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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

City of Murphysboro City Council met June 25

By Michael Abella | Jul 9, 2019


City of Murphysboro City Council met June 25.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

Public Hearing: Public hearing was opened at 5:55 p.m. for public comment on the consideration of Annexation of Property. Attorney Blake stated the purpose of the Public Hearing was for the consideration of annexation of the property of Helen Krueger located between the park district and the waste water treatment plant. It is a standard agreement but is unique in that she uses a private sewage system. It would be difficult to hook into the city sewer so the city has agreed to her retaining her private sewer system. Mayor Stephens added that in case of fire calls to the WWTP, this will bring it inside the city fire district. No public was present. Public Hearing was closed at 5:58 p.m.

Motion: To close the Public Hearing.

Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Erbes

Mayor called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

The Murphysboro, Illinois, City Council met in regular session, pursuant to its ordinances, on the 25th day of June, 2019. Mayor Stephens called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and invited Pastor Dean Akins to lead the council in prayer. Following the invocation, Mayor Stephens led the council in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Mayor Stephens then directed City Clerk Hunziker to call the roll. The roll was called with the following:

Present:Barb Hughes, Jance Curry-Witzman, Russell Brown, William Pierson, Gary McComb, John Erbes, Dan Bratton, Mike Bastien, W.J. Pittman

Absent:Gloria Campos

Mayor Stephens introduced Josh Gross, Director of the DuQuoin State Fair. Mr. Gross stated they have made some changes – revitalization, road improvements and upgrades to the Grand Stand. Explained they want to encourage people to attend so there will not be an entrance fee, just the parking fee.

Mayor Stephens introduced Mike Austin, from the Distinguished Alumni Association for the Murphysboro School District. Mr. Austin stated the Educational Foundation has two events every year: the Hall of Fame and the Academy of Distinguished Alumni. These are weekend events. He asked for nominations of someone they can recognize and honor. He also encouraged everyone to visit their website.

Mayor Stephens introduced Brett Yancy, new owner of the Full Speed Quik Lane, located next to Krogers at Jackson Square. Mr. Yancy stated that a lot of work has gone into opening his business, which he did himself. They are open Monday through Friday from 9 to 5 and Saturday from 10 to 5. Mr. Lee asked if he does diesel engines? Yes. Mr. Lee asked if he could do big trucks? Mr. Yancy stated if they will fit, he has 12’ doors.

The council then reviewed the minutes from the previous meeting.

Motion: To approve the minutes of the June 25, 2019, council meeting. All aldermen received a copy of the minutes, for their review, prior to the meeting.

Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Hughes

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Alderman McComb inquired as to:

#784 page 6 Mboro Lawn & Garden – double billed? Mr. Evans stated it is for 2 parks, Smysor Plaza and Town Center Park. Alderman McComb asked to hold it. Ms. Ripley stated it is based on the proposal, he doesn’t split it out. Alderman Hughes stated he sends one bill and Ms. Mulholland divides it in half. Alderman McComb stated he would like to see the contract. Mayor Stephens stated will put a copy in the next council packet. Alderman Bratton stated that Smysor always donates towards the cost. Mr. Evans stated the budget is $13,000 for Town Center Park and $4000 for Smysor Plaza.

Alderman Bratton inquired as to:

#784 page 2 Bill for old Shoe Factory – monthly payment? Annual interest payments, balance in ten years.

page 4 CPR training for the Fire Department? Police department.

page 5 Branding? Tourism, website design.

page 8 Home Depot – who purchased? Janitor. Has he checked with

Home Supply? Prices are very close.

Motion: To approve the accounts payable, register #784 through June 25, 2019.

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman Hughes

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

COMMITTEE/COMMISSION REPORTS

Alderman Pittman opened discussion for Budget & Finance related items.

Old Business: Nothing at this time.

New Business:

Presentation of Financial Reports by Scott Evans, Budget Officer: the Balance Sheet as of May 31, 2019, debt is a little less and equity is a little more. Timing issues can cause some dips but are to be expected. The Cash Report is looking good. The Sales Tax Report shows June as a decent month, on track for a decent outcome. Income tax shows a large disbursement for May, trending to exceed 2018. The budget shows most departments are under on budget spending. Alderman Bratton asked about actual versus budgeted? The budgeted amount is divided by 12 months then multiplied by 5 months for through May. Have a slight surplus at the moment. Salaries show most are in decent shape, still a little over in overtime for the Fire Department.

