MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE MAYOR
AND THE COMMITTEE-OF-THE-WHOLE
OF THE CITY OF EAST MOLINE, ILLINOIS
MARCH 3, 2008
Mayor Thodos called the meeting to order and directed City Clerk Arletta D. Holmes to call the roll. The following Aldermen were present: Helen Heiland, Luis Puentes, Cheri Bustos, David Kelley, Roseann Cervantes, Gary Westbrook, and Mayor Thodos. Absent: Luis Moreno. 7:11 p.m.
ADDITIONS/CORRECTIONS TO AGENDA
IML PENSION RESOLUTION (Mr. Hughes)
This item was tabled from 2-19-08 meeting.
City staff met with representatives from the Fire and Police Pension Funds and they have stated that they are requesting that this resolution be withdrawn in its present form. Representatives of the Associated Firefighters of Illinois have met o n February 13, 2008 with the Illinois Municipal League to discuss the proposed resolution and any future legislation. At this time neither association knows the full outcome of these talks. Each pension fund has requested that this original proposed resolution be withdrawn and tabled until the results of these talks are known and if a revised resolution if forthcoming.
There is no specific recommendation and no budget impact at this time.
Director of Finance, Jim Hughes, gave a brief summary of the proposed resolution for the General Assembly to be fiscally responsible in making benefit improvements and adopt reforms that protect Police and Fire Pension funds. Phillip H. Jones, Vice-President of Firefighters Local 929 thanked Mr. Hughes for and taking the time working with them on this and addressing the issue that both the City, Firefighters and Police pensions all share. Mr. Jones stated he feels they have come up with a very good resolution.
A motion was made by Alderman Heiland, seconded by Alderman Puentes, to approve the resolution. Upon roll call the following voted in favor: Bustos, Kelley, Cervantes, Westbrook, Heiland, and Puentes. Motion carried.
FRANCISCO TROCHE – RELEASE OF LIENS (Mr. Hughes)
This item was tabled from 2-19-08 meeting.
Francisco Troche bought the property at 1344 – 18th Street at a tax sale. The City of East Moline has weed and water liens in the amount of $5,143.82 on this property. The City has received a letter from Mr. Troche’s attorney requesting that we release 75% of the liens. In the past, if new owners took over an abandoned property and brought it up to code, we would release some or all of the liens. This has always been negotiated before the purchase. In this case it is after the purchase. If Mr. Troche brings the property up to code and receives an “occupancy permit” from the Inspections Department, we should accept Mr. Troche’s offer. It is important to get homes rehabilitated.
Accept Mr. Troche’s offer to pay the City $1,286 and forgive $3,857.82, but not until the property has received an occupancy permit from the Inspections Department.
Loss of $3,857.82, however the City gains another home.
City Attorney Phares stated that Mr. Troche spoke with his assistant, telling her that he had spent substantial time, effort, and money in rehabilitating the property. Attorney Phares asked Mr. Troche to describe to the City Council what he has done for the property.
Alderman Puentes assisted Mr. Troche in translating from Spanish to English. Mr. Troche stated that he has put on a new roof, new windows, and siding on the house. He will be improving the inside of the house by installing sheet rock. Mr. Troche noted that he believes that the electrical system is up to code.
Attorney Phares asked Mr. Troche if he has requested an Occupancy Permit. Mr. Troche stated that he has not applied for an occupancy permit since he still has more work to complete.
Mayor Thodos inquired as to the purchase price and how much money he has invested into the property. Mr. Troche stated he paid $3,000 for the property and hasspentover $15,000 in rehabilitating the property.
Finance Director Jim Hughes states this request is not unusual. The City has done this before, but usually before the property is purchased. Staff does not release any liens until the Inspections Department states the house has received an occupancy permit.
Alderman Westbrook expressed his concerns over the actual cost of cutting the weeds at the City’s expense on this property.
Alderman Bustos asked Attorney Phares if it was his recommendation not to approve anything until after he receives the occupancy permit. Attorney Phares noted that perhaps the Council could approve the request, but make it subject to obtaining the occupancy permit in a reasonable amount of time. The liens remain on the property until the occupancy permit is issued.
