The Olney City Council met on Monday, June 25, 2018 at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Olney City Hall, with Mayor Mark Lambird presiding.
A Request/Ordinance to vacate the North/South Alley between E. Cherry and E. North Avenue and South Grant and South Jasper streets was provided to the Council in a request letter from Stephen Cecil along with a map of the alley vacation.
Mr. Cecil had spoken to the property owners at 1025 E. Cherry Street a few months prior about his request and they had no objections at that point.
Councilwoman Henton requested that additional contact be made with the property owners at 1025 E. Cherry to hear their opinion and confirm whether or not they would want half of the alley.
Since easements were needed, the alley could be vacated at a cost of $0.15 per square foot, plus the cost of recording.
Councilwoman Henton moved to approve Ordinance 2018-35, pending appropriate feedback from the owners of 1025 E. Cherry street, Councilman Harrison seconded the motion and a majority affirmative voice vote was received.
Olney and Richland County Chamber of Commerce provided the Council with a Special Event Application for the 2018 Olney Bicycle Classic, a letter of request, a map of the proposed Olney Bicycle Classic area, a flyer to be taken to each downtown business, and a flyer for the Olney Bicycle Classic.
Because partial street closures of S. Whittle Avenue and Main Street were included with the request, the City Manager wanted the Council to give approval or denial.
Due to some safety concerns during the youth races, the Committee was requesting an additional block of Main Street to be closed for the event. This area would be near King’s Furniture. Chamber Director Amy Bissey-Murphy indicated that she had spoken to King’s Furniture, and they had given their blessings for the closure.
Councilwoman Fehrenbacher moved to approve the closures of the 100-300 blocks of E. Main Street and the 100 block of S. Whittle Avenue for the Olney Bicycle Classic, seconded by Councilman Harrison.
A majority affirmative voice vote was received.
The Council was provided with a proposed ordinance that would amend the description of a Class E liquor license in Sections 5.12.010 and 5.12.060 of the City of Olney Municipal Code. At the last City Council meeting, the Council decided to table a request for a liquor license from the Olney Bowling Center in order to make an amendment to the City Code in regards to license classifications.
Councilwoman Henton noticed that one portion of the ordinance referenced 50% of total non-alcohol purchases, with another portion of the ordinance referencing 75% of non-alcohol purchases. She felt that 50% would be appropriate in both places. Mayor Lambird agreed.
Councilwoman Henton moved to approve Ordinance 2018-36, with striking 75% from Section 2 and replacing with 50%, seconded by Councilman Harrison. A majority affirmative voice vote was received.
The Council was provided with a liquor license application from Olney Bowling Center, LLC. The topic was tabled from the prior Council meeting because an appropriate license class was needed.
Councilwoman Henton moved to approve 2018-37, increasing the Class E liquor licenses from zero to one, seconded by Councilwoman Fehrenbacher. A majority affirmative voice vote was received.
The Council was provided with a proposed ordinance that would address the payment of cable television franchise fees, and a copy of pages 348 and 349 of the IML 2018 Municipal Handbook. This item was also tabled from the last Council meeting. The Council would need to decide what annual service provider fee to set for the Telecommunications Management/NewWave Communications’ franchise fee.
Councilman McLaughlin asked what the City had been charging as a franchise fee. Mr. Barker replied that the City had been charging three percent, but could legally charge up to five percent.
Councilwoman Fehrenbacher asked how much a three percent fee generated. City Treasurer Guinn replied that about $44,000.00 per year was being received. Mrs. Guinn also believed that the City had never raised that fee.
Franchise fees for Telecommunications Management/NewWave Communications would be passed on to the consumer by the company. Councilwoman Henton noted that people using other providers such as Dish would not be paying the extra franchise fees. She was not in favor of raising the fee.
Councilman McLaughlin moved to approve Ordinance 2018-38, with a franchise fee of three percent, seconded by Councilwoman Henton. A majority affirmative voice vote was received.
The Council was provided with a proposed Prevailing Wage ordinance, a copy of the Prevailing Wage determination from the Illinois Department of Labor for Richland County for wages paid after September 1, 2017, and a copy of the prevailing wages for the oil and chip program which was approved by the Richland County Board at their June meeting.
The Illinois State statutes require municipalities to pass a Prevailing Wage ordinance during the month of June.
