway repairs and replacements in addition to several other things such as chemical containment. He stated that the City Council can make amendments to the 5 year plan, but there always has to be an approved 5 year plan in place to keep receiving the 90- 95% state and federal grants. A motion was made by Councilman Marshall and seconded by Councilman Jones to Approve A Resolution Approving the Submission of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to the Illinois Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics for Airport Improvement at the Centralia Municipal Airport for Fiscal Years 2021-2025.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, 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 Jones to Approve A Resolution Approving the Final Closeout of the MFT 2019 Expenditures.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, 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 Sauer to Approve A Resolution Approving An Agreement with Rhutasel & Associates Inc. to Perform Preliminary Engineering and Engineering Inspection Services for the 2020 Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) Street Maintenance Program.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, 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 will allow for the bid process for oil and chip materials as well as concrete for road repairs in the approximate amount of $113,000 from the MFT funds with 4-5 miles of oil and chipping to be completed in 2020. A motion was made by Councilman Jones and seconded by Councilman Marshall to Approve A Resolution for Maintenance of Streets and Highways by Municipality Under the Illinois Highway Code and Approval of Estimate of Maintenance Costs for the 2020 Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) Street Maintenance Program.

Ayes: Councilman Jones, 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 the liquor licenses have been tabled several times. Councilman Jones stated that it has been discussed in depth. A motion was made by Councilman Jones to Approve An Ordinance Amending The Centralia Municipal Code Regarding An Increase In The Number Of Class C Liquor Licenses. Councilman Sauer stated that it has been considered several times and the city doesn’t have a land use plan and the development plan is 12 years old. He stated that if there was a plan, it would make it easier to consider. He stated that it is not just simply the issuance of a liquor licenses but two new liquor licenses and he has concerns about what direction the community is taking if they go from 42 to 44 liquor licenses. He stated that he doesn’t like having more gambling. He stated that Centralia may be able to support an infinite number of liquor licenses but he would like to discourage the city from being that type of community. Councilman Marshall apologized for missing some of the meetings and discussion concerning the licenses due to family members being hospitalized. He stated that he is concerned about this particular liquor license effecting Schnucks. He stated that Walmart also has had potential to hurt businesses as well. He added that he is in support of the proposed Class E1 license on the other side of town, but does have concerns about this one. He stated that he doesn’t want to discourage someone from opening a business as Mr. Burris suggested but he questioned the City should limit the number of licenses. He expressed that he is concerned about the effects on the existing businesses. Councilman Sauer stated that he is concerned that there is no promise that the Broadway property owner would invest the amount he has stated. He suggested if there was some way to guarantee that he was going to do what he has proposed, he would be more favorable to approving it. He added that once the license is out there he can do what he wants. City Manager Ramey stated that he feels that he has proven what he will do since he has purchased and remodeled several businesses including a Roll N Up location that he has provided photos of. He stated that property purchase amount is approximately $250,000 which is half of what he has stated his investment will be. Councilman Sauer stated that the property is not worth that amount unless the liquor license goes with it. City Manager Ramey stated that there are pros and cons. He realizes the Council is taking this serious and respects their judgment and the decision that is made. He stated that the Council does need to keep this decision in mind when someone else asks for a license and it doesn’t meet the merit of this one when making the decision to increase or decrease licenses. He noted that years ago there were more licenses than currently available. He noted that recently a license was issued to Rosati’s. Councilman Sauer stated if a nice restaurant came to town he would be in favor of that. He noted that the photographs provided of the other establishments includes photos of stimulants and cigarette papers which makes it different than a restaurant establishment. Councilman Marshall stated that if someone wants to invest in Centralia he doesn’t want to discourage it but he doesn’t know where to stop the number of liquor licenses. Mayor Williams stated that he looks at the future of Centralia and he is aware of the effect on Schnucks, but also looks at the effects of Schnucks on the new business. Mayor Williams stated that this is the part of town that will be developing over the next several years. He stated that this location is an eyesore that could be enhanced to look much better. He stated that he is not the one to say if someone can or can’t drink or buy alcohol but he is the one that can say that he likes competition and new businesses. He stated that he looks at the growth of the city and development while questioning if the city is going to remain as it is or try to continue to move forward. He stated that this is an opportunity to move forward. He stated that it has been tabled and would hate to see it tabled it again. He noted that he fears that the owner could become discouraged and make his investment elsewhere. He added that he wants to avoid a negativity and instead encourage businesses to come to Centralia. Councilman Marshall stated that he need to consider the approval further and would like to table it. Councilman Sauer asked Attorney Gruenke if the item could continue to be tabled after the motion was made. He explained that the motion dies if it is does not get a second and could be tabled. He added that if it would get a second and is voted on but doesn’t pass, then it couldn’t be tabled. Due to the motion failing. Due to the motion failing due to a lack of second, a motion was made by Councilman Marshall and a 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 Sauer

