City of Virginia
September 11th, 2023
Regular Meeting Minutes
Meeting Called to Order: 7pm
Roll Call: Martin, Andrews, Stanbridge, Wulf, Knous and Cox all answered present.
Agenda Approval: Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the agenda and Alderman Wulf seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Minutes Approval: Alderman Knous made a motion to approve the August minutes and Alderman Andrews 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.
- Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Barrett stated that revenue is a little over budget for this time of year. The commodities are still over budget, we will need to keep an eye on that. Treasurer Barrett also thanked Laura Carson; she’s done a good job so far. He then thanked Attorney Veith for getting TIF ordinance through quickly. The audit will be coming in October and the tax levy will be prepared for Nov/Dec.
Guests: Brad Leigel, Terry Ayers, Mike Lowe, Dennise Minor, Pat Noltensmeier, and Hilary Brown
Brad Leigel: Leigel stated that his company has had the city contract for electricity for many years. The contract is up April 2024. We went out and looked at pricing and everything has gone up dramatically. The least expensive is Homefield Energy right now. There are companies that won’t even bid right now because the market is so volatile. The last contract was 24 months, and after reviewing it, Homefield is at .08199. Alderman Cox asked what is it right now? Leigel stated the rate is currently at .0499. Ameren ranges from .09 to .11. It doesn’t look like rates will get cheaper until around 2026. Leigel added if it were him, he wouldn’t go for a 4-year contract but would look at 2 years. The closer to renewal, unless the market drops, the price will increase more. Most other customers have signed a contract out to 2026, 2027, 2028. He thinks it’s a good move to jump in. He would suggest a 24-month contract. Lowe asks why Ameren so much higher than everyone else. Leigel stated he believes that it has to do with the natural gas market. Natural gas and electricity go hand in hand. It is better to grab a price before the winter. Alderman Cox asks what we need to do? Leigel states he thinks the best move is to sign the 24- month contract with Homefield Energy which would be May 2024-April 2026. The mayor asks the council what they think and asks if we want to go ahead and sign a contract. Mayor states we will put this on the October agenda for approval.
Police Chief: Chief Shumate stated there have been two stop arm violations at the school and those people were cited, he has been working with Steve Clark. Officer Huffman is in her second full week. She passed her power test twice. In reference to the salvage cars, Chief Shumate did call DMV and they are really short staffed right now. The Chief added that the cloud storage for the camera for the entire year is $450. Alderman Andrews asks about the stop arm violations if there are any more than the two? Chief Shumate states no.
Fire Chief: Chief Stock there were 4 calls: wreck near Country Club, smoking furnace on Illini St, structure fire on E Springfield St, and a 2-year-old stuck in a crib on Olive Branch Rd.
Code Officer: nothing to report.
Superintendent Water Report: nothing to report.
Superintendent Street Report: Superintendent Ratliff stated they put up new stop signs, a crew member is out on leave, and we have been working at the cemetery as well. Ratliff added the city crew helped Chief put up his cameras. Alderwoman Martin said Marcia Cox has a shop behind her house.
There is no street sign for Job, but we have ordered one. She is going to start opening her shop on the 21st. Alderwoman Martin added if we could get a street sign down there that would be nice for out-of-town people, so it is easier to find. Alderwoman Stanbridge stated there is a tree on Cass St, do you
mind looking into that? John Ratliff states he will look into it. Mayor asks if we are supposed to remove the brush on Illini St? Ratliff said he could pick it up but there was a company who put it there. Ratliff said he will pick it up tomorrow. Council thanks Ratliff
Park Board: Alderman Cox stated pickle ball courts are done, they look great. Alderwoman Martin stated that her brother will come up and try to schedule clinics where people can come and learn how to play pickle ball. They are currently working on the signs, the sign at the entrance of the court is really worn out. There will also be another instructional sign on how to play pickle ball as well. Alderman Cox added that the basketball court has been sealed. The pool has leaks, but it has been drained. There will be one more JH baseball game on Wednesday. The cameras are installed. There will also be 9U and 12U girls’ softball teams playing up at the park this year. Next meeting: Sept 20th at 7pm.
