Regular Meeting Minutes: April 8, 2020
A REGULARMEETING OF THE OGLESBY CITY COUNCIL WAS HELD ON
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2020 AT CITY HALL. THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER AT 7:00 P.M.
(The meeting was not open to the public, it was live-streamed on Facebook).
PRESENT: COMMISSIONERS ARGUBRIGHT, CULLINAN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, MAYOR RIVARA, ATTORNEY JIM ANDREONI AND CITY CLERK EITUTIS.
Commissioner Cullinan addresses the Council and advises that he has decided to close all city parks including the canoe landing for a minimum of two weeks or until further notice. Commissioner Lijewski states that she is favor of Commissioner Cullinan’s decision. Commissioner Lijewski questions where the pump house is located as people are fishing there. Commissioner Lijewski is told it is private property. A discussion is had amongst the Council in regards to their concerns. Chief Knoblauch asks if someone attempts to fish at the Vermillion River what is the City’s stance on the matter? Commissioner Cullinan said that he spoke with Bob Ghighi about posting signs around the area and if people violate that they could be fined. Commissioner Cullinan feels it is the safest route to follow the guidelines set by the Governor. Commissioner Cullinan said that it will be a minimum of two weeks. All council members are in favor of Commissioner Cullinan’s decision.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY LIJEWSKI, SECONDED BY CURRAN to approve the regular meeting minutes from March 16, 2020 and the special meeting minutes from March 17, 2020. AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLINAN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA. Lijewski noted that there should be a correction to the minutes in regards to minor corrections.
Public comments on agenda items only: A public comment that was emailed from Chris Miskrioveic was read by the Mayor in regards to a break in the use of water. Commissioner Curran addresses in that the City gives a break for commercial use and for pool use only at the current time. Commissioner Curran discusses the issue of installing a different type of meter.
Drew Merriman calls into the meeting and asks the council why they are not hiring a Police Chief from within the department. Drew Merriman asks for an explanation from each of the council members in regards to this decision. Commissioner Lijewski explains that a panel of three Chiefs from the area was formed, that six people were interviewed. Commissioner Lijewski did not do the interviews personally. Commissioner Lijewski states that the three Chiefs that did the interviews then ranked the candidates; with Scott Pavlock being the top-ranking candidate. The second candidate in rank was then approached about the Chief’s position and had also declined to accept the position. At that point, Commissioner Lijewski contacted the Illinois Chief’s Association and contacted them about their “line-backer” program. Commissioner Lijewski states that Chief Knoblauch was not involved in any of the process. Mayor Rivara agreed that this was the best way to go and that it removed all politics from the hiring process as well. Commissioner Argubright asks if any of the line backers were interviewed by the three Chiefs to which Commissioner Lijewski replies that they were not. Commissioner Lijewski did say that the Chief’s had favorable things to say about Mr. Hayse. Commissioner Lijewski likes that it is an interim program in regards to who will become the next permanent Chief as it allows for mentoring. Mayor Rivara stated that the idea is to bring the department together. Commissioner Argubright states that he is against bringing in someone from another area due to the COVID 19 outbreak. Commissioner Argubright feels it would be better to have someone local who is from and familiar with Oglesby. Commissioner Lijewski asked if Commissioner Argubright preferred someone local or with management experience? Commissioners Argubright and Lijewski discuss the management experience within the department with the current Officers. Commissioner Cullinan asks Commissioner Lijewski what the problems are within the department? Commissioner Cullinan feels problems should have been taken care of with a new Commissioner. Commissioner Lijewski she has made attempts to do so and that the majority of the department wants to put things behind them and move on. Commissioner Lijewski said it was her decision to open the interview process and make it less biased. Commissioner Cullinan asks what the new Chief’s duties were going to be? Will he be a working Chief? Commissioner Cullinan feels there should be two people on every shift; he also feels bringing in someone from the outside is giving the department a bad name. The Mayor responds that everyone that applied from Oglesby was interviewed. Commissioner Cullinan continues to question the Council about the hiring process within the police department and gives his opinion. Commissioner Curran states he doesn’t have a problem with how the process was handled. Commissioner Curran feels the Line-Backer program is a good one in that it may help identify the problems within the department that is qualified and can help find the “disconnect” within the department. Commissioner Lijewski said the line-backer will be here to mentor within the department. Mayor Rivara states that by bringing in someone with a different view it will hopefully identify what the issues are and will make the department the best it can be. Commissioner Cullinan states he was never told about the process. Commissioner Lijewski stated that she did notify the Council. Commissioner Curran feels it was a black eye for Oglesby that Commissioner Cullinan shared Scott Pavlock’s letter publicly. Commissioner Cullinan and Curran and discuss past events in regards to removals of current and past Chiefs.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY ARGUBRIGHT, SECONDED BY CURRAN to approve bills as presented AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLINAN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA.
