(Heartland Newsfeed) — The Nokomis City Council heard public comments regarding the pending revised sidewalk ordinance, possible termination of 911 dispatch services through Montgomery County 911, and passed two ordinances among other items of business at its regular meeting on Monday, September 11.
The council first heard public comments from resident Carolyn Colonius, who expressed her frustration with how it has handled some sidewalk situations throughout town, citing that the Free Press-Progress reported that the city had paid for and performed the labor for some sidewalks prior to the council considering revisions to the ordinance.
Colonius continued that she felt that the city neither did these projects in order, nor in a fair fashion. She stated when she had her own sidewalk replaced, along one of the routes to the schools, the city had offered to cover the costs of the concrete, leaving her responsible for tearing out the old sidewalk and additional labor with the city picking up the debris.
She noted that she paid $1,000 while the city put in a new sidewalk for her neighbor at no cost, and requested to be reimbursed for all costs.
Colonius added that she takes good care of her property, paying a good amount in property taxes, yet certain people can get things done while others cannot, stating that it is unfair. She added that the city needs to have a set of rules and stick to it.
Colonius added additional remarks regarding a prior incident regarding the city’s work on a water line along the boulevard. She said the dirt left behind caused a mess, resulting in difficulty to mow around until she decided to take matters into her own hands, leveling out the dirt and reseeding the area with grass seed.
In closing, Colonius stated that what works for one individual should work for others without the city showing favoritism.
Commissioner Kent Voils agreed that the city shouldn’t have finished the other sidewalks prior to the revised ordinance was enacted, but didn’t want them torn up when the school year started.
In a written report from Nokomis Police Department Chief Bill Kenny, he received a phone call from Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department the prior Friday, notifying them that there could be a possibility the city could lose dispatch services from Montgomery County 911 by December 1 if the Montgomery County Board doesn’t approve the necessary funding in its fiscal budget. Commissioner Hard added that he has been working with Kenny on some ordinance violations and felt they were heading in the right direction.
In Water Superintendent Craig Traylor’s report, he noted that the #3 pressure filter was back online, following downtime resulting from a crack which was leaking sand. The nozzles were cleaned while Korte Luitjohan was making repairs.
He also made a request to the council for permission to purchase a new locator, as the price tag could run between $2,000 and $6,000, which was approved.
In a written report from Waste Water Superintendent Brian Hayes, he noted that the wastewater facility was nominated for an award for “Best Operated Wastewater Treatment Works” to be presented by the Illinois Association of Water Pollution Control Operators at their annual conference next April. The nomination was by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Pollution Control field operations division and was among three communities nominated for the award out of 140 facilities.
Street Superintendent Tim Chumley wrote in his report that his department has busy pouring concrete and had four sites left on their current list, but have yet to get started on the previous list.
He also noted was that Dick Weiss was coming to town soon to look at and discuss practical options for the Spruce St. project regarding oiling and chipping over the bricks.
In other business:
• Commissioner Tim Brookshire made a motion to approve Ordinance No. 2041: an ordinance establishing a cost reimbursement program for the installation of overhead sewers and/or backflow prevention devices, which was seconded by Voyles. The motion passed.
• Commissioner Voils summarized an email from Nokomis CUSD #22 superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr regarding an update on a resolution for the school road Doerr informed the council on September 1 following speaking to their attorney and civil engineer the week before and had discovered from a 2002 survey that the school district owns the parking lot from the corner of the building south to the exit and from the corner of the lawn near the pool north to the school entrance. Still to be determined is the area in the middle which is owned by the Nokomis Memorial Park District with an easement by the City for the “road.” An intergovernmental agreement between all three governing bodies is being drafted to eliminate the easement and transfer ownership to the school district, which will note the land already owned by the district just to be safe, as well as a quick claim deed to be signed by all parties to be filed with the county clerk upon completion.
• Commissioner Voils briefly discussed the ordinance to amend Section 33-5-1 of the Revised Code of Ordinances regarding sidewalks. Following discussion and clarification from Kenny, the Council opted to refer to state statutes regarding penalties, which may range from minimal fines to criminal damage of property should anyone tear out a City-maintained sidewalk without permission from the Council.
• Commissioner Voyles presented city revenues as follows: motor fuel tax for August $4,925.58, share of county property taxes $38,544.81, share of state income tax $20,686.68, share of state sales tax $12,690.92 and 1% business district tax $7,913.30.
• The Council briefly discussed the current ordinance regarding solicitors with intent to discourage soliciting in the city. Following a brief public comment from the city attorney, citing that such actions could be construed as an infraction against Constitutional rights, the attorney offered to present language which would be more acceptable. City Clerk Angela Keagy said she would follow up on this and get back with the Council.
• Commissioner Brookshire motioned to approve a final pay request to Korte & Luitjohan for the air stripper in the amount of $16,460.20 upon receipt of funds from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The motion was seconded by Voyles and the motion unanimously passed.
• Commissioner Brookshire introduced and made a motion to approve Ordinance No. 2040: an ordinance amending Chapter 38: Utilities, Article IV: Utility Rates, Section III: Wastewater Service Charges, adding Section 38-4-37: Adjustments to Bills. The motion was seconded by Voyles and unanimously passed.
• Commissioner Hard presented and motioned to approve a building permit for a fence being built by Tabatha Stockstill, noting an inspection with no issues. Voyles seconded the motion and unanimously passed.
• The meeting dismissed from general session to executive session at 7:31 p.m. to discuss terms and conditions of employment, as well of collective bargaining. The session lasted for one hour and 15 minutes, returning to general session at 8:46 p.m. Commissioner Voyles reported that the Council gave Keagy permission to advertise for a part-time office assistant and that union negotiations were still in progress.
• Commissioner Voyles presented and motioned to approve payment of bills in the amount of $40,248.16 as presented. Voils seconded the motion and unanimously passed.
Originally intended for publication on September 20, it was pushed back for re-publishing in the September 27, 2017 edition of the Free Press-Progress and The Morrisonville Times.