City of Springfield City Council met September 5.
City of Springfield City Council met September 5.
Here is the minutes provided by the Council:
Mayor Langfelder called the September 5, 2017 meeting of the Springfield City Council to order at 5:30 pm. He invited everyone to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Clerk Lesko took the roll call of members.
Present: Alderman Redpath , Alderman Senor , Alderman Turner , Alderman Fulgenzi , Alderman Proctor , Alderman DiCenso , Alderman McMenamin , Alderman Theilen , Alderman Donelan , Alderman Hanauer , and Mayor Langfelder
Clerk Lesko announced there was a quorum for a meeting.
Next, Mayor Langfelder asked for a motion to dispense with a reading of the minutes of the August 15, 2017 City Council meeting and approve the minutes. Alderman Hanauer made the motion and Alderman Donelan seconded. The motion passed on a voice vote of 10-0.
Next, Mayor Langfelder asked for a motion to incorporate the Pre-Council first reading of ordinances into the record of the Council meeting. Alderman Donelan made the motion with Alderman Proctor seconding. The motion passed on a voice vote of 10-0.
Next, Mayor Langfelder asked to incorporate the pre-council reading of the consent agenda into the record. Alderman Redpath made the motion. Aldermen Proctor and Donelan seconded the motion. The motion passed on a voice vote of 10-0.
Next, Mayor Langfelder entertained a motion to remove agenda item 2017-388 from the consent agenda and be placed on the debate agenda. Alderman Redpath made the motion to place the agenda item on the debate agenda. Alderman Theilen seconded the motion. The motion passed on a voice vote of 10-0.
Next, Mayor Langfelder asked for a motion to place the amended consent agenda on final passage. Alderman Donelan made the motion to place the amended consent agenda on final passage. Alderman Theilen seconded the motion. Alderman McMenamin asked to be recorded as a no vote on agenda item 2017-401. The motion passed 10-0 voting yes: Alderman Redpath , Alderman Senor , Alderman Turner , Alderman Fulgenzi , Alderman Proctor , Alderman DiCenso , Alderman Theilen , Alderman McMenamin , Alderman Donelan , and Alderman Hanauer
Next, agenda item 2017-388 an ordinance amending ordinance 426-12-14 establishing the Springfield/Sangamon County Enterprise Zone, enterprise zone designation-tax abatement and ordinance 425-12-14 and authorizing a memorandum of understanding with Sangamon County regarding The Enterprise Zone by extending the territorial boundaries to include property located on the north half of Sangamon County parcel 36-18.0-200-001 Aldermen Redpath and Turner made a motion to place the agenda item on final passage. Aldermen Proctor and Theilen seconded the motion.
Next, Mayor Langfelder opens the discussion to public comments on the agenda item. First person signed up to address the Council tonight is Phil Gonet.
Next, Phil Gonet 1616 Cressa Court, Springfield, spoke on behalf of the Illinois Coal Association, against the extension of the enterprise zone. There are two reasons they oppose this extension, first is that the proposed plant would compete against CWLP in the generation of electricity and sale into the wholesale market. If CWLP cannot compete in the wholesale market, reviews will go down and rates will increase to make up for the loss of funds. The second reason if CWLP is producing less energy they will be using less coal and will mean job losses in the coal mine and less jobs at CWLP plants as well. The agreement will shut out CWLP out of any energy market price spikes that could occur in the next 25 years. This could cost millions in energy sales and rate payers will pay more to offset the loss in profits.
Next, Bryanna Brutallino of 607 5th Street in Pawnee spoke against the extension of the enterprise zone. She stated her concerns of the dangers of living in close proximity to a natural gas power plant. She is also concerned about the impact that it would have on the environment.
Next, Jessica Megginson of 4536 East Divernon Road in Pawnee spoke against the extension of the enterprise zone. She asked to look out what is best for Springfield, Sangamon County and Pawnee. She wants the Council to also think about the residents that they don’t represent that live in the town of Pawnee.
Next, Josh Collins 1011 South Second Street of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce spoke of a power plant in Harrison County that has used EmberClear in the past. They had good experience with using them to build the power plant. They have laid foundations and are working on air permits. Alderman Fulgenzi wanted to know if the enterprise zone takes effect if the plant doesn’t get built. CC Zerkle said that is correct. Alderman DiCenso wanted to know if the time frame is 24 months for construction to begin. CC Zerkle said that in a memorandum with the county the project must start within 24 months. Alderman McMenamin wanted to know from Mr. Collins if there was an ownership group in the project that he mentioned. Mr. Collins said that there is an ownership group that has taken over the project.
