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City of Lincoln Committee of the Whole met October 29

By Michael Abella | Dec 12, 2019

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City of Lincoln Committee of the Whole met Oct. 29.

Here is the minutes provided by the committee:

The Committee of the Whole Meeting of the City Council of Lincoln was called to order by Mayor Seth Goodman at 7 p.m., with proper notice given. City Clerk Peggy Bateman called roll.

PRESENT:

Alderman Tracy Welch, Ward 1

Alderman Steve Parrott, Ward 1

Alderman Kathryn Schmidt, Ward 2

Alderman Sam Downs, Ward 2

Alderman Kevin Bateman, Ward 3

Alderman Ron Keller, Ward 3

Alderman Kathy Hom, Ward 4

Alderman Jeff Hoinacki,Ward 4

PRESENT:

Seth Goodman, Mayor

Elizabeth Kavelman, City Administrator

John Hoblit, City Attorney

Peggy Bateman, City Clerk

Alex Williams, Recording Secretary

Chuck Conzo, City Treasurer

Bob Dunovsky, Fire Chief

Wes Woodhall, Building and Safety Officer

Norman Bigott Veolia Water, Regional Technical Manager

ABSENT:

Paul Adams, Police Chief

Walt Landers, Streets Superintendent

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mayor Goodman called upon citizens registered to speak. There being no public participation, Mayor Goodman moved down to other agenda items.

G.O. BOND ISSUE,SERIES 2020 PARAMETERS ORDINANCE,WITH JOHN VEZZETTI OF BERNARDISECURITIES:

Treasurer Chuck Conzo said this was a continuing series, and the city is at the end of the cycle of the previous bond issue which was 2017. They began on it in 2016. The city is just about at the three-year mark and the final payment will be on December 1, of this year. He invited John Vezzetti of Bernardi Security to come forward.

Bernardi Securities helped the city with the pas four bond issues - according to Mr. Vezzetti. He said interest rates are still relatively low. He said as far as this bond issue - they are looking at fixed interest rates around 2-2.25 percent.

This is the third step in a three step process. Bonds will be priced in mid-November and funds will be available in mid-December. He said the market is very volatile right now, but that they are expecting calm waters going forward.

Alderman Hoinacki wanted clarification on what the council's next step would be. It would be a parameters ordinance and it would need to be placed on the agenda for next week. In 2004 the city had an Illinois EPA loan for a sewer upgrade, halfway through that the bond rates had dropped so low that it was actually cheaper to refinance with the issuance of the bonds.

More discussion and questions ensued. The item would be placed on the regular agenda.

CRAWFORD,MURPHY AND TILLY'S 2019 STANDARD AGREEMENT FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, TO BE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1,2020:

Next Mrs. Christy Crites came of CMT came forward to talk about the property the city owns, so they can set corners and avoid getting on someone else's property. Some title work needs to be done.

Alderman Bateman said it is a very irregular site, it is not square or triangular. He said it is hard to tell where Lincoln Lakes' property starts and where city property starts. He said they need to find the true corners out there. Alderman Welch said this came up because he and Christy have had questions about access to the site. He said they realized it is quite a mess out there and they cannot just look at GIS. He said this is a not to exceed $16,000 cost of their work. This is just for the purpose of marking the corners. They need to clarify what is owned and what is not owned. The title company in town will be used. The item will be placed on the regular agenda.

Alderman Hoinacki wanted to know what the language would be. Mayor Goodman shared what it could say.

UPDATE BY LINCOLN COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT BUILDING TRADES SUPERVISOR MATT PUCKETT ON THE STATUS OF THE THREE CITY/LCHS BUILDING LOTS,SALE OF THE FIRST LOT'S HOME AND ITS PAPERWORK AND REQUEST TO SELL THE SECOND LOT'S HOME AT THIS TIME VIA SEALED BIDS. THE HOME ON LOT 2 IS HALF-WAY COMPLETED:

The group lost about $20,000 in funds on the last house they sold. They keep track of expenses. They had a sealed bid submitted.

