City of Lincoln City Council met March 25.
Here is the minutes as provided by the council:
Lincoln City Hall, Council Chambers 700 Broadway Street ILincoln, Illinois
Monday, March 25, 2019
The Budget Workshop of the City Council of Lincoln was called to order by Mayor Seth Goodman at 5 p.m., with proper notice given. Attendance was noted.
Alderman Steve Parrott Alderman Tracy Welch Alderwoman Michelle Bauer Alderman Ron Keller Alderwoman Heidi Browne Alderman Dayne Dalpoas Alderman Jeff Hoinacki Alderman Ron Fleshman
City Administrator Elizabeth Kavelman Treasurer Chuck Conzo
City Clerk Peggy Bateman
Streets Superintendent Walt Landers Building and Safety Officer Wes Woodhall Police Chief Paul Adams
Fire Chief Mark Miller
Assistant Fire Chief Bob Dunovsky
City Attorney John Hoblit
Mayor Seth Goodman
Pledge of Allegiance: Mayor Goodman led the council and public in the pledge of allegiance.
Diane Osborn of the Logan County Genealogical and Historical Society came forward to discuss what services LCGHS provides and to request that the city continue to commit to its $750 annual funding.
Alderman Keller wanted to know what the services cost for research,membership, etc. He asked if the county gives any funding. They gave $500 last year.
FISCAL YEAR 2018-2019 DRAFT BUDGET DISCUSSION:
Mayor Goodman called upon Treasurer Chuck Conzo to speak about the 2019-2020 Revenue Projections and proposed Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Budget for the City of Lincoln. The budget draft document is 17 pages long. He said at the outset, the GRF looks pretty good, the projections for expenditures, revenues exceed expenditures. There is a $400,000 different, in the police/fire pension funds, but that doesn't take into account police/fire pension fund investments.
He said the other two are the sewer (Illinois EPA) loans, and what they will be. He said they will see if they can get a total on that. He also mentioned capital projects funds. The Jefferson Street Bridge project he has been told, cannot wait much longer.
Treasurer Chuck Conzo led discussion... on the General Revenue Fund/Consolidated Sub Fund. He listed items line by line, and Alderwoman Bauer had a question. Alderman Welch wanted to know about the Animal Control Contract and wanted to know why it continues to go up every year. Mr. Conzo said he guessed it was because their expenses continue to go up every year. He said he imagined there was inflation there... Alderwoman Bauer said three years ago, the city performed a cost analysis, what it could cost for the city and the city is still far under what they could be paying. City Clerk Bateman weighed in. Then Kevin Bateman weighed in from the county's perspective.
Treasurer Conzo said the city is looking at possible increases here, it looks like workman's comp. is going to go down, while other are going to go up and see modest increases, due to the resolution of problems.
Treasurer Conzo said there are increases in the salaries for elected officials and those who are appointed. Alderman Keller asked how equipment is holding up. City Clerk Bateman weighed in, saying the equipment is better. She said the new machine is working okay, it is getting better.
Alderman Dalpoas asked about increases in Liability Insurance-Mr. Conzo and Alderwoman Bauer clarified the reasons behind the increase.
Salaries, he said the salary reflects a three percent increase, however, for the position, he believes it should be a bit more. There is a cellphone allowance which is the reason behind an increase in the telephone line. There was also a change in supplies to reflect, $1,400 rather than $800.
BUILDING AND ZONING:
Treasurer Conzo went line by line in this section. Alderwoman Bauer wanted to put an asterisk next to cleanup. She thought maybe this line needed to see an increase. Alderman Keller seconded this and asked Mr. Wes Woodhall about how many properties he foresaw coming down the pipe. So far, Mr. Woodhall had used about $12,000 - the next property should cost around $10,000, leaving around $4,000 in the account.
2 l 3-25-2019
One home alone, is a large, old house with a garage. It could cost the city around $20,000 to clean up. They could need to cut their way into the property. He said that was a quick estimate. These cleanups come with tonnage fees.
Mr. Landers also wanted to bring up the Nuisance/Abatement balance. The city wide cleanup will include this work, and that will be in the next budget. He thinks tire cleanup could run around $5,000. He thinks that could be gotten out of the same amount of next year's budget.
The Equipment/Computers line will be going from $900, to $3,900. Police Chief Paul Adams weighed in on his perspective. Alderman Welch said scanning documents requires storage and wanted to know if there was a need to purchase storage. Mr. Adams said there should be enough.