Next, John Kinnamon, Vice President with EmberClear said that EmberClear has a percentage of ownership in the projects that they start. He couldn’t say off hand what the percentage is at each facility.
Next, Brad Schaive, Business Manager for Labors Local 477 spoke in favor of the extension of the enterprise zone. Mr. Schaive gave examples of union members that have had opportunities and how they have bettered themselves and their family.
Next, Jane McBride spoke in opposition of the expansion of the enterprise zone. Her concern is that the energy market is shifting from fossil fuels to more renewable energy. Miss McBride is also concerned about the financial standing of EmberClear and the bankruptcy they have filed in the past.
Next, Jim Dixon of 7 Homeward Court, Jerome spoke in favor of the extension of the enterprise zone. The union work that goes to work on the construction of the power plant will be making good wages that will be spent right back here in the community. This is an opportunity to see good jobs with good wages and increase spending in the community.
Next, Alderman Hanauer said this is about making the power plant come to this area instead of another area in Central Illinois. Wherever the plant goes, it will have an effect on CWLP and the Mayor has done a good job of getting a deal that won’t hurt the rate payers as much as it could.
Next, Alderman McMenamin said the ordinance is going to pass with votes to spare. Some of his reservations for not voting for the extension of the enterprise zone are that Springfield owns its own power plant. The city should not subsidize a competitor in the wholesale market. CWLP employs 500 employees and is the largest industry in Sangamon County and two thirds of the employees are union. The EmberClear power plant will cost the City of Springfield seventy million dollars in lost revenue. This should be an easy no vote, but the Mayor has gone out and negotiated some compensation for the city. Alderman McMenamin said that there are many projects in Springfield that need to be funded that would provide an opportunity for union members in the area.
Next, Alderman Donelan asked if someone comes forward to partner with EmberClear would the new partner be required to honor the terms of the agreement. He also mentions that there are risks with this agreement, but if this project goes somewhere else the city gets nothing and the city is not protected.
Next, Alderman Redpath said that if this project is in Sangamon County or in another central Illinois county, this will affect sales at CWLP. If the jobs don’t go here they’ll go to another community around here.
Next, Mayor Langfelder said the restructuring of the rates have made CWLP on better financial footing. There have been mistakes made in the past about the future of CWLP with one being that the wind farms should have been built and owned by CWLP instead of having them in another part of the state. The Chamber of Commerce brought this project to Springfield, and originally the city was hands off about this project because of having CWLP. With this project coming in the city’s backyard, it was best to work out an agreement with EmberClear. The most important thing is quality water and this will help protect some of that. The city is the backup water supply for the smaller communities and Springfield doesn’t have a backup water source and that is why it is important to have this partnership.
The motion passed 9-1 voting yes: Alderman Redpath , Alderman Senor , Alderman Turner , Alderman Fulgenzi , Alderman Proctor , Alderman DiCenso , Alderman Theilen , Alderman Donelan , and Alderman Hanauer voting no: Alderman McMenamin
Next, Mayor Langfelder said that the Office of Planning and Economic Development said that they are bringing in an international landscape architect to take a look at the YWCA block and maybe suggest one of the RFP’s for the open space that is associated with their proposal. The mayor has reached out to the State Journal- Register and the Citizens Club to have an open public forum on what can go on the former Y block.
Next, Mayor Langfelder said that the next public forum for CWLP will be September 14 at 5:30 pm. The location is still unknown, but they should know more by tomorrow. The discussion will be about the power market and where the city plans to go in the future.
Next, Katie Champion with the American Cancer Society of Springfield spoke about the upcoming Real Men Making Strides breast cancer awareness campaign. The Making Strides Walk will be at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on October 21st ,and they will celebrate over 125 survivors. Some of the men involved in this year’s Real Men Making Strides campaign included Brian Lawson with CWLP, Fire Captain Blough and Alderman Donelan.
Next, Alice Remmey of 1212 South Livingston said that the garbage men that are picking up the garbage are leaving stuff behind. She would also like to see some way for the lights to change for when the fire trucks are responding to a call to change and the need for cameras downtown to monitor people. Chief Winslow said that there are some fixed cameras downtown that are used for accidents and other crimes that may occur. They are looking to expand the cameras to other areas outside downtown in high crime areas.
Next, Mayor Langfelder said that there will be a Ride to Remember on September 10th 9 A.M. at Hall’s Harley-Davidson in honor of the attacks of September 11th
Next, Mayor Langfelder entertained a motion for adjournment. The motion was made by Alderman Redpath and seconded by Alderman DiCenso. The motion passed on a voice vote of 10-0. The September 5, 2017 Council Meeting adjourned at 6:47 pm