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of Events



& Reports

 Mayor &
City Council




DECEMBER 5, 2005      


Mayor Thodos called the meeting to order and directed City Clerk Arletta D. Holmes to call the roll.  The following Aldermen were present:  Heiland, Puentes, Moreno, Doose, Meredith, Kelley and Westbrook.  7:15p.m.  


City Staff and representatives from Triumph Foods have finalized a Redevelopment Agreement concerning the development of an approximately 630,000 square foot Pork Processing facility planned to be constructed upon a certain 116 – acre tract of land located near 172nd Street and Barstow Road.   Mr. Keehner introduced to the City Council and those in attendance, Mr. Rick Hoffman Chief Executive Officer of Triumph Foods.  Mr. Hoffman introduced the following individuals:   Mr. Brad Freking - Member of the Board representing New Fashion Pork Mr. Jerry Lehenbauer- Company Vice- President Mr. Gary Koch – Member of the Board representing Christensen Farms Mr. John Patelski – President of Epstein & Sons International from Chicago, Illinois   Mr. Patelski worked on the design and construction management on the project in St. Joseph, Missouri.  Mr. Patelski will be in involved with the project in East Moline.   Background Information  (Mr. Hoffman) Triumph Foods LLC. Was organized in 2003 by some of the industries leading Pork Producers in the United States, for the purpose of constructing a new Pork Processing Plant in St. Joseph, Missouri.  There are about forty owners in the Company, and forty producers that are involved in the project.  The main groups that are involved are the largest in the industry, and they are as follows:   1.      Christensen Farms - Based in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota they have hog production units ranging from Nebraska, Iowa, Southern Minnesota, and throughout the Mid-West.  The number of sows they have in production is just under 150,000.  Sows usually produce about 26 pigs per year, so they produce just fewer than 3 Million sows each year. 2.      Hanor Company - Is based in Wisconsin with offices located in Kentucky.  They have Productions Units in Illinois, Iowa, and Oklahoma.  They have a base of just over 73,500 sows in production. 3.      Allied Producers Cooperative - They are based in Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri.  They have approximately 45,000 sows in production. 4.      New Fashion Pork – They are based in Southern Minnesota with production in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana.  They have a base of 37,500 sows in production. 5.      Tri – Oak Foods – They are based in Eastern Iowa along with Eichelberger Farms.  They have Production Units in Iowa, and Illinois.    In total the members produce just fewer than 7 Million (6.8 Million) pigs per year.  This ranks them at about 7% of all pigs produced in the United States.  This gives the range of the size and magnitude of this operation.   Alderman Doose:  Asks that if 6.8 Million hogs are producing now.  If St. Joseph starts operation and the East Moline Plant starts operation, are you saying about 4,000 pigs would be produced from each plant annually?   Mr. Hoffman states that in the long term (several years) that the St. Joseph Plant will process somewhere in excess of 4 Million pigs per year.  Triumph will process about 1,000 head an hour at the St. Joseph Plant, the same size as the plant to be built in East Moline.  At full capacity both plants would process somewhere between 8 and 10 Million pigs per year.  This is a long-term projection.   The producers, produce today somewhere around 7 Million pigs, so there would be a shortfall.  Most likely the producers would continue to do what they have recently been doing which is purchasing smaller operations.  For Example:  Christensen Farms this past year purchased the assets of various smaller operations.  We will be buying market pigs, we have indicated in our operation in St. Joseph that we would be buying 20% to 25% of our pigs on the open market.  We anticipate doing something similar to that in East Moline.   Mayor Thodos:  Asks what are the prerequisites of a "Market Pig"?   Mr. Hoffman states that there are very strict protocols when it comes to nutrition, genetics, animal handling, environmental, stewardship, and transportation. A wide variety of specific items that are identified in a procurement permit, which the company approves.  In addition, there are other requirements to meet the same criteria that involve third parties and purchases on the open market place.  Contract arrangements are never made on long-term bases.   The Company has tremendous interest in this facility.  Producers in Illinois, and Missouri are going to be expanding our base of production.  There will be pigs from our ownership group and pigs from the open market place.  Mr. Hoffman stated that he has confidence in both the Ownership Group as it exists today and the potential for expanding the Ownership Group on a long-term bases (7 or 8 years from now).   Alderman Moreno:  Asks for a clarification.  Does that mean you do not foresee you folks going into the "Super Hog Confinement" business in the nearby area? Mr. Hoffman responds that Triumph is not putting any hog farms in place as a result of this project.  Building hog farms today is not necessarily the best thing to do.  The trend in our industry is that you can buy units cheaper than you can build them.   The best indication of what we plan to build in East Moline is in St. Joseph Missouri.  That's because you can see it and feel it, and get an idea of what it is we intend to build (in East Moline).  The plant will basically be identical to the plant in St. Joseph.   In the meat processing industry, most facilities are extremely old.  Most facilities were built in the 1940's through 1970.  Very few facilities in our industry have been built in recent years.  Seaboard Farms designed and built the last major facility in 1992.  So it has been decades since facilities have been designed and built.   Technology has changed during that time.  Hopefully, the facility you are going to see tonight will demonstrate the type of better work environment, food quality and safety that is possible in a facility, despite the stereotypes you may hear about in our industry.   This facility in St. Joseph is about 630,000 square feet of space.  The Plant is scheduled to begin operating the first week in January of 2006.  We had a little interruption due to a natural gas leak explosion. The explosion interrupted our construction activities; the Plant was scheduled to start operations in October or November of 2005.  