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City Eliminates Comp Time for Police

Tuesday, January 03, 2017 - Posted 8:59:53 PM
The Minonk City Council voted to eliminate comp time from the Police Department.  Alderman Nick Caverra made the motion stating that it costs too much to allow comp time in the Police Department.  He said it is cheaper to pay them overtime.  CIty Administrator Austin Edmondson said having different policies for different policies can cause friction between departments.  Alderman Caverra said police departments have always had different policies from other departments.

This came after a heated discussion over the number of junk cars in the city.  Alderman Russell Ruestman said he counted over 62 junk cars sitting around Minonk.   He said the junk car ordinance hasn't been enforced in years.  He said the Police Department did not file one nuisance complaint in 2016.

Alderman Jack Marcoline said he didn't have a problem with junk cars in his ward.  He said anytime a resident makes a complaint, it is taken care of.  Mr. Ruestman said a resident shouldn't have to make the complaint - the police should be making the complaints.

In other police related matters, the council voted to wait until the next budget year before hiring a new full time police officer.

Lease Agreement with Fieldcrest

The council approved an updated agreement between the city and the Fieldcrest School District for leasing the Veterans Park athletic field from the city.  The agreement specified that the new sprinkler system installed on the football field last fall is the responsibility of the Fieldcrest School District.

Alderman Marcoline said he received complaints from residents who found the pedestrian gates to the football track locked last year when they wanted to use the track.  He felt the pedestrian gates should always remain unlocked.

Alderman Ruestman made a motion that the agreement be amended to state that the pedestrian gates to the football field should remained unlocked except during the days when a football game is being played.  The motion passed with Alderman Marcoline voting no.

Leaf Pickup Report

Public Works Supervisor Cary Nass reported on a site visit to the City of Eureka to report on their curbside leaf pickup.  He said the operation required 2 full time and 2 part time employees working 2 or 3 days a week for 6 weeks to complete the leaf pickup job.  Mr. Nass said they used a leaf pickup truck that costs $50,000 and is used only for that purpose.  He said they reported the biggest problem was finding a place to dispose of the leaves.  Mayor Bill Koos said the council will need to consider the feasibility of doing a leaf pickup service in Minonk during the budget process.

In other news, City Administrator Austin Edmondson said work on the Elm Court Sanitary Sewer project has made some progress last week. One hole has been fixed and pieces of a broken pipe were retrieved.

The council approved the signing of loan documents by the Mayor and also authorized the Mayor to sign an RLF letter that will enable the city to use HUD money formerly used for HUD approved projects to be used for any city project.  Mr. Emdonson said there is $30,000 cash in the fund that can be used for future projects plus income from existing loans.

City Administrator Comments

Mr. Edmondson said he has identified City owned property that should be tax exempt.  He said the amount of property tax that can be saved is $9000.

Alderman Marcoline said the Filger Library will be holding a "Coffee With the Cops" on January 12th between 5:30 to 6:30 pm.

Public Comments

Minonk resident Jim Liner said personnel problems should be discussed in executive session and not during a council meeting.  He said this could open up the possibility of litigation.