City of Virginia

March 11th, 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, Alderwoman Martin seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Under New Business, “B” should be 2024/2025 City Budget.

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

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

Treasurer’s Report 

Sales Tax: $16 Gaming: $5132.86

Treasurer Barrett states all expenses currently are under allocated budget. The 2024-2025 Budget 1st reading is on the agenda tonight and will discuss later on.


Taylor Canny, Ron Culves, Brad, Pat Noltensmeier, Sarah Fanning, Jim Deppe, Carolyn Deppe, Steve Clark, Vickie Bell, Hilary Brown, Domer Huffman, Dennise Minor, Mike Lowe, Valery Pratt

Brad Leigel: Leigel stated that the new contract for the City will start May 2024. The rates have really gone crazy. Homefield Energy is the least expensive. He stated that the city can do a 1 year .0799, 2 year .8299, 3 year .8398. These rates are fixed during the contract. Leigel added that rates have gone up tremendously everywhere. Mike Lowe asks if the companies are consolidated with one another? Leigel replied that when he first started 15 years ago there was about 30 companies. What has happened is there used to be 30 companies but really there about 18-20 now. AEP will no longer bid on Ameren. This contract guarantees that you will stay below the rate. In Illinois you can do free trade for energy. Alderman Cox asks Leigel if he recommends one year? Leigel replied he has 250 customers there are probably about 10 1-year contracts. They are predicting the rates not going down until 2026 or 2027. It depends on if you want to take a gamble and bank on the rates not going down next year (2025-2026). It is really up to the council.. Leigel told the council that he wouldn’t do a 3-year contract. Alderman Cox asks would you do 2? Leigel states the majority of his customers are opting for the 2-year contract and he suggests a 2 year is better. Sarah Fanning asked Leigel if his rate is the supply rate and not the delivery rate? Leigel responded correct, you will still pay the delivery rate to Ameren. The delivery rate can be raised by Ameren and there is nothing that can be done about it as long as they get approval. We deal with the generation side of it only not the delivery. Alderwoman Martin asks that people can opt out if they want, correct? Leigel wanted to clarify this is for the city buildings, not for the community. Mayor McClure states this will affect the 18 accounts that the city has with Ameren and not with the public? Leigel states yes. Mayor McClure just wanted to clarify that. Alderman Andrews asks what the current rate is? Leigel states it is a lot lower. It’s with AEP .0499 and it ends at the end of April. Mayor McClure stated he called AEP today and they said they can’t offer a contract to us. Mayor McClure asks if all accounts will be serviced under this contract? Mayor McClure recommends 1 year because of what is possibly going to happen with the solar field, it should be done next year. The rumor is that we might get 10% off everyone’s bill in the community.

Taylor Canny: Canny stated she was here for any questions the council might have on the crossing agreement.

Ron Kulves: Kulves stated he is a board member with Crimestoppers of Morgan, Scott, and Cass County. We have representative from all three counties, and he is one of them from Cass County. If a residential or commercial incident happens, there needs to be a report filed. Crimestoppers works with police and has a 97% success rate. Crimestoppers does profile on their Facebook page, and it is very effective. When they get tips, those are anonymous. The individuals can’t be subpoenaed. Crimestoppers 2023 statistics: 225 tips, recovered $11,000 in property, paid out $4300 in rewards. Kulves stated that Crimestoppers does fundraiser and receives donations. We receive money through the judicial system as well from all three counties. We have been receiving a lot less funds than in the past. We are asking for donations from business and individuals. Kulves asked for the council to consider making a donation to Crimestoppers, he added that other communities have decided to donate. Kulves stated he will leave donation form for the council.

Jim Deppe: Deppe stated that he heard the taxes will increase on the ground you are wanting to get the solar on? Canny states that she can discuss with him. Deppe states he needs to know before he approves it. Canny states as far as she knows that it is all after construction. Deppe states they told me that I would continue to pay the taxes and I would get an income. He added he is not going to like if his taxes go up. Canny responded that she thinks you (Deppe) and Brian have chatted about this before. Mayor McClure told Deppe when he talked to him about annexing property into the city. Mayor McClure called, and Ryan stated that if the taxes are raised, they usually pay it if it is annexed into the city. It won’t cost you a thing for those 30 acres of property. Mayor McClure talked to Attorney about it for the company to sign an agreement. Canny states that US Solar is on board with that. Deppe asks if you annex something in, would the neighboring property taxes go up? Mayor McClure states the property would go up as it comes into the city, they have a lease for 20 years and when that is done, the property will go back to farm ground. Mayor McClure states the solar people will be subject to pay the taxes. Attorney Laegeler asks about an abatement and stated that can be worked out and it would not affect the taxes. Mayor McClure states this would be the life of the solar field. Attorney Laegeler states that wouldn’t be automatic, you would have to annexed it to go back to being farm ground.

