City of Virginia
October 11th, 2021
Regular Meeting Minutes
Mayor McClure called the meeting to order at 6:58pm. Roll was called. Alderman French, Pratt, Bowman, Wulf, Knous, and Cox all answered present. The council reviewed the agenda. Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the agenda, Alderman Wulf seconded. Motion carried unanimously. The council reviewed the September meeting minutes. Alderman Pratt made a motion to approve the minutes, Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously. The council reviewed the monthly bills. Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the monthly bills, Alderman Pratt seconded. Motion carried unanimously,
No report this month.
Guests: Terry Ayres, Ronnie Paul
Ronnie Paul President of Hennigan and Associates
Mr. Paul hands out a packet to the council. Mr. Paul stated that he has worked with the city for several years and works with entities that purchase water. He stated things are getting older and are starting to deteriorate. He presented the council with two high level quotes. He stated that the red lines are potential water main relocation project areas. This is close to a 2 million dollar project. The last page has options on it, Option B is your project number. Left side is loan only, no grant. Right side includes 35% grant money. If you have a 2 million dollar project, loan only is $7.40 per user, grant dollars is $4.80 per user. If you are making money right now on your water, then some of this cost can be absorbed by the city. We are assuming that you guys are breaking even on water right now. Alderman Cox asks how many years. Answer: 40 years, 1.25% interest rate. The interest rates are about as low as they are going to be. Rural development keeps telling us that they are historical lows, it changes quarterly. The decline in interest will end at some point, so now is a good time to do a project. We figured 800 water customers that this would be spread out over. If you wanted to do something but not 2 million dollars, there is an example of a 1 million dollar project. Alderman French asks if there are communities that do this improving over a course of time like taking care of things one and a time in small increments. Paul states there are communities that do nothing, or do the whole town, or pick the worst parts of the town and start replacing them one at a time. If you get less than 1 mil, you are starting to push limits of value of government funding. If you do it in smaller increments, the project will cost more though and rural development funding wouldn’t be recommended. Alderman Wulf asks if the sewer and water are on top of each other. McClure states the sewer is in the middle and the water is on the edge. Alderman Wulf states doing it all would be wonderful, but if we are going to choose what to do then where do we start and where do we finish. The green lines are the sewer lines. The sewer project is about 3.5 million. With grant $8, without $13 per customer. If you are going to do both, it would make more sense to do the sewer and then the water before you re do the roads. If you plan to wait 20 years then that isn’t a big deal but if you want both of them done rather quickly, then it would be more beneficial to both rather than one at a time. Loan app through Rural development for water has to be separate from sewer but you can run both of them simultaneously. For a municipality the loan process is about a year and half to two years through rural development. Alderman Cox asks about grants for this? Paul states there are, the water rates are high enough to qualify, your median household income is low enough to qualify. The one thing we will have to prove is a threat to health and safety because you don’t have EPA violations. On the water side this could be the line breaks could qualify as a health and safety risk. For the sewer we would need to look at the inflow to the waste water treatment plan and if it is high then that would be beneficial. Alderman Knous asks fire hydrants, is it only fire hydrants? Paul states you don’t want to reuse those. Alderman Wulf states in best case scenario, we are looking at $13 a month for 40 years, worst case is about $20. Paul states yes, if we financially break even. Alderman Wulf states that is just for half the city, Paul states yes. Paul states he tells a lot of people, your current citizens don’t like it but their kids will love you for it. Paul states if you decide you want to move forward what we would do is a preliminary engineering report, we would come up here with a work order, get the report completed, show you the numbers, and decide if you want to go forward. All the money you spend up front and you do end up with a rural development closing all that money gets reimbursed.
Public Comment: none
Public Works: no report
Police Chief: no report
Fire Chief: no report
Zoning Officer: no report
Park Board: Alderman Cox stated that the small diamonds going to be repaired, the bleachers. He stated the Reynolds Trust will help with this. Gibby said log cabin days was a success, Debby Krohe states it was one of the most successful ones they had
Library Board: no report
Economic Development: no report
Cemetery: no report
TIF Board: no report
Attorney Veith stated that one person has been prosecuted for dogs running at large and they plan to setup a pay plan for $750. The first payment has not been made yet, we return to court on Oct 19th. The ordinance authorizing use of TIF funds for repairs is on the agenda. Treasurer Barrett presented it to Attorney Veith, there were two separate request in the one ordinance. Attorney Veith stated that an agreement has been reached with the neighbors and CCHD. We have to develop a conditional use permit and once that is finished, it will be given to CCHD.
Cox: no report
Knous: no report
Wulf: Alderman Wulf stated he received a few more complaints about brown water from residents on the west side of town.
Bowman: no report
Pratt: Alderman Pratt asks if on Trunk or treat, will this street be completely blocked? The business down the street was wanting to know. McClure states yes it is blocked every year for safety reasons. Pratt asked if they could park at the old grocery store. McClure states yes they can park there.