Treasurer Conzo started, and Alderman Welch wanted to talk about this item, saying some constituents are concerned about the safety in front of the Lincoln Junior High School. Hewanted to talk with the superintendent to create some ideas on how to improve safety there, and he thinks that crossing guards could be one idea. Chief Adams said if he waited for his portion of the budget that could be addressed then.
Treasurer Conzo briefly mentioned this before moving on.
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL:
Treasurer Conzo touched on salaries and then moved on.
CONTRACT SERVICES - LEGAL:
Treasurer Conzo touched on legal fees and moved forward.
Treasurer Conzo J.U.L.l.E. fees are expected to increase, from $3,000 to $4,000. Chief Adams talked about the Centralized Dispatch Contract, and how some $20,000 could be saved there.
Treasurer Conzo moved on to page five, with the Fire Department Budget. He turned things over to Fire Chief Mark Miller. Mr. Miller said there were a few changes, he went through them line by line. He mentioned Lexipole and some signoffs on policies etc. Chief Adams mentioned IPRF and a kickback that they get from that. He talked about how policies get sent, and that it saves money for the city.
Chief Miller resumed with the training budget-and how that was bumped up. The city sent two rookies to academy and covered those costs. There is another person retiring at the end of April, so if they need to send someone else to the academy, they will have the funds in the budget to do that. He then touched on StarCom and eliminating the hardline with the current radio system. This should save approximately $90 a month. No changes in PR or medical exams. There are mandatory respiratory exams for his employees. There is $35,000 on the Grant Expense line. The grant he has looked into is really around $20,000, so this line could be reduced by $15,000- it's a grant for radios and breathing apparatuses.
Alderman Fleshman asked about the radios, they became available and he was able to apply for them, however, the Lincoln City Police Department radios were not included in this. Accrued overtime was listed at $19,000 that is what has been accrued by the current firemen that they do have.
Alderman Parrott wanted him to explain this so he could understand. He wanted to know the difference of the two. Accrued Overtime, (school or class), they get comp time for this. Some employees have a couple hundred hours of this and they cannot cash out on this unless they leave their job. They can accrue it over their entire career, but it caps around 460 hours. He said few people have accrued very many hours.
Alderwoman Bauer wanted to know if the amount was increased due to the anticipation of a retirement. That was accurate. Chief Miller continued.
Alderwoman Bauer wanted to see all the salaries appointed etc. listed out. Alderman Parrott wanted to clarify about how the city hired a new firefighter, in order to cut down on overtime hours, but that it was only reduced by $10,000 after the hiring of a new person.
Chief Miller said if they hired another person they could again see another drop in $10,000. Assistant Fire Chief Bob Dunovsky weighed in on how hiring a new employee influenced the number, he said the $10,000 number is not specific to the newly hired firefighter. He said the new hire and the retiree will influence the overtime costs as well. He tried to explain.
Treasurer Conze asked about the new hire, he is currently at the academy. Treasurer Conzo said that he tries to budget it high. He reiterated what the chief said. Last year, they were over budget, but this year there was some "pretty decent savings," according to Chief Miller.
Alderwoman Bauer said with the three contracts up for negotiations, she said the council can look into this and consider longevity as part of severance, accrued time, etc.
Treasurer Conzo moved on to the City Police Department. Police Chief Paul Adams mentioned uniforms, then touched on supplies-general. He said there is some savings in gas, so there was no increase in that line. He is hoping to see an increase in savings relating to the vehicles. He mentioned some technology about idling,and the need to keep the vehicles running due to the computers. The city should be buying eight new vehicles this year.
There is an equipment replacement fund which is paying for these vehicles. The Investigations line will be bumped up to $2,000 if the council permits. Telephone, the city pays for two lines, so there is a big increase in this line. The tuition reimbursement line has been reduced to $3,000. The Labor Attorney line has increased from $1,000 to $10,000.
Chief Adams then discussed the hiring of a School Resource Officer-the city needs to come up with $35,000. He then said some money could come out of the salaries-clerical line. He said that could be reduced to $69,402 would be salaries clerical. He thinks money could come out of the Salaries-Clerical line to hire this person.
Alderman Welch weighed in on why there is still a need for crossing guards. Chief Adams wanted a School Resource Officer. Alderman Parrott wanted to know where the $114,000 increase came from-contractual raises, and then the cost of the new officer, which would be half the cost of a regular police officer. Alderwoman Bauer wanted to know what the total number would be. $2,140,231.
[[BREAK AT 6:23 P.M.]]
The council took a break at 6:23 p.m.
[[MEETING RESUMED AT 6:45 P.M.]]
The meeting resumed at 6:45 p.m.Mayor Goodman turned things over once again to Treasurer Conzo.
