Braidwood City Council approves architectural guidelines for Shadow Lakes
Braidwood City Council met Tuesday, June 28.
The board of trustees provides oversight, guidance and governance for the city of Braidwood.
Here are the minutes as provided by Braidwood:
CITY OF BRAIDWOOD
City Council Regular Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Call to Order
Mayor Vehrs called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.
Pledge of Allegiance
Mayor Vehrs asked everyone in attendance to please stand for the pledge of allegiance.
Elected Officials present: Commissioner Hibler, Commissioner Hutton, Commissioner Smith, Commissioner Tessler and Mayor Vehrs were present.
Appointed officials present: City Attorney Bryan Kopman, Chief Nick Ficarello, City Administrator Don Labriola, City Engineer Mike Gingerich and City Clerk Sue Grygiel were present.
Bob Snedeker, addressed the city council regarding the Golf Outing on August 5th at Heritage Bluff in Channahon. This outing is to benefit Man In Recovery, an organization that both Dep. Chief Soucie and Chief Ficarello feel strongly about. All the holes for this outing have been sponsored. Bob said this is something the city needs, something positive, negatively has to be put to an end and this is a positive for Braidwood. Bob said he’s appreciative to be a part of it. Our union Local 150, Operating Engineers put together two foursomes together today, we have the Building Trades to sponsor a hole, we have BA’s coming from different districts. Bob said the mayor should be proud of this because he’s part of this also.
Public Comment opened and closed at 7:05pm.
Approval of Minutes
A motion was made by Comm. Tessler, seconded by Comm. Hutton to approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of June 14, 2016 as printed. Mayor asked for discussion. Motion approved 4 ayes, 0 nays (Tessler, Hutton, Hibler, Smith & Mayor Vehrs), 1 abstain (Comm. Smith)
REPORTS BY CITY OFFICIALS
Mayor Vehrs asked everyone to please check on their neighbors if they’re elderly during the heat waves that we’re having, stop in, and knock on the door to make sure they are ok. The Mayor said he knows there are some people in town that need assistance and we try to get out there to help them. If they don’t have air conditioning or it isn’t working, mayor asked to please contact the city and we will bring them here to city hall for the day or make arrangements where they can get into air conditioning for the day. Again make sure to check on your neighbors and the elderly.
The Mayor then addressed his agenda item, seeking a motion for the clerk to get a pay raise. The Mayor said he would like to entertain discussion with our commissioners and after discussion with each of them he would like to see this on the agenda for the next council meeting on July 12th. The Mayor said he would be available all day, during the day, any time to discuss this with the council members.
Don said he had nothing to report tonight. Don said we have all good things and by July 12th he will have a nice report for everyone I promise.
The clerk made mention to the council and everyone present about the Braidwood Fire Departments Community Blood Drive tomorrow, June 29th from 3:30-6:30 pm. They are calling it “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” meaning every donor will receive a coupon redeemable for a FREE Pint of Baskin Robbins Ice Cream. To reserve your preferred donation time call Braidwood Fire or sign up online at www.heartlandbc.org.
Mike Gingerich was here and had nothing to report.
Atty. Campbell addressing few things on the agenda tonight. The first is Resolution 16-16 Authorizing the Execution of a Letter of Understanding with IDOT. This has to do with their High Speed Rail Project coming through town. This is an Agreement that they have been reviewing also had the Engineers get involved to make sure that everything is on the up and up. Atty. Kopman said they find it to be in order and ask for a motion to approve.
Comm. Hutton made a motion to approve Resolution 16-16 Authorizing Execution of a Letter of Understanding with IDOT, seconded by Comm. Smith. Motion Approved with 5 ayes, 0 nays (Hutton, Smith, Hibler, Tessler & Mayor Vehrs).
Next up is Resolution 16-17 Authorizing Execution of a Contract for Construction and Maintenance of Railroad Crossing at Center St. This Agreement is quite a lengthy document that we expensed some time going over and also involving the Engineers. It’s interesting from the stand point of typically making these improvements, anything between the gates remains the responsibility of the railroad and anything outside the gates is the responsibility of the municipality. This particular agreement places the maintenance of the area between the gates on the city. Then what it does is when there is a maintenance requirement the railroad is going to come in, and so there is no disruption with the trains they’ll take care of that maintenance, they will bill IDOT, the state will pay them, and then the state will send the city a bill. Bryan said typically I would be here telling you not to do that, but what I don’t know at this point in time if that’s negotiable number one, and number two we don’t know what other communities up and down the rail line are doing. If this is the only agreement that they’re accepting I don’t know if we have any choice but to go forward with it. The other point to this is that there are requirements that have to be followed if any work is done near the railroad track, actually at the Center Street crossings, its specific guidelines they have attached. Any contractors or sub-contractor hired by the city would have to follow those guidelines, requirements and attorney just wanted to point those out to council for their information. Given the sensitivity of this time I would ask that the council make a motion to adopt Resolution 16-17 subject to Attorney and Engineer review, and comment or modification with the state as necessary. This will allow us time to talk with other communities to see what they have done.
