Braidwood City Council met March 13.
Braidwood City Council met March 13.
Here is the minutes provided by the Council:
Call to Order
Mayor Vehrs called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.
Pledge of Allegiance
Mayor Vehrs asked Pam DellAquila to lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Vehrs asked everyone to please remain standing for a moment of silence for one of our Retired Officers, Michael Smith.
Elected Officials present: Commissioner Hibler, Commissioner Hutton, Commissioner Smith, Commissioner Tessler and Mayor Vehrs.
Appointed officials present: City Attorney Kopman, City Clerk Sue Grygiel, City Administrator Don Labriola, Chief Nick Ficarello and City Engineer Todd Gereaux were present.
Opened at 7:02pm.
Rich Brookman, 335 E. Cermak. He said he has a problem with his sewer. He said he’s addressed the previous Mayor about this and said Mayor Vehrs was at his home also. He said he’s paying $101 a month for sewer he doesn’t have. He said when he bought the house 10 yrs. ago he approached the city, knowing there was no sewer, and asked them if this would be a problem. He was told by the city that there is a flat rate of $40 per billing cycle because it was available to him but wasn’t hooked to city sewer, that’s when we were billed every other month. He said when they went from every other month billing to monthly billing he went from $20 a month to $40 a month. He said this has been going on for 10 yrs. He said he and his wife have approached the city and asked if there was any way to resolve this issue. He was told that’s a can of worms you don’t want to open and said he’s here tonight to open that can of worms. He said he keeps getting stickers slapped on his door for water shut offs. Mayor Vehrs and Rich talked, Mayor said problem over there is the garage that’s in the back yard which is over the sewer tap. Mayor Vehrs said he inherited the problem when he bought the house, the garage was already over it. The Mayor asked Rich to sit down with our Administrator Don and Mayor will fill Don in on this piece of property. The Mayor said he will probably be over there Thursday, has something going on tomorrow but will show him where everything is at.
Bill Rulien, 187 E. Main St. on behalf of Citizens for Better Braidwood. He’s concerned about transparency, the website that was to be fixed which still has no useful information on it, been over a year. He brought up the FOIA from months ago that they appealed and won the appeal, about a letter that they still haven’t received. Now we hear the city is changing Auditors. He stated Mack & Assoc. has done the Audits here for many years, probably almost 10. They were reasonably priced and well respected. He said it’s concerning that the city is getting a different Auditor mostly because he said the city has failed the last two Audits. He said they all wonder what it might be that the city is trying to hide. Bill said he ran into Jim Hutton and Bill knows that a reserve has to be kept for emergencies in the Enterprise Fund. He then asked Jim how much money does he have set aside. Jim told him about $700,000 but wasn’t exactly sure. Bill said they FOIA’d the Bank Statements and according to their conclusions we haven’t received everything in their FOIA or the city is bankrupt. He said they’re not sure which. They want to know how their money is being used and then asked the Mayor four simple questions and said he will FOIA if needed.
Public Comment Closed at 7:10pm.
Approval of Minutes
Comm. Smith made a motion to approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of February 27, 2018, seconded by Comm. Hutton. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Smith, Hutton, Hibler, Tessler & Mayor Vehrs).
REPORTS BY CITY OFFICIALS
Mayor Vehrs addressed his Agenda items. First being Resolution 18-12, Establishing April as Alcohol Awareness Month. This is through our Braidwood Area Healthy Community Coalition and the city’s partnership with them and the CHANGE Program. The Mayor asked to entertain a motion to approve this Resolution.
Comm. Tessler made a motion to approve Resolution 18-12, seconded by Comm. Hibler. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Tessler, Hibler, Hutton, Smith & Mayor Vehrs).
Mayor addressed his next Resolution 18-13, Authorizing the Execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Braidwood Area Healthy Community Coalition. As the Mayor mentioned earlier we are in a joint venture with them and asked to entertain a motion to approve this Resolution.
Comm. Tessler made a motion to approve Resolution 18-13, seconded by Comm. Hutton. The city attorney mentioned just so the council is aware that Pete DellAquila was here a couple of meetings ago, explaining that they’re filing for a Grant to help them with their programs. In order to apply for that Grant they need a community to partner with them, they approached the city and the city agreed at a previous council meeting. So they can now apply for that Grant and needs to complete by the end of March.
The Mayor advised everyone that earlier today he met with Gov. Rauner in Springfield, had a lengthy conversation and he will be visiting Braidwood. They’re working on some things for our Police Department as well as the city and were helpful to sit down with him one on one and let him know Braidwood is still alive. Mayor will inform everyone when this meeting with Governor Rauner will be taking place.
Don advised everyone that under the Mayors direction last year, we contacted the Secretary of State’s Office and set up a day for them to come here with their Mobile Unit. Again this year the Mayor gave the Administrator direction for them to come to Braidwood. So the Secretary of State’s Office Mobile Licensing Unit will be in Braidwood on May 9th from 9am – 2pm.
