The Minonk City Council approved the purchase of a new pump for the water treatment plant for $41,362. The purchase is eligible for a ComEd rebate which means the city will receive a $14,000 rebate after the first year. The council approved the purchase now rather than later in order to take advantage of the rebate program which may change in the future.
In other business, the council agreed to establish a no parking zone on the north side of West 4th Street between 707 West 4th and 803 West 4th street. Alderman Trent Ruestman said the no parking area is necessary to enable 2 cars to get through the area. When cars are parked on both sides of the street, only one car can get through. In addition, the no parking area is on a hill which makes it hard to see oncoming traffic. Mayor Bill Koos said he will have the city's attorney draw up an ordinance for the no parking area.
The council discussed a pay scale for Public Works Department employees. Alderman Trent Ruestman said a suggested starting salary would be $15.00 per hour with pay increases based on what kind of spray license, sewer license or water license the employee has. Each level of license class adds anywhere from $.50 an hour to $4.00 an hour to the hourly pay rate. For example, an employee in charge of water and waste water with an "A" water license and a "3" sewer license would make $29.50 per hour. The council is going to review the recommended pay scale and vote on it at the next council meeting.
The council decided to open up the electronic message board at the corner of Fifth and Main to charitable and business organizations and schools. Alderman John Marcoline said he thinks it should be made available to charitable organizations and schools but doesn't want it to be over used. Alderman Russell Ruestman said the message board needs to be utilized more and thought that ads for special occasions would be appropriate. He added that plenty of advance notice should be given so as not to burden the city at the last minute. Mayor Koos said the local businessmen paid for the message board and it should be used as a business tool for local businesses and for the schools. He said businesses could use it to announce promotions or special sales which have a limited duration. The Mayor said he will run this by the city's secretary to make sure she has the time to be able to handle putting additional messages on the board.
The council agreed to hire Arthur A. Osten, Jr. to help the city in the upcoming budget process. Mr. Osten has helped the city in past budgets while working for another firm but is now on his own and will be working as an independent consultant at a lower rate plus travel and living expenses.
Alderman Russell Ruestman wanted to know if the council needs to vote on approving the purchase of portable radios for ESDA as recommended during the Public Safety Committee. Mayor Koos said the council does not need to approve a recommendation by a committee to purchase an item that is already in the budget. Since the radios are already in the budget, it is ok to go ahead and purchase the radios without council approval.