Will County Gazette

Will County Gazette

Saturday, December 7, 2019

City of Crest Hill City Council met July 8

By Kristine Gonzales-Abella | Aug 14, 2019


City of Crest Hill City Council met July 8.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

The City Council work session was called to order by Mayor Raymond R. Soliman at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 1610 Plainfield Road Crest Hill, Will County, Illinois.

The following Council members were present: Mayor Raymond Soliman, City Treasurer Glen Conklin, Alderman Scott Dyke, Alderman John Vershay, Alderwoman Barbara Sklare, Alderwoman Claudia Gazal, Alderwoman Tina Oberlin, Alderman Marco Coladipietro, Alderman Nate Albert, Alderman Joe Kubal.

Also present were: City Administrator Heather McGuire, Assistant City Administrator/HR Director Megan Fulara, Community Development Director Scott McMaster, Administrative Clerk Laurie Thrasher, Building Inspector Kirk Wilkins, Mechanic Brian Semplinski.

Absent were: City Clerk Vicki Hackney, Police Chief Ed Clark, Public Works Director Tom Migatz, Director of City Services Greg Koch, Director of Water/Wastewater Mark Siefert, Finance Supervisor Ashli Motyka.

TOPIC: Administrative Hearing Officer 

Mayor Soliman announced that our current Hearing Officer Tom Naughton submitted his resignation due to health issues. We are in receipt of a resume from Gabe Orenic. The Mayor and City Administrator interviewed Mr. Orenic. Mr. Orenic works for the Village of Homer Glen and also does work for the City of Joliet. The Mayor went over Mr. Orenic's background. Mr. Orenic gave a brief speech on his background and qualifications. The Mayor informed the Council that the hearings take place once a month and the fee is $200.00 per meeting. Administrator McGuire explained that she reached out to several other municipalities and Mr. Orenic was highly recommended. Alderman Coladipietro asked about the replacement that Mr. Naughton recommended. Mayor Soliman informed the Council that the replacement that was recommended is a resident of the City and he was concerned that there could be a conflict of interest. Mayor Soliman asked for comments and questions from the Council. There were none.

Mayor Soliman asked for an informal vote on the Administrative Hearing Officer. All members present were in agreement.

Mayor Soliman informed Mr. Orenic that the next administrative hearing is July 17, 2019.

TOPIC: A.I.C.S. Permit Waivers Mayor Soliman presented a request for the A.I.C.S. Permit Waivers. This is for the annual Festa Italiana per the memo dated July 8, 2019. Pasquale from the American Italian Cultural Club gave a presentation on the festival. This year's Festa will take place on August 10, 2019 and August 11, 2019. They are asking for a waiver of the liquor license fees and all signage fees. They are also asking for a road closure and Police escort on Sunday August 11, 2019 for the Festa parade. This will be the 20th annual festival.

Mayor Soliman asked for an informal vote on the A.I.C.S. Permit Waivers. Six members present were in agreement. Alderman Albert and Alderman Coladipietro abstained.

