By LYNNETTE FORTH | For The Prairie Advocate News
LANARK – The Lanark City Council held the first meeting in the new Municipal Building on January 22, 2013. Mayor Ed Stern welcomed the Council and guests to the new building.
“In November 2009, Alderman Mark Macomber said, ‘I see a vision.’ He did a lot of leadership in getting this new building. As Mayor ProTem, I would like Mark to conduct the first meeting in our new building,” Stern proudly said.
Macomber thanked Mayor Stern, and stated, “This wouldn’t have happened without a lot of team work.”
Council members began the meeting by approving minutes from the previous January 8th meeting, as well as the finance report, and the December treasurer’s report.
Steve Haring of MSA Professional Services discussed the Blair Parkway and East Lift Station projects, reporting that the IEPA permit has been submitted, with the possibility of getting word in the next couple of weeks. Sharon Pepin, Community Funding & Planning Services, has been working with MSA to get numbers for the cost estimate of the grant application. Haring recommended that additional surface improvements be made on East Locust Street near the Methodist Church. The grant application is due to the State by February 15th. MSA would like to begin work on the project in the spring of 2014.
Alderman Ed Fehlhafer said, “We gotta keep moving forward. We need to get a meeting of the Water and Sewer Departments scheduled and include Nick of MSA”.
Once again, Denny Pate of Moring Disposal was present to discuss the city’s garbage contract renewal. “Congratulations on the New City Hall. I was at the last meeting in the old building, and the first at the new building.”
Pate submitted a proposal with different options, and also brought a “toter” for the council to view. The new system involving the toters would require a ten year contract with Moring. “It’s a pretty nice program. We ask the communities that go with the program to help us out with a ten year contract. It has a lot of nice options.”
Macomber questioned how soon until the new program would be implemented, and Pate answered April 1st. Aldermen Macomber mentioned that Wisconsin has a program called “centralized recycling,” and wondered if Pate had seen that in the industry. Fehlhafer offered that Princeton, Illinois has a centralized program in place, and that city officials there are still complaining about not getting as much recycling, but are saving money.
Alderman Ken Weaver commented, “A lot of residents in my ward say, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. Ed Fehlhafer voice concern over duplication of services between Moring Disposal and the City crew. Alderman Tom Kocal added, “If customers want the service, they will pay for it, and then the City crew is freed up to do more productive work.” Weaver replied “It’s about educating the community.”
Pate said that the City should expect to see an increase of $2.00-$3.00 per household within ten years.
After much discussion regarding several council members’ reluctance to sign a 10-year contract, Council proposed a contract with Moring to accept the two toter program for three years, with the option of two-3 year extensions. The contract would include every other week recycling pick up. Pate informed the council that he would take the proposal back to Larry Moring for review.
Reports, rezoning, bids & more
The Audit Report for the Fiscal year ending March 31st 2012 was tabled until the February 5th meeting.
Lanark Public Library Board president J. L. Hunter advised the council that the Library Board is still looking at getting furniture, with a meeting scheduled for the 29th. “We are hoping to set a date to get the library moved in.”
Beth Miller addressed the council on behalf of her husband Dave Miller who was a member of the Lanark High School class of 1983. Miller spoke about their interest in rehabbing the former Shearer Building if they purchase it. The Miller’s would like to live in the building, but have questions regarding rezoning. Miller was advised to be in contact with the Zoning Committee and schedule a meeting.
Alderman Anne Lindsay advised that the personnel committee needs to meet to conduct reviews, and also discuss the lawn mowing agreement. Ed Fehlhafer noted that the Water and Sewer committee still needs a contract with Eastland Motor Sports for a water filtration system.
Purchasing/Finance committee member, Marc Macomber informed the council that Police Chief Magill would like to purchase a new squad car. Asking the council, “Do we want to roll the dice and get a new one?”, aldermen decided to request Magill to be present at the next meeting for discussion.
Streets and Properties committee chairman Kocal informed the council that demolition bids for the previously discussed buildings have been let. Kocal has documents and manuals for review if anyone wants to see them. Bid opening is set for Jan. 30.
City Attorney Ed Mitchell advised council members that he recommends extending the Nicor Gas ordinance, the MediaCom ordinance has been sent in, and the County Clerk has confirmed the levy number.
Mitchell informed them that Express Lane had contacted him in regards to hiring a nineteen year old employee, and they wanted to make sure the subject could legally sell liquor. Mitchell advised that he would double check with the State statute. Alderman Kocal thanked the council on behalf of his family for their condolences on the passing of his mother.
City Clerk Jackie Hawbecker reported that she has a subject requesting that he be allowed the senior discount on his water bill for the years that he was past 65, but not aware of the discount. Council members agreed that the subject should not be allowed any reimbursements.
Hawbecker also stated that she received a proposal from Prowant’s for tuck pointing the Heritage Center. She also expressed concern that the new City building does not have its own mailbox. They are currently using the one for the Library which is the drop box for book returns. Council members gave Hawbecker permission to get a post office box at the post office.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:56 p.m., with the next meeting being scheduled for February 5th 2013.