Vickie Bell: Bell wanted to clarify with Attorney Laegeler in regard to the gazebo and if the costs were more than $30,000, we would need to bid letting? She stated based on what is available right now, she has talked with a few different retired carpenters, and they indicated that we should break the project up as we have money to do it. Would we still need to do bid letting if that was the case? The total cost may be over $30,000 but can we do it in several small jobs. Attorney Laegeler states she always recommends getting bids but the statutory threshold states no you don’t. Bell then asked as far as Liability Insurance, if we had volunteers to do part of the demo would that be covered under city insurance? Mayor McClure states yes that is my understanding. Bell stated that the committee is working on gathering information right now.

Valery Pratt: Pratt would like to discuss ordinances. She stated she has lived in Virginia in 8 years with her family. We encourage our kids to play outside and we have toys outside. Pratt stated that members in the community have been receiving ordinance notices for bikes, outside play kitchens, etc. The city code states for the use of enjoyment. She added that they don’t have junk in our yard. Pratt stated she is not against ordinance enforcement, but she doesn’t agree with nit picking about patio furniture, toys, grills, etc. Pratt encouraged the council to bring back the Spring City Wide clean up. She also stated that she4 heard there was a city community meeting, but she didn’t know there was this meeting. Pratt also added she would love to see the city’s Facebook page be used to promote these things. She knows there is electronic clean up but only because she saw that on Beardstown’s Facebook. Pratt doesn’t think posting flyers on city hall door is going to get the word out to people, and she would like to see it posted on Facebook. Mayor McClure asked if she got a courtesy card? Pratt states yes. Mayor McClure stated he talked to the Chief about some of this stuff, he said there was other things besides children’s toys. Pratt stated it was wrote on the card “straighten children’s toys” and circled debris and trash. She stated yes, we have stuff in our yard, we have them against our shed. Mayor McClure states we will take that under advisement and have the Chief come and talk and try to resolve the issue. Pratt asks how many of those notices were sent out? Chief states Officer Huffman is in charge of that, and I don’t have an update. He stated last we spoke, there was.35 cards were sent out and 24 had complied. Mayor McClure states he is trying to get a comprehensive city plan together. If we can get the properties cleaned up and get buildings taken care of, we could get more businesses in town and more housing. Right now, people see all the stuff in the yard, and it bothers people. The city is trying to get something going and would like to give the plan to the Beautification and Economic Development Committees so that we can get it updated and stay on top of it. Pratt asks if that is the ordinance part? Mayor McClure states this is something different, it’s called a Comprehensive City Plan. It’s supposed to be updated every 5 years and it hasn’t been updated since 2014. Once we get it updated, it should be posted on the Facebook page including all cleanups that we do and events that are coming up. Mayor McClure states that there hasn’t been a Spring clean-up for 10-15 years. Alderman Cox asks if we can move it to the Spring? Alderwoman Martin states that a lot of towns that have two, they don’t pick up though, the residents have to take it the dumpsters. Mayor McClure states we had 15-18 dumpsters last Fall, and they are expensive, that eats up the garbage fund, so we are kind of limited. Mayor McClure states we are trying to get things moving.


Monthly Reports 

Police Chief: Chief Shumate stated that Officer Huffman has completed her first felony report. The Digital Zoom Threat Assessment class is all day on Friday, invited Supt. Neathery to sign up for it as well. He is looking at getting a drone pilot license. Chief Shumate talked to grant person today, she did complete a grant for 4 AEDs so waiting for response. Chief Shumate added that he heard back from state on the Retention and Recruitment grant and our status changed to approved, we will be awarded $151198.49. Alderwoman Martin asks if we can use this grant for Officer Huffman? Chief Shumate states we can use it for her salary for two years and other items that we need. Chief Shumate has asked Barb Novak to manage it. He is not sure if it is a lump sum or if it is reported quarterly. Novak is currently inquiring on the details, but it has been awarded to us.

Fire Chief: Chief Stock stated there was a mutual aid for Jacksonville (a brush fire), a mutual aid for Arenzville (a brush fire), and a lift assist on Orchard Rd.

Ordinance Officer: no report

Superintendent of Water Report (Dylan Cook): Superintendent Cook stated that there were 20 locates and 21 work orders. The meters and brass fittings have been ordered. They changed and replaced 8 meters. They are got the electric motor for high service pump and are currently working on lead and copper surveys. There is a new chlorine pump, and a contractor is working on the lime silo to make it more efficient. The shed has been organized and inventory has been recorded. Superintendent Cook stated that Shaner came up with an idea on ordering our pits in bulk which will save the city money in the long run. Alderwoman Martin asks where the cost for the meters is coming from, and Treasurer Barrett responded that they should be coming out of the meter fund.

