City of Virginia
Regular Meeting Minutes
February 10th, 2020
Mayor Brunk opened the regular meeting at 7:00pm. Roll was called. Alderman French, Pratt, Bowman, Wulf, Behrends, and Cox were all present. The council reviewed the agenda. Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the agenda and Alderman Wulf seconded, motion carried unanimously. The minutes of the January meeting were presented, Alderman Pratt made a motion to approve the minutes and Alderman French seconded. Motion carried unanimously. The monthly bills were presented to the council. Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the monthly bills, Alderman Wulf seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Treasurer Barrett stated that everything is still looking good. Most revenues are in and they are a little above average. Treasurer Barrett also stated that expenses are under the budgeted amount. He asks the council to approve the city audit as TIF needs to be filed by the end of the week. Treasurer Barrett asked the council to let him know of some dates and times that a budgeting meeting can be scheduled. Sales tax for the month of January was $11061.74 and January video gaming was $3265.58.
Mike Finn, Carolyn Defenbaugh
Carolyn Defenbaugh asked the council if cannabis will be sold in Virginia. Mayor Brunk responded that that topic had not been addressed yet by the council. Defenbaugh asked why hasn’t it been addressed yet? Attorney Veith asked for clarification if she was referring to retail? Mayor Brunk stated that it was in regards to permission to sell cannabis in Virginia. Attorney Veith stated that the city can opt out or can pose zoning restrictions because if nothing is done there is a chance of the city getting a dispensary. Mayor Brunk states that he is against it. Alderman Behrends posed the concern of liability. Attorney Veith stated that the city would not be liable, the state has to authorize dispensaries. Mayor Brunk stated that he doesn’t see how allowing this would be advantageous to the city. Attorney Veith states you can pass a sales tax but that poses the issue that the city will need to decide to allow it or not. Alderman Cox stated that he doesn’t think that it will sell her in town. Mayor Brunk stated that a lot of people have been voicing their opinion against it. Defenbaugh states that she is against it. Alderman Wulf stated that there is enough drugs in this town. Alderman French clarifies that the council cannot vote on anything tonight. Alderman French states that he is not fond of a dispensary in town but there are other options that could create a lot of jobs. He mentions that the city of Delavan and Illiopolis has a growing facility and it has created a lot of jobs, these growing facilities provide the medical kind. Alderman French states that he thinks we just need to look at all of the components of this, not just one aspect of this. Alderman Wulf stated that this is just ruling out dispensaries, the facilities are different. Alderman Pratt is against it being in town but he has been through the town of Barry and they have growing facility and it brings in quite a bit of revenue. Alderman French said that he knows something in Delavan, which was one of the first towns to get a growing facility and that it has been both a great source of revenue and created jobs for the citizens. Alderman Pratt said that he thinks the growing facility in Barry employs about 40-50 people. Alderman French said that there has to be a lot of money involved to be able to open a dispensary anyways and it has be a rather substantial amount. Chief Kennedy told the council that most of the individuals that have been caught with marijuana are kids under the age of 21. Alderman Bowman agrees on no dispensaries but wants to keep it open for research on the facilities. Alderman Bowman asks if the state decides where they go, Attorney Veith responded yes they have to issue the license. Attorney Veith also states that for zoning, a growing facility couldn’t be put in a residential area. Attorney Veith added that if the city doesn’t regulate it then people can come in and open dispensaries so if the city doesn’t want that to happen then an ordinance needs to be passed. Alderman Wulf stated that he feels the council needs to address the dispensary part first and then other options can be looked at later. There are few communities that passed the sales tax first in case they decide to opt out. Alderman Cox stated that we need to get an ordinance passed then. Attorney Veith stated that there is a difference between a dispensary and a growing facility. Alderman Cox replied that we need something that says we don’t want to sell her in town. Attorney Veith said that in the IML packet there is a good section in there that discusses this topic. Alderman French states that we need to figure out what we are going to do which looks like it has already been decided. He said that he is not fully against and that if it was managed properly there could be a financial benefit to the city. There needs to be more research done for pros and cons instead of just making a rash decision. Alderman Cox said if someone came and stated that they want to put a dispensary here then we should have a special meeting. Attorney Veith states that he will get some material together for the council and then we can proceed after everyone reviews that. Alderman French suggest to try the proper channels and see how it works. Defenbaugh then asked the question of when is the building on the square supposed to come down. Mayor Brunk states that they are working on it, they had to take things out of the inside and needed that to be done before taking down the walls. Alderman Wulf added that he talked to the guy working down there and the reason why they are pulling stuff out is because of the landfills to which they are going to be disposed at. He said there was a lot of clean up on the insided. Defenbaugh also wanted to know the status of the old Assembly of God property. Mayor Brunk stated that it is a tax sale, it would be up to whomever buys the taxes.