French: Alderman French states one of the flags at the park on the south end looks like it might need some attention, its kind of ripped up. Alderman Cox states the cable company has to do that. Alderman Cox will talk to Gibby. Alderman French asked if there was any interest in the police chief position. Alderman Knous stated we have an ad on indeed, Jeannette states we have 16 applications. Jeannette states it s on police1.com as well.
City Clerks Report
Clerk Cox stated that the Christmas on the Square committee is going to be doing Christmas on the Square on December 3rd.
Mayor McClure stated that the work on the streets are all done for this year.
A. UTV Ordinance (Discussion Only)
Alderman Pratt asks if there are any questions or suggestions? Alderman Cox asked what was brought up last meeting? Alderman Wulf said something about doing a discount for more than 1. Alderman Pratt doesn’t think we decided to do that. Attorney Veith states if things need to be changed, he needs some direction. Mayor McClure asks about the speed, he thought it stated 30mph? It is 25 mph in town here unless otherwise posted. Attorney Veith stated he thinks statute says that it cant be on any street that is not 35mph or under. Alderman Wulf asks if it is posted 25 mph then they have to follow that limit. Attorney Veith states yes. Attorney Veith states he needs to know where they are going to be able to across 125. Attorney Veith asks if he needs to add that they need to follow the posted speed limit? Council agrees. Alderman Knous recommends the crossing at Duncan, council agrees. Attorney Veith will add Duncan st as the designated street to cross 125. Mr. Ayres states he cant back out of my driveway because traffic comes too quickly. He thinks its dangerous to establish the crossing that close to the 4 way stop. Mayor McClure suggest we table it and have committee meetings to get things lined up. After that is done we can get it back to the lawyer to finalize and it can be done.
B. Ordinance Authorizing Use of Tax Increment Finance Funds for Repairs of Buildings at 118 and 120 E Beardstown Street.
With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Pratt made a motion to approve the ordinance authorizing use of tax increment finance funds for repairs of buildings at 118 and 120 E Beardstown St.
a. 220 E Beardstown St Property
b. 126-128 E Beardstown St Property
c. 220 S Front St Property
d. 600 E Cheston St. Property
The only response to the letters that have been sent out was 220 E Beardstown St (Medi-Quip building). The owner wanted to give the city the property. He is going to send us a $5000 check to take the property and it has been received. Attorney Veith states the problem is it is going to cost a lot more money to take it down. Alderman French asks is there basement? Yes. Alderman Cox states there is a well, Mayor McClure states yes a 90 ft well in the back. Alderman French asks if it can be torn down and not damage the food pantry building? It was then added that the other three have not responded. The council asks what can we do with the others that didn’t say anything? Can we do the 750 a day? Attorney Veith states yes. Mayor McClure asks if we can condemn it and take it? Attorney Veith states you can get a default judgment without court process, there are few ways to do it. If it is open and unoccupied and less than 3 stories in height, which it is. No one is probably going to argue that they need to be torn down. Chances are the city will ultimately pay for it. If you want the property, you will have to redeem taxes. If there is a lien, you jump ahead of the mortgage. Or you could go after the financial institution that has the lien as they are considered the “owner”. Most of the time what happens, banks release the mortgage. Attorney Veith continues to state that in the end the city ends up paying for it and doesn’t get a whole lot in return. There are four properties here, so we need to do some strategic financial planning. You can get a judgment but collecting on the judgment is another. Most owners will argue that they can just give up the property. Alderman Wulf asks so it is best to accept the 5k and proceed with what we have to do? The 126-128 will be a lot more expensive to complete. Attorney Veith states we have used TIF before but we are spending TIF before we are even getting it in at this point. Veith states we need to keep that in mind that we are already promising them before we have the funds in hand and the last one we did was 128k. Mayor McClure states he just wants people to know that we are trying to do something but our hands our tied. Attorney Veith states other communities have had their public works dept go ahead and do the demo, hire out a backhoe operator to help and that does save some money. Attorney Veith did order title work on the Cheston property, we just don’t have it back yet. (600 E Cheston) Alderman Pratt asks about the Front St property? Alderman Knous asks what can we do with 220 S Front? Mayor asks its abandoned? Attorney Veith asks if it is open? You can go to court or there is that expedited procedure if the property is “open” and vacant, you can post signs/notice so you don’t have to go to court. They get 30 days once you send the notice, there is a publication, they get 30 days to tell you they are going to do it or not, then you have 120 days from the day you posted the notice to take it down yourself. Unless they go to court then they can stop you but they rarely ever do. It would save attorneys fees if there was no court costs involved. Alderman French asks on the east side of the building on the corner, all that green is growing in between and on the building that kind of looks nasty, can something be done to get that cleaned up? Mayor yes we can check into that.
With nothing further to discuss at 7:50pm, Alderman Wulf made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Randy McClure , Mayor Ashley Cox, City Clerk