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MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE

MAYOR AND THE COMMITTEE-OF-THE-WHOLE

OF THE CITY OF EAST MOLlNE, ILLINOIS

JUNE 7, 2004

 

 

ROLL CALL

Mayor Moreno 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, Luis Moreno, Carol Doose, Rick Meredith, Gary Kelley and Crotis Teague.  7:47p.m.   

 

Internal Audit Report  (Jim Hughes)

The Internal Audit Committee was created several years ago.  As the years have gone by the Committee is becoming an invaluable resource to our residents.  When the water and sewer rates were increased last year, Mr. Marv Dietrich called and asked some very intelligent questions.  The Finance Director invited Mr. Dietrich to an Internal Audit meeting, and he has been an instrumental part of the Committee ever since.  I am requesting that Mr. Marv Dietrich be appointed to the Internal Audit Committee.

 

Recommendation:  Direct the Mayor to appoint Mr. Marv Dietrich to the Internal Audit Committee.

Budget Impact:  None

 

A motion was made by Alderman Heiland, seconded by Alderman Meredith, to concur with the recommendation, to appoint Marv Dietrich to the Internal Audit Committee.  Upon voice vote all those in attendance voted in favor.  Motion carried.

 

The Internal Audit Committee requested a special audit be done on the City of East Moline's Health Care Administration, administered by HCH Administration in Peoria, Illinois.  Chairman Davis introduced Auditor Dave Gusse of Carpentier, Mitchell, Goddard & Company, LLC.  A total of 57 claims were randomly selected for review.   Verified calculation of deductibles, out of pocket expenses and reinsurance deductible for 2002/2003.  The control at HCH Administration appears to be appropriate and operating correctly based on our review.

 

Fireworks Ordinance  (Chief DeFrance)

With the 4th of July approaching many temporary stands will be erected to sell sparkles and other toys containing combustible substances.  These devices are not considered "Fireworks' as defined by State Law and are legal for sale.  These "legal" items are labeled for used with Adult Supervision.

 

In the past I witnessed these items being sold directly to young children who rode their bikes to the stand and pooled their change together to make a purchase.  It is very probable these children did not have parental or guardian permission to make such a purchase and its reasonable to conclude an adult did not supervise the use of product.

 

In essence, a young child who is not generally allowed access to matches can purchase an item that requires the use of matches.  We constantly remind children of the dangers of playing with matches, but we allow the direct sale of a toy that requires a match.  This is so contrary to our Fire Prevention efforts.

 

Recommendation:  Enact an Ordinance restricting the sale of toy sparklers and similar combustible substances to persons 16 years of age and over.  Further, require the person conducting the sale of said items to verify the age of the purchaser.   Budget Impact:  None

 

The new Ordinance language should allow for revocation of permit for any sale that is in violation of Ordinance. 

 

A motion was made by Alderman Puentes, seconded by Alderman Meredith, to concur with the recommendation as presented.  Upon roll call all those in attendance voted in favor.  Motion carried.

 

Water Revenue  (Jim Hughes)

When the garbage fee was enacted due to the reduction in our share of Income Tax, as a comprise the water billing fee of $9.44 was dropped.  At that time it was assumed that with the review of the minimum water rates the revenue lost due to the elimination of the water billing fee, would be included in a new minimum or in a revised rate.  The water-billing fee generates $356,000.  The minimum water bill was left as is and the billing fee was never re-instated.

 

It was brought to our attention by our bond counsel that we are in violation of our Bond Ordinance.  The Ordinance that we adopt when a bond is issued, the City Council states they will follow the rates outlined in the Water and Sewer Ordinance.  We are not doing that because we are not assessing the billing fee.  Our Attorney states we have the following three (3) options.

 

1.      We can change the Ordinance and eliminate the water billing charge.

2.      We can reinstate the water-billing fee of $9.44.

3.      We can raise the water and sewer rates to offset the loss of $356,000.  This would require a rate increase of approximately .32 cents spread over water and sewer.  For a minimum water bill this would be an increase of $2.56 for a minimum water user of 800 cubic feet of water.  This would be an annual increase of $15.36.

 

Recommendation:   Enact at least a .16-cent increase.  This would be ½ of the required amount.  We need to fund future improvements.  At a minimum we need to change our Ordinance to do something with the billing fee. 

 

Budget Impact:  The water-billing fee generated approximately $356,000.  A .16 -cents increase would generate approximately $170,000.

 

Attorney Phares:  If the City Council did adopt an Ordinance which would in affect increase the water rate by 16 cents to generate a $170,000, as compared to the current ordinance, that would be rather than an increase in water rates, that would a decrease of water rates and consequent revenue as enacted previously by the City Council in the approximate amount of $170,000. 

 

In my opinion a reduction in water rates may be considered by bondholders not to be in good faith.  To be in good faith with the bondholders and with the previously adopted ordinance, the full water-billing fee should be converted simply to water rates rather than a billing fee.

 

A motion was made by Alderman Heiland to table this item for further discussion, due to lack of second motion fails.

 

A motion was made by Alderman Doose, seconded by Alderman Puentes, to direct the Finance Director to reinstate the $9.44 billing fee, and proceed with the amendment to the current Ordinance.  Upon roll call the following voted in favor:  Doose, Meredith, Kelley, Teague and Puentes.  Opposed:  Alderman Moreno and Heiland. Motion carried. 5-2

 

ADJOURNMENT

A motion was made by Alderman Kelley, seconded by Alderman Moreno, to adjourn the meeting. Upon roll call the following voted in favor: Moreno, Doose, Meredith, Kelley, Teague, Heiland and Puentes.    Motion carried.    8:20 p.m.

 

 

Minutes taken and submitted by,

 

 

                                                                       

Arletta D. Holmes, City Clerk

 

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