The facility that we designed is clearly in every respect the highest in food quality, highest in safety, and represents a clean and safe work environment in our industry, barring none, no exceptions.   Mr. Hoffman noted that anyone that sees our operation would agree that it certainly meets those kinds of standards and design.   Mr. Hoffman gave a power point presentation on the outlay and design of the facility.   Trucks enter on the South Side of the Plant there is a large unloading area there for the animals, all animals are maintained inside the facility in a climate controlled environment, and no animals are maintained outside this facility at any time.   This facility has the capability of processing and doing everything from slice to cuts, in terms of marinating products, tray packing products, pumping products, and producing specialty products for the Japanese Markets, and producing the highest quality pork for processing companies like Oscar Mayer. The main part of our building is where that activity takes place, and St. Joseph's has the largest cut floors in our industry.   Mayor Thodos: Ask that Mr. Hoffman address the odor issue that was the most reoccurring concern expressed during our public meeting.    Mr. Hoffman:  Odors from pork or meat processing can come from two (2) types of things that happening in a Waste Treatment System.  The system is over loaded; because you are doing more things then the system is capable of handling, or the use of outside lagoons.  The holding room for pigs would be cleaned several times a day to lessen any odor.  Trucks transporting pigs also would be washed.  The Plant would have the technology to scrub its emissions of odor before releasing them.  Negative pressure would be applied to the Plants air to prevent it from escaping to the outside.  We use chemical treatments in our St. Joseph Plant. Our facility in St. Joseph does not use outside lagoons. Our design engineer should work with the City of East Moline, to see what is best for your system in order to meet the capability and demands.  Mr. Patelski explained the three levels of action in the process of rending, pollution, controls and scrubbers for the process buildings.    This is a new facility and it has been designed around food quality, and food safety.  We will be focusing on high-end customers doing business with customers in Japan.  Mr. Hoffman stated over the next 9 to 37 months we would be doing a lot of the design work, site evaluation, budget estimates, planning and engineering, and construction        Discussion was held with regard to the importance of time lines, wages, insurance, and employment classifications.      Attorney Phares:  Do to the high incidence of Workers Compensation Claims within your Industry.  I would like you to address your vision of what the rate of worker's Workman Comp. Claims might be and how your company addresses the potential for injuries within the work place.    Mr. Hoffman:  You will not find this to be a dark dimly lit place to work, this is a well lit facility one with plenty of work space for people to move around, and work stations designed around working out.  We anticipate lower incidents of Workers Comp. Claims.   Mr. Hoffman explained why they are interested in East Moline as the site for Triumph Foods.  Our priorities when looking at sites had to do with the following issues:  Population, Skilled Workforce, Infrastructure, Utilities, Water and Electricity, Transportation, Interstates and Highways excess. These are important elements for selecting East Moline.    Discussion was held regarding the type of community involvement, and commitment Triumph will have with the City.  Mr. Hoffman noted that Triumph ask all of their staff to get involved in community organizations.  We are in every service organization in St. Joseph today; we are also involved in funding various projects throughout the City.    Attorney Phares:  Some concern in the audience with regard to the financial wherewithal of the company, and some discussion of perhaps requiring members to guarantee the obligation under the Development Agreement.  I would like for you to address that issue as to generally the financial size, wherewithal, and the ability of your company to fulfill the obligation set forth in the agreement.   Mr. Hoffman:  The obligation under the agreement is set up so that any monies we utilize actually come from our taxes, and hopefully that excludes a lot of risk for the City of East Moline.  The owners of this company collectively have million in assets.  We have guaranteed are own money, and agreed to fund the improvement of the Wastewater Treatment Plant, 10 Million dollar bond, the only resource we have coming back is the TIF revenue.   Mayor Thodos allowed additional comments from the audience regarding the proposed project.  The main concerns of those addressing the Council were:  Odor, Storm Water Management, Sewage Waste, Flooding, Immigrant Workers, Hog Confinement Expansion, and Educational Resources.   Attorney Phares:  City Staff has received input from the Alderman, input from Mr. Reil, as the resprestative of the opposition, and input from Mr. DeVeirze with a very well written memorandum received by the Mayor and members of the City Council.  We cannot restructure this agreement, I don't think Triumph is going to agree to that, but I think we can review all of these concerns and all of these suggestions to revise the agreement.   Mr. Keehner, Mr. Hughes, Mayor Thodos, and myself will review the input and we will then make amendments to the agreement as best we can and negioate with Triumph, because it is Triumph's agreement and we will submit this agreement back to the City Council for consideration.  That will be the vote of the City Council two weeks from tonight December 19, 2005. That is consideration of a revised agreement.  We are simply asking the Committee-of-the-Whole tonight to direct staff in that direction, so that we can bring this agreement back to City Council in two weeks.   Mayor Thodos:  Before anybody votes on that, is it understood what Attorney Phares just said?  The agreement that's been discussed this evening is subject to some further input or modifications, not in significant stances but in respect to what has been addressed this evening as concerns, if there are concerns that we can address by modifying the agreement.   A motion was made by Alderman Puentes, seconded by Alderman Kelley, to direct City Staff to review the agreement and submit a revised agreement in two weeks for reconsideration at the next City Council meeting to be held on December 19, 2005.   Upon roll call the following voted in favor: Westbrook, Heiland, Puentes, Moreno, Doose, Meredith, and Kelley.  Motion carried.