Superintendent of Street Report (John Ratliff): Superintendent Ratliff stated that the crew worked on cutting down a tree on Washington St and cleaned it up. They also worked at sewer plant and got a burn pile going.

Park Board: Alderman Cox stated that Gibby said he would be returning to work at the park on March 21st. He said he has a lot of debris up there. On March 23” there will be an Easter Egg hunt at the park at 2pm. Next Park Board meeting: March 20th 7pm at City Hall

TIF: Treasurer Barrett stated that the TIF committee got one app in for demo of a building on southside of the square. It is on a short time frame so it may need a special council meeting to get the project started.

Attorneys Report

 Attorney Laegeler stated that we do have service on the NOLA property, their 30-day clock started February 27th. They have 30 days to file a response or have the deemed abandoned, if they don’t, they lose their opportunity to put forward any defense. They will received another 30-day notice if they don’t respond to this one. Attorney Laegeler added that the Brian property notice was sent to Mr. Brian. It was sent both non-certified and certified mail. The certified mail was delivered back. Alderman Cox wanted clarification on which property this was? Attorney Laegeler states it is the Mediquip building. She added that timeline has expired so we are set to proceed with demo on that one too. Alderwoman Standbridge asks status of Sage Dr.? Attorney Laegeler states we have to have a survey completed to get an accurate legal description; the Recorder’s office has rejected what was submitted. Alderwoman Stanbridge points out the other map, Attorney Laegeler takes it and stated she will file it.

Mayors Report

Mayor McClure expresses his condolences to the tragedy that occurred in Rushville. Mayor McClure states the stickers are due on golf carts and UTVs. If you haven’t gotten one yet, you need to get one because Chief will be giving out tickets. Alderwoman Martin asks what the cost is? Mayor McClure states we have a list of people that has paid $50 and $100. New stickers pay $100, renewals pay $50. Alderwoman Stanbridge asks if they get a notice that it is due? Mayor McClure stated he thinks it is posted on the Facebook page.

Aldermanic Reports

Cox: had a request for streetlight on S Cass, how do we get one there! Mayor McClure stated he would look into it. In regard to a stop sign on Front St, where do we need to go on that? Mayor McClure responded that we need to have an ordinance committee meeting to get that written up. He suggested to have a street committee meeting and bring it to the board and have them pass it. Cox stated that he agrees with Alderman Andrews on doing a meeting of the whole before council, maybe at 6pm? Alderman Knous asks who calls that meeting? A chairman needs to call City Hall and Laura can get it added to the calendar. Cox also thanked John for helping a disabled vet in town.

Knous: stated a few people are needing rock, they are needing it for the street, Ratliff stated he will take care of it. Knous also stated he went down Jackson St, there are some holes. Ratliff stated he ordered patch to fix that. Knous stated gravel will work for now. Knous asked Cook if the city had gotten a new chlorine pump. Cook stated that we have had it. Knous replied that he noticed more chlorine in the water lately. Knous asked what we need to do about the fire hydrant?  Alderwoman Standbridge stated that will be discussed in the finance committee meeting. Mayor McClure suggested when you get a complaint about water or street, please have residents call City Hall so that a work order can be started, that way we can have records of the calls.

Wulf: expresses condolences for Rushville.

Stanbridge: stated there is frustration at the water dept, they want a Public Works Director or something. They need direction. They need someone that can answer their questions. Mayor McClure states Cook should know about most things. If Ratliff has questions, he needs to go to Cook. Stanbridge has asked for a Public Works Director and Mayor told her we didn’t have the money. Mayor McClure clarified that he meant that don’t have the money to spend on someone that is just driving around. Alderman Andrews suggests a water and finance committee meeting to address this issue. Treasurer Barrett states that changes would need to be made in order to have a Public Works Director and that could mean increase in water/sewer rates. He added we need to be cautious with anything that we do.

Andrews: had a few different meetings. Finance Meeting: discussed the credit card processing through Locust system, which is a new accounting system. 2.5-3% cc fee if you pay online. Direct pay there is no charge for ACH for the water bills. There is also an issue with payroll. We have payroll that is ending the same day it is to finalize. Insurance was not being charged correctly on payroll, but it has been corrected. Andrews then mentioned addressing the holiday list. After reviewing, there are several days that the city does not recognize that the federal and state do. They have the same amount of time off as everyone else even though it does not line up with other government agencies. Andrews stated that the website needs to be updated Facebook should be updated more often. Alderwoman Martin states we have someone that has been doing that if you get the information to her. Alderwoman Martin added that if we can channel to the right place, she does get that on their immediately.