Mary-Batty Jasper $100.00; BPC $ 213.15; Chamlin’s $ 2,145.00; Clegg-Perkins $ 5,543.08; Comcast Business $ 68.40; Connecting Point $ 1,367.93; Cops 4 Cancer $ 500.00; Core & Main $ 3,270.00; Dollar General $ 35.00; Fastenal $ 197.05; Charles Harloff $ 227.90; Hawkins, Inc $ 450.50; Holloway’s Portable Restrooms $ 240.00; Il Public risk Fund $ 4,480.00; IV Cellular $ ,1252.35; Il Valley Excavating $ 900.00; IVRD $ 5,865.00; Impact Network $ 26.99; IPMA-HR $ 292.00; JW Turf $ 784.38; John Deere Financial $ 263.95; John Senica Jr. $ 432.10; Kendrick Pest Control $ 185.00; Landcomp Landfill $ 556.18; Lavens, Burton $ 371.63; Menards $ 174.45; Nighthawk Total Control $ 1,728.00; Schweitzer Engineering $ 5,123.50; Springfield Electric Supply $ 456.96; Standard Life Insurance $ 816.20; Staples Credit Plan $ 330.41, TEST $ 36.00; USPS $ 711.62; USA Bluebook $ 169.81; Utility Equipment $ 168.00; Vickers Consulting Services $ 100.00; WEX Fleet $ 2,914.50 TOTALS $ 49,169.09
A MOTION WAS MADE BY LIJEWSKI, SECONDED BY CURRAN to approve the First Quarter 2020 building permits for $212,050. AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLINAN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY CURRAN, SECONDED BY ARGUBRIGHT to enter into closed session AT 7:38 P.M. for the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of a specific employee or legal counsel for the public body. Also, collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representative, or deliberation concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees ILCS120/2(c)(1). AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLINAN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA.
A MOTION TO GO BACK INTO OPEN SESSION WAS MADE AT 8:28 p.m. by LIJEWSKI, SECONDED BY CURRAN. AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLINAN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY LIJEWSKI, SECONDED BY CURRAN to approval the Mayoral nomination of interim Chief of Police, Doug Hayse. AYES: CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA. NAYS: ARGUBRIGHT ABSTAIN: CULLINAN
Commissioner Cullinan questions Commissioner Lijewski. Cullinan states that Lijewski feels no one within the department is qualified to which Commissioner Lijewski states that is false. Commissioner Lijewski states she feels the need to bring in someone from the outside to help mentor the Officers and that she does not feel they are incompetent but she hopes to build a stronger department. Commissioner Cullinan asks if he will a full time, working Chief. Commissioner Lijewski responds that he will. Commissioner Cullinan continues to gives his opinions about shift coverage. Commissioner Lijewski states that the new Chief will be responsible for several tasks. Commissioner Cullinan continues to ask rhetorical questions.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY LIJEWSKI, SECONDED BY CURRAN to approve Ordinance 1113-040820 appointing a Chief of Police. AYES: CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA NAYS: ARGUBRIGHT ABSTAIN: CULLINAN
A MOTION WAS MADE BY LIJEWSKI, SECONDED BY CURRAN to place on file Ordinance 1114-042020 establishing the salary & benefits of the interim Chief of Police. AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLINAN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA
A MOTION WAS MADE BY CURRAN, SECONDED BY ARGUBRIGHT to approve Ordinance 1108-040620 vacating a utility easement within the City of Oglesby. AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLIANN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA Mayor Rivara states the property is located on Clark Street.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY CURRAN, SECONDED BY ARGUBRIGHT to approve Ordinance 1109-040620 and Ordinance amending Section 13.04.320 fees and schedule of Chapter 13.04 electrical utility rules and policies of Title 13, public utilities of the Oglesby city code. AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLIANN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA
A MOTION WAS MADE BY LIJEWSKI, SECONDED BY CURRAN to approve Ordinance 1111-040620 amending TIF I extension Intergovernmental agreement between the City and Oglesby Elementary Schools. AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLIANN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA Attorney Andreoni states the agreement is being changed because the state changes the allocation formula. Attorney Herb Klein is called and asked to verify what Attorney Andreoni said. Attorney Klein confirms that. Commissioner Curran questions Exhibit A. Attorney Andreoni adds that the grade is in agreement with this proposed Ordinance.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY ARGUBRIGHT, SECONDED BY LIJEWSKI to extend the liquor license application to July 31, 2020. AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLIANN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA Mayor Rivara explains that Oglesby is following suit of the state.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY CURRAN, SECONDED BY LIJEWSKI to approve the extension of the water & sewer rate increase to go into effect on May 1, 2020. AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLIANN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA Commissioner Argubright asks if the lowering the rates can be done indefinitely. Commissioner Curran understands the significant revenue impact people are facing but also states that every month this is delayed is costing the city $60,000- $80,000 and if by pushing the rate increase out past June 1, 2020 the city can become ineligible for the Community Block Development Grant. Commissioner Argubright gives thoughts on what the unemployment rates may be. Mayor Rivara questions Commissioner Curran about the grant eligibility. Commissioner Curran wants the council to be aware of the revenue loss and eligibility issues. Commissioner Cullinan gives his thoughts on the current economic situation as well. Commissioner Curran states that most applicants do get approved for the grant.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY ARGUBRIGHT, SECONDED BY CURRAN to approve the request form the Oglesby Ambulance Association to sell tickets for the pork chop dinner between May 1, 2020 – June 1, 2020. AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLIANN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI (not door-to-door), RIVARA Mayor Rivara reads a letter from the Association. Commissioner Lijewski asks if there is another for the association to sell tickets? Mayor Rivara states the dinner will be postponed if necessary. Commissioner Lijewski does not feel that ban will be lifted by May 1, 2020 she also suggests having the dinner as a drive thru/carry out only. Commissioner’s discuss how tickets could be sold.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY CURRAN SECONDED BY ARGUBRIGHT to seek bids for the recoat and repainting of the west water tower. AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLIANN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA Commissioner Curran explains that due to the lead base paint currently on the water tower it is necessary to do so now. Commissioner Curran asks the council members to look at the design options. Commissioner Argubright asks for the figures if the project was not done now but Commissioner Curran doesn’t have an answer. Commissioner Curran said the project is estimated to be between $180,000-$240,000.