Councilman McLaughlin moved to approve Ordinance 2018-39, seconded by Councilwoman Henton. A majority affirmative voice vote was received.
The Council was provided with a bid tabulation for bids received for MFT Concrete and MFT Oil & Chip. The Council was also provided with an IDOT resolution that would approve the low bid for concrete.
Mr. Barker told the Council that at 10:00 a.m. on June 20, 2018, sealed bids were opened for the supply of concrete for miscellaneous construction to be paid with MFT funds. Schrey Systems, LLC., had bid $106.00 per square yard, and Doll’s, Inc., had bid $102.00 per square yard. It was recommended to accept the low bid from Doll’s, Inc.
Councilman McLaughlin moved to approve the IDOT resolution to accept the Doll’s, Inc., bid for MFT concrete at $102.00 per yard, seconded by Councilwoman Fehrenbacher. A majority affirmative voice vote was received.
The Council was provided with a bid tabulation for bids received for MFT Concrete and MFT Oil & Chip. The Council was also provided with an IDOT resolution that would approve the one bid received for MFT oil and chip.
Mr. Barker indicated that sealed bids for MFT oil and chip were also opened at 10:00 a.m. on June 20, 2018. One bid was received from the Mt. Carmel Stabilization Group in the amount of $96,875.30.
Councilwoman Fehrenbacher moved to approve the IDOT resolution to accept the Mt. Carmel Stabilization Group’s bid for MFT oil and chip in the total amount of $96,875.30, seconded by Councilman Harrison. A majority affirmative voice vote was received.
A discussion of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Funding for Sidewalk Construction Along Route 130 from North Avenue to Parker Street” Mr. Barker wanted to share some great news with the Council. On June 18, 2018, the City received notice that the grant application for installation of a sidewalk along Route 130 from North Avenue to Parker Street was approved. The amount of the grant was $704,921.00, with the City’s match estimated to be $78,325.00. The City’s TIF attorney indicated that TIF funds could be used for the match.
The sidewalk project would be a multi-year project with many regulations to be met in order to be in compliance with grant conditions. At some point, the Council would need to determine if the sidewalk should be placed on the west or east side of Route 130. Some considerations would include preliminary environmental assessments, elevations, signalization upgrades, and the existence of under and above ground utilities.
Once contractual terms were met, and the site determined, an environmental review with the State would be needed, and could take up to one year. The estimated bid letting/approval date would be August of 2021.
Mayor Lambird thanked everyone involved in submitting the grant application, and noted that he greatly appreciated the effort.
A resolution to Amend the 2018-2019 Fire Department Budget for a Grant from the Illinois State Fire Marshal” The Council was provided with a proposed resolution that would amend the 2018-2019 Fire Department budget for a grant received from the Illinois State Fire Marshal.
Fire Chief Hill told the Council that a grant had been awarded in the amount of $20,864.00 from the Illinois State Fire Marshal for the purchase of a gear extractor to wash and dry firefighter gear. Funds were also allocated for modifications that may be needed to the Fire Station. “Good job,” said Councilwoman Henton.
Councilman Harrison moved to approve 2018-R-47, seconded by Councilwoman Fehrenbacher. A majority affirmative voice vote was received.
Reports: Status Report - City Manager: The Council was provided with a Status Report from the City Manager. Mr. Barker reported that some extensive vandalism had occurred at the new rest rooms at Musgrove Park, near the Together We Play Park. He hoped that the restroom would be re-opened in time for the weekend.
Councilman McLaughlin thought he recalled that security cameras had been placed near the location. He wondered if those were operational. Mr. Barker confirmed, and added that they helped to identify the culprit. Councilman McLaughlin was pleased, noting that many people had put a tremendous amount of effort into placing that restroom and playground.
Mr. Barker continued that bid specifications were being drawn up for the cleaning of the Brentwood water tower. Bids were being sought for an articulating boom lift for the Park Department, roof work to City Hall, and a commercial ventilation hood and drones for the Fire Department.
Tourism Board Report: Councilwoman Henton stated that she had recently been interviewed about white squirrels for the Illinois Bicentennial.
Mayor Lambird told the Council that he had attended the most recent Route 50 Coalition meeting in Salem, Illinois, that had good representation. Funding had been received on the western side for the Lebanon, Illinois, bypass.