Consideration of Request for donation for Murphysboro Hometown Christmas events: Alderman Pittman stated they are requesting a $1000 donation. Alderman Bratton asked if that should be tourism? Mayor Stephens stated they requested from us and tourism. Mr. Evans stated we have budgeted for civic celebrations, $10,000 this year. Only have spent $2500 so far.

Motion: To approve $1000 donation for the Murphysboro Hometown Christmas events.

Motion by Alderman McCombSecond by Alderman Bastien

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

No public comment.

Alderman McComb opened discussion for Building & Grounds related items.

Old Business: Nothing at this time.

New Business:

Consideration of replacing the glass doors on the North side of the Sr. citizens Center: Alderman McComb stated the doors on the north side and the frame are shot. It will cost $2750 to have the whole thing replaced. Mayor Stephens asked if they will split it with us? Alderman McComb stated he is sure they will. Mr. Evans stated this will be the balance of the budgeted amount.

Motion: To split the $2750 cost to replace the glass doors and frame on the north side of the Sr. Citizens Center with the Sr. Citizens Board.

Motion by Alderman Bratton Second by Alderman McComb

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

No public comment.

Alderman Erbes opened discussion for Community Relations Committee related items.

Old Business:

Discussion regarding Noise Ordinance: Alderman Erbes stated it is already pretty comprehensive. Alderman Pierson stated ours is already pretty strict. Leave the Ordinance like it is, need to discuss the beer garden aspect. Need to enclose the beer garden with something other than a chain link fence, with an eight-foot high fence. If 10:00 is the noise ordinance, need to enforce it. Brews Brothers is outside on the sidewalk and street. Seems could enclose to bring the noise down. Would consider leaving it like it is. Chief McBride stated would need the required number of exits and be properly marked. Alderman Bratton stated he would like to see the information first. Find out if a wooden fence would make it quieter. Need to get the facts first. Alderman Erbes stated he does not see how it is practical, 75 feet or 100 feet. Alderman Pittman stated are picking and choosing who to enforce it against. Resident/neighbor stated she thinks it is only 20 feet to her mother’s apartment. Mayor Stephens asked if there is a compromise? Or just cease. Resident asked if they could do something differently, it is going right into her mother’s house. The loud noise is too much. Mayor Stephens stated he does not think it needs to be changed, keep at 10:00 p.m., exceptions to be voted on. Maybe a Beer Garden Ordinance that requires an opaque fence around it might help knock down some noise. Stick to 10:00 p.m. for that location, have to balance quality of life and a businesses’ right to operate. Alderman Bratton stated if you do one, need to do all. Mayor Stephens stated he disagrees, need to look at the individual situations. No complaints regarding Brews Brothers. Alderman McComb stated a fence is not going to do any good, she lives above the garage. Stated there is a fence at the Corner Tavern, Mayor can you still hear it? Mayor Stephens answered yes. When I bought my house, the Corner Tavern was there. River Rats is new to the neighborhood. Live within the Ordinance, not give any more variances. Chief Ellermeyer stated amplification also needs to be taken into consideration. Alderman McComb stated treat all the same. Can’t ask one business to stop if the rest are allowed to do it. Brews Brothers and Cumares are out on the sidewalks. Alderman Erbes asked if Brews Brothers go past 10:00 p.m.? No.

New Business:

Consideration of Request to block off a portion of Buena Vista Drive on July 4th: Alderman Erbes stated a map has been provided. Ms. Ripley stated has spoken to dispatch, won’t block any driveways. Alderman McComb asked if we will charge them? Ms. Ripley stated no, we do not charge for that. Alderman Erbes asked if there is a time frame? Ms. Ripley stated no, just the date. Alderman Bratton stated need to let the Fire and Police Departments know. Mayor Stephens stated he will ask and let them know.

Motion: To approve the request to block off a portion of Buena Vista Drive on July 4th.

Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Pittman

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Public comment: Alderman Bratton stated last year when the Berean Church had their movie night we sprayed for mosquitoes, can we do this again this year? Mayor Stephens stated we do it on Thursdays. Mr. Lee stated he will let Mr. Mills know. Alderman Erbes stated it probably violates the outdoor noise Ordinance. Alderman Pittman stated the Ordinance affects everyone, not just businesses.

Alderman Bastien opened discussion for Public Improvement related items.

