The Regular meeting of the Carthage City Council was held April 13th, 2010, at City Hall, 538 Wabash Avenue. Mayor Nightingale called the meeting to order at 8:00 PM.  Answering to roll call were Aldermen Campbell, G. Smith, Fleming, Neally and Walker. Treasurer Lunt was also present. Alderman B. Smith was absent. 


Motion was made by Alderman Walker, seconded by Fleming to approve the March 23rd meeting minutes. All five Aldermen answered “aye” in approval of the motion; none were opposed.


Mayor Nightingale reported that the engineering work is completed on the East Wabash Street project. He projected late May or early June for the bid letting.


Attorney Hartzell reported that Attorney Tucker and Esther Viles from Mediacom were still missing phone calls from each other so the contract is not finished. Mayor Nightingale read two letters he had received from Mediacom reporting rate increases in several categories.


Mayor Nightingale complimented the City employees and Council members for managing the expenses and the budget. Revenues continue to lag from the State especially in Sales Tax and Income Tax categories.


Motion was made by Alderman Walker, seconded by G. Smith to approve the March Budgetary Report. All five Aldermen voted “yes”.


Conn Communications, 500 Main Street; has requested permission to block off 3 parking spaces April 24th to accommodate children making garden stepping stones for Mothers Day. The cost is $5.00 and $4.00 will go to the West Hancock Canine Rescue.


Alderman Fleming reported that the Hazard Mitigation Plan has been completed which makes the City eligible for FEMA funds if necessary.


Motion was made by Alderman Neally, seconded by Walker to accept the bid from Nature’s Caretakers for the mowing bid next year of $30.00 for each mowing session of the Fire Station, Museum and City Hall. Housewright Lawn Care turned in a bid of $30.00 per week, but since Nature Caretaker has the business currently without complaints, the business was again awarded to them. All five Aldermen voted “yes”.


Motion was made by Alderman Neally, seconded by Campbell to allow the Street Department to rent a trackhoe to work on the washout problem at the landfill and deposit gravel. All five Aldermen voted “yes”.


Clerk Graham and Deputy Clerk Dean are to coordinate the City Wide Clean up with Area Disposal and report back to the Council on available dates.


Alderman Neally will have someone look at the ductwork in the upstairs of City Hall for more efficient heating and cooling of the rooms.


Motion was made by Alderman Walker, seconded by Campbell to pay the March bills as discussed and listed. All five Aldermen voted “yes”.


Motion was made by Alderman Walker, seconded by Fleming to increase the salaries of the City Employees by 3%. The two street department workers will be raised to the same rate since they share the same responsibilities. All five Aldermen voted “yes”.


Mayor Nightingale requested the Finance Committee investigate liquor license rates for a potential rate increase next year. Renewal notices have already been sent out for this year.


Mayor Nightingale reminded the Council of the budget hearing next Tuesday, April 20th at 7:00 to discuss the 2010-11 fiscal budget.


Alderman G. Smith reported that the water department is treating the manganese levels and they are dropping. They have also started the annual City Wide hydrant-flushing program.


Alderman G. Smith reported abuse at the City Pasture. The Pasture is intended for grass clippings, leaves, trees, and sticks. Recently mattresses, old furniture and lumber have been deposited. If abuses of this nature continue the pasture will only be open on Saturdays, and may be permanently closed.


The Legislative Committee discussed talking with Area Disposal about the costs of handling curbside leaf pick up, should the pasture be closed and burning banned. This may be a homeowner additional cost. Mayor Nightingale will contact Area Disposal about this issue.


Motion was made by Alderman G.Smith, seconded by Walker to approve the bid for road salt at $74.00/ton delivered, with an agreement to purchase 40 tons. All five Aldermen voted “yes”.


The Ordinance for the water and sewer rate increase was distributed and will be discussed and voted on at the upcoming Budget hearing next Tuesday.


At the Legislative meeting earlier this month, costs of excavation permits were discussed. Currently a $200 fee is retained if the street is disturbed. This deposit is kept for up to two years. Should repair have to occur, as a result of this work, the deposit money is utilized. The committee suggested it be raised to a $500.00 fee for new companies who have not done work in the City before. The Committee also suggested the excavation permits be approved and retained by the Water Superintendent instead of the Code Enforcer. A copy should also be distributed to the Street department. The Committee also recommended the Bond and liability fees be increased. The Bond would be raised to $5,000 and the liability insurance to 100/300,000 per occurrence.


The Legislative Committee also pointed out several recommended changes to the personnel policy manual including removal of the job description for the Fire Station attendant and Street Superintendent. The Guideline for performance evaluations should also be removed. Alderman G. Smith will work with Clerk Graham to modify the Street Department job descriptions.


Mayor Nightingale suggested the topic of variance requests be added to the legislative committee agenda. With a variance request now going to the Board of Appeals, significant costs will be incurred and changes to City Policies versus City Code needs to be discussed.


Motion by Alderman Walker, seconded by Campbell to enter into executive session at 9:08PM to discuss land sale. All five Aldermen voted “yes”.


Motion was made to leave executive session at 9:20 PM by Alderman Walker, seconded by G. Smith. All five Aldermen voted “yes”.


Motion was made by Alderman Walker, seconded by G. Smith, to sell the approximate 112 acres adjacent to the landfill for $2100/acre. All five Aldermen voted “yes”.


Motion was made by Alderman Walker, seconded by Neally to allow Mike Bavery to hook onto City Water at his own expense from the West Segment of the above property sale. Alderman Campbell and G. Smith voted “no”. Alderman Fleming, Neally and Walker voted “yes”. Motion carries.


Motion to adjourn at 9:25PM.


Katherine Graham, City Clerk