City of Lexington City Council met Jan. 9.
Here is the minutes provided by the council:
The regular meeting of the Lexington City Council was called to order at 7:00 P. M. by Mayor Spencer Johansen in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.
Mayor Johansen led the council in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Roll call was taken to find the following physically present: Mayor Johansen, Alderman Schreiber, Alderman Colclasure, Alderman Richard, Alderman Franklin, Alderwoman Wilson and Alderman Stover. Members of the staff and public present were: Don Cavallini, Kenneth Sours, Brandon Lacey, Paul Deters and Chief Belvery.
It was moved by Alderman Colclasure and seconded by Alderman Franklin to set aside the minutes of the November 25, 2019 meeting for further review until the next council meeting. Motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Alderman Stover and seconded by Alderman Franklin to approve the Treasurer’s Report and pay bills in the amount of $64,516.52. It was noted that this amount included the salt for this year. Motion carried unanimously.
Public Input: None
Mayor Johansen wanted to thank everyone for all the time and effort they put in on the cannabis issue. He knows everyone did their homework and research. He knows we took a lot of heat over it, but he appreciates everyone’s hard work on it.
Update on Address Changes--Brandon Lacey
All E-911 addresses that were identified have been updated in the database and that information has been passed on to the Post Office and should be updated in their system soon if it has not already been done. There is still going to be Fed Ex issues or UPS issues depending how often they pull down data from the Post Office. The manager over the FedEx area has reached out to Brandon and he has provided updates for the FedEx drivers.
The state is coming to the end of the current 911 bill on June 30, 2020 and they will have to pass another to make sure Next Generation 911 is current. Next Generation is not going to be live by July 1st, they will have to rewrite that. There is a request for procurement was processed and every one of the vendors said it would be a 3-4 year process. Any other information needs to be sent to the director.
The state is offering a grant that he is looking into getting to increase the ability of phone system to acquire new technology and move forward.
McLean County was awarded a $90,000 grant by the state. We have contracted with Western Illinois University CIS Department and they are going thru and making sure that all data, not just that it is cleaned up, but is formated required by the state for their system. Errors that they find are being sent back to Brandon.
Alderman Stover asked if pushing back the July 1 dated affected us? Brandon thought it would be more accurate by July.
Addresses such as Pine versus Peine are up to the city to change the street name and that is a valid concern and may cause problems in the future.
Alderman Stover reported that they did have a 911 call and they did not have the new address on Timber Ridge Drive. Brandon replied that you were thinking ahead and instead of duplication addresses going to change the block range. That part wasn’t done, the street segment block identifier, single or double digit roads. The segment had to be adjusted. A lot of communities have never been cleaned up. All your streets, looking through all your address points is another thing our contractor is looking at, is also a way the dispatcher can go in and say you provide an address and a block range. This has to be taken care of.
Alderman Stover wanted to know where we were at on the state side. Can drivers licenses be changed. The answer to that was that you should have been able to change your driver's license as soon as you got your letter and a couple of the aldermen had changed theirs. Brandon has worked with the manager at the DMV in Bloomington. Brandon also told of someone who did go to the DMV and tried to change their license and was turned away. As soon as he heard of the problem, he quickly went there and straightened it out, If someone goes to Livingston County and is turned away, he has no control over that.
Alderman Stover says he is still getting a lot of feedback from folks trying to do things. He also stated that the Google Maps on his phone will not take him to his address now. Brandon says Google will take you to one address at a time and he is not the only one having trouble. He will be glad to help you is setting points in Google.
Discussion/Vote One Call Now Proposal
Mayor Johansen started the discussion by saying this is basically the same system that the school has. It allows us to send out text messages to citizens who sign up for it notifying them of boil orders, snow bans, weather alerts, amber alerts, whatever we want to send out on it. We talked about having some way to notify citizens, especially on boil orders, right now we call WJBC and the Pantagraph. We can isolate areas of town, Star can use it to notify those who are late on their water bill and possibly due for shut-off unless they pay by the end of the day. It is $700.00 for 10,000 messages. He does not anticipate having more than 400-500 people sign up for it.
The ability to send out emails will be on the new water billing system. You can opt in and have your water bill emailed to you. The new water bill will be similar to a postcard and the newsletter will be an option that they can have sent to them via email and we will keep copies up here.
He thinks this is a good program and we could get word out a lot faster on emergencies we have here in town.
Paul Deters remarked the only issues they had at the school was getting people to sign up.
The question was asked if we would send out agendas and minutes on this system? Mayor Johansen replied that we have taken some heat for not getting the information out there. He feels we do everything we are supposed to do to get it out. If people want information they are going to have to look for it. They will need to do a little research. People need to take the initiative to look that stuff up. There are some things we can get out there as quick as we can. The minutes can’t go out till they are approved. As soon as they are approved they are on our website. We will do what we can. This program doesn't really include that but on the emails for the water bills we will do our best to get information out. Make a phone call up here and ask us.