Old business:

Discussion regarding the condition of various properties: Alderman Bastien stated:

1.Old Depot: no movement.

2.Laclede: asked Chief McBride if he has heard back, Chief McBride stated he has a copy of the engineering plan but has not heard back. Alderman Erbes stated it is private property, if there are no violations, can it be removed from the list? Alderman McComb stated he would like the Code and Fire Departments to inspect it. Alderman Pittman stated Mr. Bost said he is not going to respond unless legally required to. Alderman Bratton stated send a letter that the Fire Department will respond but will not go in. Chief McBride stated to not send a letter.

Motion: To remove the Laclede Building off the agenda.

Motion by Alderman Erbes Second by Alderman Hughes

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor except Alderman Bratton, Alderman McComb and Alderman Bastien who voted no.

Motion Carried

3.North 17th Street: Mr. Kennedy stated the owner is still working on it, going through inventory.

4.South 14th Street: Alderman Hughes stated he is on his third dumpster. Alderman Bratton stated he spoke to Mr. Schaldemose, who said the dumpster company said it is too muddy to get the dumpster out. Mr. Schaldemose stated he could hook up a chain. Alderman Hughes asked if that is all of it? Alderman Bratton answered no, still has more. Mr. Kennedy stated it all has to come out. Alderman McComb stated if you talk to Mr. Schaldemose tell him Mr. Clover would probably take the blocks. Alderman Bratton stated he will call him and let him know.

5.North 19th Street (former Cox Trucking): Alderman Pierson stated it has turned into a junk yard, has a fence around it, have an ordinance that it must be enclosed and can’t see in? Mr. Kennedy stated he has one side done. Alderman Pierson stated there is nothing done out there, and there are two trucks outside the fence. Mr. Kennedy stated that is not what I said, said he has put that black paper stuff along the south fence and said he would do the west side. Alderman Pierson stated he hasn’t, why don’t we make him do it. Mr. Kennedy stated tell me to do it and I will. But if I am going to do him I’m going to do everyone else. Alderman Pierson stated that’s what our ordinance says, let’s do them all, why do we have these things if we’re not going to enforce them. There are also two trucks sitting outside the gate. Mr. Kennedy responded he will do it tomorrow.

6.Jack’s Meat Market & Deli: Alderman McComb stated has had ample time. Alderman Bastien stated he has heard the insurance will cover the demo. Mr. Kennedy stated he still has to go through the state process due to asbestos. He has not received a permit yet. Mayor Stephens stated he texted me it would be down by June 20, keep on the agenda.

New business: Nothing at this time.

No public comment.

Alderman Bratton opened discussion for Public Works related items.

Old business:

Request for Handicap Parking Space at 324 Murphy Street: Alderman Hughes asked if this is the request from Barbara Zimmerman? Yes. Alderman Bratton stated the attorney drove by, there is a driveway behind the house. Mr. Kennedy stated the State told him to go to IDOT. Mayor Stephens asked does it allow where the door can open into traffic? Mr. Kennedy stated would have to cut back into the boulevard. Chief Ellermeyer stated there is a fire plug right there. Mayor Stephens stated it is a shame we can’t make an accommodation.

Motion: To not put in a handicapped parking space at 324 Murphy Street.

Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Erbes

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Discussion regarding 20th Street Roadway Paving: Mr. Sheffer stated taking bids on July 8 for the 20th street overlay project, will probably be mid-August at the earliest. The city chose not to overlay from Spruce to Walnut. Will have a good idea what it would take to do that once this is done. Alderman McComb asked if ET Simonds can come in and put in hot patch? Yes. What about the spot on south 20th Street? Will be on the punch list. Alderman Bratton asked if doing six feet wide, concrete will be six inches deep? Eight inches deep. Typically put in rebar every so many feet. Mayor Stephens asked is it temporary? Mr. Sheffer answered will be done with the second part. Mayor Stephens stated should keep it shut off until it is done, have not received any complaints as of yet. Alderman McComb stated keep it closed until completely finished. Mayor Stephens stated would be better for the city to keep it closed until it is done. Alderman Erbes stated will be some settling. Mr. Sheffer stated if the city keeps it blocked off it will save some money. Mr. Lee stated the current blockade is the city’s. Alderman Pittman asked about the timeframe? Probably mid-August. Mayor Stephens asked what would that save us? Mr. Sheffer stated approximately $8900. Alderman Bratton asked if he recommends temporary? Mr. Sheffer answered not sure they are going to overlay at that time. Alderman Bratton asked if the bid could be for alternates – blacktop or concrete? Alderman Pittman stated $36,000 under budget, $70,000 for overlay so half way there. Mr. Sheffer stated there may be a little more savings. Out for bid right now. Mayor Stephens asked leave it closed?

