City of Virginia

February 12th, 2024

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, Alderman Knous seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Minutes Approval:  Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve last month’s meeting minutes, Alderman Andrews seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Monthly Bills: Alderman Knous made a motion to approve the monthly bills, Alderman Stanbridge seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report

Sales Tax: $13987.09

Gaming: $6118.39

Treasurer Barrett stated we are waiting on the audit; we have the draft report.  Once it is back, we will file the annual TIF report with the state.  Treasurer Barrett added that he is working with fireman on the budget and that he has emailed boards for their budgets as well so they can be reviewed.  There will have finance meeting soon.  There is a VRWS Feb 23rd at 2pm.  Treasurer Barrett stated that the budget is in good shape, the supplemental appropriations helped.  He also added that both ladies in the office had done a great job.   The Virginia Open will be April 20th, $25 per person 4 players on team.  It I also $100 to sponsor a sign.


Terry Ayres, Carol Beekman, Vickie Bell, Rodger Lauder, Sarah Fanning, Diana Feigl, Dave McMillan, John Shaner, Pat Noltensmeier, Carolyn Defenbaugh, Koti Huffman, Adrian Winningham, Trina Jones, Todd Jones, Mike Lowe, LeighAnn Allen, Tara Beekman

Rodger Lauder:

Lauder stated he is the Cass Co Emergency Manager.  It is required but not mandated to have an all-hazard mitigation plan, it is a lengthy process.  Each community was asked if they wanted to participate, Virginia said yes, they did.  There was a team that worked for two years.  One of the team’s jobs was to identify what hazards are the most daunting to the community.  It also identified things that would be fixed if had the funds.  The cost was about $150k, the local share was around $40k-$60.  It was paid for by the people on the plan so no cost.  The plan is done, the municipalities just have to adopt it.  When you get reimbursed from the government due to natural disaster, they pay 75% match.  If you have a mitigation plan, you are eligible for them to consider the highest amount.  This opens the door to getting additional funding that you wouldn’t have if you don’t adopt the plan.  The plan is 175 pages long.  If you adopt the plan, you are eligible for additional money.

Alderwoman Martin asked if the council could get some information on what was identified.  Dave McMillan stated the following: 1) expansion of wireless system 2) first call type system/public alert system 3) demo of abandoned structures 4) development of early warning system 5) improvement of city drainage 6) purchase of satellite phones for fire dept.

Lauder stated he has been looking for a long time for an affordable enhanced notification system.  The siren system in Virginia is one of the best in the area.  Sirens are a good indication tool.  Genesis is the company that he has researched for a notification system and proposed to the county board.  If IDOT closed the roads, or the river got too high, the weather got bad, this is how the communities could notify their residents.  McClure thanked Lauder and McMillan.

Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the mitigation plan and Alderman Knous seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Vickie Bell:

