Sandwich Committee of Whole discusses proposed telecommunications tax hike
At a recent meeting, the Sandwich Committee of the Whole discussed village reaction to a proposed telecommunications tax increase.
Below are the minutes from this meeting, as provided by the committee.
City of Sandwich, Illinois
City Hall Annex •128 East Railroad Street
Committee-of-the-Whole Council Meeting September 6, 2016 @ 7:00 PM
Mayor Olson called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
Roll call was taken:
Present: Mayor Olson, City Clerk Ii, Aldermen Dell, Killey, McMahon, Redden
Alderman Robinson arrived at 7:01 PM Alderman Moran arrived at 7:05 PM Alderman Fraser arrived at 7:09 PM
Also present: Attorney Palasiewicz, Chief Bianchi, EMA Director Ciciora &
Department of Public Works / City Engineer Horak
Absent: City Treasurer Webber
Insurance Fair: Mayor Olson had distributed a survey to employees to see if there was an interest in pre-tax insurance benefits and incentives that would be at no expense to the City. He indicated that there was enough of an interest to warrant an insurance fair where insurance providers can promote their product to the employees in a single meeting. October 12th has been set at the tentative ‘fair’ date. The Mayor will be meeting with Budget Director Barker and Director of Public Works Horak to discuss how the incentives would affect the employees’ paychecks.
Street Closing Form: Mayor Olson had distributed to the aldermen this past week a proposed street closure application for review. The City has used a similar form in the past, and the Mayor stressed the importance of knowing who and what ‘is out there’ that would be disclosed by means of the application. The question of insurance liability was raised, and noted that liability insurance would be required if the event was a non-City function. Continued discussions will be discussed at future meetings.
Request for Block Party: Last year during the Center Street construction, the Council had agreed to allow Knuckle Hedz to hold a block party once the street reopened as a means of thanking them for their inconvenience caused by the road maintenance. Although the business has since been sold, the new owners have approached the City requesting permission to hold the promised block party on October 8th. Center Street would be closed between N. Main Street and the alley located west of building housing Knuckle Hedz. No action was taken.
DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation: DCEDC has requested a $1,000 partnership fee from the City. In past years, the fee has been paid by the Sandwich Economic Development but because of budgeting constraints and the City working with DCEDC pertaining the Sandwich Enterprise Zone, this year’s fee has been requested from the City. The partnership fee was not part of the City’s 2016-2017 budget, and this matter will be placed on next week’s agenda.
Lightening Detector Policy: Referring the topic to EMA Director Ciciora, he explained that the Sandwich Park District had received grant money from TransCanada Pipeline to be applied toward the purchase and installation of lightening detection systems at Milestone Park (Prairieview School), Knights Park and the concession stand at the high school. The equipment, by use of an air horn and strobe light, will monitor lightening in a 10-mile radius. Once lightening has been detected, the horn sounds for 15 seconds and the strobe light will become activated. If no lightening is detected within 30 minutes of activation, an all-clear will sound. The Park District has partnered with the school district and the City of Sandwich where an additional system will be located in the downtown area. Mayor Olson advised that an intergovernmental agreement will be drafted for Council’s vote approval.
Foster, Buick, Conklin & Lundgren LLC: No report
City Clerk provided information on the upcoming Consolidated Election to be held on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Positions open for election are: Mayor, City Clerk, Treasurer, one alderman position for each ward, and an unexpired 2-year term for alderman in Ward 3. Election packets will be available from the City Clerk, and nominating petitions cannot be circulated prior to Tuesday, September 20th.
City Treasurer: Absent
Director of Public Works / City Engineer Horak:
Electronics Recycling will be held on Saturday, September 10th, 2016 from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM at the Duvick Avenue water tower located at 750 N. Duvick Avenue.
Ward 1 brush pickup is complete. The next scheduled brush pickup for Ward 1 will be Monday, October 3rd. October will be the final month for brush pickup for this year.
