City of Virginia
February 14th, 2022
Regular Meeting Minutes
Meeting Called to Order: 7pm
Roll Call: Alderman French, Pratt, Bowman, Wulf, Knous, and Cox all present.
Agenda Approval: Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the agenda, and Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Minutes Approval: Alderman Knous made a motion to approve the agenda, and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Approval of Monthly Bills: Alderman Knous made a motion to approve the monthly bills, and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
No report this month.
Claudia Kluge: Claudia Kluge states that she speaks for a large portion of this community that we finally feel safe. For 3 years we have felt unsafe. She stated in June she called the police department three times and didn’t get an answer two of those times. She said her niece has an OP against her husband, cops took 37 min to get to her employment where her ex had kicked in the door. She stated that the new chief goes to DG and other businesses, he goes to those places to make sure the employees get out safe. She stated the group that she is representing is a very large group. She also added she is a teacher, and she wanted to retire here, but she was ready to leave because we lost our faith.
Public Works no report
Police Chief (Smith): Chief Smith gave police report to the council, a memorandum of agreement that goes with the Cass County Sheriffs office. This document is just stating that the county will assist the city until we can get fully staffed through the city. The Sheriff will also bring it to the county board so that we all have documentation on file of the agreement. Chief Smith then handed out the Federal Use of Force certification to the council. He stated this documentation is needed to be enforced so that we can keep the federal funding and don’t get it pulled. This is good for three years. By getting this certification, we can apply for federal grants. Then the chief handed out a report for the police activity for the month of January. There have been a lot of warning tickets that have been issues, approximately 40 of them. No citations have been issued. Chief Smith stated he likes to give people chances. The board voted me in but I have heard rumors around town that I have been after the “good ole boys”. He said he was hired to do his job and do it properly. He stated he was sworn to protect the City of Virginia, not any other town. He wishes that the rumors would stop and everyone understood that he is here to do a job and wish people would work with him. He is working on several projects to better this community. He is working with the school district and will re-start the DARE program in August. There will also be an ID program set up for children, adults, and elderly in the community soon. Chief stated that he discovered that the police department did not have a policy and procedure manual. The chief then presented a “draft” policy and procedure manual to the mayor and council. This is just the beginning; the drafts need to be approved by the council. Once that is finished, he can start writing the current policies for 2022. Chief is also helping the Sheriff with the Federal Use of Force Certification as well.
Fire Chief (Reynolds) Thanks to Russell and the city for plowing us out of the snow. 1-Structure Fire on Walnut, 1-Carbon Monoxide call on Grant
Zoning Officer no report
Park Board Gibby wanted to make sure that everyone knows that you can park at the school and walk in the park. April Leinberger contacted him and wants to donate the proceeds of the Putt for Progress this year to the park.
Library Board no report
Economic Development Mayor stated that he recommended Anne Reiterman to be on the economic development board but she feels that there is a conflict of interest so she declined.
Cemetery no report
TIF no report
Attorney Veith stated he didn’t put the use restriction agreement with the documentation in the council’s packet for the ordinance. He added he can quickly run through those if it is needed prior to voting. The planning commission recommended unanimously that the property be rezoned from R-1 to R-1 with conditional uses. It usually takes two meetings to pass the ordinance but it was requested to make an exception for this one. In order to pass, it will take 5 votes.
Cox talked to several school board members and they said that the Chief represented the city very well.
Knous thanked the police chief for what he is doing with this community.
Wulf had several complaints on the snow removal. People said the intersections were very hard. Mayor states that we probably need to talk with the ordinance committee on people parking their cars. Alderman Wulf also received two complaints on water turning brown again but it is probably due to the fire that happened that day
Bowman no issues
Pratt no issues
French no issues
City Clerks Report
nothing to report
Mayor McClure stated that he talked to Grant Writer today, the USDA has released some funds that they have had since 2019. He would like her to go ahead with apply for this grant. Before she was talking about $50-$60 an hour, we need to decide what her rate is. When the Mayor finds out what she is wanting to get compensated, he will let the council know. There will be a meeting February 26th at 9am at St. Lukes. The Mayor would like all the board members and committee members to be at this workshop. The Mayor states we need to figure out some projects that needs to be done in this town and make it better.
No unfinished business
- Ordinance Adopting Planning Commission Recommendation to Re-Zone 431 S Front St from R-1 to R-1 with conditional use
With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the ordinance adopting planning commission recommendation to re-zone 431 S Front St. from R-1 to R-1 with conditional use and Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- Approval of Part Time Police Officers
Two part time officers that were interviewed. Their training files and experience was reviewed. Chief Smith presented the background checks to the council on the two part time officers that were interviewed. Chief Smith asks for the approval of the council. If they are approved tonight, then they can be down here this Friday to be able to start working. Alderman French asks about the budget. Alderman French asks if they are ok with the hourly rate, the chief said yes. Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the hiring of the two police officers presented at tonights meeting and Alderman Bowman seconded. Alderman Wulf opposed, the vote was 5-1 therefore motion carries.
With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 741pm and Alderman Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Randy McClure, Mayor Ashley Cox, City Clerk