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City DIscusses Surcharge on Sewer Rates

Monday, July 17, 2017 - Posted 9:19:56 PM
City Administrator Austin Edmondson presented to the Minonk City Council a proposal to put a surcharge of $5.71 per month on the monthly water/sewer bill in order to provide revenue to pay off a $1,198.900 loan from the IEPA for upgrades to the sewer treatment plant. The surcharge would increase each year up to a maximum of 10.34 by 2024 and then could be cancelled. 

Alderman John Marcoline objected to the surcharge saying that people are already taxed to the limit with the latest increase in the State income tax. Mayor Bill Koos said he sympathizes with Mr. Marcoline's assertion but added that the City has to make improvements to the sewer plant as the City is already spending way too much on maintenance. He said improvements to the sewer plant will lower costs in the long run.

The council will vote on the surcharge proposal at their next meeting but approved the go ahead to start work on upgrades to the sewer treatment plant.

Purchase of Emergency Warning Siren Delayed

The council decided to delay the voting to approve the purchase of an emergency warning siren until next week when a full council is present. Alderman Larry Fortner was absent at the meeting. 

City Administrator Edmondson presented the council with 2 alternatives for the purchase, $20,349.20 from Ragan Commuications and $22.204.60 from Radicom. Alderman Russell Ruestman made a motion to have the purchase of the sirens be put out to bid so as to to get a competitive price but the motion was not approved.

ATV/UVT Operations Age Limit

The council approved a motion by Alderman Mark McNamara to lower the age limit for operating an ATV or UTV vehicle in the city from 21 years to 16 years. Mr. McNamara said if a 16 year old can drive a car on the interstate they should be able to drive an ATV on the streets of Minonk. City Administrator Edmondson said an ordinance will have to be drawn up and voted on in order to make the change official.

Ash Tree Removal

Alderman Marcoline said there are some ash trees in the city that are on city property and need to be taken down. He said the council will have to make a decision on whether the city can remove the trees or have the tree removal be contracted out. Public Works Supervisor Jim Brown said ComEd may have a program in the future that will help the city in tree removal.

Budget Report

On the revenue side, City Administrator Edmondson said the city did receive the first installment of property taxes. Overall, the General Fund is only 16% obligated. The Water Fund has rebounded to show a $2,992 profit and sewer has reduced its loss to just $1,832. The Garbage Fund is at $2,978. Not having to pay for the electronic recycling helped keep this positive. The Ambulance Fund is down $32,021. Tax revenue from the Fire District should be received soon so that will improve the ambulance fund situation.

EDSA Trailer Air Conditioning

Alderman Marcoline said the EDSA trailer needs to have air conditioning.  He said some firemen were nearly overcome with heat exhaustion in a fire earlier this month.  The council approved his motion to install an air conditioner in the EDSA trailer.

In other business, the council approved the appointment of Kailynne Stears to the Filger Library Board.  The council was also given an update to the Ordinance covering the keeping of farm and exotic animals in the city. A person planning to move the city wanted to harbor a pot belly pig and some other exotic animals which are currently not allowed to live in the city.

Public Comments

Minonk resident Mark Ferguson asked the council why they can't change the ordinance to allow the Police Chief to remain on the job without having to live in the city.  He said has always got a quick response from the Chief on a 24 hour basis and considers him a highly qualified person for the job. 

Mr. Ferguson also said he would like to have an emergency warning siren on the east side of town since he said he is hard of hearing and cannot hear the sirens that are located on the west side of the city.  Mayor Koos said the City will be  discussing the sirens' capabilities to make sure they will reach all citizens.

Mayor Koos said the council had previously voted down a motion to change the ordinance so that a police chief would not have to live in the city.  The Mayor added that the time limit has expired for the council for reconsideration on the ordinance.  The Mayor added that he has no choice but to enforce the law.  He also stated that the Police Chief was aware of the resident requirement and the city gave him a year and then a six month extension to move to the city.


Bethany Carey: I think a $80-$90 water bill already is enough? It used to be $50 and we haven't done anything different.
Tina Dunning: I agree! Last month's bill was ridiculous!
Kayla Messamore: I agree it is getting ridiculous especially when you don't change anything