Bell stated The Beautification Committee has had a few fundraisers.  Our donors are asking when we are going to start on the bandstand.  If we don’t get started soon, our donations are going to decline.  They aren’t seeing anything happen and we would like to get it done asap.  The goal would be finishing by the BBQ.  Bell stated to the council that the Beautification Committee would like to help or if you’re willing to take over the project.  Alderwoman Martin states we all want to see it done.  That’s the problem is getting someone that takes charge and can do it.  We need some guidelines; we don’t want it done fast and cheap so that it is there for the long run.  The project could be done in 3 steps decking and railing, the bricks, and the roof.  Alderwoman Martin thinks we need to start with the decking and railing and the stairs.   Treasurer Barrett also stated that the Virginia Open is also donating to the bandstand.  Bell states there are a lot of people stating they would donate if we would just get going on it. Alderwoman Martin states Mayor McClure had an idea earlier that we get as much community support.  Alderwoman Martin feels if the community is vested, they will care a lot more.  Maybe we could get the most experienced carpenter who could oversee the project.  Rupert Parrish is probably the best bricklayer around.  Bell did get a bid from Rupert I think 2 years ago.  The prices now, have gone up since we submitted that.  Alderwoman Martin stated she talked to David Cox about this project, he emphasized that the decking product is the main thing.  You can go cheap or expensive, just buy the best that you can afford because it will sustain.  The repair is going to be a little more complex so maybe it’s best to do it in three parts.  Alderwoman Martin has also been talking to Craig Carlock.  She added that anyone who is really good is really busy.  She stated she trusts Craig completely, even just to consult on the products that we need to purchase.  There are a lot of people in the community that are very handy. Alderman Wulf stated 3 years ago the building committee met and we received bids.  The council did approve the work.  Alderman Wulf thinks we need to get licensed carpenters, think it will be hard to get community together to help with the gazebo.  Tara Beekman stated they could put it out on Facebook and let the community know we are looking for bids from community members because this is a community project.  Alderwoman Martin asks if we can put restrictions on bids, do we have to take the lowest bid?  Alderman Wulf states our best bid was from CT construction and they are residents of Virginia.  Sarah Fanning asks if the city is contributing at all? Alderwoman Martin states it’s not eligible for TIF.  The question was then asked if there were insurance funds that came due to damage? Alderman Wulf states three years ago there was inclement weather that did damage that.  Bell remembers the amount was $5700.  Alderman Wulf stated the building committee voted to move forward on that, but nothing has been done.  Alderman Wulf stated the bid was composite decking, vinyl rail, and covers from post to post to withstand weather.  Mayor McClure states he went to Beardstown and asked the lumber company.  He asked them if he could make a list of materials that we would need.  He hasn’t gotten anything back to me yet.  Bell asks if when you get the cost, is there a dollar amount threshold that we have to send it out for bids?  The attorney states she thinks the threshold has been increased to $30,000.  Alderman Wulf states in 2022 we were looking at $15-$16k.  LeighAnn Allen states that Bell has looked and studied and driven around.  We have talked about breaking it up into separate parts.  Allen states that Bell is asking for permission, if we are going to raise the money, can the beautification committee take this project over?  Alderwoman Martin in favor of letting the beautification committee take it over.  Alderwoman Stanbridge agrees.  Alderman Wulf recommends if you got estimates to present it to the council for review.   Allen just wants to get this started so the community can see progress happening.  Alderman Andrews states he would like to see two estimates and the list being itemized.  Bell states the workers need to be bonded and insured.  McClure states we need to make a contract with the contractors.  The council agrees to let the beautification committee take over the project.


Monthly Reports

Police Chief: Chief Shumate stated he researched AEDs.  The grant writer is looking for grants, but they are limited.  In regard to the reimbursement for Hoffman’s tuition, they are just starting on the list.  He has not heard back from the Retention and Recruitment grant after I reached out to them again.  The Chief then stated he reviewed with the attorney the open ordinance violation cases.  They got rid of a lot of them that were no longer valid.  Officer Huffman’s main duty is doing ordinance violation.  The first priority is getting her trained in law enforcement, there will be down time that we can start working on ordinance violations.  She is going out of town this weekend to train with the shotgun.  Belleville didn’t have time to train them all when they were there because there were so many.  Animal control called to help him out with an animal issue that could possibly lead to a complaint.  I asked him if they cite them, the county doesn’t have authority.  Alderman Wulf states the city does the ordinance violation.  He suggested reaching out to Katie Vitale in Beardstown, she will explain what to do.  Chief Shumate asks if we can empower the animal control person to write citations under city ordinance? Alderman Wulf states county will not allow that.

Fire Chief: Chief Stock stated house fire on N Main, mutual aid in Beardstown, fire alarm on Ruppel Rd, pick up fire at WGM, lift assists on Orchard Rd.

Ordinance Officer: no report

Superintendent of Water Report (Dylan Cook): Superintendent Cook stated we had a cold winter.  Lost communication with wells for about a week and half due to the cold.  Had one service rot off, had assistance with tree dept.  Two other main breaks in town.  With the cold, we had higher leaks.  Shaner did a good job covering for the crossing guard this month.

Superintendent of Street Report (John Ratliff): Superintendent Ratliff stated got dump truck back, been repairing the barricades, on Duncan we had a culvert that got smashed on both ends had to replace it.  There was an issue on Myrtle St, we had a sink hole in front of the Catholic Church.  The crew had to clean it out, put cement in, and it is repaired now.  Alderwoman Martin thanked Ratliff that she does not have to bring up street signs again, they are all up and all matches.  Alderwoman Martin hopes the public will let city hall know if a street sign, stop sign, stop light, or anything is bad so they can get it fixed.

