By ERIN SANSON
The Carlinville City council met on Monday, April 18 to discuss several issues posing a threat to public safety, such as a nuisance property and a lack of street lights. They also discussed events happening in Carlinville in the upcoming week as well as added events to the calendar over the summer.
90-Day Extension Request
Brandon Lackey sent in a request to ask the council for an extension to the 90 days granted to him to clean up a property on Elm Street. He cited unfavorable weather conditions as the reason for the delay and asked for a 60 to 90 day extension. Police Chief Dave Haley felt the owners had not made sufficient progress, a statement with which several council members agreed. The original 90 day notice ended April 20, at which point the owners received notice from City Attorney Don Craven for a court hearing. Haley’s concern is that the property has not been made safe, which could include the property being cleaned or a fence being placed that would block off the property. The proximity to MCDD was also a cause for concern in regards to safety. The request for an extension was denied by the council.
The salaries of part-time officers and part-time dispatchers were discussed. Currently dispatchers with less than one year of employment make $14.50. Those with over one year made $15.50. The proposed raise would be 50¢ for both positions. Part-time officers without certification currently make $17.50. With certification they make $18.50. Their proposed raise would also be 50¢. Those raises were approved by the council.
The Police Chief salary is currently at $67,000 a year. Ober proposed the Chief’s salary be raised by 2.75 percent or $2,000. Ober compared several towns in surrounding areas. The police chiefs in the towns he looked at like Pana, Auburn and Staunton made over $70,000. Alderman Doug Downey was concerned that comparing Carlinville with other cities was not fair as there are other factors besides population to consider. Downey said he had no problem with a raise “of some sort” but worried that percentage was too high.
Ober made the motion to approve a $2,000 raise for Haley. Link seconded the motion. Alderman John LeVora was not present at the meeting. Six alderman voted to approve the raise and one opposed.
Dredge Pond drainage
Ron Strohbeck spoke to the council in regards to a dredge pond that is not draining near his property. Strohbeck claimed that, 12 years ago, a tree fell on the pipe that drains the pond, closing off the drainage point. At the time, he brought his concern to a former city employee who assured him the issue would be taken care of. He has spoken to several employees and council members over the years who have all told him that the issue would be take care of, but has yet to be remedied.
According to Strohbeck, the water began draining through what he believed to be a groundhog hole, which is now also plugged and unable to drain. The water has continually risen, and is approximately two feet from the top of the dam. He worries the dam will be compromised, flooding the road below the dam, cutting off access to property, pastures and livestock.
Strohbeck has contacted Director of Public Works Dan Held who said he would be out to look at the issue but had not yet been to the property. Alderman Bill Link suggested the public works committee chair should go out to look at the pond. The council told Strohbeck they would look into the issue.
Link talked about Earth Week in Carlinville and a variety of activities that will be taking place through the week. An Arbor Day celebration was held on Wed. April 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the City Hall. There will be Earth Day presentations at the Primary and Intermediate Schools including information on hummingbirds, native plants, and electric cars.
Sat., April 23 will be Blackburn Beautification day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Sun., April 24 the CHS Cross Country team will be plogging, picking up trash while jogging, at Beaver Dam State Park at 11 a.m. 4-H will be plogging at 1 p.m. along Shipman Blacktop. Blackburn students will be picking up trash from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on Route 108 from Leefers Road to West County Line Road.
A full schedule of events can be found on the Carlinville Bee City web page. Coverage of Earth Day events will be featured in the April 28 edition of the Enquirer~Democrat.
South West Street Vacation
An ordinance to vacate portions of South West Street was approved. Orange Street Apartments is looking to sell some property, portions of Orange Street were previously vacated, but they were the incorrect portions. The vacation of South West Street is for an undeveloped portion that runs parallel to South Plum and South Broad Street. This vacation will fix the previous incorrect vacation and correct the property titles.
Link asked the council to put a street light up on East Hoehn Street. There is a lot for sale at the end of E. Hoehn, where the street becomes a dead end. Link claims that the street is so dark at night that he almost drove off of the embankment. The city will petition Ameren to put up a street light, which will cost the city approximately $9 in electricity. Link spoke to residents of the street who were in favor of the light. The council approved the placement.
Alderman Randy Ober wanted to remind citizens that it is mowing season again, and asks that citizens please stay on top of mowing and landscaping. He would also like to remind business owners, especially around the Square where there are alleys, to spray for weeds.
Alderman Kim Harber reminded the council members to look over the budget for the next fiscal year. A public hearing on the budget will be held on May 2 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Jon Reid asked the council’s permission to host the 5th annual Eye 5K Run/Walk on Sat., June 11 at 9 a.m. The course begins at Advanced EyeCare, through Blackburn to Oakbrook Drive, which is the turnaround point. The finish is back at Carlinville EyeCare. The council approved the request.
The council approved the Lake Lease transfer from Davidson to Wyhs for a property located on Carlinville Lake Road. They also approved the transfer of a property on Briarwood Lane from Deal to Gonzalez.