Alderman Heiland asked Attorney Phares if ninety (90) days was a reasonable amount of time. Mr. Troche felt the time period was reasonable.
Attorney Phares informed the City Council that Mr. Troche was not represented by an attorney at the time he purchased the property at a tax sale. If he would have been represented by an attorney he believes that Mr. Troche would have been informed that liens existed on the property.
A motion was made by Alderman Bustos, seconded by Alderman Cervantes, to approve the recommendation and pass a resolution pending an occupancy permit. This will release liens in the amount of $3,857.82. Upon roll call the following voted in favor: Bustos, Kelley, Cervantes, Westbrook, Heiland, and Puentes.
FIRE STATION DRIVE REPLACEMENT BID (Mr. Kammler)
The 16th Avenue Fire Station driveway has a geometry which causes scraping to the back and bottom of fire engines exiting the station. While the Fire Department has become accustomed to this situation (as it is not a new problem), there is now a more urgent need to change the drive grade with the pending delivery of a new fire truck later this year. In anticipation of this, the Fire Department requested assistance from Engineering to design a new driveway to replace the old drive, with vertical geometry to reduce the severity of scraping with the existing fire trucks, and eliminate this problem entirely for the new fire truck. During design, Engineering Department Staff and Fire Department Staff coordinated with Smeal (Fire Truck Manufacturer) to ensure the geometrics of the new drive apron would appropriately accommodate the the new fire truck.
A plan of a new drive was developed and advertised for bids. Bids were received and opened on February 26, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. and ranged from $15,689 to $22,000. A complete tabulation of bids is attached for reference. Walter D. Laud, Inc. was the low bidder with a bid of $15,689.
Accept the bid of Walter D. Laud, Inc. in the amount of $15,689 and authorize the Engineering Department to contract with Walter D. Laud Inc. to construct the work proposed.
$15,689.00 to be paid out of Department Projects fund.
A motion was made by Alderman Heiland, seconded by Alderman Puentes, to accept the bid from Walter D. Laud, Inc. in the amount of $15,689 and authorize the Engineering Department to contract with Walter D. Laud Inc. to contract the work proposed, forward to the City Council for consideration and direct the City Attorney to prepare the appropriate document. Upon roll call the following voted in favor: Bustos, Kelley, Cervantes, Westbrook, Heiland, and Puentes. Motion carried.
Alderman Moreno arrives at 7:38p.m.
PARK BOARDFUNDING REQUEST (Ms. Wendy Hilton-Morrow)
This item was tabled from 2-19-08 meeting.
A letter describing the funding request from the East Moline Park Board, presented to the City Council for their consideration.
Park Board member Wendy-Hilton-Morrow introduced Park Board Members that were in attendance, Carol Westbrook and Cynthia Braggs.
Mayor Thodos deferred the floor to Finance Director, Jim Hughes.
Mr. Hughes summarized his report on Funding of Municipal Equipment and Improvements that included General Obligation (Alternative Revenue Source) Bonds, available levies and a summary of General Obligation Bonding for various projects. The proposed park projects have no funding source. Any amount of park projects that are to be completed, GeneralObligation Bonds would have to beused. It has been determined that the City can borrow $1.2000, 000 dollars to be repaid over a seven (7) years at a rate of 5.0%. The City has committed to a $600,000 fire truck, leaving $600,000 for the remaining projects. Additional discussion was held with regard to the various pros and cons of funding, the possibility of a referendum being placed on the ballot to let the citizens decide, and other options.
A motion was made by Alderman Westbrook, seconded by Alderman Cervantes, to approve capital improvement funding in the amount of $250,000.00 for the East Moline Park Board. Upon roll call the following voted in favor: Bustos, Cervantes, Westbrook, Puentes, and Moreno. Opposed: Kelley, Heiland. Motion carried. 5-2.
A motion was made by Alderman Westbrook, seconded by Alderman Cervantes, to adjourn the Committee-of-the-Whole meeting. Upon roll call the following voted in favor: Bustos, Kelley, Cervantes, Westbrook, Heiland, Puentes, and Moreno. Motion carried. 7:55p.m.
Minutes taken and submitted by,