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Villa Grove City Council approves tax levy for 2020-2021 fiscal year

The Villa Grove City Council met for their Regular monthly meeting on December 14, 2020 at 6 pm, with all council members, plus Mayor Eversole Gunter, Administrator Athey, Clerk Osborne, Public works director Arbuckle and Chief of Police Rea in attendance.

After the pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Eversole Gunter called for approval of the consent agenda which consisted of:

· Approval of the minutes of the last regular city council meeting, held November 9, 2020

· Approval of the minutes of the last special committee of the whole meeting, held November 16, 2020

· Approval of the minutes of the last committee of the whole meeting, held on November 23, 2020

· Approval of the closed minutes of the last committee of the whole meeting, held on November 23, 2020

· Approval of payment of bills in the amount of $393,718.30

· Approval of Financial Statements for the month ending October 31, 2020

· Approval of cash balance report in the amount of $2,073,239.05 for the month ending November 30, 2020

· Approval of Hartman Consultants Agreement in the amount of $2700

· Approval of 2021 City Meetings Schedule. Meetings will be held on the second and fourth Monday of every month at 6 pm in the council chambers, unless otherwise noted.

The consent agenda passed unanimously.

Next, Mayor Eversole Gunter called for public comments, and finding none moved to Committee of the Whole Reports:
Alderman Hooker wanted to thank Alderman Johnson for his hard work concerning the Christmas Tree Sales project to benefit the Christmas Tree Lighting festival, and all in attendance were in agreement. 

Next, Administrator Athey then made her report, noting that a great deal of her time was being spent on working with Union Pacific regarding a potential grant, and that she was also working on an application for CURE (Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency) Support Program which would provide monetary reimbursement for Covid related expenses.

Public Works director Arbuckle then reported that leaf collection for fall 2020 would end on December 23, due to a drastic reduction in the amount of leaves still being collected.  Alderman Blaney was quick to commend the entire public works department for doing a “great job” during the fall collection period.

Arbuckle then noted that Bid opening for the Water plant Air Scrubber, old Water plant demolition, and McCoy water line projects would be opened on Friday, December 18.  (The bids, totaling $672,000, were awarded to Schomburg & Schomburg, Ezell Excavating, and Cross Construction, respectively, pending IEPA approval.) 

Next, Chief Rea then made his report, noting that his policy and procedure manual revision remained on top of schedule.  He then noted that he had applied for a grant from the department of justice that would refund 50 percent of the cost of vests for his department, and that the VGPD use of force policy was being reviewed before the funds would be made available.  He also noted that body cams and squad car cameras were now installed and in use, and that the two VGPD new hires were set to graduate from PTI, and that both officers had received exemplary grades during their training, and that they would begin their careers with VGPD on January 18.  Rea then stated that the revisions of property ordinances was ongoing, and that enforcement was being segmented by neighborhood.  He stressed that he would much prefer that citizens clean up their property rather than his officers having to issue citations. 

Mayor Eversole Gunter then noted that she had no report, and moved to new business which included:
·  Approval of Ordinance 2020-MC15, an ordinance levying taxes in the amount of $334,301.50  for all corporate purposes for the City for the fiscal year beginning May 1, 2020 and ending on April 30, 2021.

·     Agreed to table Ordinance 2020-MC16, an ordinance amending Chapter 72 of the Municipal Code 

·    Approval of additional Orkin Contracts for service of municipal buildings

·   Approval of the purchase of 5 new pagers for VGFD

·    Approval of the purchase of 1 set of bunker gear and purchase of a used power pack for Jaws of Life apparatus for VGFD

· Reviewed Strategic Planning Report Drafts.  The council noted that there was a clear directive from all involved parties in the collection of information to continue Community Building development

·  It was decided that further information would be needed before determining whether solar energy was a viable alternative for the new Community Building.  All were in agreement that flattening the roof to accommodate Solar panels is not to be an option.

·  Approval of the nomination of Lydia and Alexa Howard as Advisory Council members, to be sworn in at a January meeting. 

The Council then went into executive session for a short time, emerging at 7:33 p.m., and finding no other business, moved to adjourn.

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