TOPIC: City Hall/Police Station Preliminary Site Plan

 Mayor Soliman presented the City Hall/Police Station Preliminary Site Plan per the memo dated July 5, 2019. Administrator McGuire introduced the group that has been involved with the project. There are three options that are being presented to the Council. The proposed site is located to the east of the existing library at the intersection of Patrick Drive and Kubinski Drive. Future plans show a community center located between the proposed City facility and the library. Tonight's discussion is for the site plan layout of the property. Once this is decided on, we will begin discussion on the interior of the building. The Police Department and City Hall would be in two separate buildings, with a Community room/Council Chambers in between. The Memorial Garden would be a focal point of the building. The estimated size of the City building would be roughly 15,000 square feet but could be reduced if the Council Chambers are separate. The Police Department would be roughly 24,000 square feet. Staff from the Police Department toured other facility's and found a layout that they are comfortable with. Administrator McGuire explained that after reviewing the three layouts, City Staff recommends option #2. Staff parking for the new facility would be in the rear of the building, with public parking in the front of the facilities, Once the Council decides on an exterior layout, staff can continue with the space needs analysis for the interior of the building, Council Chambers and Memorial Garden. Tentative dates are as follows. Completion of space needs by mid-August 2019. Final site engineering and architectural drawings by December 2019. Bonding in December 2019. We would go to bid for the entire project in February 2020 with construction to begin Spring of 2020. Alderwoman Oberlin asked if 26 parking spaces would be sufficient for the staff. Discussion followed. Alderman Albert asked if the parking requirement is based on the size of the building. It is. Alderman Albert is concerned that there is an overabundance of parking. Administrator McGuire explained that with the overall intent for this area, the parking is needed. Part of the plan is for the Chambers to be used by outside groups when needed. Alderman Albert asked if it is possible to move the building closer to the road. Administrator McGuire explained that one of the complaints they heard when touring the other facilities was the difficulty in finding the main entrance. The layout in option two helps to make it more prominent. Jim from SafeCo explained how the parking is in proximity to the Memorial Garden and entrance. Alderwoman Gazal asked if the parking would also service the future community center. That parking for the community center was not factored into this plan. Inspector Wilkins explained how the parking is calculated for the building size and amount of City Staff. Nick Narducci went over the parking needs and traffic flow for the Police Department. Discussion followed on the public parking configuration. Alderman Coladipietro asked what the 3500' room would be used for. It would be used for Council meetings, or as a community room. The space can be divided for various uses. There will also be a dedicated executive session room or working room for the Council prior to meetings. Alderman Albert asked if there are any options for expansion. Administrator McGuire explained that there will be a full basement under the City Hall and a partial basement under the Police Department that could be used for expansion in the future. Alderman Albert asked why the Chambers are connected to both buildings. This would allow City Staff to access both buildings through a back hallway. Alderman Albert asked if we can integrate some of the exterior details from the existing library in the facade of the new building. Discussion followed on option #2. The layout of the parking lot is also better for the crews when they plow in the winter. Alderwoman Oberlin asked what the square footage of the current Chambers were. It is roughly 1400 square feet. The new room would be 3500 square feet. Alderman Albert asked who owns and maintains the retention pond. Administrator McGuire explained that Menard's owns it and has an association. We pay an association fee towards the maintenance of it.

Mayor Soliman asked for an informal vote on City Hall/Police Station Preliminary Site Plan, option #2. All members present were in agreement.

TOPIC: Rejection of Public Works Building Bids 

Mayor Soliman presented the Rejection of Public Works Building Bids per the memo dated July 5, 2019. Administrator McGuire explained that the bids for the doors and fire suppression came in under budget. The interior buildout, millwork, paint, security system and wainscoting came in over budget. It is recommended that the items that came in over budget be rejected. We would seek out additional bids to see if we can come in at the estimated cost. Alderman Albert asked why the bids are almost double the estimate of cost. Administrator McGuire explained that a lot of the companies are attempting to submit bids as general contractors. Nick Narducci went over the bid process. Discussion followed.

Mayor Soliman asked for an informal vote to approve the bid for the doors/fire suppression and reject the interior buildout, millwork, paint security system and wainscoting bids. All members present were in agreement.

TOPIC: Camiro's Broadway TIF Proposal 

Mayor Soliman presented the Camiros Broadway TIF District Study Proposal per the memo dated July 8, 2019. Community Development Director Scott McMaster informed the Council that City Staff would like to move forward to conduct a TIF eligibility study for the property located on Broadway Street. The fee for the study is $35,000.00. Jeanne Lindwall would be the lead planning consultant for Camiros. Administrator McGuire informed the Council that Jeanne was involved with another TIF district in the City. Ms. Lindwall went over the background of the property along Broadway Street. Alderman Vershay questioned the type of building that can be constructed along this street because of the small lot sizes. Ms. Lindwall explained that lots can be combined to make larger ones. Alderman Vershay asked if this study is for both sides of the road. It is. Administrator McGuire explained that the east side of Hickory Street is also included in the study in case a developer would want to purchase any of those properties.

Mayor Soliman asked for an informal vote on the Camiro's Broadway TIF Proposal. All members present were in agreement.

