Grayville City Council Busy Meeting
An hour and a half later, and Grayville made it through it’s twenty item agenda Tuesday night for their final May gathering. Below are the highlights:
Council chose from 4 bids, selecting a new London Fog Mosquito Fogger with a 9.5 hp Kohler engine to replace the current fogger which Grayville Department head Ron Burklow described as being held together with bubblegum and tape. The new fogger will cost the city $7,950. Commissioner David Jordan said he, “didn’t have a problem with purchasing equipment that the city needs, but we do budgets for a reason and items like this that we know we’re going to need really need to be included in that budgeting process each February.”
Council did have in the budget computer upgrades at City Hall and ended up choosing the low bid from Charlie, Incorporated at $6,778. The bid was less than half from that received by past vendor PC Doctors at $14,295.
Council signed a contract with PDC Labs to handle drinking water samples. No specific amount was mentioned in the meeting, but members noted it was far less than the EPA.
City departments will receive summer help from Case Robinson once again in 2019. Council members considered hiring an additional worker though that idea was met with a deadlock vote; Mayor Travis Thompson and Commissioner Jordan being the No stalwarts.
Mayor Thompson also brought attention to the city losing about $1,000 annually to credit/debit card fees. He suggested a flat fee, but decided to table the matter until they could receive additional information from Illinois Funds.
Paula Krinkle requested and received TIF II funds from the Grayville council Tuesday night. Krinkle says she’s looking to expand her current business which includes leather work among other items. She and her husband have already made substantial investment in the property at 815 North Court, near Wabash Valley Service Company and will receive up to $12,700 or half the expected spend.
Mayor Thompson recommended to council the doing away of the Zoning Board for Grayville. He says moving that responsibility under City Council function should save the municipality around $3,300. Attorney Jay Walden mentioned council will need to amend the current ordinance, but said he didn’t expect any issues as he hasn’t seen an instance in 31 years during which having a separate Zoning Board would’ve made a difference.
Council moved to utilize city workers to clean up equipment at the now bankrupt Kyotes and to consign that equipment with Dustin Hawkins of Integrity Realty & Auction. The building, located at 121 North Main isn’t included in the auction. Whatever money is made off the equipment will serve as Revolving Loan Collateral that the Curtis’ business defaulted on.
Council went with the high bed for City Pool Light Fixture and Electrical upgrades due to the small difference in bids and the fact that Kennedy Improvements is a Grayville business. Rick Kennedy or his staff will replace 19 GFI outlets, 4 fixtures in the bathrooms, an outdoor fixture, conduit, and a 2×4 receptacle. He’ll be paid $1,774 once the work is complete.
Grayville received 3 bids for Park Water Line replacement. The work will replace all lines and hydrants surrounding the ball field. Utility Pipe Sales won the bidding process with a low bid of $1,938.09.
Given the improvements at Grayville’s park, Council voted to increase campground fees. Nightly, the rate is going from $10 to $15. Campers can also choose to pay $80 per week or $300 per month.
Rates for Swimming Pool pricing will remain unchanged this year. Thompson noted that other than Carmi, there were no municipal pools that charged less than Grayville does.
Thompson suggested removing a park shelter at the Southeastern corner of the park, saying it doesn’t get much use and has a bent post. Thompson also said there’s no playground equipment there and a solitary picnic table. New Gas Commissioner and council member Donovan Baldwin opposed saying he thought since the shelter is on a concrete pad and aside from the bent pole, only really needs new paint on the metal roof that he didn’t want to see it come down. Baldwin went on to call the park, “one of Grayville’s hidden gems.” Members agreed to table the matter for the time while Irvine checks to make sure the shelter is structurally sound. The item should show up on one of June’s meetings if changes are expected.
Council approved the relocation of the bench that currently sits where the river’s edge occasionally is. Members of the Parks Department suggested a better place as at the park’s pond saying it will probably get much more use there and also won’t look so odd “overlooking a bunch of trees [where water should be].”
Grayville residents can also expect a question on upcoming utility payments asking them if they’d take advantage of paperless billing were it offered. Mayor Thompson tabled consideration of the purchase of an Email Utility Billing Module in favor of first attempting to learn how many residents would actually use it.
The mayor also has been working with Grayville Police Chief Roy Mann on putting together a more structured schedule of fines for enforcement. The fines range from loose dogs to property owners who refuse to mow their lawns. Thompson says there are at least 9 properties currently in the city limits that the municipality mows with no cost or consequence to the property owner, and he’s “sick of it.”
The City’s new truck is ready for aftermarket accessories including a bed liner and toolboxes. Council agreed to move forward with the process of outfitting the truck and making half the entire truck payment to Fairfield National Bank. The other half will be paid after a year.
Finally, Council unanimously agreed to put up for sale the real estate at 142 North Fifth Street. The home, according to council members, used to belong to Becky Inboden. Two years ago, a tree fell in the house and a subsequent inspection deemed the house located there unsafe. It has since been demolished. The city will solicit bids for that property.
In commissioner reports, Baldwin made a recommendation that someone with the city reach out to the drilling companies in the area, namely George Mitchell and also the utility Wayne White. He says, and City Utility Super Scott Irvine agreed, there have been far too many close calls with those company’s getting far too close to the city’s gas line. He commented that he wasn’t sure if they were intentionally not contacting Julie before drilling/digging or if it was an oversight, but said beyond hitting the line ending in a potentially fatal explosion, hitting the line would affect Grayville, Albion, Mt. Carmel and more.
Council is next set to meet on Monday, June 10th at 7pm.