Public Works McClure stated that 5 trees have been taken down, the crew has been working on snow removal and patching holes. The crew is also working on cleaning up shed at water plant and fixing water mains. McClure told the council that Kayla, the water collector, will be leaving Friday and need to get new help in there. McClure states we have to put something in the paper for two weeks and hold interviews. Request from Catholic Church: want to vacate between alley and parking lot we will need to have a resolution
Police Chief (Kennedy) 139 calls, 111 service, 6 arrests, assited county 9, 23 business checks, 23 traffic stops, accident on S Main St. Chief Kennedy stated that the department has been asked to do extra patrols on 125 near Dollar General. There has been someone going 85 through into town which is a 40mph speed zone. He also stated that the new part time officer that was going through the academy training has resigned. He will be posting an ad in the paper for certified part time officers to have as back up as Officer Fanning is going to be working some hours in a different town as well.
Fire Chief (Reynolds) not present
Zoning Officer not present
Park Board Feb 19th 7pm at City Hall
Library Board still looking for a librarian
Economic Development nothing to report
Cemetery Board nothing to report
Zoning Board Adam Stock has resigned, will replace him next month
3 ordinances to consider tonight. Assuming the first two pass, we will have a special meeting following the conclusion of the regular meeting for the 2nd reading of the 3 ordinances
Cox Alderman Cox asked what was going to be done with the old Dollar General. Alderman Pratt asked if that was privately owned and Mayor Brunk stated yes. Mike Finn told the council that the guy tha towns that is not wanting to sell it but wants to lease it and asked if anyone had any ideas.
BehrendsAlderman Behrends stated that people are burning after 4pm again and thanked to Chief Kennedy for going there and getting them to put it out. Alderman Behrends asked what the status was on the budgets for the committees? Treasurer Barrett states first reading will be March and if he could just get large expenses not the whole thing that would be great.
Wulf Alderman Wulf asked about the lighting at Duncan and 125 and stated its not very well lit. It was brought up that maybe it could be the states responsibility. Chief Kennedy said there has been a few accidents there already. Alderman Wulf also asked if the hole at Beardstown and Stowe is new? McClure thinks its going to be quite a job and with the weather like it is they didn’t want to open it up all the way, it is caving under the pavement. Alderman Wulf asked if the city was going to be working on alleys this year and McClure replied that they are going to have to devise a street program. Alderman Wulf asked if there is still a sidewalk program? McClure responded that if someone wants a sidewalk, we pay for the material and they pay for the labor and it should be over 3 yards. It also has to be approved by McClure.
Bowman Alderman Bowman said he has received some requests to put rock in the holes on Packing House Road and Garner Cemetery Road. McClure said they have stuff that could be used to fill those holes in.
Pratt Alderman Pratt asked how are the street lights? Alderman Wulf states Ameren has been replacing a few and Mayor Brunk states that he spoke with Chief this morning and he said all that were out are tagged and reported now
French Alderman French said the trees look good.