TOPIC: Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting 

Mayor Soliman presented a request for discussion on the Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting. This is a follow up to the July 1, 2019 Council meeting. Alderwoman Gazal asked who would be handling the ribbon cutting and how is the Council going to be notified. Alderwoman Oberlin explained that the business owner notified the Chamber and they notified Director McMaster. It's not the Chamber or City's ribbon cutting, it is the businesses event. Alderwoman Gazal feels that there is too much drama. When Michelle was in charge of the Chamber, she would contact the Mayor and check to see what his availability was. The ribbon cutting was then scheduled. Alderwoman Gazal informed the Council that she asked the Administrator to check with other communities to see how many have City Officials on their Chambers. Assistant Administrator Fulara explained that she surveyed roughly 100 communities in the area. The Village of Peotone, and The South Land Chamber of Commerce have Officials in the Chamber. In most cases, there is someone from the Municipal Staff who serves as a liaison. The elected officials are then ted to participate in the ribbon cutting. Alderwoman asked Director McMaster how he was notified of the ribbon cutting. Director McMaster explained that he was contacted by the Chamber. Once he is notified, he then emails the Council. Alderman Vershay asked if the Chamber President contacted Director McMaster. There should be one person who does the notification to the Council. Discussion followed. Mayor Soliman informed the Council that Director McMaster normally notifies him of the proposed date scheduled from there. The Mayor explained that there was a business who wanted to do a ribbon cutting, but their license was not in order. Alderman Albert said that is why the information is given to Director McMaster. Alderman Albert feels that we need to invite members of the Chamber to a work session to discuss this further. Discussion followed on conflicts of interest with members of the Council being a part of the Chamber or an HOA board. Administrator McGuire explained that a conflict of interest would occur if a Council member received a financial gain. Administrator McGuire's recommendation to the Council is to abstain from certain types of votes in which a Council member is involved. Some examples would be HOA's, the Chamber or a Service Club. Alderwoman Sklare suggested that if a member of the Council is involved with the Chamber or other organization, they should leave their Council spot and then approach the podium as the organizations member. The previous president of the Chamber would approach the podium and address the Council about upcoming events. Alderman Albert feels that he was put on the spot at a previous meeting because he is a volunteer with the Chamber. Discussion followed. Administrator McGuire explained that in the past the businesses usually ask for the Mayors availability then go from there. Alderwoman Oberlin said that if the Chamber is contacted by the business, they can in turn contact Director McMaster to set up the event. Director McMaster explained that when we get a new business registration, he contacts them to introduce himself and to see if they would like to do a ribbon cutting or grand opening ceremony. Director McMaster is not opposed to the Chamber initiating this. Alderwoman Gazal feels that the president should have approached the Council to introduce themselves when it was being formed. Mayor Soliman asked if there is an event that is going to involve liquor, he be notified so he can make sure everything is in order. They have to have a liquor license and liability insurance.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: There were no public comments.

MAYORS UPDATES: Mayor Soliman informed the Council that he received an email from Angelo Deserio regarding a car wash for the Girls Masonic Youth Group. They are requesting permission to use the City Hall parking lot and water on Saturday August 25, 2019. They will be required to submit liability insurance naming the City as additional insured. Alderman Kubal asked if other organizations would be allowed to use the parking lot for functions. The Mayor explained that we have done so in the past with Council approval. Mayor Soliman announced that he will be out of the office from July 17, 2019 through July 30, 2019. Administrator McGuire informed the Council that we will not have a work session on Monday July 29, 2019.

COMMITTEE/LIAISON UPDATES: There were no committee/liaison updates.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR UPDATES:_Administrator McGuire informed the Council that the McSquared letters have gone out in the mail. She went over the different letters that were mailed. There will be a second letter going out in the mail from Com-Ed. All of the letters are on City letterhead. Alderwoman Oberlin asked that the Administrator give a resident a call regarding an explanation of the program. Alderwoman Gazal also had a resident that needed a follow up call.

Administrator McGuire reminded the Council that if they are attending the upcoming IML Conference to contact Marybel DeHaro to make their reservations.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:22 p.m.


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