City of Virginia
March 14th , 2022
Regular Meeting Minutes
Meeting Called to Order: 7pm
Roll Call: French, Pratt, Bowman, Wulf, Knous, Cox all present
Agenda Approval: Cox motioned to approve; Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously
Minutes Approval: Pratt motioned to approve; Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously
Approval of Monthly Bills: Knous motioned to approve; Bowman seconded. Motion carried unanimously
Treasurer Barrett stated that we are under target of where we would like to be. The only thing we are over is in commodities which everything has went up in cost. Monthly sales tax was $13603.18 and monthly video gaming was $5743.77. Treasurer Barrett also stated that he has been working on the budget and will present later. There are two EPA payments will come out tomorrow that are due. Treasurer Barrett will get appropriations set for next month. He also added that we have to report the ARPA funds by April and then will get the second payment in September.
Wulf questions receipts missing. Jeannette stated that it could be due to employees not turning them in in a timely manner.
Ayres stated that he was shoveling snow the first day after the snow storm and UTVs were going by and not a one was legal. Most of them were on the main road. He added there was another wreck out there at the intersection. Mayor asks if they had snow plows on the UTVs. Ayres did see one. Mayor stated that the permit was put it on the back peoples’ water bills.
Mr. Clark asked if the meeting that was scheduled for February 26th that got cancelled will be rescheduled? Mayor states yes. Clark also stated that Governor released many millions to rebuild Illinois and it included water, sewer, etc. Clark asked if the city has applied for those funds? Mayor states has been talking to the engineer in regards to those.
Police Chief Chief Smith told the council that he has created a partnership with Cass County Health Department for events. He stated that they asked first responders to come to the easter egg hunt on April 3. They would like a firetruck, ambulance, and squad cars there to show presence. Chief stated that he would be there as well as the part time officers. He will be working on getting donation boxes for school supplies, toys for tots, and winter clothes. Chief presented the council a copy of police activity for last month. He stated that call volume is starting to pick up. Council reviews. He also added that he worked with the police committee on a policy and procedure manual. Its all in compliance with the police association. Chief requested approval of the manual so he can update policies for 2022 so that we can be in compliance. He stated that the radars have been recertified in the cars, this is a one year certification. Chief asked the council if he can hire 2 or 3 more part time officers because of the gas prices going up, it is hard for the current part time to travel down. He said that way he have a larger pool to pick from if one cant come he can ask others. Alderman French asks about the budget. Chief states that the hours will be the same, this is just to cover in case the current part time guys cant come. Alderman Wulf asks if these guys will be from 4 hours away. Mayor directs the Chief to have a committee meeting first and maybe next meeting it can be on the agenda. Chief then asked the council about the Virginia BBQ days so he can start planning on staffing for that. The Virginia BBQ is June 3-5th.
Fire Chief Rob Kilby reported that there were numerous calls. There was a gas leak on Springfield St, structure fire on Crum Rd, a guy cut himself with a chain saw, brush fire, CO2 alarm at Subway, natural gas leak on Front St, car fire at Shiloh, and a CO2 alarm call last night. He stated that the problem is that CO2 alarms are only good for 5 years and the battery needs to be changed and if it goes bad it will alarm. Kilby added that the fire department appreciates the support of the council, town, and chief. Kilby also asks to get a copy of the ordinance for the side by side. Mayor says yes.
Zoning Officer nothing to report
Park Board Alderman Cox stated that the park is open now, gate is open. Closes at 10pm. Tells chief we have issues with vandalism up there. They tend to kick the bathroom door in and stick t shirts in the toilet.
Library Board nothing to report
Cemetery nothing to report
Attorneys Report nothing to report
TIF nothing to report
Cox Alderman Cox asks if there will be a spring cleanup? Mayor states its not planned but wanted to talk with the street guys. Maybe just have brush and yard waste. Cox then stated that the Masons want to know if the city will allow them to put masonic signs coming into town each way. Wulf states most cities have shriners, masons, etc. Cox stated masons will provide the signs. Council approves. Cox then asks if we will be doing anything about sidewalks especially on square? Mayor states would love to but where would be get the money. Barrett states the city would have to fill out an application to apply for the TIF and will have to get some bids. Wulf states that Bowman and him worked on that before but think the bids are out of date. French asks what happened? Wulf stated COVID happened and it was put on hold. Cox stated that it would be nice to get them done before the BBQ. Wulf states they talked about doing it in cycles, one side of the square at a time.
