City of Virginia
August 14th, 2023
Regular Meeting Minutes
Meeting Called to Order: 7pm
Roll Call: Andrews, Stanbridge, Wulf, Knous, Cox all answered present. Martin was not present
Agenda Approval: Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the agenda and Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Minutes Approval: Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the minutes of the previous meeting and Alderwoman Stanbridge seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Approval of Monthly Bills: Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the monthly bills and Alderwoman Stanbridge seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Sales Tax: $14690.19
Video Gaming: $6461.54
Treasurer Barrett stated we are 25% through the fiscal year. Commodities will need to be reviewed, they are a little above the current expected expenditures at this point in the fiscal year.
Terry Ayres, John Shaner, Pat Noltensmeier, Sarah Fanning, Koti Huffman, Domer Huffman, Vickie Bell
Shaner stated that he has seen some of the comments being made on social media. People are going through the wrong channels to voice their concerns. They need to start going through the right channels in order to get something done about what they are complaining about.
Police Chief: Chief Shumate stated that he hopefully took care of mini bike problems last week. He also added that he got a key card from the school now so he can get into the school if needed. Chief Shumate added that the city got the grant for the laptop, which is an $850 value. He added that he hired a full time officer, Koti Huffman. Huffman passed the test and will be going to police training institute in Belleville until December. If all goes well, when she returns, she will do training and hopefully in 6 months or less will be on her own. Chief Shumate also stated that the new evidence room is done.
Council congratulates Kati Huffman on her achievements.
Mayor asks if can put something on city page that school is starting on Thursday.
Fire Chief: no calls
Ordinance Officer: Ordinance Officer Large states this month marks that there has been a code officer for one year now. She stated that the city has had a lot of progress. There are two property owners that will be demoing their properties. There are 7 cases in August and 6 in September. Ordinance Officer Large also stated that she appreciates the council bearing with her and that she has learned so much after the last year about all of this and it does work.
Superintendent of Water Report: not present
Superintendent of Street Report (John Ratliff): Ratliff stated that the city got dump truck back. The crew put a double coat of paint on the cardboard dumpster so it’s ready. The crew will start hauling brush tomorrow. Ratliff clarified that the city wide clean up won’t happen until late October/beginning of November.
Mayor states he has some decals in the office; he will get them to you.
Park Board: Alderman Cox states there was a back to school bash a few days ago. The pickle ball will start in September. The pool will close on August 16th He added that the basketball court has also been resealed. Evan Bell presented a presentation to the park board that he will build some park benches to obtain his Eagle Scout badge. Alderman Cox also stated that there might be a leak in the pool; Gibby will be checking it out. Junior High baseball has also started.
TIF: No new applications
Mayor asks if we can use TIF money on bandstand, Barrett states he thinks so.
Attorney Veith states there is the resolution to accept the proposal to replace the fire house door and the resolution authorizing agreement with the Virginia Youth Assoc. The VYA is receiving a very generous donation. The VYA wanted some type of agreement with City so that it didn’t have to be concerned with any liability or if there were cost over runs. Attorney Veith stated that in the city’s perspective, it is in the agreement we are in control and it is our project. The ordinance revising water and sewer rates is also in there. This is the first reading, second reading in September.
Mayor would like to discuss the brown water situation we have on facebook. The city doesn’t monitor the facebook account. We accept phone calls at city hall and document those calls that help us figure out where the bad spots are in town. If they call up here, it’s documented, and we send an operator out to check it out. We may have a leak there that we don’t know about but we need to investigate to figure it out. If we do the proper protocol, things may get better. We need documentation in order to show our representatives and maybe get grant money and go from there.
Cox: Alderman Cox stated there is a stop sign in town that is almost white. He stated the committee needs to have a street committee meeting, and ask if it can be done Saturday afternoon? Alderman Andrews says he can’t this Saturday. Alderman Cox wants to know if we can have it Wednesday? Attorney Veith states you can do it Wednesday and talk but can’t take any action. Alderman Cox asks if we can do 4pm on Wednesday? Alderman Knous and Alderman Andrews agree. The street committee meeting is set for Wednesday at 4pm.
Knous: Alderman Knous mentioned that after the big rains, there was a lot of water pooling on the west end by the Armstrong apts. He wasn’t sure if we can do anything to help with the water? Mayor states the water on the North side comes down to the West and just lays there because there is nowhere for it to go. Mayor stated that the city crew might be able to just clean it out or do some work, will check it out.
Wulf: Alderman Wulf asks Ratliff, on Myrtle, can sprinkle some chips in front of Mr. Lyons house? Ratliff states yes. Alderman Wulf also added that the lifeguards were outstanding at a pool party we recently attended. Alderman Wulf asks about getting an officer on nights and weekends? Mayor states the Chief has been out at nights. Chief Shumate states he did not come here to work nights or weekends and he said that in my interview when he was hired. Chief Shumate was told to hire part timers and let them do that. Chief Shumate states it is not his fault that Virginia can’t afford to pay already certified officers. He added that he doesn’t think people realize how hard it is to build this program from the ground up because it was not run properly in the last 10 years. Chief Shumate states that it is discouraging when the new officer is here tonight getting introduced and he is getting criticized again for something that he made a point to address when he was hired. Chief Shumate adds he hears a lot of negativity from certain people and the community and it is getting tiring. So, he just wants to make sure this is clear; he will work when the need is there. He does go around at night in his personal vehicle and make sure things are ok. Chief Shumate also stated that he run calls for service everyday on what the county has. As far as traffic stops, yes, the sheriff office runs a lot of traffic stops. Alderman Wulf states these numbers are nights and weekends from the Cass Co Sheriff Dept.