Motion: To leave South 20th Street closed until it is completely repaired.

Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Pittman

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

New business:

Consideration of Pay Estimate No. 1 for the 20th Street Sewer Replacement Project:

Motion: To approve Pay Estimate No. 1 for the 20th Street Sewer Replacement Project.

Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Erbes

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Discussion regarding Truck Usage on South 20th Street: Alderman McComb stated it will be a decent street when done, has the sewer line under it. Suggest they not get on 20th Street from Walnut to Commercial/Shomaker. If going to go by weight, find out empty weight and have it less than that. Alderman Bratton asked if the truck is empty and it bounces will it still make it curl up? Yes. Should we bar them period? Yes. Attorney Blake stated the city has the authority to regulate that - operation by truck, commercial vehicle or weight limit. Has to be posted and reasonably related to a public purpose, water fulfills that. Alderman Pittman stated not by weight, go by type of vehicle or axles. Do not have a scale. Alderman McComb stated the garbage trucks might be overweight. Alderman Pittman stated that would be covered under commercial vehicles. Alderman Pierson stated maybe go by the number of wheels. Mayor Stephens asked if every street we improve the infrastructure on, are we going to ban trucks? Alderman Hughes asked if they turn on Shomaker, will that tear it up, too? Alderman Bastien stated it does not have as many stops. Alderman McComb stated there is no infrastructure there. Alderman Pittman asked Chief Ellermeyer if he has a preference? Chief Ellermeyer stated weight would be difficult, go by the number of axles. Mayor Stephens asked if a semi has five axles? Yes. Alderman Pittman stated banning commercial vehicles would prohibit someone like a landscaper who pulls a trailer. Mr. Sheffer stated could put concrete at the stop signs like Chester, they have a lot of truck traffic. Alderman Pittman stated it is a truck route through town. Mayor Stephens asked if prohibiting 5 axles off South 20th Street the best way to define it? Attorney Blake answered yes. Alderman McComb stated trying to save the street. Chief Ellermeyer asked what about deliveries like to the Elks? Alderman Bratton asked Chief Ellermeyer to check into that.

Consideration of Purchase of concrete Saw with Monies from Surplus Items: Alderman Bratton stated the Street and Water Departments will split the cost out of the surplus monies.

Motion: To approve the purchase of the concrete saw to be paid with monies from sale of surplus items.

Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Erbes

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Mr. Lee stated he will take care of it tomorrow.

Mr. Sheffer stated the manholes tied into are in bad shape. Mr. Lee added that they are red brick and are hard to do. There is a company that puts liners in. Mr. Sheffer stated it would cost approximately $25,000 to do all three manholes. Alderman Bratton suggested budgeting for and doing so many a year.

Public comment:

Mayor Stephens recognized Mr. Reginald Jordan. Mr. Jordan stated he has purchased a house on the corner of 9th and Maple Streets and has a problem with the city ordinance gentleman. He came to the property, saw a piece of mold on the ceiling. Mr. Jordan stated he respects everyone but the gentleman was a little tough on his wife. He stated he has tried to call Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Kennedy has never tried to call him. (Mr. Kennedy stated he did try to contact him.) Mr. Jordan stated he went to the code office today and was then directed to a different building. Stated he called the Mayor and he called him back. Stated he does not know why you were avoiding me. Mayor Stephens asked what is the issue and to address his remarks to the council. Mr. Jordan stated Mr. Kennedy stated no utilities, no water, should be torn down. He called but has not received an itemized list. How can he make repairs if there is no list? Mayor Stephens asked him where he is residing now? Mr. Jordan stated he works out of town all week. Mayor Stephens stated he will meet with Mr. Kennedy tomorrow and get back with Mr. Jordan to try to resolve the issue. Alderman Hughes asked if he is currently living there? Mr. Jordan stated no, due to Mr. Kennedy. Would appreciate them responding promptly. Alderman Bratton asked if the mayor has a good phone number to contact you? Mr. Jordan answered yes, just wants to be in his own place.

