Tuesday, June 22, 2010

City Council Meeting

Got to city council meeting about a hour late but apparently didn't miss much as Mayor Cole commented the first hour had been spent listening to comments by council and citizens about the comprehensive plan the city was adopting. The major concern of those citizens commenting was the concept of mixed use, fearing that an owner occupied house could have an auxiliary building the owner could rent out, but that a later owner would bend the code and rent both structures. The general consensus among council was that this could be looked at later and fixed in the zoning ordinances. Also raised by citizens was the feeling that the comprehensive plan lacked an overarching vision on moving Carbondale from a railroad town to a true university town. At this point, the mayor made an interesting comment that he hope the current occupants of Anthony Hall proved easier to work with than the revolving door of recent years. The comprehesive plan got approved unanimously, the first of several unanimous votes.

Next on the agenda was accepting the low bid of Contegra Construction for the new Public Safety Center on S. Washington, planned to open in March 2011. Councilman Haynes raised questions about enforcement of affirmative action regulations in the building and Councilman Jack requested the soon to be build west side fire station strive to come close to LEED compliance, which was not sought in the case of the public safety center. Again, an unanimous vote approved this.

Finally, the council voted, unanimously again, to approve the sale of bonds funding the public safety station. Mayor Cole made a point to note the city's rating on the bonds is AA-, which is higher than the state of Illinois' bond rating. This got the city an interest rate of 3.268%, saving the city several million in interest. According to the company assisting the city in issuing the bonds, the major reason for the high bond rating is the city's excellent financial management. Meeting recessed to go into closed session at 9:15.

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