City of Virginia

May 8th, 2023

Regular Meeting Minutes

Meeting Called to Order: 7pm

Roll Call:  Martin, Andrews, Standbridge, Wulf, Knous, and Cox all answered present

Agenda Approval:  Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the agenda and Alderman Knous seconded.  Motion carried unanimously

Minutes Approval:  Alderman Cox made a motion to approve the minutes and Alderman Wulf seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Monthly Bills: Alderman Wulf stated that Farm and Home and Amazon account have taxes included in the bills.  Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the monthly bills pending the removal of taxes on those bills and Alderman Cox seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report

Sales Tax: $12374.83

Video Gaming: $7394.48

Treasurer Barrett stated that this is the first month of fiscal year so there is not much really to report.  He stated the budget is off a bit but we will get it fixed.  He also added that we received the tax levy settlement from the county.


Terry Ayres

Pat Noltensmeier

Jeff Waid


Monthly Reports

Police Chief: Chief Shumate stated he purchased a Dell Laptop for the Durango.  He also applied for grant for another new laptop and will find out in a week or so.  Chief Shumate stated he spent a few weeks in the evidence room and cleaned that up.There will be cameras to go up at the park and the cabins.  Casscomm wants to run dedicated fiber and hot spots and they are doing that at their expense.  When they get that up, we will have cameras for video and audio evidence.  Chief Shumate stated that hopefully we will have a part time officer soon.  There is one going through power test this weekend, we have two-part timers.  A power test is a physical ability test to make sure they can do the job.  Alderwoman Stanbridge asks if they are local.  Chief Shumate responded yes.  One is a female, she has an associates in criminal justice.  Alderwoman Stanbridge stated she likes that they are local.  Alderwoman Martin asks if Chief Shumate had looked at the retainment grant.  Chief Shumate states there is another grant for financial help for hiring and retention.  Alderwoman Martin states you can go through the IL Municipal League.  Chief Shumate states we will get reimbursement for the individuals that go to the training.  Alderwoman Stanbridge asks what is the timeline? Chief Shumate states it is a year.  It starts in August and they only go on Saturdays.  They graduate in July.  Alderman Andrews wants to know what the turnaround time if you wanted to send someone in full time? Chief Shumate states that he thinks it is 12 or 16 weeks.  Cameras are WIFI and solar powered.  There is 900 hours of recordings before it starts recycles.  Alderwoman Martin asks how many cameras did we get? Chief Shumate states he has a total of 6 cameras.  Treasurer Barrett states there is a park meeting Wednesday, do you have the cost for those for reimbursement? Chief Shumate thinks it is about $700 total, he has the receipts.  Mayor McClure asks if you were to catch juveniles, are their parents liable? Chief Shumate states not criminally but restitution wise yes.  Mayor McClure asks if we can make it like that? Chief Shumate states no, the parents are only responsible for the restitution

Fire Chief:  1 wreck, 3 stove fires, brush fire, electric service down on Beardstown St.

Mayor stated he was going to give Donnie Reynolds a plaque for his dedication but he could make it

Ordinance Officer: not present

Superintendent of Water Report (Hayden Coffey): not present

Superintendent of Street Report (John Ratliff): not present

Park Board: Alderman Cox stated pool is open.  They will be keeping the slide, someone will be building new stairs.  Alderman Cox stated that Gibby said there are a lot of ball games coming up, TBall just started.  Alderman Cox states there are big crowds up at the park and people talk really positively about our facilities.  The kids are fun to watch.  Gibby still working on the pickle ball.  Alderman Cox states that the park board seriously looking at tiling the diamonds.  June 21st 7pm at Park Board Office

TIF: Treasurer Barrett stated that the TIF fund will be receiving money.  No request/no applications at this time.  Around $153k coming this year.


Attorneys Report

Attorney Veith stated we have done about 4-6 cases in court for ordinance violations.  Had 1 trial, we are making process.  Talked to judge for setting a date for our hearings on a different date so we can try and get more ordinance violations run through.  It is still will be a tight squeeze, will see what we can do.  Council has a resolution for the Foreign Fire Insurance Board.  Attorney Veith explained that if someone has fire insurance from an insurance company that is not licensed to do business in Illinois, that insurance company has to pay a 2% tax and this is authorizing IL Municipal League to collect for that.  Alderman Cox asks if that is new? Attorney Veith stated no.  Alderman Knous asks how many cases you have open for the ordinance violations? Attorney Veith replied 6 right now, the issue is the timeline of getting in compliance.  Alderman Andrews asked Attorney Veith, out of those violations, that next month we are not sending ones in because we are waiting for them to get into compliance?  Attorney Veith states part of the problem is: 1) playing catch up, we didn’t have the personnel. The process is you send them a notice, give them time to start working and hope they start getting in compliance.  If they start getting into compliance after the notice, as long as there is progress, there wont be a ticket/citation that takes you to court.  If we go to court, then you ask them to get in compliance.  An issue is some cases there is just a lot that needs to be done on some properties.  We have to address things one at a time which is why it takes so long for them to get completely in compliance then you just keep trying to make progress.  Alderman Andrews asked if there is a way that they can just surrender the property? Attorney Veith states they can turn it over to the city but then it becomes the city’s problem and liability.  There was a property that we did take over but it cost us over $100,000.  Alderman Andrews states if a person owns multiple properties, they need to be held accountable for all of their properties.  If they have other properties that are in good condition, can we go after those properties? Attorney Veith states we can do a memorandum of judgement on the properties so when that person sells that other property the lien is on the property so we can recoup the money if we had to demolish and clean up another property.  The other issue is that one person can own a lot of properties that are in violation.  If we are citing them for all the properties, they may get overwhelmed and just give up.  Alderman Andrews states it has taken a long time for these properties to get in the state of they are in.  Alderman Andrews asks if there is a timeline for the cases currently as to when they will be completed.  Attorney Veith stated the one that we did this month, realistically hoping 6-12 months.  On another one, it should be done by the end of the summer.  It really depends on what needs to be done.  Mayor McClure asks if we heard back from the Mediquip building owner? Attorney Veith states a letter has been sent and we didn’t receive anything back.  Attorney Veith stated the council needs to make a decision on where to go from here.  If want to do inspection of interior, will need to get a warrant to inspect.  Alderman Knous asks we have to do that before we can condemn it? Attorney Veith states there will probably be an asbestos abatement.  Alderman Cox states there is a well in there too right? Mayor McClure responded, yes there is.