He is proposing selling their current house early, only 40-50 percent complete in order to avoid losing money on their houses. He is always looking for a way to break even, so they do not lose money on their home sales.

He wanted permission from the city to sell the house, before it was completed, via a sealed bid process. They open up the sealed bid process, it no one is interested in the house - they can utilize a realtor. The last bid they received on a house was just one bid.

He said if everything goes OK - then next year the Building Trades crew will work with Habitat for Humanity to build a home. Alderman Keller asked about the potential cost of the current home under construction. Mr. Puckett was hoping to get it sold for around $110,000. He said their goal is not to make money, it is to break even. He said if they lose money on the sale, that comes out of their school budget. He is coming in from a stance of protecting his budget.

Alderman Parrott asked if someone makes an offer, if they have to accept it regardless. Mr. Puckett said they can set a reserve.

Mayor Goodman said a 1,700 square foot should sell over $150,000. He said a new home for $96,000 is unheard of. He said they are way underselling homes and there are buyers out there.

He said with a sealed bid process - they are kind of limited on what they can do. He said they have had other houses that they have worked on and lost $10,000-$15,000. He said he is an administrator and he is trying to protect his budget.

More discussion ensued about protecting assets of the city. Alderman Welch said the land was given at virtually no cost, and no money has been recouped by the city - so the land is gone. Alderman Welch wanted to avoid any more pitfalls. Mr. Puckett said he was not trying to hide anything.Mayor Goodman said the high school could benefit from having an appraisal done on the house and then chose to set the reserve at the assessed value. Mr. Puckett called himself and arbitrator with the bid process.

Alderman Schmidt asked a question.

Alderman Bateman weighed in next, saying you cannot split the profits if you are not trying to make money. He said he problem is in the sealed bid process. He said what is broken here is your whole sealed bid process. Mr. Puckett said when it came to the initial agreement, no one talked to him about it. He said he was trying to limit his risk. He said he can try to go for money on it, but losing money on it would be more detrimental to him. He said he is just trying to sell a house as soon as someone is interested in it.

Alderman Parrott asked about the approximate value of each of the lots - they are about $8,000 to $10,000. Mayor Goodman said you can put your property on the market subject to completion, he said you do not have to wait to the very end. He said people do this all the time. Previous houses were sold through the Board of Realtors president.

Alderman Keller said they need to revisit the process and some back at a later time and do this the proper way.City Administrator Kavelman thanked him for coming, and asked if he has a copy of the sealed bid process. She said we should both be in this as a win-win. He mentioned his fiscal year. He said he would get the sealed bid information to Mrs.Kavelman. Then Alderman Kathy Schmidt asked if it would have been better to go high on the bid and then list it with a realtor. He said he was worried with only having one bidder.

Alderman Welch said with a sealed bid - you are only exposing the home to people who see the posting, versus with a realtor -you are exposed to a network.

REQUEST TO PERMIT THE DISPLAY OF A COUPLE OF LINCOLN COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL MADRIGAL DINNER BANNERS WITHIN THE CITYIN VISIBLE PLACES DOWNTOWN AND ON WOODLAWN ROAD,FROM THE PERIOD OF EARLY NOVEMBER 2019,TO COME DOWN IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LAST PERFORMANCE ON NOVEMBER 24, 2019 SUBMITTED BY KIM PETERSON-QUINN, LCHS CHOIR DIRECTOR:

City Clerk Bateman said the director has two signs she wants to put up near a park and along Woodlawn Road. Right now the Welcome Park is the only place they have in mind of the sign.

Alderman Parrott said the ones put on Lincoln Streets - he wanted to know who hangs those.Mr. Walt Landers would approve of the placement of signage. Alderman Bateman said maybe the Courthouse Lawn.Alderman Hoinacki said he thinks Wyatt Avenue could work. Alderman Welch said if they put it in the Welcome Park, the Logan County Tourism Bureau would have to vote on it. This item will be added to the consent agenda.

