CARTHAGE CITY COUNCIL

REGULAR MEETING AUGUST 25, 2009

 

The Regular meeting of the Carthage City Council was held August 25, 2009, in City Hall at 538 Wabash Avenue. Mayor Nightingale called the meeting to order at 8:00 PM.  Answering to roll call were Aldermen Campbell, G. Smith, Fleming, B. Smith, Neally and Walker. Treasurer Lunt was also present.

 

Motion was made by Alderman B. Smith, seconded by Walker to approve the August 11th meeting minutes. All six Aldermen answered “aye” in approval of the motion; none were opposed.

 

Mayor Nightingale reported that he had spoken with Representative Rich Myers’ office. They stated that a letter would be forthcoming notifying the City of the $200,000 grant for street projects. The paper work has been sent to IDOT.

 

The Mayor also spoke with Senator Sullivan’s office. They reported that the City would receive $75,000 for the purpose of roof repair, concrete pad in front of the fire station and other projects. This grant is coming from the Dept of Commerce and Economic Development. They also reported that official notification should be coming soon.

 

Motion was made by G.Smith; seconded by B.Smith for the Mayor to be able to sign whatever documents might be necessary to expedite the road project once the official notification arrives regarding the $200,000.00. The Council’s discussion was that the project needed to be completed quickly. With the engineering work still needing to be done, and the bid process consuming additional time, the weather might start to become a factor. There was additional concern about incurring engineering expenses in the event that something would happen to negate this grant being awarded. All Council members expressed approval for the Mayor to proceed once official notification arrived. 

 

Mediacom continues to be a problem with the community. Mayor Nightingale called the government representative directly following five complaints expressed to him yesterday. The representative reported that they have increased the amount of manpower in the area to help with poor reception.

 

Mediacom was supposed to return in August to report the status of improvement and discuss the contract renewal with the City Council. The Mediacom representative reported that they know they need to fix the problems here before anything can be discussed further.

 

Mayor Nightingale reported the monthly payment to WIEC has begun for the loan to finance the water and sewer lines East of town. The payback period for this no interest loan is nine years per contract terms.

 

Attorney Hartzell reported that he would look at the sign the Code Enforcer, Vicki Andrus, gave him regarding properties that are uninhabitable.

 

He also proposed several options to try to get payment due for failure to pay for mowing expenses at the Yoho property on First & Buchanan Streets. The property has at least two liens, and the deed has been transferred for failure to pay property taxes. He will write a letter to the company that currently holds the deed in order to try to obtain some re-payment.

 

The Flood Ordinance has been prepared. Clerk Graham will copy and distribute to the Council members for their review prior to approval at the next meeting.

 

The attorneys have prepared an ordinance for the sale of the former Johnson property, near the landfill, that is to be sold in September. This will be presented for approval after the bids have been opened.

 

Motion was made by Alderman Walker, seconded by Campbell to approve Ordinance 2009-12 to solicit bids for a new roof at City Hall. All six Aldermen voted “yes”.

 

Motion was made by Alderman B.Smith; seconded by Neally to approve Ordinance 2009-13 to solicit bids for heating and air conditioning needs at City Hall. All six Aldermen voted “yes”.

 

Motion was made by Alderman Walker; seconded by Neally to approve Ordinance 2009-14 to solicit bids for heating and air conditioning needs at the Kibbe museum. All six Aldermen voted “yes”.

 

Motion was made by Alderman Fleming, seconded by B.Smith to approve the solicitation at the 4-Way stop by the Lions Club on Oct. 9th and 10th. The rain date will be Oct. 16&17. All six Aldermen voted “yes”.

 

Alderman Fleming reported that the Public Safety Committee would discuss the problem with parking on West Main Street at their next meeting. Currently the road is too narrow in sections for emergency vehicles. 

 

Mayor Nightingale reported that Terry Newell has organized a car show on Friday, September 4th. This will precede car shows in Hamilton and Nauvoo on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

 

The organizers are requesting the street department provide barricades Thursday evening to block parking on the inside of the square on the West side and the south west side up to the center sidewalk. All businesses in those areas have been contacted and have no issues with the proposed parking areas. The Council expressed no opposition to this request.

 

Alderman Neally reported that his committee would meet and discuss the need for additional yard work at the museum and the fire station as proposed by Nature’s Caretakers. They will also discuss tree cutting and trimming needs for the City.

 

Mayor Nightingale reported that we had not received any information on the downshoot and drainage problems at the landfill. A letter had arrived from the EPA approving the plans submitted by Patrick Engineering.

 

The Mayor would like to have Senator Sullivan and Representative Myers go with him to the IL. EPA to discuss the landfill closure plans. The original plan called for 15 years and the City has fulfilled that commitment.   