TIF Board: Treasurer Barrett states they had a meeting and paid out on the East Side project. The committee also approved Becky’s Good Times for $8250.00. There is another guest potentially looking at a bigger project on the square to help with the run-down buildings, but we don’t have an application yet.
Attorney Veith states tonight the council will do the second reading of the Ordinance Increasing Water and Sewer Rates. There is also the Ordinance Authorizing TIF funds for Becky’s Good Times. Because of the urgency (she needs coolers), we want to try and pass it in the first reading. Attorney Veith added that this has to pass 2/3 which is 5 of the council members need to approve.
Mayor stated we sent a letter to engineers letting them know we don’t need their payroll services anymore as we have hired someone. There is a meeting at St. Lukes Hall on Sept 14th at 6pm Cass Co Natural Mitigation Plan Meeting and the public is invited. This will be the final meeting. Mayor states it is for a disaster plan.
Cox thanked the fireman; they do a heck of a job. He also added that Shaner, Ratliff, and the rest of the crew did a great job as well. He thanked the Chief for being in the school zone.
Knous thanked John and Dylan for their hard work on the water main break last night. They put in a lot of hard work getting the water main clamped down.
Wulf stated to Laura Carson that the bills look nice. He also asked Chief Stock if he will be at the fire house soon? He needs to get measurements from the floor to the ceiling. They are looking at the end of October for the door to be installed. Chief Stock will get that tomorrow for Alderman Wulf. Alderman Wulf also thanked the fireman for everything you guys do. We need to appreciate what we have in this small town. Alderman Wulf asks if still giving out police reports. Shumate states yes. Alderman Wulf said he hasn’t received for a few months.
Stanbridge a lot of questions about public works director. Is there a posting out there? Mayor states no. It will cost a lot of money for a Public Works Director. We need to look for water and sewer operators. Alderwoman Stanbridge and Mayor McClure will discuss it later.
Andrews appreciated Dylan, John, and John, he has been watching them working around town and they really do a great job. They are making our town look better. The park looks really good as well. We have been having committee meetings and trying to come up with ideas to continue to help people out. Chief Shumate has been running radar, I have physically seen him out there.
Martin asked if we have city wide October 6 and 7th. Alderwoman Martin asked if the cleanup is October 16-20? Alderwoman Martin also added that Laura Carson is a really good IT person, so she has been working with her on getting information out there to the public. We have a lot of events happening between now and the end of the year, so people are informed.
Sept 16th: Now and Then Classic Car show
Oct 6&7: Citywide
October 14th: Rexroat Prairie Log Cabin Days
October 23-27th: City wide pick up, will make one pass each street. October 21st: Spooktacular and Halloween parade at the park October 27th: Trunk or Treat on the square
November 21st: is the deadline for Virginia Christian Woman’s Group and Masons for the Needy Children’s Fund. They will be doing the angel tree and buying coats for the children.
December 1st: Christmas in Virginia on the square
Marcia Cox has a nice hand-crafted gift shop and will be open from Sept 21-Dec 24th.
Alderman Cox asks when is trick or treating? Mayor states we only do 1 day so it will be on the 315\ Mayor states need to get with John to make sure on the dates on the City Wide Clean Up.
Just want to get as much information out to the public as possible. Would like to be organized and promoted. Mayor states the people put it out the week before the pickup and then we pick up.
City Clerks Report
Nothing to report.
Ordinance Increasing Water and Sewer Rates
With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the ordinance increasing water and sewer rates. Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- TIF ordinance: Becky’s Good Times
The council reviewed the information. With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the TIF ordinance for Becky’s Good Times. Alderwoman Stanbridge seconded. Motion carried unanimously therefore meeting the requirement of 2/3 votes.
- Hire Full Time Deputy Clerk
Laura Carson is very professional and will be a great asset to the city. She was hired at $19.00 an hour. With nothing further to discuss, Alderwoman Martin made the motion to approve Laura Carson as the full time Deputy Clerk. Alderman Wulf seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
- Appoint Trista Barrett to Library Board
With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Knous made a motion to appoint Trista Barrett to the Library Board. Alderwoman Martin seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
At 748pm, Alderman Knous made a motion to adjourn the council meeting and Alderman Wulf seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
Randy McClure, Mayor