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Carmi City Council gets update on electrical upgrades, still more to do

The Carmi City Council met for the second time in May on Tuesday evening.

Following approval of minutes and financials, the Council unanimously approved the appointment of City Clerk Cynthia Attebury as the Authorized Agent for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

A TIF agreement between the City and Bentley Enterprises for the construction of a new warehouse was approved by unanimous vote. The $350,000 amount will be paid over 13 years in the form of tax rebates.

The Council approved an amendment to the water purchase contract with Burnt Prairie that will increase the amount of available water to the village to 2 million gallons per month, up from 1.2 million gallons agreed to in 1994.

City Electrical Engineer David Coston then updated the Council on upgrades at the Light Plant, where all upgrades to the switch gear have been completed and all testing is done.  Coston commended the City workers for their work getting the job done before the deadline.

Coston also relayed that the new transformer has been installed at the Bradshaw substation, but rain has delayed getting it online.  That will be completed later this summer, but in an emergency could be done within 48 hours.

The need for a coordination study of the City’s electrical grid was highlighted by the outage caused last month by a raccoon that affected half of town.  Coston explained that the $10,000 could be broken up into several payments, and action will be taken at a future date.

Coston also asked the Council to consider for the next meeting resolutions on cost adjustments to customer bills based on total costs of operation based on the last 12 months instead of just the previous month.  Doing so will help stabilize customer costs and also asked the Council to consider the volunteer use of smart meters, so customers can self-track usage.

The Council did approve $22,900 for EPA testing that is due at the Light Plant for the first time in five years.  The testing will be done in July and was approved unanimously.

In his report, Mayor Jeff Pollard thanked Amy McCarthy and the 4-Hers who did landscaping work on the Elk’s Trail, and informed the Council limited mosquito spraying will begin next week at Bradshaw Park and in areas with high water.

Alderman Mike Knight reported that the Carmi Recreational Summer League was going well.

Alderman Shelia Headlee told the Council she had received a letter about the water issues in Sunnybrook Meadows.  Boil orders and water outages will now be announced through the Nixle system.  Residents can sign up on the Carmi Police website or by texting 62821 to 888777.

Alderman Lance Yearby announced he will not be present at the next meeting due to military service.

There was no closed session and the meeting adjourned at 6:12 pm.  The Carmi City Council will next meet on Tuesday, June 6th.