Alderman Brown opened discussion for Public Safety related items.

Old business:

Consideration of Request for Street Light at 421 Murphy Street: Alderman Russell checked on this and there are three lights on the street and one in front of the house. Chief Ellermeyer checked all around the area and this area is more lit due to yard lights, there is some darkness due to trees.

Motion: To not approve the request for a street light at 421 Murphy Street.

Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Bratton

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

New business: Nothing at this time.

No public comment.

Alderman Hughes opened discussion for Personnel related items.

Old business: Nothing at this time.

New business: Nothing at this time.

Public comment:

Alderman Hughes asked if we had heard from Mr. Ferguson regarding the contract negotiations? Mayor Stephens answered the negotiating meeting has been rescheduled for July 2 at 5:30 p.m. Alderman Hughes stated she did not know the original meeting had been cancelled, does not want to pay the lawyer for a cancelled meeting. Mayor Stephens apologized, stated he will do better in the future.

Alderman Pittman asked if we have a job description for the part-time grant writer and has it been put out? Ms. Ripley stated that the job description is done but has not advertised it yet. Mayor Stephens stated that the Fire Chief has accessed some grant money and the city has received $60,000 to upgrade the awnings uptown. Alderman Hughes stated a grant writer is something we could use. Would like to see the job description and see if we want to pursue it, asked that it be added to the agenda.

MAYOR’S REPORT

Consideration of Ordinance authorizing execution of annexation agreement with Helen Krueger:

Motion: To authorize the execution of the annexation agreement with Helen Krueger.

Motion by Alderman Pittman Second by Alderman Erbes

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Consideration of Ordinance annexing the Helen Krueger property:

Motion: To authorize the Ordinance annexing the Helen Krueger property.

Motion by Alderman McCombSecond by Alderman Bratton

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Update of flooding issue and legal action: Attorney Blake stated that Attorney

Heller had sent the letter to Mr. Ruble, requesting access to determine what is needed. He heard back from Mr. Ruble’s attorney, Stephen Bost, that he would like to schedule a meeting to discuss/negotiate that.

ALDERMEN ANNOUNCEMENTS/REQUESTS

Barb Hughes Nothing

Jance Curry-Witzman Nothing

Russell Brown Nothing

William Pierson Nothing

Gary McCombHe would like a report on the number off warnings, verbal and number of tickets written on grass in the street – what he has been doing about it. Mayor Stephens stated you can’t necessarily tell who is mowing. Alderman McComb stated talk to the homeowner. Need to enforce it. It creates a problem with the storm sewer drains. Mayor Stephens stated he would like Ms. Bryant to provide a monthly report on code enforcement activity for the meetings. Mr. Kennedy asked do they have the right to get id’s to write a ticket? Chief Ellermeyer stated they do have the right to get an id.

John ErbesNothing

Dan BrattonThe main street sidewalks are being abused, stuff is out more than thirty inches. Spoke to Blain who said he saw it but it was only for one day.

Mike Bastien Nothing

Gloria Campos Absent

W. J. Pittman Nothing

DEPARTMENT HEAD ANNOUNCEMENTS/REQUESTS

Richard Blake Nothing

Sandra Ripley Nothing

Harold Sheffer Nothing

Steve McBrideHe has gotten some free government surplus: almost brand new

chairs for the council table, couple of diesel generators which will replace the gas-run generators that do not work, $3000 worth of digital cameras and some toner cartridges.

Jamie Ellermeyer Thanked Matt Duffy for his $1500 donation to the Police Department.

Scott Evans Nothing

Eric Kennedy Will hear the other side from me and Sgt. Smelter regarding Mr. Jordan.

Tim LeeSouth 20th Street sewer is done and flowing, will keep the signs up.

17th Street water tower has been cleaned and inspected. Mayor

Stephens stated that Mr. Lee and crew did a good job managing the water tower. Kincaid had a broken water main, is repaired and back on line Wednesday or Thursday. He has been nominated for Operator of the Year for the State. Was nominated by someone from the Illinois EPA.

Katharine Volle Nothing

Motion: To adjourn

Motion by Alderman McComb Second by Alderman Bratton

Mayor Stephens called for a voice vote. All were in favor.

Motion Carried

Meeting adjourned at 7:57 p.m.

http://www.murphysboro.com/government/administration/council_meetings/meeting_agendas_and_minutes.php

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