Mayors Report

Mayor McClure states the BBQ went well.  There was a revolutionary war man buried out at our cemetery, so there was an honoring ceremony performed out at the cemetery.  Alderman Martin states we had 1 revolutionary war man and Morgan County had 4.  They provided lunch for everyone, had revolutionary war soldiers in uniform.  Both the Ashland and Virginia American Legion was present.  Cara Bell did the star-spangled banner.  The individual had a lot of descendants, there were 50 of them that attended.  Mayor McClure then stated that Rt 125 will be resurfaced this year.  It will take about 70 days to complete.  Mayor McClure added that the street signs are in so they will be put up soon.  Mayor McClure then asked if the council had the list for the signs that are needed around town.  Alderwoman Martin stated it is hard but we are working on it, we don’t know legally what needs to be up.

Aldermanic Reports

Cox: Alderman Cox stated that July 4th coming up, please take it easy on the pets.  He also added that the Food Pantry needs help if anyone can help out.

Knous: nothing to report

Wulf: Alderman Wulf thanked the BBQ committee for their hard work.  He also would like to thank the ones that are watering the flowers around the square.  Alderman Wulf asked if there Is any signage that we need to post that we are putting the cameras up at the park? Attorney Veith doesn’t think so because it is a public place.Alderman Wulf stated we put it up at the courthouse, but didn’t know if that was the same thing.

Stanbridge Alderwoman Stanbridge asked about the dirt run off at Caraway? Mayor McClure stated he is supposed to be doing rock.  There was a tree removed on Springfield St and no grass planted.  Is that owner responsibility?  Mayor McClure responded the city usually spreads the dirt.

Andrews: Alderman Andrews stated that the finance committee met and we discussed the clerks position.  We are waiting on two organizations we thought we would have back today but we didn’t get it yet.  Alderman Andrews would like to stress that the speed at RT 78 through the square is 20 mph, there has been a child that has been in the road several times.  Alderman Andrews suggested to maybe need to put a sign up like slow down because people just fly through the square.  Alderman Wulf stated there are solar powered pedestrian crossing signs that would be a good fit for there.  Alderman Andrews said there were signs but trees are covering it or they are rusted.  He also added that sprayer trucks go through faster than 20pmh.  Chief Shumate asks if we heard back from DOT on the speed study? Mayor McClure replied that we haven’t heard back from them.  Mayor McClure will call the individual and see what was going on.  Mayor McClure added that the did move the 40mph speed sign farther out of city limits.

Martin: Alderwoman Martin stated that there were 2 webinars that the IL Extension and IL rural partners just had on restoration and preservation in downtown communities.  She stated you have to survey your needs, set priorities, save places that matter, and find new uses for old spaces.  There are a lot of grants out there.  Alderwoman Martin said the webinar talked about building hoarders, those who keep buying buildings and do nothing with them.  Alderwoman Martin spoke with the head of the land grant program in Jacksonville where they are condemning properties that are abandoned/neglected.  They are either clearing the lot and selling it or putting a house on it and selling it.  She also thinks Waverly is also going to try and do something with that land grant.  Waverly would be a good place to watch and see what kind of projects they do because their funding resources would be similar to what we have as well.  Alderwoman Martin added that the second part was on restoration.  It talked about needing to entice people to invest their money and efforts into the community and being proactive.  The webinar suggested that we create a paper trail that will help prove our case and make it easier if we try to do something.  Alderwoman Martin suggested that we should work with IL Municipal league, they have a grant finding program.  We have a good chance of getting a historic grant to re-do our grandstand, at least 70%.  In regards to the Velten building, if we can’t get it tore down then maybe we can get the owners to board up the windows and paint. Alderwoman Martin has links if anyone interested in watching the webinars.  She also added that we can be declared a historic district, if we do that, we are eligible for 25% off on taxes if an owner does work to their home/business.  She said we just need to keep at it and get something done.  If we are known as a town that does not accept the abandoned/run down properties then maybe they will start cleaning the properties up.


City Clerks Report

Nothing to report

Unfinished Business

  1. FY 23-24 Appropriation Ordinance (2nd reading)

The council reviewed the ordinance and with nothing further to discuss, Alderwoman Stanbridge made a motion to approve the FY 23-24 Appropriation Ordinance and Alderman Knous seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

New Business

  1. Resolution Authorizing the Illinois Municipal League to collect the 2% Foreign Fire Insurance Fee for the City of Virginia

The council reviewed the resolution and with nothing further to discuss, Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the Resolution Authorizing the Illinois Municipal League to collect the 2% Foreign Fire Insurance Fee for the City of Virginia and Alderman Cox seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.


Public Comment

Jeff Waid:

Thank you for removing the sign.  Waid also said to give Gibby his number and if he needs help with the ball diamonds he is more than willing to help out.


With nothing further to discuss, at 8pm, Alderman Knous made a motion to adjourn the council meeting and Alderwoman Stanbridge seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.



________________________________                                                ________________________________

Randy McClure, Mayor                                                                              Ashley Cox, City Clerk