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The Chrisman City Council meeting on Monday, August 16th, began with approval of previous meeting minutes as well as claims. Demo permits were also approved for 221 South Illinois.
Police Chief Tom Dolan reported that from time to time he visits with the three churches who are in the ministerial alliance. Dolan sometimes visits the churches and asks them for assistance with different issues that may come up.
A Chrisman resident has been having some issues with keeping her yard up, but it recently has gotten out of hand.
“I went down and spoke with the woman and could tell she was extremely overwhelmed,” Dolan said. Dolan contacted Ken Crawford at the First Baptist Church. “I told him they’re never going to be able to afford it (the cleanup). It’s going to take some men.”
Dolan had previously paid for yard clean up and knew that at this residence, the price would be in the thousands for a professional clean up. On Saturday, the church members along with seventeen volunteers came down to clean up the yard. A total of seven dump trucks took away the debris.
“There’s still a little work they’re going to have to do to get rid of some junk,” Dolan said. “But it’s manageable.”
For the street department, Eric Bohle thanked Commissioner Rodney Wolfe for helping with the curbs. “They’re far from done, but we’re getting there,” Bohle said.
Bohle brought to the meeting a high school student who is in need of an internship. Eric mentioned it might be a good opportunity for her at the moment, since the city is currently short staffed. “I thought it would be a good learning environment for a young person to get an idea of how the city runs.”
“We have to put it on the agenda to hire you,” Mayor Danny Owen said. .
A new gambling ordinance was presented to the council concerning the ‘Queen of Hearts’ raffle that will be held at The American Tap.
With the city officially taking over the Veteran’s Memorial, a new account was to be set up for any donations or federal money that would be used for any necessary up keep and new names being engraved.
“It needs to be a separate entity all its own,” Owen said.
A grant was received from the Edgar County Community Foundation for a total of $12,500.
The city will receive $5,000 up front, then the next $7,500 they’re going to get has to be matched. Commissioner Thad Crispin mentioned that he would be getting the lights taken care of at the pavilion in Centennial Park.
“I’m supposed to be getting a bid from Lewsader,” Crispin said. Commissioner Wolfe mentioned possibly waiting for the electric, due to the concrete and plumbing still needing to be completed.
“I was supposed to have a number for that as well, but I don’t have that yet,” Crispin said.
With the projects still needing to be done, the council motioned to move a reimbursement total of $23,722.26 from the ambulance. $8,000 of that money would go to the sewer and $5,000 for lights at the park and $3,222.26 for the general fund.
Commissioner Bryan Haddix spoke with Matthew Johnson at Fehr Graham about the necessary sewer rates. Johnson sent an e-mail containing the language for the sewer ordinance amendment to be reviewed by the City and their attorney.
The ordinance states that beginning January 1st, 2022, a basic user rate of $5.25 per 1,000 gallons shall be applied to all metered users.
Also beginning January 1st, 2022, a basic user rate of $24.00 shall be applied to all non-metered users. Non-metered users using an excess of 4,500 gallons per month as determined by the City shall install a metering device on the water and sewer main and become a metered user.
In addition to the basic user rate, beginning January 1st, 2022, all metered and non-metered users will be charged a flat Capitol Improvements Fee. The Capital Improvements Fee will increase by $5.00 per month starting January 1st, 2022 until January 1st, 2026 and remain at $25.00 per month thereafter.
The additional flat Capitol Improvements Fee will be charged accordingly to the following schedule: January 1st, 2022- $5.00 per month; January 1st, 2023- $10.00 per month; January 1st, 2024- $15.00 per month; January 1st, 2025- $20.00 per month and January 1st, 2026- $25.00 per month.
For example, in 2023, a metered user using 3,500 gallons per month will be charged $5.25/1,000 gallons x 3,500 gallons + $10.00 for a total of $28.38 per month. In 2024, a non-metered user will be changed $24.00 + $15.00 for $39.00 per month. In 2026, a metered user using 4,930 gallons per month will be charged $5.25/1,000 gallons x 4,930 gallons + $25.00 for a total of $50.88 per month.
“This is based on average water usage,” Commissioner Haddix stated.
“So are we not raising rates, we’re charging a fee?” Crispin asked.
Mayor Owen clarified that it is a rate raise. “It worked out pretty good, it goes over several years,” Owen said. “It’s going to help make some of our basic functions functional.”
This would help take care of Washington Street with a new generator there along with new pumps and a new line. “We’re skating by the skin of our teeth right now,” Mayor Owen said.
The grant money received allows the city not to raise rates to an astronomical price.
In addition to the pavilion, Commissioner Crispin is currently working on having the lights taken down around the ball park. “I talked to the baseball coach and they don’t plan on any night games,” Crispin said. “They need to come down.”
The four infield lights will come down first to get a baseline on cost, then the remainder will be taken down.
Crispin also received a phone call from Steve Ball from Veteran’s Tree Service.
Ball had a call to take down three dead trees, not by anybody at the city, but from the homeowner. The homeowner told Ball to give the city the quote to get it taken care of. “He gave me a quote from $1,500 to chip and haul it all away,” Crispin said.
The problem was, the homeowner ever spoke to Crispin. “It’s on city property and I don’t know why we’re getting a quote for it.”
Commissioner Wolfe is familiar with the situation and the homeowner, stating that she’s getting up in age.
Originally, she wanted the one tree on her property removed in order to get a limb off of her house. “This is for the trees north of her house, this wasn’t even talked about,” Wolfe said.
Crispin stated that he had a budget for tree trimming, but would check on the worst trees first before making a decision.
A total of sixteen dumpsters will be ordered for the weekend after Chrisman Days. A bin will be placed behind the city building for Chrisman Days, but is not to be used as a cleanup bin. The others will be placed at Centennial Park.