Don gave the PACE Program update and said the city is continuing to move forward. We have identified the drivers that will be going for training. They have had successful webinar training and continue to make progress every day. We’re trying to have this in place within the next two months and have the PACE van here.
Don brought up the Past Due Water Bills that Comm. Tessler questioned two weeks ago at the council meeting. Comm. Tessler asked Don at that time if he was in need of any resources. Don then thanked Comm. Tessler and the Chief for allowing the Code Enforcement Officers to go out with the Notices. One week ago we issued (41) Notices and since then have collected almost $20,000 in Past Due Water Bills after making some procedural changes which so far has been very successful.
Don addressed his first Agenda item, Resolution 18-11. This Resolution Authorizes the Execution of a Site Access Agreement with Verizon Wireless for usage on our water tower that has been
mentioned before. Melody Wireless who has the Lease on the Water Tower wants to bring on an additional customer onto to our tower. This Resolution basically covers our Liability. They want to come take some tests of our tower on site, and this Resolution would cover the city if someone got hurt, something was broken, etc.
Comm. Hutton made a motion to accept Resolution 18-11, seconded by Comm. Smith. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Hutton, Smith, Hibler, Tessler & Mayor Vehrs).
Don explained the reason for the next Resolution, 18-08. During Union Negotiations with SEIU Local 73 they requested that we look at one of our job titles. They made a proposal to make some changes on this job title, so Resolution 18-08 deals with this proposal.
Comm. Smith made a motion to approve Resolution 18-08, reclassifying the Building Clerks Job Title to Coordinator of Building & Code Enforcement per SEIU 73’s recommendation under their New Contract effective back to May 1, 2017, seconded by Comm. Hibler.
Comm. Hutton had questions. How much of a rate increase is the employee getting? Don advised him that the proposal was $3.00 per hour and this was the Unions proposal. Comm. Hutton commented, a lot of money in his opinion. Comm. Tessler was concerned about us being set up for any retaliation from her co-workers. Don reiterated that this was a request during Union Negotiations by the Union for this one position. We asked them for their proposal and this was their reply. Comm. Hutton commented that we just approved their Contract and now we’re giving another employee $3.00 more. Both the Administrator and Mayor advised Comm. Hutton that this was part of the Negotiations that was brought up by the Union themselves. The Attorney said this was an Addendum to the Contract.
The city clerk then took a Roll Call Vote, (Smith, Hibler, Hutton, Tessler & Mayor Vehrs) Motion approved with 4 ayes, 1 nay-Comm. Hutton.
Nothing to Report.
Todd addressed his Agenda item Resolution 18-10. It Authorizes Execution of a Professional Fee Agreement with Northpoint Development LLC. They have recently been inquiring and asking questions and agreed to cover Professional Fee Services if the city had to use to generate information from the county, legal and engineering information.
Comm. Smith made a motion to approve Resolution 18-10 for Professional Fee Agreement with Northpoint LLC, seconded by Comm. Hibler.
Comm. Tessler asked so what is this covering. Todd replied, any information they would be requesting from the city and the city would have to have Professional Services generated for them, so they would be paying for these services.
Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Smith, Hibler, Hutton, Tessler & Mayor Vehrs).
Comm. Smith made a motion to have Engineer put together Bid Specifications for infrastructure and improvements in Townes of Braidwood that’s in the TIF3 District, seconded by Comm. Tessler. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Smith, Tessler, Hutton, Hibler & Mayor Vehrs).
The Attorney addressed agenda item Ordinance 18-06. He said at the last meeting we had a motion that was passed by the council that allowed for the preparation of Bid Documents and Plans to work infrastructure to be Bid out by the city at Townes of Braidwood. At the time we indicated that we had some developers who were interested in lots out there and this was a hold up to them. Since that time we’ve been able to finalize an Agreement with one developer for (8) additional lots and that will move forward due to the council’s commitment to start looking at major infrastructure improvements. Ordinance 18-06 would approve an Agreement with the Developer for the purchase of (8) lots at a cost of $49,000 for the improvements out there.
Comm. Hutton asked a question, on Ordinance 17-22 we sold (2) lots for $9,000 a piece so why are we selling these for less. Todd then spoke regarding the (1) Proposal the city received for the property where he committed to buying the first (2) lots that needed the infrastructure and would close on those May 15, 2018. The balance of the (8) lots on Cermak he would close on when the city completes the infrastructure of those lots. These lots were in a Bulk Sale. The gentlemen’s Proposal originally was for each lot and we’re following his Proposal as he presented it. The first (2) at $9,000 apiece and stepped down the cost on the remaining lots which are closer and less appealing. Todd explained that this Request for Proposal was advertised more than once in the paper, this was our third or fourth time. The attorney said the Advertisements never said the improvements would be made at the time. The ads were seeking a Bid on the entire development and seeking Proposal on anything and this was the only Proposal the city received. The attorney said there was no limitation on the Proposal but the thought was trying to sell the whole development. Todd told Tony Altiery that if he would go on the city’s website he could see the entire city owned property because the Mayor is committed to the clearing out the entire city owned properties. Todd suggested to the Mayor to put them out for Bids once again. Todd said this developer has been looking at this for a long time. Comm. Tessler said yes we are getting less money for these lots but guess what it’s they’re empty lots and aren’t doing any good to the city right now. He said we fought with this 6 yrs. ago tried it didn’t work. He said we’re going to try it this way now and get these lots filled so the city doesn’t have to continue to maintain or someone gets hurt. Comm. Tessler said lets be done with this! Todd said the key is they’re not on the city’s tax rolls, let’s get them ownership and increase our Tax Levy.