BUILDING AND GROUNDS:
Treasurer Conzo moved down to Building and Grounds on page six. Chief Mark Miller weighed in on cleaning services for the city. The people who are hired to clean, will clean the various office buildings anywhere from two to three days a week. The Depot is also cleaned, it's about $30 a day for these services. Chief Miller is expecting to see a bid for a new contract.
Alderwoman Bauer wanted to address the elephant in the room, including that this area would be under his control. She had not talked to the soon to be Chief, Bob Dunovsky and wanted to know if the intent was still to have it under the chiefs control.
Alderman Welch said this topic came up before, during the negotiations for the Fire Chief. He said something needs to be budgeted for this. He said they have to get a contract or sign one with someone. Alderman Hoinacki said his memory served him right and the former city engineer took care of City Buildings and Grounds.
City Clerk Bateman mentioned coding bills, she thought that could be taken on in the city clerk's office. That janitorial service does not cover light bulbs.There is a contract with heating/cooling, so those folks will change filters.
Discussion then went toward controlling heating in some of the buildings as heat rises and goes past the heating tiles, Chief Adams mentioned installing some insulation to help with this. Mr. Kevin Bateman mentioned contracting out Building and Grounds Maintenance. He said at the county they hired a retired person for this. Alderwoman Bauer said she wanted to ensure they brought it up.
Alderman Welch suggested adding a salaried line item, until Buildings and Grounds to anticipate for this need. Treasurer Conzo wanted to clarify if it would be contractual services. That would be how it would be listed. This line item would be increased to cover this. The council would revisit this at another meeting.
ECONOMIC PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT:
Treasurer Conzo mentioned Third Friday's Downtown Lincoln and that Alderman Welch had mentioned that the planning group would not need as much for this during the summer months. Mr. Welch explained.
STREETS AND ALLEYS:
Treasurer Conzo turned items over to Streets Superintendent Walt Landers. There is a $450, clothing allowance for a new hire.
There is a big bump in the Tree and Stump Removal line, from $15,000 to $50,000. Much needed changes are to come to the traffic signals in the city. Contractual services have increased from $35,000 to $40,000. There is a change in the salaries part-time line, which has been reduced from $42,000 to $28200. It includes summer help and those who cover the landfill.
Treasurer Conzo said there is an increase in Health Benefits. These benefits were guided by Nancy Schaub. There is a five percent increase on health and a three percent increase on dental insurances. Dental runs from May 1, to April 30. The others follow the fiscal year.
Alderman Welch wanted to revisit the crossing guard line item, to increase it from $5,000 to $7,500. If the School Resource Officer would work out, then the money may not be needed. Treasurer Conzo suggested not going so high, they agreed to go to $6,000.
POLICE GRANT EXPENDITURES:
MOTOR FUEL TAX:
Treasurer Conzo was asked by Alderman Fleshman about the Equipment and Replacement Fund. Any of the city's equipment that is used on the job-then the city gets reimbursed for this usage. He then explained engineering and what the MFT line item about this was about. This year Alderman Fleshman asked about resurfacing, and suggested that engineering fees for this year may not be that high. Streets Superintendent Landers said this budget was secondary to what their maintenance budget is. Alderman Fleshman then asked about previously leased equipment, Mr. Landers said that would come up.
DEBT SERVICE FUND:
Treasurer Conzo said the city is now in the third year of this and this will be paid off in the next year. There is $175,000 budgeted in the expenditures line. Radio services were listed in the Technology & Equipment line (46-0200-7865).
SEWER ACCOUNTING AND ADMIN:
Treasurer Conzo said Mr. Shawn Wright of Veolia would be present tomorrow night, March 26, to cover this. He then touched on those salaries for people within the sewer department. Alderwoman Bauer asked about supplies for the office, it went from $4,000 to $18,000, this is due to the monthly billing. The line about Capital Expense Software, is now listed at $1,000 rather than the previous $10,000. The price for postage has also gone up, by $2,000 due to the monthly billing.
SEWER COLLECTION SYSTEM:
SEWER SALARIES AND CAPITAL:
Treasurer Conzo touched on this. Alderwoman Bauer weighed in on the need to have someone else help tourism with their event planning. Alderman Welch said it's something for that board to consider. He wanted to change the funding to 90 percent, rather than 85 percent.
Alderman Hoinacki touched on having these groups funded through this first year, he encouraged keeping the amounts the same for this year. City Administrator Kavelman called for an income and expense report. Alderman Welch said he did not think tourism could balk at this idea. He said the structure between the city and tourism is creating a double dipping mentality and this could clean this up.