Mayor Lambird also congratulated the Olney Tigersharks for a successful invitational.
Public Comments/Presentations: Ronald Workman, 901 and 929 S. Baltimore Street, wished to speak with the Council. Mr. Workman indicated that he was very displeased with the condition of S. Baltimore Street. He utilizes a wheelchair from time to time, and the road has damaged the tires.
Mayor Lambird told Mr. Workman that the City would take a look at the roadway and follow up with him.
Mr. Workman continued that an area across the road from him had not been mowed yet this year. The same property had only been mowed twice in the prior year. He stated that he had spoken with the Utility Billing Clerk about the issue, and she had put in a work order for the weed complaint. Mr. Workman believed the property owner got around mowing by stating it was too wet to mow. Mayor Lambird was aware that bush hogs were different than regular mowers and may be part of the problem, depending on the type of growth on the property.
Mr. Workman then asked if he could get a demolition permit. City Clerk Sterchi told him to see City Hall during business hours to get an application. The fee for the permit would be $75.00.
From the audience, Dr. David Eckiss referenced minutes published in local newspapers. He observed some quite critical comments and “colorful” presentations made during the Public Comments/Presentations portion of some recent meetings. In jest, Dr. Eckiss asked if voicing such comments was a paid position, and if the City was accepting such applications.
Fire Chief Hill told the Council that since the last meeting, he had done more research on the topic of fireworks. The information he had referenced was outdated, but permitting would be the same. Because he was misinformed, he wanted to make the Council aware.
Resolution: Authorize Destruction of Closed Session Audio - The Council was provided with a proposed resolution to destroy closed session audio.
Councilman McLaughlin moved to approve 2018-R-48, seconded by Councilwoman Fehrenbacher. A majority affirmative voice vote was received.
12-B Resolution: Authorize Release of Closed Session Minutes - The Council was provided with a proposed resolution to release closed session minutes.
Councilwoman Henton moved to approve 2018-R-49, seconded by Councilwoman Fehrenbacher. A majority affirmative voice vote was received.
Mr. Barker told the Council that a meeting had been held with Illinois Rural Water out of Taylorville, Illinois. The company had come to talk about GIS systems to be used within public works. The Mayor and Councilwoman Fehrenbacher had also attended.
If the Council took action in the near future on the project, work could begin this fall. The project was a budgeted item.
Mayor Lambird added that a yearly membership fee would also be needed in the amount of $19.95 per user. The system would also not be integrated into the City’s current GIS. Councilwoman Henton hoped they could export a layer that could be used with the City’s GIS.
Councilman Harrison asked how close the GIS system would be able to go. Mr. Barker replied that the accuracy would go to subfoot. Maps could also be printed.
Councilwoman Fehrenbacher asked what type of work was taking place at the intersection of S. Whittle and E. North Avenues. Mr. Barker replied that concrete crosswalks were being installed.
Councilwoman Henton asked if the Street Department had a list of sidewalks they intended to replace throughout the year. Mr. Barker confirmed, but noted that other projects of greater importance often took priority.
Councilwman Fehrenbacher told the Council that she understood Mr. Workman’s complaint about S. Baltimore. She knew that workers going to and from Fehrenbacher Trailer Court used it often but past that, she was not sure how much S. Baltimore Street was utilized by the public.
Mr. Barker then told the Council that he had received a proposal from Preston Township Road Commissioner, Phil Kuenstler. Mr. Barker would be speaking with Mr. Kuenstler on potential cost sharing. Councilwoman Henton offered that the County could take over some of the roads. The Council, overall, had some concerns about maintenance of several of the roads near East Fork Lake. Councilman McLaughlin offered that perhaps the Council could write a formal letter stating its opinions about the conditions. Councilwoman Henton noted that the City was already maintaining Preston Township roads located at Vernor Lake. Councilwoman Fehrenbacher felt that it would not be wise to put City money towards township roads and not the City’s own poor ones.
The meeting adjourned at 8:07 p.m.
This article contains an update of the latest Olney City Council Meeting per minutes of Olney City Clerk, Kelsi Sterchi.
Olney City Council hears many requests at June meeting
The Olney City Council met on Monday, June 25, 2018 at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Olney City Hall, with Mayor Mark Lambird presiding.