REQUEST BY LOGAN COUNTY TOURISM BUREAU,EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MORGAN GLEASON,FOR THE CITY TO SUPPORT THE LINCOLN DOWNTOWN CHRISTMAS PARADE AT A $500 SPONSORSHIP TO ASSIST IN PAYMENT OF A SLEIGH:

This item will be added to the consent agenda.

REQUEST TO GO OUT FOR PROPOSALS TO PURCHASE A SOLAR PANEL SYSTEM ANDITS INSTALLATION FOR THE SEWERAGE TREATMENT PLANT:

Alderman Bateman started the discussion.Mr. Norm Bigott of Veolia said the councilwould have to decide on the language. Alderman Bateman said last check the council was just changing the dates and voting for it to go out for an RFP.The dates would be - going out for bid, sometime in November. The vote would be November 4. The item would be added to the agenda.

CITY ADMINISTRATOR'S HP ALL-IN-ONE PRINTER MAINTENANCE AND LASER CARTRIDGES CONTRACT WITH

Konica Minolta at $35/month for three years.First Year:$210 in City FY2019/2020, $420 for City FY2020/2021, $420 for City FY2021/2022 ar,d $210 for City FY2022 2023, effective 10.25.2019:

City Administrator Kavelman started talking about the need to purchase a different copier, she had secured a deal at $35 a month. Alderman Parrott asked a question about the first year. The city is six months into the fiscal year.

DISCUSSION REGARDING THE CITY OF LINCOLN'S LEGALIZED CANNABIS DISPENSARY SETBACK ZONING:

Alderman Bateman talked about doing the meat and potatoes of the ordinance and then John (city attorney) could fill in all the fluffy legalwords.Tonight he said he was bringing forward the setback rules. Alderman Bateman shared his screen - showing the current liquor ordinance looks like.He asked if there were any questions.

Alderman Keller saidjust for perspective - the state statute does not say anything other than 1,500 feet of a school and within 1,000 feet of a library, day care etc.He said it seems to him, 300 feet seems to be more reasonable than 500 feet. Attorney Hoblit said they would likely be looking at an amendment to Title Ill. He then talked about having the city's rules set in place.

More discussion ensued about churches and zoning issues. Mr. Hoblit said if there was an issue with the churches - he said it can come back to the hours of operation. He said there is a myriad of options available to the council. City Treasurer Chuck Conze asked a question about the city code and which dispensaries could be in C1 or C2. Alderman Keller said he did not think there was any mention of it in the state statute. Our westthere is 11.

Alderman Downs posed on treating the liquor and marijuana as the same.He said it already looked like the alcohol was being sold on top of churches - according to the projected map. He feels like they should have the same rules.

Alderman Schmidt said she thinks there are a lot of people in town against the marijuana. Mayor Goodman weighed in saying - you don't have to go. Alderman Schmidt said you don't have to make anyone go - he said they would just be treating it the same as alcohol.

Alderman Parrott said it is not equal. He said there are so many unknowns - things that are still very much questionable. He said that is why. He said hopefully we can hear some of the pastors come up and speak. He said he thinks this is still a hot topic subject and the conversations need to continue.

Alderman Bateman asked why do we keep bringing churches into this. He said he does not go to church - this does not make him a bad person. He said, but it seems every time the argument is brought up - he said what about the people who go to church and who use marijuana. Or what about the people who don't go to church.

Alderman Parrott said he wanted an ordinance that could respect schools and churches both. Mayor Goodman said if they are going to walk 300 feet they are going to walk 500 feet.

Alderman Bateman outlined the discussion and what potential steps could be taken.

Alderman Downs said he favored 100 feet, and Alderman Parrott favored 300 feet. If you get it down to 200 feet - it would create more possibilities within the TIF district. He said The Oasis is a thorn in his side, it was a beautiful building and now it is in foreclosure. He wanted to create opportunities to better the downtown area.

Alderman Welch said we have to figure out what works for the whole community - not just a section of the community. He said we have to find common ground here. He said if we are that passionate about this topic - the city has other opportunities to restrict the number that come into town and the hours of operation. He said it has been voted on and it has been approved - if someone can get a license.