Alderman Dalpoas asked why there was a need for the city to keep any of it. Treasurer Conzo said there are things that could always come up and keeping something in there could help cover such unexpected costs. He said the expenditures are still $8,000 less, and there is some flexibility, He recommended maintaining this flexibility. Alderman Fleshman said people are still going to come in and ask.
He thinks the line item should be zero, so the city is no longer put in a position to determine what they will fund and what they will not fund.
Nyla of the Tourism Board weighed in, the state grant is relatively small and follows certain guidelines, however, the city grant does not follow the same guidelines. In Alderman Welch's opinion, the Tourism Board operates in a fashion that is getting a bit broader. Heads in beds may have been a good starting point, however, their view is expanding.Alderwoman Bauer said if there is something specific the city would want to support, this funding on hand could allow the City of Lincoln to support such specific items/requests. She said there needed to be some wiggle room left, but that is did not necessarily need to be 85 percent. Treasurer Conzo said that made sense and that he would change the draft. Alderman Hoinacki said the council could always vote, "No," on requests if it is not the right fit for them. Alderwoman Bauer liked the idea of greater public clarity.
SEWER BOND REPAYMENT:
Treasurer Conzo said there is not much to say about this, in this case the bond is larger, it comes with a $750 register fee, not much could be done to change that.
Treasurer Conzo recommended saving capital projects for later on.
LIBRARY PARKING LOT:
Treasurer Conzo mentioned there is a looming $25,000 bill for engineering fees, if the city owes this money, the fund could be exhausted. City Administrator Kavelman mentioned hiring a City Engineer ASAP. Alderman Welch mentioned his curiosity surrounding why the city was getting the bill three years after the fact. Alderman Welch asked what the deal was with the billing in the contract.
Treasurer Conze touched on this, there should not be an impact on the next fiscal year. Alderwoman Bauer asked about TIF Grants. There isn't anything listed in this line for this fiscal year. Treasurer Conzo said it could be added into the GRF.
Treasurer Conzo said this could be lengthy. The Lincoln City Police Department needs new equipment, cameras for vehicles. There is $112,000 in an Equipment Grant listed, in case Lincoln receives this from the State of Illinois.Streets Superintendent Walt Landers touched on backhoes and dump trucks and just how much it could cost to purchase a new one, ($150,000 to $175,000). They are considering purchasing the chassis late in this budget year, and then purchase the other items needed in the next budget year. There is also the consideration of a leaf vacuumfor picking up leaves in the fall. There are some issues with the street sweeper, there is a quote for $65,000, for this machine. They are looking at $100,000 that it could go one direction or another.
Alderman Fleshman said the city is doubling its budget over last year. Mr. Landers said there is $50,000 in this year's budget that has not yet been spent. Alderman Fleshman said they are going up and down the board. Mr. Landers said he has applied for a bucket truck grant through Ameren. He said that is why the city has not moved forward on purchasing this piece of equipment. Alderman Hoinacki asked about partial or half payments on some of the equipment. Mr. Landers is looking into used leaf vacuums as well.
POLICE PENSION FUND:
Treasurer Conzo went down the line on items listed under this category. Alderwoman Bauer mentioned a typo on the Professional Fees line. Treasurer Conzo mentioned the deficit once again.
FIRE PENSION FUND:
Treasurer Conzo and Alderwoman Bauer talked about line number 76-0001-3800, there was a typo. This needed to remain at $42,350.
ALL VETERANS PARK:
Treasurer Conzo said the same balance may be kept in this account, if some donations are not made. This leaves the council with Sewer and Capital Projects. He asked the council if they want to leave off. Alderman Keller asked if there was another night on the calendar. A collective of people said, "Tomorrow."
Mayor Goodman said we are done for the evening. Treasurer Conzo said it is on the agenda for tomorrow. There could be another meeting to tie things altogether too, in case the councilwants to make additional changes. The council would still need to wrap things up on another night. Some council members wanted to revisit Capital Projects.
Treasurer Conzo began. Alderwoman Browne mentioned that the council could not take anything away from these items, because this is what people care about... considering this is where the calls come from. People do not want to hear that they are spending money on other things such as police vehicles, etc. She wanted to see money put in here, as these are improvements the community needs. She said this is the stuff that people who live in town really, really care about. Alderman Fleshman said he agreed, he said he too gets calls and requests for street and sidewalk repairs. He wanted to see these numbers increase.
Alderman Welch said it is hard to justify purchasing new equipment and the, "nice-to-haves," when there are streets in need of repair. He said he would say that they need to get creative and look across the entire budget and come up with a place where they can come up with the $100,000 difference.