Park Board: Alderman Cox stated Gibby stated he is getting ready for spring here in a month or so.  March 20th city hall 7pm

TIF: Treasurer Barrett stated the TIF board had a meeting that we got a potential request for the buildings on the south side of the square. It would be a multi-phase project; we are waiting on guidance but no application yet.

Attorneys Report

Attorney Laegeler states we have a dozen or so active ordinance violation reports.  Questions to board: we have 5 or 6 that are up that the property owner is overdue to act.  The question is do you want to continue to get property owners to take action, or do we want to put a lien on the property and have the city take action?  Alderman Andrews asked how long have the cases been going on?  The attorney states a lot are over a year old.  Alderwoman Martin asks how many extensions do they get?  The attorney states they really shouldn’t drag out.  Alderman Wulf asks what the cost would be.  The attorney states it depends on the issue.  If you are talking about mowing then it could cost a couple hundred dollars, if you are talking about demo then it could be several thousand dollars.  Alderman Wulf states he thinks it should be addressed case by case.  If there is a demo that needs to be done, we would rather do a lien on that.  The attorney states she likes to proceed under the state process.  Alderman Wulf asks what is the cost to put a lien on a property? Attorney states just the attorney fees.  Alderwoman Martin states what does it do if they never sell the property.  Attorney states you could foreclose.  Alderman Knous asks how long does a lien stay on a property? Attorney states it depends; some expire in a year.  The attorney states you would try to collect first before putting a lien on it.  The attorney says you guys could set a cap that would authorize me to pursue each case.  Alderwoman Martin states the fines go in increments, right? Attorney states its discretionary.  There sometimes is a difference between what I ask and what the judge orders.  Alderman Andrews asks if they hold them in contempt.  Attorney says sometimes.  Alderwoman Martin says she doesn’t understand because most of the time it is cheaper to get the problem resolved than to pay the fine.  Alderman Andrews asks what is the norm in other cities?  He added that to him, third strike should be the final attempt.  Attorney states most cities she works with they do go the route of going ahead and doing the work.  Sometimes they pay, sometimes they don’t.  Alderman Cox asks for attorney what she suggests.  Chief Shumate added some of the issue is the court system.  They are the ones that decide what the fines/timeline is.  The attorney states there are a few in there that I think that cleanup will be expensive.  With the smaller things, I will see if we can do it ourselves and charge them for the services.  Alderwoman Martin asks how do you deal with the junk? The attorney states it is all up to the court order and what the judge says.  Alderman Andrews states at some point we have to hold them accountable.  Alderman Cox states so we just let attorney at her discretion.  Alderwoman Martin agrees.  Attorney states the preliminary steps for 220 E Beardstown which is a property that needs attention.  Alderwoman Martin asks when the tax sale is?  Alderwoman Stanbridge states next year.  The attorney states they are two years delinquent.  If we get the abandonment order, then the court will deed those properties to the city, and you can do what you want.  It is out for service right now, as soon as those people get served, they have 30 days to file a written response.  Should have some guidance from the court in March.  Alderwoman Stanbridge asks if you do a judicial deed are we responsible for the taxes? Attorney states no.  Alderman Knous asks what we can do to keep the citizens safe around that building.  The attorney states it is sectioned off right now, if someone were to be harmed it would be the building owner’s responsibility.  Alderwoman Martin states the last time we served them, they quickly sold it to NOLA, LLC.  What would keep them from selling it to someone else?  Attorney states what will eliminate that issue is filing a notice with the county and that will give notice to anyone that there is litigation on this property.  Chief Shumate states if the well is not capped, then it is a criminal offense as well.  McClure states the well is not capped there.  Attorney states the 15 days will elapse before next meeting.  If we don’t hear from them, do you want me to proceed? Alderwoman Martin states if anything goes wrong and the city takes over, would we be liable for it.  Judicial deeds will happen after the demo duties have occurred.  Typically, if the owner doesn’t show up, they get 30 days to come in and say no it is not, then the court will allow demo to proceed.  The attorney states it is owned by Richard Bryan.  Alderwoman Martin feels good that we are moving forward on those things.  The attorney states if there are any other properties that need to be addressed in this way to please let her know.  Alderwoman Martin asks about the fire recently.  McClure states she has two demo permits, looks like she is taking two properties down.  Attorney states that Judge Wessel gave her until March to complete the demolitions.