Alderman Bateman said it could be put on next week's voting agenda, or they could table it. He said ail they would have to do next week is use the map - and put it to a vote of the distance of the setbacks. He said it's just a decision we need to make.He said there are fines/fees they have to work on and hours of operation - he said 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.is what some potential business owners think they might operate -just like any other retail store.

Mr. Hoblit said they council needed to chose a setback,and if the council does not pass it, they will have to come back and vote on a different setback number.

Alderman Bateman said you look at 300 feet - the library sits within 300 feet - and Latham Park. He said unfortunately the City of Lincoln is set up weird with some of the parks and zoning issues.

Alderman Welch made the recommendation that they vote on the setback of 250 feet.

The item would be added to the agenda with a 250 feet setback. Alderman Bateman wanted to know what topic they would want to tackle next. Alderman Welch said let's do an easy one - he said let's discuss the number they would allow. Alderman Bateman then weighed in.

UPDATE OF THE PROGRESS ON THE CITY'S PORTION OF THE FIFTH STREET ROAD PROJECT AND EMINENT DOMAIN PROGRESS:

City Administrator said they are moving along, every parcel has been touched - and the eminent domain letters expired on October 23. She said she must have done something to get things moving; She said there will be a meeting in November with a representative with the Union Pacific Railroad. She said things are moving along.

Alderman Welch wanted a digital update of the spreadsheet.

He said we're paying Hansen Engineering - but it seemed like sne was doing alot of the work to move things along. She said Hansen did the design work. He said they were tasked with getting the landowners to the table and negotiate a reasonable rate on the property. He said it seemed like she was doing that. He said they were supposed to be doing the land acquisition. She said it comes down to people not wanting to work with outsiders.

Alderman Parrott said if they need a local person to do it - they should be there with the City Administrator - as the city is paying them as a contractor. He said we've been paying them to do it - but maybe they need to lower some of their costs or do something different - because it is taking a lot of her time.

Alderman Schmidt said when she went to the meeting - they had done nothing, but since she had been in - things are moving along.

Alderman Downs wanted to thank her.

Then discussion ensued about the teeth of the eminent domain letters. She said every piece of property has been completed or touched.

Alderman Schmidt asked if there is anyone that is not moving at all. No - everyone is in the works.

Treasurer Conzo talked about the Motor Fuel Tax. There being no further discussion - the council moved onto announcements.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Alderman Downs is still accepting donations for a wheelchair swing at Postville Park

Alderman Schmidt wanted to talk about the boarded up window - an eyesore on the square. She wanted to know if anything could be done to have it fixed and then charged back. Mr. Woodhall said the glass had been ordered three times.

Trick-or-treat hours would be kept at the same time on Thursday night, 5-8 p.m.

International Paper donated $1,000 to the DARE program - to keep kids off drugs.

Alderman Welch brought up the $50,000 from Ardagh Group.

EXECUTIVE SESSION PURSUANT TO 2(C )(1), PERSONNEL;AND 2(C)(L11), POSSIBLE OR POTENTIAL LITIGATION.

Alderman Welch made a motion to go into Executive Session, seconded by Alderman Keller.

Yeas: (8) Alderman Steve Parrott, Alderman Tracy Welch, Alderman Kathryn Schmidt, Alderman Sam Downs, Alderman Ron Keller, Alderman Kevin Bateman, Alderman Jeff Hoinacki, Alderman Kathy Horn 

Nays: (0)

Abstain: (0)

Absent: (0)

The council recessed at 8:45 p.m. to enter into Executive Session.

RETURN FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION:

The council reconvened from Executive Session 9:08 p.m. in order to reconvene the Committee of the Whole Meeting. Alderman Keller made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Alderman Welch.

Roll call was taken.

PRESENT:

Alderman Tracy Welch Alderman Steve Parrott Alderman Kathryn Schmidt Alderman Sam Downs Alderman Kevin Bateman Alderman Ron Keller Alderman Kathy Horn Alderman Jeff Hoinacki

ABSENT:

None

https://www.lincolnil.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1014:october-29-2019-committee-of-the-whole&catid=50&Itemid=82

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