Meeting of the whole: Andrews thanked all who attended. We discussed procedural issues and budgetary concerns. It was also talked about VRWS purchasing the hardware for the water plants operations. The cost would be $51,000, they were going to cash in CDs. The City truck has a blown motor. We have $29,000 in CDs for this truck, Mayor McClure contacted Morrow Brothers to see what the bid procedure is for that. The importance of reviewing payroll and Rebuild Illinois was also discussed. Andrews thinks a meeting of a whole before every council meeting is a good idea. He asked the council if they think it’s a good idea? He added that Finance, Water, and TIF have all met multiple times this year. There has only been 1 street, 1 police, 1 ordinance committee meeting to date. The building committee has not met at all. Andrews stated he is not sure why we aren’t meeting on a regular basis. Andrews asks that the council meet before each council meeting so we can communicate. The council needs to come up with a plan on how to execute a plan for the city. Andrews stated he knows this won’t be fixed overnight. He added that we need to communicate to the public what we are doing and why we are doing it. The biggest problem is that we are not having committee meetings and they need to occur so we can figure out what we want to do.

Martin: stated last year applied for grant with county board to replace sidewalks on the square. Martin talked with county engineer today to ask if the grant will be coming available again so we can reapply, He said it takes a couple of times of applying to get approved.

City Clerks Report:  Nothing to report

Old Business:

  1. A. Discuss and/or approve Crossing Agreement with US Solar Development, LLC (10″ water line west of town) Already discussed previously. Mayor McClure states would like to hold off until contract is signed. Attorney stated will do contract with owner in regard to annexing property in, sign petition, petition will go before the court, and will be stamped in. Alderman Knous states it sounds like they will do it as long as they cross our water line. Mayor McClure states we will table this for now, may do a special meeting and may need to expedite the approval.

New Business:

  1. Accept the City Audit as presented (Audit at City Hall for your review} With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion to accept the City Audit and Alderwoman Martin seconded. Motion carried unanimously·
  2. FY 2023/2024 City Budget {1st Reading) **Correction FY 2024-2025 City Budget (1st Reading) •• With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Knous made a motion to approve the FY 2024/2025 City Budget and Alderwoman Standbridge Motion carried unanimously,
  3. Cemetery Budget and Agreement (1st reading)  With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the Cemetery Budget and Agreement and Alderman Knous seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
  4. Park Budget and Agreement {1st  reading)  With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Wulf made a motion to approve the Park Budget and Agreement and Alderwoman Standbridge seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
  5. Library Budget (1st reading) With nothing further to discuss, Alderwoman Martin made a motion to approve the Library Budget and Alderwoman Standbridge seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
  6. City of Virginia Electric Aggregation Rates With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion to approve a 1-year contract for the City of Virginia’s Electric Aggregation Rates and Alderman Knous seconded, Motion carried unanimously.

Council did not adjourn regular, council meeting to go into Executive Session as stated on the Agenda.

Alderman Andrews states the payroll ends on Wednesday and the payday is that Friday. There is usually a week gap in payroll. We need to change the finalization date or change procedure.

Normal payday ends Wednesday and employees get paid that Friday. If we started new payroll on 21″ and have it run until the 30th or something. Mayor McClure states end of payroll was on Wed, and new payday started Thursday. Alderman Andrews stated we are just changing the days not the number of days on the payroll. He asked if anyone have comments on it? It has to be done to get the accounting side correct No opposing comment came from the council therefore we will get this corrected.

Canny asks if water main crossing was approved? Alderman Knous states it was tabled. Canny states we have a financial milestone by the 22″‘ and need to be before the 22″‘. Mayor McClure asks the attorney if that is doable. Canny asks for water line or annexation? The water line has nothing to do with the annexation. The water main crossing is something we have to have in order to ensure finances. Alderwoman Stanbridge asks if something goes wrong with the water main how hard is it to repair? Canny responded the fences are running parallel, so they are easy to get to. Mayor McClure asks if Attorney Laegeler can type something up. The council decided to rescind the tabling of Old Business. Alderman Knous made a motion to approve the crossing agreement with US Solar Development, LLC (10″ water line west of town) and Alderman Andrews seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

With nothing further to discuss, Alderman Cox made a motion at 837pm to adjourn the regular council meeting and Alderwoman Standbridge seconded.


Randy McClure, Mayor                                                              Ashley Cox, City Clerk