Synopsis of the November 27 Lanark City Council Meeting
The work on the exterior of the Lanark Municipal Building/Public Library, including the parking area on the south side of the building (top photo), is nearly complete. Outside lettering on the front still needs to be installed. Tiles (below) and carpeting have been laid inside, leaving minor details and cleanup before the construction phase is complete, which should be right before Christmas. (PA photos/John Huggins)
Mayor Ed Stern called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm, with aldermen Anne Lindsay, Ken Weaver, Ed Fehlhafer, Weston Burkholder and Tom Kocal in attendance. Alderman Mark Macomber was absent.
- East Lift Station Upgrade and Blair Parkway Sewer Replacement – MSA Professional Services is finishing up the design of the sanitary system improvements in effort to submit permit application forms to IEPA for review the first week of December. The goal is to receive permits back from IEPA by the grant submission deadline of February 15, 2013. Council authorized Mayor Stern and City Clerk Jackie Hawbecker to sign permit forms to IEPA for East Lift Station Upgrade and Blair Parkway Sewer Replacement.
- Municipal Building – Change Order #18, to change the color of entryway signage, was presented, discussed and approved. Because of several change orders in the past few months, construction was delayed for a Thanksgiving completion. It was reported to be complete by Christmas.
- Blighted buildings – A proposal was submitted by Willett Hofmann & Associates for preparation of bid and construction documents for the demolition of the structure located at 105 & 107 N. Broad, and removal of the debris from structure located at 101 N. Broad. A preliminary review of the building with the engineers, owner Amy Barnes, and City officials will take place Friday, December 7.
- Council discussed the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Committee’s recommendation to assist Roger Burkholder with $50,000 in TIF funds plus $25,000 in tax abatements over 16 years pending verification that property is within the TIF District boundary. During discussion, Burkholder reported the boundary line splits where he plans to put the building, but can easily change the location to lie within the TIF boundary. No action could be taken on this recommendation due to lack of majority votes. Aldermen Burkholder, Kocal, and Mayor Stern own property within the TIF District, and according to state statutes, cannot vote. This situation leaves the remaining 4 aldermen as the majority votes, and a quorum. Since Macomber was absent, a quorum was not present in order to get the unanimous 4-0 vote required. A special Council meeting will be set up to discuss further and take action (No date has been set as of press time). A lengthy discussion ensued, with Kocal stating there could be future ramifications to any Council action regarding the TIF District because of the statute requirements that Council members living in the TIF boundary are not eligible to take part in the discussion or the vote. He pointed out that in this case, all 3 members ineligible - Mayor Stern, Burkholder and Kocal - all live in Ward 2, which means none of the residents of the ward are represented in the discussion. In the future, if 4 or more elected officials live in the TIF, there can be no action taken. “Then what?” Kocal asked.
- Blighted buildings (residential) - City Attorney Ed Mitchell received a couple of responses to notices sent out after the last meeting. Notices were sent to 3 residences and 1 business giving 15 days to make repairs to the premises. After some discussion, consensus was to have Streets & Property Committee meeting to compile a list of repairs needed to secure the buildings, and to determine which properties to pursue with legal action.
- Briefly discussed tuck pointing at the Heritage Center – more information for the next meeting.
- Ordinance #872, ordinance authorizing Nicor Gas and its successors and assigns to construct, operate and maintain a gas distributing system in and through the City of Lanark, IL
- City maintenance to fill in cistern on property located at 316 E. Pearl (one of the blighted properties discussed) due to safety hazard.