VEHICLE PURCHASE  (Mr. Willemarck))

At the November 21, 2005 Committee-of-the-Whole meeting, approval was given to purchase a F-450 dump truck from Reynolds Ford and to use the proceeds from the Auction to help pay for the vehicle.  Because I do not believe that anyone knew that a second truck was also bid, I am providing options, which are listed on the attached sheet for your review.   The three top bidders for the Dump Truck F-450, and Utility Truck F-350 are as follows:             F-450 Dump Truck                             F-350 Utility Truck             Terry's Ford          $40,452                  Lindquist Ford      $37,172             Lindquist Ford      $42, 337                  Reynolds Ford     $38,657             Reynolds Ford        $44,467                 Terry's Ford        $40,584                         Option #1                                                        Option #2 F-450   Reynolds Ford            $44,467           F-450   Reynolds Ford            $44,467 F-350   Reynolds Ford            $38,657           F-350   Lindquist Ford            $37,172

                        Total               $83,124                                     Total             $81,639


Option #3                                                        Option # 4

F-450   Lindquist Ford        $42,337               F-350   Terry's Ford               $40,452 F-350   Reynolds Ford         $38,657              F-350   Reynolds Ford            $38,657                         Total             $80,994                                     Total               $79,109  

Option # 5

                                    F-450   Terry's Ford            $40,452                                     F-350   Lindquist Ford       $37,172                                                             Total            $77,624                      Recommendation: To approve option 4 in the amount of $79,109 for both vehicles and allow the proceeds from the Auction to be used to help pay for both trucks.  The City would save $2,530.    Budget Impact:  Vehicles are budgeted under Motor Pool Purchase, Line Item 03.6.0514.000.00.


Alderman Moreno made the original recommendation that we purchase the vehicle from Reynolds as a good faith gesture since they did loan us vehicles for Hurricane Katrina Relief Operations.  He states he is in support of Option 4.  It still gives them a vehicle, which is less than what we were going to pay above and beyond the low bid, and it also is a savings for the City. 


A motion was made by Alderman Moreno, seconded by Alderman Puentes, to approve the purchase of two vehicles using Option 4 F-450 from Terry's Ford in the amount of $40,452, and F-350 from Reynolds Ford in the amount of $38,657 for a total of $79,109, and allow the proceeds from the Auction to be used towards the purchase of both trucks.  Upon roll call the following voted in favor:  Heiland, Puentes, and Moreno.  Against: Westbrook, Doose, Meredith, and Kelley.  Motion defeated.  3-4.