The question was asked if we would use any of the other forms of communication, phone, online, mobile, or email. The answer to that was that we would only use the text feature. Mayor Johansen also stated that it could be set so each employee would have it for their department.
Motion was made by Alderman Franklin and seconded by Alderwoman Wilson to approve the One Call Now Proposal Q-36999. Motion carried unanimously.
Discussion/Vote Ordinance 2019-11: Levy
Alderman Stover started the discussion by explaining that the levy was taken straight off the appropriation. He reduced the levy by $500.00 from last year and that was directly tied to a reduction in the EAV. We would have had an increased overall but they changed the multiplier that adjusts the EAV county wide numbers and our EAV has now dropped below one which represents houses selling below market value for a three year period. It is a very slight reduction and the $500.00 kept the rate about what it was last year.
Mayor Johansen stated that if they had not changed that rate we would have seen an increase due to the fact we had three or four new houses.
Alderman Stover also thought that was why it was so important to have city projects. We need significant industry.
Motion was made by Alderman Stover and seconded by Alderman Franklin to approve Ordinance 2019-11: Levy. Motion carried unanimously.
Discussion/Vote Ordinance 2019-12: Abatement
Alderman Stover explained that this is something that we pass every year. We are not required and don't need to levy anything additional to pay for the bonds. This is to let the county know that we are not going to levy any additional funds for those bonds.
Motion was made by Alderman Stover and seconded by Alderwoman Wilson to approve Ordinance 2019-12: Abatement. Motion carried unanimously.
Mayor’s Report: Mayor Johansen reported that Christmas on the Prairie was a huge success this year. There were 84 vendors at the school. The weather was perfect. There was a good crowd at the Tree Lighting Ceremony. The carriage rides up and down Main Street were a hit. Alderman Stover was one of the drivers. Star did a great job organizing the event.
Star and Mayor Johansen has met with a couple that wants to open up a coffee shop in town. They are excited after meeting with them and there will be more to come on this.
The flower shop across the street has been sold to another new business. We are working on a proposal and will get it out to everyone to look over before the next meeting. It should be pretty exciting not only for Lexington but for all of McLean County. It is going to be a dinner club type of business, which will be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights and brunch on weekends. He is going to put a lot of work into the building and hopes to be open by February 1st.
The surveyors were out laying out the road on P. J. Keller Highway turn lane. The question was asked if there had been any more discussion on the bids for the road to which Mayor Johansen answered yes. He needs to meet with Alderman Colclasure and the Street Committee soon.
Alderman Colclasure had a suggestion for Christmas on the Prairie’s Tree Lighting Ceremony. They called their christmas tree a Community Tree and all the families brought their own Christmas bulb and put them on the tree. The Chamber of Commerce sells that tree and they donate the money to a non-profit.
Alderwoman Wilson did see where the Giving Tree at the Library still had a bunch of tags on it. They will take a monetary donation and they will buy the gifts. Mayor Johansen thought that was where a portion of Jon Kemp’s wine and cheese profit went to.
Mayor Johansen mentioned that the next meeting should be interesting and busy as Bill Chaney was going to tell about a proposal he has got for property back behind Dollar General. He thinks it will benefit Lexington and the entire state.
Police: Chief Belvery reported that Officer Carter will be acting chief while he is on vacation.
Officer Gunther has passed all requirements and will be starting at the Police Academy in January.
Building/Insurance: Alderman Franklin reported there is a deed that needs to be taken care of with the selling of the property next to Patton Park. Mayor Johansen says the City Attorney Shields has all the paperwork and filing with the county.
The county has deeded us a section of land, their right-of-way, in front of Casey’s. We need to do a Warranty Deed so they can have it for their closing in January.
Alderman Franklin would like to meet with the Building and Insurance Committee one half hour before the next meeting to discuss how to proceed with closing on the property with the Water Plant. The property is separated and needs to be finalized. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., December 23, 2019. Mayor Johansen says that the surveyors have been there and everything is laid out. Attorney Shields has filed the paperwork for that and they will assign a different parcel number to that property.
Finance/TIF: None Water/Sewer/Sanitation: None Street/Alley: None
Mayor Johansen reported on the property at 403 E. South Street that they have been trying to get something done with for the past 2-3 years and John Lockenvitz’s property on Wall Street. We are moving forward although he does not know when we will have a court date but at that point we will need to decide what we are going to do.
Chief Belvery knows that they do owe back taxes to the county. He believes that the county has a fund to assist us on that type of thing. The taxes on both those properties were purchased. Mayor Johansen says we have to notify the people who bought those back taxes.
There being no further business a motion was made by Alderman Richard to adjourn at 7:38 p.m. Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.