Main & Lafayette Streets Water Main Replacement Bids: Bid results for the BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) ROW (right of way) that were received and opened on Wednesday, August 31st, at 10:30 AM are as follows:
H. Linden & Sons Sewer & Water Inc. $255,508.00 Performance Construction & Engineering $278,800.00 Elliott & Wood Inc. $307,000.00 Conley Excavating Inc. $314,132.00 Universal Asphalt & Excavating Inc. $320,455.00
The engineer’s estimate on this project was $246,233.00. A recommendation will be made at next week’s regular meeting to award the contract to H. Linden & Sons from Plano.
Hall Street Lofts Detention Basin Maintenance Agreement: Pertaining to the discussion of the perpetual maintenance of stormwater management facilities at 413 E. Hall Street, Engineer Horak advised that the Hall Street Lofts Detention Basin Maintenance Agreement will be signed by all parties, including the City, upon completion of the project. Once signed, the document will be recorded.
2016 / 2017 Rock Salt Contract Information: This year’s cost for road salt is $66.28 per ton. In past years, the City has order 1,000 tons of salt but this year, starting out with a leftover surplus from last year, the City will be ordering 800 tons.
2016 Water Tower Painting: Water Superintendent Brian Voelkel was present and explained that work on the Duvick Avenue water tower will begin around September 15th. The water tower will be drained and out of service for repairs and painting for 30-45 days. Restrictions will consist of no automatic sprinklers or irrigations systems during the ban; however, use of a hand-held garden hose will be permitted for watering of flowers and gardens. Public notices have been circulated including news and social media coverage.
Pratt Road Bridge: Paperwork will be turned into Springfield next week on the Pratt Road Bridge repairs.
Chief Bianchi: No report
EMA Director Ciciora has received written confirmation of the TransCanada grant in the amount of $20,000 that will be used toward the replacement of warning sirens.
Alderman Dell asked the status of the street lights replacement on Center Street. Director of Public Works Horak said that the current priority is working through the water service issues on Center Street.
Alderman Fraser asked what the City hopes to accomplish this year on the Willow Crest project. Engineer Horak explained that the plans are for water and sewer replacement and once that is completed, to install new sidewalks. Next spring, Engineer Horak said it is anticipated to finish the storm sewer and the roadway.
Alderwoman Killey advised that the finance committee would meet immediately following this evening’s meeting to review September bills.
Referencing an e-mail received by Budget Director Tim Barker, the City’s Blue Cross / Blue Shield insurance renewal is expected to increase by 28 % due to high claims. The City’s insurance broker, First Insurance Group, will investigate alternative insurance quotes. Alderman Dell stressed that the City does not have surplus funds currently, and this increase will be a huge expense to the City.
Alderwoman Killey questioned if there have been complaints received regarding the proposed telecommunications tax increase. A constituent in her ward had expressed concern over the increase. Alderman Dell reminded the Council that the increase will be paid by the provider, and it will be the providers choice whether to absorb the increase or pass along to their customers. The Council indicated they had received no complaints for their constituents.
Alderman McMahon: No report
Alderman Moran: No report
Alderman Redden distributed photos of the proposed police station located at 1251 E. 6th Street. Calling the photos an embarrassment depicting overgrown vegetation, Aldermen Redden said the Council has three (3) choices: (1) leave it as is, (2) clean it up and restore the exotic landscaping, or (3) remove the landscaping altogether. The Mayor and Alderman Redden will investigate further and by seeking bids for the landscaping maintenance.
Alderman Robinson: No report
Alderman Scheidecker: No report
New Business: None
Audience Comments: None
There being no further business to come before the Council, motion made by Alderman Robinson and seconded by Alderman Redden to adjourn the Committee-of-the-Whole Council meeting at 7:54 PM. Motion carried unanimously by voice vote.
/s/ Denise Ii – City Clerk