A discussion and determination was held in regards to the city of Oglesby participating in the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. Attorney Andreoni gives explanations about the grant and the application process. Specifically, that resolutions have to be adopted and hearings have to be held. The DCEO makes the determination. The money is sent to the city and then the city distributes the money to the business. Attorney Andreoni reads information in regards to the program. The applicant’s information becomes FOIA’able and available to the public. Commissioner Argubright states that there are several options available for business owners and encourages businesses to do their research. The Council asks for notification by April 15, 2020. Attorney Andreoni cites the tight timeline for the application process and paperwork necessary before a publication for public hearing can be done. Commission Curran has concerns about waiting to take any action. Attorney Andreoni suggests seeing what the response may be and states NCICG will not be helping with the process. Commissioner Curran, Lijewski and Argubright discuss their concerns. Attorney Andreoni reads the checklist from the DCEO.
Old Business: Commissioner Lijewski gives a summation about the TRIDENT performance. Commissioner Lijewski states that some of money from TRIDENT will be used to purchase a new vehicle.
Commissioner Lijewski discusses the $200,000 that was put into a money market and the rate of return. Commissioner Lijewski reads some APR’s from surrounding banks. Commissioner Argubright states that any interest earned goes back to the state.
Mayor Rivara notes that the city has purchased the Schmidt property which is located in TIF I and that it will need to be added to the city’s liability insurance. Mayor Rivara discusses the possibility of tearing the building down.
Public Comments: Drew Merriman calls in and states that he heard the city attorney to not cut the live feed during the council meeting and the live feed was cut and questions violating the Open Meetings Act. City Clerk Eitutis responds that the live feed was cut very briefly because part of the closed session could be heard. Drew Merriman asks why the volume couldn’t be turned down? City Clerk Eitutis responds that is not an option during a live feed. Drew Merriman asks why the council didn’t go downstairs? City Clerk Eitutis responds that there is not enough space to be six feet apart from one another. Eitutis states the Clerk’s office had the most space.
Argubright: reminds residents to not travel with ATV/UTVs on Columbia Street.
Lijewski: Fire department had 10 calls in March. A burn ban was established. It was brought to the attention from the Fire Chief due to the COVID 19 situation to which Mayor Rivara made the decision. The Police department received a donation of wipes, sanitizer and masks from Advantage Logistics and thanks Ray Gatza. The Ambulance department had 75 calls in March.
Curran: Street department will have chipping services from May 4-8, 2020. Water department: April 27, 2020 will be flushing hydrants and is expected to last 4 days. Electric department: a dumpster has been placed within the fence of the department for residents to bring their yard waste bags during specific days and times.
Cullinan: reminds of the park closings that were discussed at the beginning of the council meeting.
Mayor’s Report: reminds that city employees will be allowed to carry over any unused vacation tie due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Mayor Rivara reminds residents to abide by the drop off days and times for yard waste bags. Mayor Rivara notes that the city will exercise its rights to delay response to FOIA requests. Mayor Rivara encourages residents to continue to donate to the micro-pantry and thanks the residents and employees of Oglesby. Mayor Rivara reads an e-mail from Star Union Spirits in regards to them offering to donate 4 gallons of hand sanitizer.
A MOTION WAS MADE BY LIJEWSKI, SECONDED BY ARGUBRIGHT to adjourn the regular city council meeting. AYES: ARGUBRIGHT, CULLIANN, CURRAN, LIJEWSKI, RIVARA
Amy Eitutis, City Clerk