 

The next regularly scheduled meetings for the Public Property, Finance, and Public Safety Committees falls on Labor Day. Due to the Holiday the meetings have been re-scheduled for Sept. 14th at their normal times. Clerk Graham will post this date change.

 

Alderman G. Smith reported that Terry Knoke has the contracts to deliver to Wiemelt Plumbing who was awarded the bid on the sewer project on College Ave., and the water project on Hopkins Street.

 

Motion was made by Alderman G. Smith, seconded by Fleming to have the Mayor sign the Notice to Proceed document regarding the above projects. All six Aldermen voted “yes”.

 

Motion was made by Alderman G.Smith, seconded by Campbell to approve the change order on the Washington Street waterline project for an additional $1539.30. All six Aldermen voted “yes”.

 

Motion was made by Alderman G. Smith, seconded by B. Smith to approve the final pay request from Laverdiere Construction for the Washington Street water line project for $19,953.54 (which includes the change order amount above of $1539.30). All six Aldermen voted “yes”.

 

Alderman G. Smith reported that he will request Carroll Buckert attend the next Public Works or Council meeting to discuss compensation for storm damage situations at the City Pasture.

 

Alderman G. Smith reported that Veit Company’s representative had come to examine the dam seepage problem. This company had worked on the spillway several years ago under a different name. They indicated an estimate and a specific plan would be forthcoming. They assured the Mayor, Alderman Smith and Rich Sealock that this was a situation they could fix, and probably before the end of the year. They reported that it was serious, but they had seen worse and been able to fix the problems.

 

Alderman G. Smith reported that the water tower company who repaired the tower last year had returned and welded an area on the tower that had allowed some leakage to run into the tower leg resulting in the problem last year. The tower leg was also repaired with some straps and welding.

 

Alderman G. Smith reported that the street department had received two thank you letters from Inez Lawson for removal of tree limbs following a recent storm, and the Carthage Fitness Center for new gravel.

 

A letter complaining about a negligent house on S. Marion was discussed and the Codes Enforcer is investigating.

 

Charlie Bair, the Community Development Director, informed the Council of the Retail Renaissance program. He gave background information of how business had changed from the 1950’s when the Courthouse square was most vibrant. When the square was the focus of the City and no one shopped elsewhere. Now businesses have moved from City Centers to malls, Walmarts, etc.

 

Carthage has not changed in that regard, so the square will remain the focus. Galena, Hannibal and Branson are the examples of making a small town prosper.  The “silver bullet” was fairly easy to identify for Galena and Hannibal. It was their history. Branson focused on entertainment, the lake and surroundings.

 

The building of the Charger center will help entertainment be the focus for Carthage and businesses will be geared to support that entertainment focus i.e. unique jewelry, art museums, merchandise that you can’t get elsewhere.

 

The Service businesses in town like attorneys, insurance and tires will continue to be needed.

 

Tourism should be attracted to the new Auditorium. With it you will get a music venue (Rock, Country, Bluegrass, Christian), create a conference center and have an art center.

 

To make the square look more attractive the committee has a goal to produce awning and “period” signs. They will start with one store as a showcase window.

 

An idea is to “time share” businesses like Sturgis, S. Dakota. They develop  flip stores” for two weeks of the year during the motorcycle gathering. The regular business vacates a property and the “specialty” business is brought in to appeal to this group. The locals know that it is temporary, but the tourists do not. This type of idea could occur in Carthage. Establishing “flip stores” to appeal to whatever venue is occurring in conjunction with the Auditorium entertainment. These flip stores could be run by ladies auxiliary or charity organizations, so the traditional issues with overhead, staffing etc. would be avoided.

 

Weber meats in town has established a model where charity gets a certain percentage of the profits. In this model you could have stores for two weeks of the year relying on it for short term dollars. For example you could have almost any business for two weeks of the year, i.e. a quilt store, a fried turkey store. Etc.

 

As it builds there would be more and more flip stores with the goal toward permanent stores. Branson built up their trade over 10 years like this.

 

As businesses become more viable, the buildings become more valuable, then the owner can afford to restore the buildings.

 

Terry Newell will create the first trial store in the front of More Medical. His photography studio will be by appointment, but from the historic awning and the signage it appears that it is a permanent business.

 

The committee has requested the use of the Twaddle Furniture store to house a fine arts gallery and display works utilizing local artists. A panel will determine what art will be displayed.

 

Overall the goal is to keep a historic theme while building on the entertainment forum.

 

Motion was made to adjourn at 9:15PM.

 

 

Katherine Graham

City Clerk