Comm. Smith made a motion to approve Resolution 16-17 for the Construction & Maintenance at Railroad Crossing at Center St. subject to Engineering & Attorney review and modifications with state if necessary, seconded by Comm. Hutton. Mayor asked for discussion. Motion Approved with 5 ayes, 0 nays (Smith, Hutton, Hibler, Tessler & Mayor Vehrs).
Next up is Resolution 16-18 Indicating Compliance of Certain Architectural Guidelines for Shadow Lakes. We had some discussions that started up with Shadow Lakes several months ago, back in December actually, and got together with several representatives of Shadow Lakes. Over the years there have been a lot of misunderstandings between the city and Shadow Lakes as far as what was appropriate under the city’s zoning ordinances and what may not be appropriate. There was confusion because the architectural guidelines were saying things differently than our city ordinances were saying. Keep in mind that when Shadow Lakes came into the city they were granted special zoning, Planned Unit Development Zoning with R1 designation. As a result of sitting down and talking with them, Shadow Lakes and their board were very accommodating; they made many changes to their architectural guidelines. Atty. Kopman worked closely with the Zoning Chair Michelle Serena on this, worked with our Inspector Bob Malone, we checked with the Fire Department. Everyone is now in agreement from the city’s perspective that the architectural guidelines now written are in compliance with the zoning that’s in place for Shadow Lakes. So in order to give Shadow Lakes community some assurances we are asking for a resolution that simply states that their architectural guidelines as written in their most recent version that was adopted on June 18, 2016 by their board is in compliance with our zoning as it exists. Their guidelines allow their community members to go to their board and ask for a variance, if their board grants the variance that doesn’t mean a variance has been granted by the city’s ordinances. They still have to come to the city and seek the city’s variance if the variance is covered by the city ordinance.
Comm. Tessler made a motion to approve Resolution 16-18, Indicating Compliance of Certain Architectural Guidelines for Shadow Lakes, seconded by Comm. Hibler. Mayor asked for discussion. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Tessler, Hibler, Hutton, Smith & Mayor Vehrs).
Next is Resolution 16-19 Authorizing Execution of a Collection Services Agreement. Municipal Collections of America had previously given a presentation. They are a business that collects debts owed to municipalities and this would apply to ordinance violations or P-Tickets and non-payment of the same. MCA has an agreeable contract that provides that they will start the collection services and they charge 35% as their fees for the collection, 35% of the fine. Next item on the Agenda is Ordinance 16-08 that amends our city ordinances that allows for the fine to include the cost of collection. If the fine is $100 and you don’t pay MCA collects $135 and $35 goes to MCA which is all paid by the offender.
Comm. Tessler made a motion to approve Resolution 16-19, seconded by Comm. Hutton. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Tessler, Hutton, Hibler, Smith & Mayor Vehrs).
At this time Atty. Kopman asked the council for indication with respect to Municipal Collections of America on ways to proceed in terms of their effort to collect it. If we make this retroactive, any outstanding debt currently owed to the city under ordinance violation this additional fine can be applied to and MCA will go after them. The other would be if the council has a preference we can just make this a go forward thing and will only apply as tickets are written moving forward. MCA has assured us that if the council were to make it retroactive, the first thing they would do is send a letter at no charge to the city to each of the outstanding debtors, advising them of a grace period, the City of Braidwood has passed a new ordinance, thus collections can now be levied against you as part of the fine. The attorney asked the council their preference on how they want to handle this. Comm. Tessler said he would like it to be retroactive, Comm. Smith agreed the same as well as Comm. Hutton. Atty. Kopman will let them know the city has chosen the collection to be retroactive.
The last item is Ordinance 16-08, which Amends Chapter 58, Offenses of the City of Braidwood Code of Ordinances. Again this will allow the city to then collect the cost of collections are now in addition to the fine that is received on an ordinance violation. In order to collect this fine we need to amend the ordinance.
Comm. Tessler made a motion to approve Ordinance 16-08, Amending Chapter 58-Offenses, seconded by Comm. Hutton. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Tessler, Hutton, Hibler, Smith & Mayor Vehrs).
REPORTS BY CITY COMMISSIONERS
Accounts & Finances
Comm. Hibler made a motion that we pay the bills on our Check Register in the amount of $160,216.35, seconded by Comm. Hutton. Mayor asked for discussion. Motion approved with 5 ayes, 0 nays (Hibler, Hutton, Smith, Tessler & Mayor Vehrs).