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

Councilman Marshall stated that due to this building being vacant and located along the highway with few businesses on that side of the town he was in favor of it. Councilman Jones stated that he was in favor of this particular ordinance due to the specifications that the business has 500 sq. ft. of dining area and the specific percentage of sales. He added that this building will no longer be dilapidated due to the investment being made. A motion was made by Councilman Marshall and seconded by Councilman Jones to Approve 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 Sauer

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

REPORTS

City Clerk Enke noted that the cross connection surveys have been sent with all water bills and is available on the website to be completed for compliance with the EPA. She stated that the budget work session will be held on December the 4th at 5:30 and the public hearing will be on December 9th at 5:30 prior to the Council meeting. She also reminded residents that City Hall will be closed on Thursday and Friday in observance of Thanksgiving with trash service running one day behind on Friday and Saturday.

City Manager Ramey stated that he was pleased with the amount of time and consideration taken concerning the railroad realignment alternatives at the recent work session.

City Manager Ramey stated that while the Council does differ at times on some issues and acts independently, the Council and Economic Development Director have been proactive to attract new jobs and retain jobs. He noted the successful job fairs and the recent Intermountain Electronics grant. He stated that the city needs more skilled workers to fill jobs and also needs more residential areas. He stated that he is proud of the Council and the Industrial Commission for frequently reaching out the area businesses and working with them as well.

City Manager Ramey stated that next Wednesday the bids will be opened for the Meadow Woods road project. He stated that he was recently at the Rotary Luncheon where Greg Sutton, Jack Harting, Gary Gaetti and other baseball players involved in the project were also in attendance. He stated that it is great to see the project is moving along. He stated that this project will provide 100 jobs when it is complete and it will also bring visitors and new residents to Centralia.

City Manager Ramey discussed the Jolliff Bridge road project that was initially going to be a 2 1⁄2 year project. He stated that Former Mayor Ashby and himself met with IDOT and residents to address the road closure concerns approximately a year ago. Following the discussions they reduced the closure time to one year. He stated that he was recently at the site and the blacktop was completed. He stated the Jeff Schwartz was at the site and reported that weather permitting, it is possible that the road will be open on Friday the 29th which will beat the deadline and the estimated date. He praised Plocher Construction for their work. He stated that the closure has hurt business on that side of Centralia while the bridge was closed, but 2 1⁄2 years would have been devastating. He stated that he appreciated IDOT for working with the City and realizing that the City Council is working to encourage economic development. He stated that he will notify the press when the bridge is open.

Councilman Jones congratulated Lt. James and Sgt. Timmons for their advancement in the Police Department. He also commended the Fire Department for their work at the recent structure fires. He discussed the Railroad Realignment Work Session stating that he was thankful for the information and options made available that will help a decision be made that will save money and makes sense. He stated that hopefully they can move forward with some decisions on the project soon. He added that he is looking forward to the 161 bridge opening as well.

Councilman Marshall stated that he was appreciative of the Council being proactive and over the 8-9 years the City has been very productive without raising taxes. He stated that many communities surrounding Centralia are raising taxes. Councilman Marshall recognized a new attendee that was in attendance at the meeting. He also commented on his recent traffic citation stating more will be discussed about it in the future but he feels that there was a false report made.

Mayor Williams stated that he has received compliments commending the Police Department and the Chief after an incident near the library. He stated that more and more people are believing in the Police Department,

Mayor Williams stated that he looks forward to the 161 bridge reopening and discussed the decisions that will need to made regarding the railroad overpass following the work session. He stated that the Council does have to make tough decisions. He stated that he has found that they agree to disagree when they have different opinions but they are united while trying to move Centralia forward. He also recognized the new attendees at the meeting stating that it is important to get more young people involved in the community in order to move Centralia forward.

Mayor Williams addressed Mr. Patricks’ request for a t-ball field at Laura Leake Park. He stated that there are issues that puts the City of Centralia at jeopardy due to safety and liability concerns. He noted that due to the space available and the size requirements, the park will not safely allow for enough space. He noted that he has discussed this in the past with the City Manager and Parks and Recreation. He added that he would also like to see more progress at Laura Leake Park as well. He also discussed the location of the trees and the measurements of the area but stressed that safety was the main concern.

Mayor Williams also reported that they are getting closer to hiring a new City Manager. He reported that some things are being finalized and an announcement will be made as soon as possible.

ADJOURNMENT

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

Ayes: Councilman Jones, 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 7:05 p.m.

https://cityofcentralia.org/vertical/sites/%7BFC680FE7-BE5C-4903-A103-67AF5EF51655%7D/uploads/11-_November_25_2019.pdf

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City of Centralia Council