Stanbridge: Alderwoman Stan bridge had nothing to report.
Andrews: Alderman Andrews stated people have asked about having the meetings on zoom, not sure if that is possible? He also added that the speed on Highway 78 is terrible; maybe the city tries to run some more radar there to let people know they need to slow down. It is like a racetrack. I know someone can’t be there all the time, but maybe increase coverage a little bit out there. Alderman Andrews adds that maybe there should be a police committee meeting soon.
Martin: not present
Bell read a letter from Paula Morris at the Now and Then. The business is wanting to plan a car show on Sept 16th, calling it the Now and Then Car Show. They will have pork chops, maybe get face painting and other people involved. They will need to block that part of the square off. They wanted to make sure that side by sides can be on the square. They are hoping for a day of fun and to get other businesses involved. The event would be like from 10am-3pm. Mayor thinks that sounds great. Alderman Knous states side by sides are allowed on the square for special events. Alderman Wulf states it would be a cool class to have up there if you had a side by side. All council thinks it is a great idea and they are all for it. Mayor states to tell her to move forward with the event.
Mayor states Vickie and him were talking about doing a community gathering, possibly having a bluegrass band and stuff like that. It would be like Dave Sinclair used to do but not call it an “Ice Cream Social”. Bell asked maybe incorporate that in the same event or if you want a separate event. Mayor states he wished we had the grandstand fixed and we could put a band in there.
City Clerks: Report Nothing to report.
A. Resolution Accepting Proposals to Replace Firehouse Door:
Mayor asks if the resolution a supplement to the budget or is it a resolution to accept the contracts? He added that before if we had the money in the budget, the firemen just went ahead and planned it. Attorney Veith states if it is in the budget you don’t need to, but because it is a public entity you need to have the resolution due to the prevailing wage. Mayor states the contract needs to be explained a little better. Alderman Wulf states he had Chief Stock and Steve Dotzert there that was for all the work of the relocation of the door. Mayor states on there it says they don’t provide power, so do we need to have electricity put there. Chief Stock stated that they will provide the electricity. With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the Resolution Accepting Proposals to Replace Firehouse Door and Alderwoman Stanbridge seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
B. 2023 Illinois Safe Routes to School Program:
Council reviewed information. This year is a 100% grant. Mayor added that the city will have to pay$6-7k for the application to the engineers. If awarded, we have to pay $25-30k for the engineers to draw up everything that has to be done. The city will need to pay up front $250k for it but we will be reimbursed for the $250k. This will get the sidewalks done for the kids to get to school. Treasurer Barrett was trying to see if we could use some of the ARPA funds, but it looks like we can’t use grant money to pay for it and then get reimbursed. He added that the city didn’t budget engineering costs of $40k, we would have to do a supplemental appropriation. Without the ARPA funds it will be really tough, we are budgeting a loss right now. Mayor states we have to have letters from teachers at the school in support of it and maybe parents as well. Treasurer Barrett will get some more information and let council know.
A. Resolution Authorizing Agreement with VYA:
Attorney Veith states a citizen is donating $3Sk for pickle ball courts, and they are donating it through the association. The Virginia Youth Assoc wanted an agreement so that they are not on the hook for more than the donation and isn’t liable for anything that happened during construction or after. The city would maintain control of the project. Treasurer Barrett states with the size of the donation coming it and for it to be eligible, it has to go through a 501c3 and that is the VYA. They are conceptually transfer organization to accept the money from the park and donating it to the city. VYA wanted something in writing to protect themselves. With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Knous made a motion to approve the Resolution Authorizing Agreement with VYA and Alderman Wulf seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
B. Ordinance Increasing Water and Sewer Rates:
The council reviewed the information. With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Andrews made a motion to approve the ordinance increasing water and sewer rates and Alderwoman Stanbridge seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
C. Hire Full Time Personnel and Water Operator Pay Increase.
1. The hire of Kati Huffman as city police officer
Alderman Cox made a motion to approve, Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
2. The hire of Steve Thomas $18.50/hr 3 hours a day, Highway Crossing Guard
Alderman Cox made a motion to approve, Alderwoman Stanbridge seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
3. The hire of John Shaner has been working part time but will become full time $18/hr Alderman Knous made a motion to approve, Alderman Cox seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
4. Dylan Cook to be granted a $4 raise, he is currently making $17
Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve, Alderwoman Stanbridge seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
5. Mayor stated we need to have a water and sewer operator with a license. There might have to be a special meeting. Mayor states he has been talking to someone that has both of those licenses. Alderwoman Stanbridge also knows someone that could do it.
Terry Ayres: Can we notify these people that don’t have stickers on the UTVS? Mayor states they have discussed and will start ticketing. Ayres asks if there is still a notice on the door? Mayor states yes, we are trying. Mayor states we started out at $100 for permits for first year and in the second year if they didn’t buy first they pay $100, but if they did buy the first year then it is $50. We are keeping track of the registrations.
With nothing further to discuss at 754pm, Alderman Cox made a motion to adjourn the council meeting and Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Randy McClure, Mayor Ashley Cox, City Clerk