Comm. Hibler made a motion to pay the Payroll Expenses due in the amount of $89,553.22 seconded by Comm. Smith. Mayor asked for discussion. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Hibler, Smith, Tessler, Hutton & Mayor Vehrs).
Streets & Public Improvements
Comm. Smith said things seem to go pretty good without him. His guys respected him enough got in there did what they had to do while he was gone. Fay told them what needed to be done and they worked together good and they are getting the work done. Fay thanked everyone for their support while he was out of town with his wife being sick.
Public Buildings & Property
Comm. Hutton advised they had three water main breaks today, really they were service breaks in the main. The commissioner then read his Plant and day to day Report working around town.
Public Health & Safety
Comm. Tessler gave a report that occurred on June 22nd in the 600 block of West Cermak. Braidwood Police and DEA executed a search warrant; one arrest was made for the possession of heroin with intent to deliver. They recovered nine bags of heroin and approximately 50 tablets of an unknown substance. The substance was sent to Illinois Crime Lab for identification. Comm. Tessler read the Chief’s Stats from 6/14-6/28/16, approximate calls for service 326, and again they are a busy department as usual. Tomorrow night they have another meeting for Eastcom that himself and the Chief will be attending and depending on the Administrator’s health he will be there as well. Hopefully next February our Agreement with WESCOM will be terminated and start with EASTCOM a few months after that, then hoping to save a larger sum of money after that.
Comm. Tessler then addressed his agenda item discussion of Michelle Soucie’s Contract. Michelle has done a great job for us and is an integral part of training and making the station run along with Nick. Station couldn’t run without her or Nick or any of them for that matter. Everyone plays their part substantially over there. Eric said he would like to have a 1yr. contract for Michelle again. I’m a believer in 1yr. contracts. This new contract will include a little bump up in the salary for her. Eric asked for the approval of a 1yr. contract be on the next agenda. Comm. Tessler said that after talking to the Chief it does fit into our budget, we are accommodating for it right now, so whether we approve the contract now or not approve the raise, it will be covered either way. Chief spoke at this time about Michelle Soucie’s increase. He said that she is currently on the low end spectrum of what a Deputy Chief makes for a department of this size. Chief said he feels it’s a fair raise, right around $2,500; her base salary would go up to $80,000. Eric said they are pretty well staffed now, may move some part time to full time, but the overtime is cut down dramatically, so that has helped with the expenses and we can make this work.
Comm. Tessler addressed his second agenda item the Chief’s pay increase. Eric said he couldn’t even count how many warrants they have done. He started doing them with Rich in the last couple of years and has gotten stronger with Chief Ficarello. Nick’s contacts are priceless. Thousands of dollars we’ve seized not only that but the drugs alone got them off the streets. Officer Altiery has saved about six lives so far. Nick is the key part, he gets everything rolling. When Eric first met the Chief, he told him prove me wrong and he voted against the Chief. He has proven me wrong thus far, he’s a very vital part to the progression.
Comm. Tessler made a motion to increase Chief Ficarello’s pay, seconded by Comm. Hibler. Atty. Kopman asked increase to what? Comm. Tessler said can we open for discussion and Mayor said yes. Eric asked does it have to be a number now or can we approve the motion and discuss it more? Eric said I can give the amount now; it’s going to $90,000. The administrator has provided him with information from other municipalities, in which he took that number, looked at our budget and again we can make it work. Roughly he will be the second most paid Chief in a 5-10 mile radius. Eric advised again this will be a 1 yr. deal and he feels the Chief is more than deserving of this increase for this year. Comm. Smith asked is the money in your budget for his increase? Comm. Tessler said they have budgeted for it. Eric also said that when he heard he was coming to us for $60,000 there would be a wage increase somewhere.
Comm. Tessler amended his motion to increase Chief Ficarello’s pay to $90,000, seconded by Comm. Hibler. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Tessler, Hibler, Hutton, Smith & Mayor Vehrs).
Planning & Zoning Board Report
No Zoning Board Report.
No Executive Session requested.
Comm. Tessler asked Fay as long as we have the Engineer here do we have any progress on Erie Street ditch fill in? Fay said he’s been in contact with the Engineer and it’s still with the Army Corp. of Engineers, they have not approved yet. Fay said he would like to get started on this project this Fall, get everything started and begin Phase I. Fay said we do need to listen to what the Engineer has to say. Comm. Tessler asked if there was any way to accelerate the Army Corp. just a little bit? Engineer Mike Gingerich said they are very difficult to push. Mike said whether it be him or Brian they will give an update at the next meeting.
Nothing to Report.
Comm. Tessler made motion to adjourn the regular meeting at 7:35pm, seconded by Comm. Hutton. Motion approved with 5 ayes, 0 nays (Tessler, Hutton, Hibler, Smith & Mayor Vehrs). Meeting adjourned.
Organizations in this Story
141 West Main Street
Braidwood, IL 60408