Mayors Report

McClure thanked the beautification committee for everything they do.  The décor in the flowerpots was really nice.  The bingo night brought the community together and it was a great event.  McClure added just because we don’t have an official ordinance officer doesn’t mean that we won’t be trying to get this town cleaned up.  Chief Shumate stated he has talked with the Attorney about updating ordinances.

Aldermanic Reports

Cox thanked John and the Street Department for dealing with the ice and snow.  He also thanked Dylan and John for assisting in the water main breaks.  Cox added he is still getting complaints on cats. 

Knous nothing to report.

Wulf thanked John and the crew for getting Myrtle opened up.  On March 23rd County Health Dept will do an electronic pick up again but he is not sure of the exact hours but more information to come.  They are looking for volunteers there to help.

Stanbridge states we had a water/sewer meeting and discussed getting the meters switched out.  She added they also tried to pick a plan to change out fire hydrants with the ARPA funds.

Andrews for parking on sidewalks, we have several different issues.  There is one specifically happening near the school.  The vehicle is parked on the wrong side of the street, and it is creating havoc first thing in the morning.  Who is supposed to be responsible for the sidewalks?  Several have collapsed.  Is that the property owners?  McClure states the street committee needs to go around and review with John and decide how to move forward.  Andrews asked if the homeowners damage the sidewalks, then they have to replace it? McClure states yes, that is in the permit that they get.  Andrews also stated that it is his understanding if the community reports ordinance issues that it is logged up here? Carson states we have if they have a water complaint, like a work order.  If it is a street issue, we call Street Dept.  Andrews asks if it is recorded.  Carson states no.  Trina does a work order any time the water dept does anything. Alderwoman Stanbridge asks if we could put that on the bills, like if you are having issues, please call city hall.  Andrews states he is just looking for a process for them to go through when there is an issue.  Andrews then mentioned February 18th doing the workshop. Andrews asks if there is a better day?  Andrews stated maybe the following week, but no one really says what they want to do.  Alderwoman Martin asks if we have it at 5pm before the next meeting?   Andrews stated that we need to get these committee meetings happening, there are things that need to be done but we are not meeting about it.  Andrews asks if there is a day or time?  Andrews set the date for the meeting to be February 18th at 1pm.

Martin still getting complaints about speed on E Illini and S East St.  She added people walk on those streets and they complained about the speed of cars going down those streets.

City Clerks Report

Nothing to report.

Old Business

No Old Business

New Business

  1. Hire Full Time Street Department Employee

McClure would like to hire Adrian Winningham $17.25/hr., after hiring Winningham the street dept will now have 2 full time employees.  With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion to hire Adrian Winningham and Alderman Knous seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

  1. Discuss abandoned properties at 126-128 E Beardstown St and other properties in the city.

This was discussed in the Attorney’s report.


  1. Discuss and/or approve Crossing Agreement with US Solar Development, LLC (10” water line west of town)

McClure states this is at Jim Deppe’s property.  The council has information in packets.  The attorney was asked if she found out any information.  She stated she reviewed the agreement.  McClure stated about annexing in.  The attorney states there is a statutory requirement, it requires notice, if that’s what the council wants it can be started.  Alderman Knous asks if he interested in getting it annexed in?  McClure talked to him before about annexing in, he said he already had the county permits and didn’t want to annex in and have to get city permits.  McClure will talk to Jim soon.  Alderman Cox made a motion to table this until next meeting and Alderman Stanbridge seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

  1. Revise Ordinance for Subdivision of Sage Drive, Cass County Homes LP

McClure states this new subdivision.  The ordinance did not match the property description.  The attorney states she is working on it.  With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Knous made a motion to approve revising the ordinance for Subdivision of Sage Dr, Cass County Homes LP and Alderwoman Stanbridge seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

With nothing further to discuss, at 828pm, Alderman Cox made a motion to adjourn the council meeting and Alderman Wulf seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Randy McClure, Mayor                                                                                  Ashley Cox, City Clerk