Alderman Westbrook prefers Option 2 because it would be a better choice since it was agreed upon that the F-450 would come from Reynolds.  When you include the F-350 in, the cost impact is basically the same when you allow the proceeds from the Auction to be used towards the purchase of both trucks.  Alderman Doose states she agrees with Alderman Westbrook and states that she will support option 2.   A motion was made by Alderman Doose, seconded by Alderman Meredith, to approve the purchase of two trucks using Option 2, F-450 from Reynolds Ford in the amount of $44,467, and F-350 from Lindquist Ford in the amount of $37,172 for a total of $81,639 and allow the proceeds from Auction to be used towards the purchase of both trucks.  Upon roll call the following voted in favor:  Westbrook, Puentes, Moreno, Doose, Meredith, and Kelley.  Against:  Alderman Heiland.  Motion carried.  6-1.   NEW HIRE FOR REPLACEMENT  (Chief Moreno) On November 9, 2005 Probationary Officer Jesse Doty resigned from the East Moline Police Department.  Officer Doty wished to return to the agency that he had worked for previously, the Mercer County Sheriff's Department.  This has created a vacancy in the police department.   Recommendation:  To hire a replacement officer off the current established East Moline Fire and Police Commission eligibility list.  The new hire will attend the next available University of Illinois Police Training Institute class.  East Moline Police Department has a February 13, 2006 reservation for starting.    Budget Impact:  This hire should have no impact because this was a budgeted salary for this fiscal year.   A motion was made by Alderman Kelley, seconded by Alderman Doose, to concur with the recommendation as presented.   Upon roll call the following voted in favor:  Westbrook, Heiland, Puentes, Moreno, Doose, Meredith, and Kelley.  Motion carried.   NEW HIRE FOR REPLACEMENT  (Chief Moreno)  Lt. Joseph Reedy has submitted a letter notifying the Police Department and Police Pension Board that he will be retiring effective May 11, 2006.  I would like to hire his replacement in February 2006, because we currently have an available reservation at the University of Illinois Training Institute for February 13, 2006 class.  By hiring this officer prior to Lt. Reedy's actual retirement date will start we will have a head start on the timing of this officer being trained and functional for the Department.   Recommendation:  Approve hiring Lt. Reedy's replacement in February 2006, rather than waiting until May 2006.      Budget Impact:  This early hire should not have any effect on the current budget, because of the savings of Jesse Doty's salary from November through February.   A motion was made by Alderman Kelley, seconded by Alderman Westbrook, to concur with the recommendation as presented.   Upon roll call the following voted in favor:  Westbrook, Heiland, Puentes, Moreno, Doose, Meredith, and Kelley.  Motion carried.   NEW HIRE  (Chief Moreno) Currently the Police Department is staffed at 37 Officers.  This is down two (2) Officers from May 2004, the last time East Moline Police Department was fully staffed at 39 Officers.  Although East Moline Police Department is staffed at 37 officers the City currently covers the salaries for 34.5 officers, because Greater Metropolitan Housing Authority fully funds one and United Township High School and East Moline School District No.37, each fund one officer for 9 months out of the year.  Although the Police Department has continued providing quality service and adequately handle calls for service volume, we have been hindered in areas of proactive enforcement.    For example, last fiscal year 04-05 East Moline Police Department had a phenomenal year in drug seizures of cash and assets filing in excess $72,000, some of which is still pending.  This success was a direct result of our ability to adequately allocate our manpower and resources to those areas.  This fiscal year our department has been inundated with major crime and high profile cases that have had negative impact on our budgeted salary line item.    I would propose that the Police Department hire one of the two officers that we have not replaced during the past two fiscal years and allocate this officer, along with an additional officer through department restructure, to establish a unit dedicated to working drug and other type vice crimes, plus be an available resource to the Detective Division for major crimes.   Recommendation:  Hiring this officer to begin in February and attend the University of Illinois PTI class beginning February 13, 2006.   Budget Impact:  The Police Department will have to absorb the approximately $6,472.00 for 3 month salary for this fiscal year.   Mr. Hughes, indicated a possible option for next years budget is to allocate the cost of the patrolman plus health insurance to be paid out of landfill host fees.   Alderman Moreno commended Chief Moreno for being pro- active rather than re-active and commended Sgt. Showalter for his dedication to this type of work and the entire Police Department for their dedication in serving our community.   A motion was made by Alderman Moreno, seconded by Alderman Puentes, to concur with the recommendation as presented.  Upon roll call the following voted in favor:  Westbrook, Heiland, Puentes, Moreno, Doose, Meredith, and Kelley.  Motion carried.



A motion was made by Alderman Kelley, seconded by Alderman Westbrook, to adjourn the Committee-of-the-Whole meeting.  Upon roll call the following voted in favor: Westbrook, Heiland, Puentes, Moreno, Doose, Meredith, and Kelley.  Motion carried.  10:05p.m.     Minutes taken and submitted by:                                                               Arletta D. Holmes, City Clerk      


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