City Clerks Report
Nothing to report
Mayor Brunk stated that we will be soliciting auditing bids for next year. We have been having issues with the current company. Treasurer Barrett states that we should get the draft in September and October it should be filed and as of right now we are just getting the draft. Treasurer Barrett also added that we always struggle getting the final report, we get emails and calls from the state asking why this isn’t done and we are constantly delinquent. It is frustrating that we know it is done and we are just waiting for the report. Alderman French asks if we have to hire a firm to audit us? Mayor Brunk says yes, these reports have to go the state. Treasurer Barrett states we need to find a new auditor. Mayor Brunk also added that the Dollar General grand opening was at 7am last Saturday and they had about 25 people there at that time, the manager was happy about the turnout.
- Crime Stoppers Looking for Donation for Signage
Alderman Wulf addressed the council representing Crimestoppers. Alderman Wulf said that we are now a three county crimestoppers and have went through the state process. Morgan-Scott-Cass, Wulf is VP of that. The signs have been created to put up in the communities but we need donations to help pay for the signs. It would be $75/sign, and we would like one at each city limit in Virginia. Attorney Veith that states in theory municipalities are not supposed to donate because you are giving away public funds but they can purchase. Alderman Wulf states there is a benefit for the community. Beardstown has signs for their school, and we will be working with other schools. Students can text a tip in if there is violence and drugs occurring they can text crimestoppers to curb these things from happening. Alderman Pratt asks if you have approached groups like the masons? Alderman Wulf states that we will be looking donations for different things. Right now, we are working on getting community established as a crimestoppers community and getting in the schools. We will be having a fundraiser, Trivia Night, it will be in Jacksonville and then Virginia next year, we would like to use city hall of a few meetings so we can pull from different communities. Alderman French makes motion to approve 4 signs, Alderman Cox seconds. Motion carries unanimously, with Alderman Wulf recusing himself from voting.
- An Ordinance Annexing Certain Territory Consisting of the City Park to the City of Virginia (1st reading)
Attorney Veith states that this ordinance annexes the city park into the City of Virginia. It was discovered the park and a triangular piece had never been formally annexed into the city that anyone could find. 7-1-9 allows the city to adopt the ordinance and its uninhabited so we can annex it by passing the ordinance. We sent 18 notices out as well. Attorney Veith hopes that the council will go ahead and pass the ordinance and then the 2nd reading will be in the special meeting. If it passes again then it will officially be in city limits. Alderman Wulf states it includes Rexroat Prairie. Alderman Behrends made a motion to approve An Ordinance Annexing Certain Territory Consisting of the City Park to the City of Virginia and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- An Ordinance Authorizing a Petition for Annexation of Certain Territory Consisting of Cass County Homes LP to the City of Virginia (1st reading)
Attorney Veith states this is the subdivision one. It is not owned by the city, so there are different ways to do this. If you pass this, we will publish notice in the newspaper, then it will go to court, there is a hearing on March 2nd and assuming there is no objection we will come back on March 9th then we will have an ordinance prepared that allows you to direct that this will be passed without referendum if there is no objection. If someone petitions within 30 days for a referendum then we would have to do it. Otherwise, 30 days from March 9th it would automatically become annexed into the city which is what was attempted in 2016. Alderman Wulf states so we are basically just extending our city limits that would cover Virginia Rd out to the subdivision. As of now the city cops cant patrol that road. Attorney Veith states the land itself goes to the north edge of Virginia Rd which is a county highway. Alderman Cox made a motion to approve An Ordinance Authorizing a Petition for Annexation of Certain Territory Consisting of Cass County Homes LP to the City of Virginia and Alderman Wulf seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- Approval of 18/19 City Audit
With nothing further to discuss, Alderman French made a motion to approve the Approval of 18/19 City Audit and Alderman Pratt seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- Ordinance Approving TIF Committee Recommendation for us of TIF Funds for the Virginia Market
Alderman Cox states that Mr. Clark doesn’t need the funds right way. Attorney has to pass in two readings and wants it to be squeaky clean. Attorney states we can this March 9thor have a special meeting. Mayor Brunk states it will be on next months agenda.
With nothing futher to discuss, Alderman Wulf made a motion to adjourn the council meeting at 802pm and Alderman Cox seconded. Motion carried unanimously. ___________________________ ____________________________
Reg Brunk, Mayor Ashley Cox, City Clerk