Comm. Smith made a motion to approve Ordinance 18-06 Approving the Sale of Real Estate in a TIF District to Ensure Construction Inc. for (8) lots in the amount of $49,000, seconded by Comm. Tessler. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Smith, Tessler, Hibler, Hutton & Mayor Vehrs).
REPORTS BY CITY COMMISSIONERS
Accounts & Finances
Comm. Hibler made a motion to pay the total bills due on our Check Register in the amount of $176,841.63, seconded by Comm. Hutton. 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 $99,567.86, seconded by Comm. Smith. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Hibler, Smith, Hutton, Tessler & Mayor Vehrs).
Comm. Hibler made a motion to approve Resolution 18-07 Authorizing Execution of an Independent Contractor Agreement for the Provisions of Certain Accounting Services, seconded by Comm. Smith.
Comm. Tessler had a couple of questions regarding the Contract. The attorney asked Comm. Tessler if he’d like to Table the Resolution to the next meeting to make the changes or we can move to withdraw the Motions made.
Comm. Hibler withdrew her motion to approve Resolution 18-07, seconded by Comm. Smith withdrawing his motion to approve.
Comm. Tessler made a motion to approve Resolution 18-07 with the pending changes to be made by the city attorney, seconded by Comm. Hutton. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Tessler, Hutton, Hibler, Smith & Mayor Vehrs).
Streets & Public Improvements
Comm. Smith said he could say a lot but he’s not going to. He said he’s going to do everything he can to get things done, build everything up. He said we have Kennedy Road that needs to get done, it’s in bad shape and we’re going to spend everything we possibly can to get our roads looking good. He’s hoping this will bring business into Braidwood, like the Hotel that’s being worked on. Fay praised Bobby for taking an old building that didn’t look good and made it look good as a new business, he said that’s progress. Fay stressed he’d like Braidwood to look better than it does, bring in new businesses and make progress in moving our town forward.
Comm. Hutton read the Outside Crew Report; 30 locates, 2 shutoff tags, 1 sewer repair, 2 meter repairs, 18 meter reads and 2 shutoffs and day to day operations. Read Plant Crews Report; had to flush well #5 for a week and finally past all samples, tested and put back on line with 165 gallons per minute, Sensus was out and diagnosed a bad meter, Sensus training on equipment for the receivers, waiting for parts on well #4, working on cleaning sludge beds. Jim brought up the drill last week at the Fire Station and topic came up about having a list together of elderly, handicapped, homebound , etc. that would need assistance if had an evacuation of any type. Josh Bolatto from ESDA spoke about a list through Will County. People can go through Will County Emergency Management Agency, there is a list of individuals that are elderly, handicapped, need of transportation, those who have pets, medical services/equipment etc. There is an online Registration with Will County EMA under Special Needs Registry. Josh said they’re going to get more of a push out there to get these residents of Braidwood in the list with Will County and as of now there are only 28 on the list for Braidwood.
Public Health & Safety
Comm. Tessler started with Resolution 18-09 Authorizing the Execution of a Mutual Aid Agreement to become part of the Greater Will County Emergency Services Mutual Aid Association which is new to Municipalities, Local, State & County Agencies. This includes Red Cross and services alike and allows for more support through County Agencies. For clarification the attorney said that it’s not in the document but there is a $100 Annual Membership and is waived for the first year and then on January 1st will charge an Association fee.
Comm. Tessler made a motion to approve Resolution 18-09, seconded by Comm. Hutton. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Tessler, Hutton, Hibler, Smith & Mayor Vehrs).
Comm. Tessler addressed his next Agenda item in regards to an Audit of the Police Evidence Locker. The Chief assigned two new individuals to be keepers of the Evidence Locker, Officer Tyree and Sgt. Bret Goodwin. Since they are new to this, the Chief wants to have a baseline as to what’s in the Evidence Locker, thus the reason for this Audit.
Comm. Tessler made a motion to approve the Audit of the Police Departments Evidence Locker by Makton Investigations, not to exceed $6,000, seconded by Comm. Hutton. Motion approved 5 ayes, 0 nays (Tessler, Hutton, Hibler, Smith & Mayor Vehrs).
Comm. Tessler then gave his numbers provided by the Chief from 2/13-3/13, total calls for service was 431.
Planning & Zoning
No request for Closed Session.
Nothing to Report.
Nothing to Report.
Comm. Tessler made motion to adjourn the Regular Meeting at 7:56pm, seconded by Comm. Hutton. Motion approved with 5 ayes, 0 nays (Tessler, Hutton, Hibler, Smith & Mayor Vehrs).