Committee of the Whole of the City of Lockport met August 15
Committee of the Whole of the City of Lockport met Aug. 15.
Here is the agenda provided by the Committee:
PLEDGE TO THE FLAG – Mayor, Steven Streit
INVOCATION – Steve Bednarcik, Police Chaplain
City Clerk, Kathleen Gentile
Alderwoman, Renee Saban
Alderman, Jim Petrakos
Alderman, Darren Deskin
Alderwoman, Joanne Bartelsen
Alderman, JR Gillogly
Alderman, Jim Petrakos
Alderwoman, Christina Bergbower
Alderman, JR Gillogly
Alderwoman, Catherine Perretta
ABSENT: Alderman, Jason Vandermeer
ALSO PRESENT: City Administrator, Ben Benson
Finance Director, Lisa Heglund
Chief of Police, Terry Lemming
Director of Community & Economic Development, Pamela Hirth
City Attorney, Sonni Choi Williams
Assistant to the City Administrator, Amanda Pazdan
Cathy Wilker, LCTV
Jessie Malloy, Lockport Legend
Sarwat Ahman, Free Lance Reporter, Joliet Herald News
1. Alderwoman Catherine Perretta updated the Council about the National Night Out on August 14. Great turnout. Special thanks to the Police Chief Terry Lemming for coordinating.
ITEMS RECOMMENDED TO BE PLACED ON THE AGENDA FOR CONSENT OR ACTION AT THE NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED CITY COUNCIL MEETING
City of Lockport Ward Map Update
City Administrator, Ben Benson, presented the City of Lockport ward boundaries for the City of Lockport Ward Map. Considerations to adjust based on geographics, population and growth patterns. Alderwomen Bartelsen and Saban worked to define several alternative ward maps for Council to consider. Based on the recommendations of Will County Clerk’s office, Staff is following their recommendation to move toward making this change for the 2021 election. Council can approve the map designation now and then work towards all the changes to be implemented in 2021. Any Council members with the unexpired term would complete their term and known as an “at-large” alderperson.
ACTION: No Action at this time; will be added as a Consent Agenda item at a future time, once all documentation and details are finalized, in preparation for the 2021 election.
Proposed Building Code Update
Director of Community & Economic Development, Pamela Hirth, presented the Staff report on the Building code review. Staff conducted a review and comparison codes and Municipal Costs Index in neighboring communities, including Homer Glen, Bolingbrook, Lemont, Crest Hill and Plainfield. The Municipal Cost Index is designed to show effects of inflation; the Lockport permit fees would need to double to cover all of the costs. Based on the assessment, Staff is seeking direction on how to proceed with the 2015 code, specific requirements related to new commercial buildings, existing commercial buildings, and new residential structures. Additionally, with Keith Rooney resigning, and the timing required to hire a replacement to assist with amendments and fees, Staff prepare to present to Council in September to make any approved changes effective January 1.
Discussion among the Council ensued related to specific code changes related to specific safety requirements. Including firewalls in multi-family units, sprinklers and construction practices. The building codes that are currently used are 15 years old; technology has advanced. Need to consider and balance the benefits of the technology and the impact of cost to implement.
In fire technology, a firewall between multi-family units, apartments, and townhomes, effective in slowing or limiting the speed of fire. Sprinklers extinguish flames on contents within the structure, to minimize the fire. As written, the new code would require that all new multi-family homes to install sprinklers; single-family detached are exempt. The City has considered this but deemed it to be cost-prohibitive for single-family units.
The Council is recommending that all multi-unit dwellings need to have compliant sprinklers, and any new commercial construction, with a threshold of 5000, will also require sprinklers.
ACTION: No specific action at this time. Staff will make recommended edits to the code and present to Council at a future date.
1.Gideon Blustein – Illinois Association of Realtors, addressed the Council. In his role as a realtor, he monitors municipal activities and shares his experience. He addressed the council today regarding the building code update. With respect to residential sprinklers – he recommended not to include for two main reasons: (1) cost, which may prohibit movement of baby boomers and millennials; the installation cost would be approximately $7,500 on average; (2) related to safety, the structural fire blocking and safety measures that exist on structures, the sprinklers would not increase safety.
Motion by Saban, Seconded by Petrakos to adjourn the city council meeting, at 8:10 pm. Roll call vote on the motion:
AYES - Saban, Petrakos, Deskin, Bartelsen, Bergbower, Perretta, Gillogly
NAYS - None
ABSENT – Vandermeer
ABSTAIN - None
7 AYES, 0 NAY, 1 ABSENT, 0 ABSTAIN – MOTION CARRIED