Knous Alderman Knous asks how can we better get the information out on UTVs to people? He also is seeing dirt bikes and four wheelers now. Mayor states he thinks the only way that it will stop is to police it. Knous asks how to handle it, do they get a warning or a ticket? Knous added that most of the four wheelers he sees are driven by children. Mayor states we have put it on the back of the water bill, on websites, and no one has came to get a permit. Cox asks when the official date should have been? Veith asks if it was posted. The ordinance was not posted on the bulletin board yet. Veith states that we have to have it posted for 30 days. Starting tomorrow, 30 days has to pass and then we can start enforcing the ordinance.
Wulf Alderman Wulf mentioned to the Chief that last month he presented a contract for the county that was to be signed. Wulf wants to know the status of that? Chief stated he is doing more research and once have all facts, will present it to the board. Mayor states that is a done deal, no agreement. Wulf states we do need to get the UTV issues stopped. He also added we need to start getting bids for the sidewalks on the square.
Bowman nothing to report
Pratt Alderman Pratt mentioned the road that goes around the elevator, have we heard any more on that? Tim Icenogle reached out to Treasurer Barrett in regards to that. It would require TIF approval to happen. Initially they were looking at $100,000 to fix the road. Icenogle called last Thurs/Fri to see if Barrett could talk to TIF again with maybe doing $50,000. Treasurer Barrett stated that they will have to have another TIF meeting, $50,000 is a lot easier than $100,000, so we can discuss again.
French Alderman French stated that Casey French at Casscomm wants to make sure that people know that they have started the fiber construction in Virginia. Speeds will increase once everything is done. No date on completion yet but will have more updates as time goes on. French also inquired about the apartment behind the old telephone building. He asked if it is becoming a four-wheeler shop o? Many of the council members stated that is where the four-wheeler is coming from.
City Clerks Report
Clerk Cox handed out the Statements of Economic Interest to the council for them to complete. The Statements of Economic Interest are due May 1st.
Mayor McClure stated that cass county will have a free electronic pick up on Rt. 125 on March 26 from 9am to noon. Letters will be going out soon to individuals that need to clean up their properties. In regards to the UTVs, people need to call city hall and make an appointment to get a permit. The permit information was on the back of the water bills. There is a grant for the square, we can go ahead with that if the council would like. The engineers can come next month and it can be discussed.
No unfinished business
- Apply for grant to purchase a dump truck for use in street dept
Mayor states that he is trying to get a grant right now to get a new dump truck but we need to discuss it first. French what does the grant cover? Mayor states 55%/45%. French asks if it is a grant that we can continue to apply for? Mayor states yes. Mayor states the dump truck is 22 years old. Mayor been talking to grant writer; she has everything ready. Truck will be around 150k and it will have stainless steel bed and soft spreader. Wulf asks if we need a new plow? Mayor states it will be a new plow. Knous asks if we will still use the old one. Mayor states yes because these are really backed up so it may be a year or so. With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the application for a grant to purchase a dump truck for use in the Street Department, Alderman Wulf seconds. Motion carries unanimously.
- Purchase used vehicle for the police dept
Knous states they have been looking around for some used squad cars. The crown vic is not doing very well, it has engine problems. It is topping out at 75/80. Knous stated that he has already discussed with Treasurer Barrett on finances. Treasurer Barrett states we have the room as long as payroll stays low. Wulf states Missouri retires their vehicles at 50k but you can get on their list if there is one that came available. With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the purchase of a used vehicle for the Police Department, Alderman Knous seconded, motion carried unanimously.
- 22/23 budget (1st reading)
Treasurer Barrett states it is relatively stable. Water fund: first round of ARPA funds was $96,000, so we will get another batch of that and it was budgeted for a water project for repairs. There are a few differences. The water fund is really the only one that is different, there was an increase around 240k of that 170k is in water dept. Treasurer Barrett stated that $890.31 was the net gain on the year. He told the council that he can will discuss more in depth if council wants. We also have the library, park, and cemetery budgets. The Library is showing a loss of around $9,000 but they are doing some repairs. The Park will be breaking even. The Cemetery is showing a loss around $36,000.
At 756pm, Alderman Bowman made a motion to go into executive session to discuss personnel, Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously and council went into Executive Session.
At 8:17pm, the council returned from executive session. With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Wulf made a motion to adjourn this month’s meeting and Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Randy McClure, Mayor Ashley Cox, City Clerk