Treasurer Conzo said at the end of the year...Alderwoman Bauer said we're looking at GRF, difference in expenditure compared to revenue, she wanted an idea of the number.
They're looking at a difference of around $100,000. She said so there really is not any room to wiggle. She said... so the numbers are accurate, Treasurer Conzo explained.
Alderman Welch said he knew when Treasurer Conzo was talking about the 2020 GO Bond. Alderman Welch would rather see money go toward the micro resurfacing and sidewalks etc.
Alderman Welch said we knew about the Jefferson Street Bridge Project and here the city is again, not setting aside money or planning.
Alderwoman Bauer said it was not the intention of the council, they knew it was coming, Alderman Welch said the council's actions prove that they took no action. Alderwoman Bauer said it is just going to keep coming. She said State Street had to get done, although they knew about Jefferson Street Bridge. She said they have to deal with what is in front of them right now.
Alderwoman Browne said she feels there is no preparation,they are always stuck with what is in front of them. She said she hates that they are putting the next council in a bad spot, but she does not want to take away from the citizens. She said we're never going to grow as a community if we're not doing anything for the streets.
Alderman Dalpoas asked if they commit to looking through the budget to try to find the funds to recuperate some of the funds. Alderwoman Browne said that she thinks they have to. She said if they're making decisions for constituents, then that's kind of what they have to do.
Treasurer Conze said there is still some time before they have to vote on this. He said there is a COW meeting tomorrow night and then again on April 9. He said he was kind of the scribe on this. He said the GO Bond comment by Alderman Welch was a good thought. He said there were other things they could look at, to determine if they really need them.
Treasurer Conzo said the $500,000 you want to stretch that as far as you can. Alderman Welch wanted to know if it was fair to ask the department heads to look for items they can cut back on. Or the other item is the GO Bond.
Alderwoman Bauer said she did not work in a place where she did not get a three percent raise every single year. She said they are consistently giving two to three percent raises. She said she was not sure how much room there was for renegotiating. She said Administrator Kavelman mentioned that payroll is the biggest contributor to this. She said this could be another spot where they could run the numbers. She said looking at this could ensure they looked at all options.
Alderman Fleshman said we realize the department heads have needs, but they need to look at the needs of the citizens. He said $100,000 in the scheme of $17 million does not mean a lot percentage wise, but to the citizens it will. He said see where we can cut something. See where we can cut to ensure the resurfacing projects can be done. He said it was a tough nut to crack.
Treasurer Conze said the city is in a better position than where they were. He's just hesitant to borrow from one fund to the other. He did not want to be in this position again. He said it has been a long, long time-so there is the potential to transfer.
Alderman Parrott said this budget and the next budget, he said we've had some businesses leave, and there has been an exodus of 40,000 from the state, annually. He suggested everyone be very carefulwhen they decide what to vote on.
Alderman Fleshman mentioned what Alderman Welch had said about using the GO Bond and cutting some, he said he has full confidence in the department heads that they had sharpened their pencils. He said if we cut something, then they could have to just buy the items next year.
Alderwoman Bauer said she was okay with using some of the GO Bond and transferring from the GRF. Alderwoman Browne weighed in. Alderman Welch asked about foregoing the leaf truck. Superintendent Landers said he could forego all of it another year, but he mentioned one of the biggest reconstruction projects he knows about is $350,000 to reconstruct Kickapoo Street.
Alderman Welch said they are trying to fill that gap. Superintendent Landers said he just needs clear direction. Mr. Landers said they have been taking care of roads and have done more sidewalkwork in the past three years than they ever really have. He said sometimes they cannot address everything, but they do what they can.
Chief Adams said if you're getting these complaints, then these need to be directed to Mr. Landers, so he can make the appropriate budgetary decisions. Alderman Welch proposed $50,000 from the GO Bond and $75,000 from the GRF, to cover micro surfacing and the sidewalks.
Mr. Kevin Bateman came forward to talk about sidewalks, he said the city could come up with a sidewalk reimbursement program. The city currently has a program for this, they reimburse $2 a square foot. It's a rebate program. The reimbursement rate was raised two years ago, it's up to $5,000. Alderman Welch said there are situations where people are tearing out city sidewalks without going through the process. This leaves the sewer discussion for tomorrow, March 26.
There being no further discussion to come before the City Council of Lincoln, Mayor Goodman called the meeting to close at 8:39 p.m.
Committee of the Whole Meeting, Tuesday, March 26, 7 p.m.