The Regular meeting of the Carthage City Council was held May 13th, 2008, in City Hall at 538 Wabash Avenue. Mayor Nightingale called the meeting to order at 8:00PM. Answering to roll call were Aldermen Smith, Campbell, Fleming, Neally, Bentzinger and Walker. Treasurer Lunt was absent.   


Motion was made by Alderman Walker, seconded by Fleming to approve the April 22nd meeting minutes. All six Aldermen answered “aye” in response to approval. None opposing.


Motion was made by Alderman Walker, seconded by Fleming to approve the April 30th Annual Meeting minutes. All six Aldermen answered “aye” in response to approval. None opposing.


Motion was made by Alderman Walker, seconded by Fleming to approve the April budgetary report. All six Aldermen voted “yes”.


Mayor Nightingale complimented the departments for staying close to budget expenses for the last fiscal year.


Mayor Nightingale reported that the Housing Rehabilitation Grant has been approved for $210,000.00. It is hoped that five or six houses can qualify for this improvement program. There is a meeting for interested persons Thursday, May 15th at 6:00PM.


Motion was made to approve the resolution accepting the grant for the housing rehabilitation program by Alderman Smith, seconded by Fleming. All six Aldermen voted “yes”.


Mayor Nightingale recognized Mark Harrison to address the Council. Mr. Harrison requested the ability to serve alcohol to his restaurant customers outside the establishment in the roped off areas from 10:30 AM until 9:00 PM. He stated he would be willing to pay additional fees for this change to his liquor license usage.


Mayor Nightingale indicated that the current ordinances prohibit open containers of alcohol on a public sidewalk. There were also concerns expressed from the Aldermen about containing the alcohol to the roped off areas, and adequately monitoring the age of the consumers. This request would require a change to the current ordinances and set a precedent for other establishments that the Council did not want to set.


Mayor Nightingale inquired about a beer garden in the back of his establishment. This would then be located on private property, not a City sidewalk, and allowable under current liquor license ordinances. Mr. Harrison indicated that he had considered this, but that the logistics of the building and alleys were not conducive to this.


Steve Freiburg from PSBA has been designing the new City zoning plan. He and Doug Groth from Prairieland Investments discussed the new plan and the Investment group’s plan for the Old College property.


Clerk Graham read the Plan Commission Meeting Minutes of May 7th.  This meeting also served as the public hearing for the proposed zoning plan. Motion to accept the zoning plan for the college property. The new P1 Planned Unit Development District as described at that meeting was unanimously approved by the Plan Commission.


Motion to accept the Plan Commission’s recommendation for P1 zoning plan approval was made by Alderman Campbell, seconded by Bentzinger. All six Aldermen voted “yes” in approval of the plan.


Attorney Glidden acknowledged a letter from Mediacom requesting extension of their existing lease of tower space for another ten years. Research into the number of channels offered in surrounding communities, etc. will be investigated by Alderman Smith.


There was discussion of negligent properties. Chief Waddell has developed a form identifying what ordinances are being violated and what action is necessary to bring the property into compliance. Chief Waddell and Codes Enforcer Schulz are to work together on this project. If property owners fail to comply initial citations will be issued followed by repeated citations until the owner does comply.


Alderman Fleming reported that a concrete pad had been poured in the back of City Hall in preparation for an emergency generator placement.


Alderman Neally reported that Codes Enforcer, Schulz, was obtaining a list of trees to be cut down.


Mayor Nightingale reported on the status of the landfill grant. Patrick Engineering has applied for this grant several times and the City still has not qualified for this. During a conference call with Patrick and the USDA, the agency in charge of releasing the funds, it was identified that if the City were to be granted this money, it would not be able to be used for projects until the ‘09-10 budgetary years. 


Patrick Engineering will apply again in the fall of 2008 which is the next grant cycle. They are applying for these grants free of charge to the City.


Motion was made by Alderman Walker, seconded by Bentzinger to approve the April bills. Additional bills were for postage and to WIEC. All six Aldermen voted “yes”.


Alderman Walker reported that the Finance Committee is investigating permit fees from surrounding areas. It has been reported that Carthage’s fees are significantly below neighboring communities.


In an effort to decrease costs, it was suggested a programmable thermostat be installed in the Police Department. Significant money might be saved if the City were able to take advantage of electrical usage in “off peak” time periods.  Additional information will need to be gathered regarding this electrical program and its potential usage for the Water plant. 


Alderman Smith reported that the Water department is investigating a change in chemicals. This would require an engineering write up to the EPA. The one time engineering charge would be offset by the long-term savings of less and different chemical. Rich Sealock will report back when all costs are known.


Sewer bids will be opened next Tuesday at 2:00PM for the sewer line to the proposed hospital site.


Alderman Smith reported that the City still needs someone to do the dirt work and seed the area affected by the watermain project on S. Marion last year. The Street Department has been unable to locate anyone interested in doing both jobs.


Motion was made by Alderman Smith, seconded by Campbell to pay the first pay estimate to C&S Companies $50,573.07 for work to date on the Water line to the proposed hospital site. All six Aldermen voted “yes”.


Mayor Nightingale indicated that Wiemelt Plumbing had investigated a problem in the area of last year’s water project. It was discovered that it was not Wiemelt’s problem, but they would not charge the City for this excavation work.


Motion to adjourn at 9:25 PM.



Katherine Graham

City Clerk