By Kendra Hennis
The meeting of the Tuscola City Council was called to order at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 13. Mayor Dan Kleiss, City Administrator Drew Hoel, and Treasurer Alta Long were at city hall and remaining council members joined in via Go To Meeting. Dave Slaughter was not present for the meeting.
In his Mayor’s report, Mayor Kleiss advised the board to refer to the Douglas County Health Department’s website and Facebook page about COVID-19 information. He seemed optimistic, noting no new cases today. Kleiss said “ as of right now today we are holding at 11 cases, that is a good sign and hopefully this week continues to be positive.“ Kleiss noted that Tuscola residents needed to continue to be responsible adults while keeping social distance and stressed that it was extremely important to keep doing what we are doing and to keep up the good work.
In his report, city administrator Drew Hoel talked about the current state of city facilities. The library is closed, the tourism office is closed with Anna working from home, and the fire station, police station, and public works department‘s are all operating normally with more safety precautions. Administration at city hall is also still being staffed and working on getting things done.
He presented some issues that have come up to the board. One of those being issues with the Illinois Department of transportation and difficulty with getting a highway department bond right now. Hoel also informed the board that the water leak mentioned at previous meetings will need to now be repaired. They are going to proceed with the contract in the amount of $7,350 and repairs will be done as soon as the company can be here.
He also informed the board that the plans have been finalized and the bid will be solidified within the next couple of weeks for the Ervin Park project. Ideally the city will award bids in early May and construction will be happening by mid-summer. To recap, this project is being separated into lighting, electrical, asphalt, and fencing work in the hopes of obtaining more bids at a more competitive price.
He then commented on the Loves travel store construction proceeding. The city has obtained the preliminary construction permit permit from the Illinois Department of transportation for the intersection on US Route 36 and the Illinois Department of transportation is requiring a $750,000 highway permit bond from the city. This is a five-year bond that is basically ensuring compliance with the provisions of the permit for construction standards and maintenance. A quote for the bond will be given at future meetings.
The board then moved to pass an ordinance to extend the emergency declaration until the May 11 board meeting. Mayor Kleiss noted that this ordinance can be terminated if necessary at any time within this period.
The board then approved a contract with Larsson, Woodyard, and Henson for audit engagement. This is the same company we have gone through previously and it has been successful. The approved price is $16,000 for the first year $16,000 for the second year and $16,500 for the third year.
The board also:
* Approved the minutes from the March 9 and March 16 emergency meetings.
* Approved the February 2020 financial report.
* Approved the payment of bills in the amount of $254,153.16.
* Approved the Pace for Petey 5K route on October 3, 2020.
* Approved a flat salary for water/sewer operator Mike Elsberry at $2,000 a month.
* Adjourned until the April 27 board meeting.