Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Liveblogging City Council

Lliveblogging tonight's city council meeting:

7:28  Councilwoman Jane Adams is making announcements about  various events in Carbondale and warning people that if door-to-dorr sales people come to their house, they should have a permit issued by the city.  If they do not, they have not been authorized to solicit within the city.

7:30 Councilmen Don Monty and Lee Fronabarger also making announcements about upcoming events including the citywide cleanup laster this spring.

7:33 Mayor Fritzler going over the consent agenda. Would bet $5 that someone wants something pulled from it for a separate vote. Another $5 says it is councilman Monty.  Nope, not Monty, but Fritzler and audience members asked to pull 3 items for individual vote.

7:35  Apparently the audience members got confused and thought item 4.4 was dealing with the city budget, when it actually dealt with re-appointing people to various commissions.

7:37  Now discussing  the annexation of property in the Lakeland Hills subdivision.  Some concern by audience members of tax implications of the annexation as well as flooding and drainage problems.

7:50  Lakeland Hills annexation approved.Now under discussion is renewal of the city's mowing contract.  Apparently one of the companies that submitted a bid to handle the city's mowing has pulled out the bidding, saying that, if they did not get a contract for the entire area, it would not be profitable for them.

7:50  Mowing contract approved with the hope the company buys its gas in Carbondale.

8:00  to applause, Chris Wissmann just moved the city start the process for renaming a section of Jackson Street in honor of Corene McDaniel.

8:15  McDaniel and Wissmann getting certificates recognizing them for their service on the council.

8:30  Fair Days resolution considered for the Sunset Concerts.  Passes 7 to 1 with McDaniel voting no, as she has consistently since joining the council.  She does not feel it appropriate to have alcohol at events held on city property.

8:39  Now we are discussing the budget.  Audience member is asking if the council could require SIUC  project paid for by the Saluki Way tax to use Carbondale business in the construction.  Mayor Fritzler is pointing out that the money raised from the tax only went to fund bonds for the new stadium and Arena renovation.

8:45  In response to a question Councilman Fronabarger points out that the new  Student Services building is funded solely from student fees.

8:45  Wissmann now talking about about a company called Buxton (sp) that does surveys of communities to determine what types of businesses has a good chance of surviving in a community.  As he pointed out to me during the pre-council reception, it makes little sense for another auto parts company to locate in a community if there are already 5 similar businesses there unless there is evidence there is unserved demand for auto parts.

8:49    New budget passes unanimously

8:50 Motion to adopt a new five year community investment program. Essentially, this is a guide on where the city should invest dollars in the community over the next five years.  The firs station and public safety buildings were both part of past CIPs.

8:54  City manger Kevin Baity points out that the CIP also indicates where funding for the proposed city projects come from.  Passed unanimously.

8:55  Pay plan for non union city employees adopted unanimously as well.

8:57  Council now discussing requests for funding from local community organizations.  This might get a bit dicy as several organizations that requested funding are not in the proposal so representatives from those organizations might push council to add funding for them..

9:05  Nope, nothing from the audience.  Passed unanimously. Authorization of refunding bonds for various improvements up next. Part of this will go to Schwartz Street improvements first proposed back in 2006

9:15  Monty pointing out that he was opposed to funding the Swartz Street project through additional debt but that the cost of said debt (interest) is so low that it makes sense to take on debt in order to do the construction now, rather than later when construction costs increase

9:19  Adams pointing out that debt took on to fund University Mall will be paid off about 2019, freeing up more city money.

9:30  Refinancing of bonds passed unanimously. Moving onto a discussion of technical changes to the Revised Code dealing with the revisions to the Neighborhood Business District.  No substantive changes to the code are proposed.

9:34 Month compares the ordinance to correcting punctuation errors in the original ordinance.  vote is 7-1 in favor with Adams opposing.

9:36  Tony Espozito (sp?) speaking during citizen comments about trash pickup.  Concerned about one price charged to all residents when some households generate lots of trash while others generate very little.  Fritzler says he has been pushing for graduated refuse collection fees but the process is very slow.

9:40   Fritzler says the city is looking at other methods of charging for refuse collection but does not go into specifics.

9:43  Baity says there are currently overage charges if you set out too many cans of trash but enforcement and tracking are difficult.  Councilman Jack welcomes Espozito to Carbondale and agrees trash collection should be looked at.

9:45  Fritzler comments that the city gets complaints about charging recycling fees.  Adams notes that some landlords don't provide trash receptacles for tenants, piggybacking on other locations that do have trash receptacles.

9:49  Jack thanking Wissmann and McDaniel further.

9:51  McDaniel now thanking city staff for their courtesy and especially city police for escorting her to her car on late nights. Mayor Fritzler now commenting.

9:52  Fritzler thanking Wissmann and McDaniel for their service.  Now talking about H Group, which was denied a permit to open in Carbondale, is opening a home in West Frankfort.

9:54  Fritzler now talking about Amerin and how they need to paint their rusty power poles. Supposedly, Amerin will start painting them in May.

9:56 Council going into closed session, which means that's it for tonight.  Comments on tonight's meeting welcome.

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