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Carlinville Council holds last 2023 meeting

By ERIN SANSON
Enquirer~Democrat Reporter

The Carlinville council met for their last meeting of 2023 on Monday, Dec. 18. The council heard presentations from Angela Verticchio regarding the City’s audit and from Meco Engineering regarding Alluvial interconnection costs and projects.

Audit

Angela Verticchio with Carlinville CPA Group has been doing the audits for Carlinville for several years now. She said that the city had a clean audit this year. There were several areas where prices and expenses increased, which she noted were due to the general increase in prices across industries.

Alluvial Water Project

Kevin Garnett with Meco Engineering presented information to the council regarding the Alluvial water line connections. Alluvial will be in charge of getting water to Rinaker Road where the road meets Shipman Blacktop. From Shipman Blacktop to the water tower at Tower Grove Park it is the city’s responsibility to pay for the project. Meco presented a plan to bring the water from Rinaker Road, down Shipman Blacktop to Pine Street. It would follow Pine Street until it hit Tower Grove Park.

The total plan and engineering and design costs from Meco would cost an estimated $3,413,000. Meco asked for the Council’s approval for the planning engineering and environmental plan costs, a total of $40,000. The other costs and fees will be brought before the council as the project moves forward.

American Legion Rezoning

Discussion was had over the potential rezoning of 554 Ramey Street, the location of the American Legion. Tim Snodgrass has plans to open a restaurant in the building and the building needed to be rezoned from City Park. The re-zoning application asked for the building to be rezoned to General Commercial, as that is how other Civic Lodges and Halls are zoned.

Alderman Doug Downey proposed the location be rezoned as Agricultural and Open land and be issued a special use permit to open a commercial business.

Under the Carlinville Zoning Code, lodges and civic organizations are located under agricultural and open land zoning codes. The Elks and Moose Lodges are zoned as General Commercial, which Downey said is because they are in commercial corridors. He felt that if the building was zoned commercial, if the Legion ever vacated the building it could be used for manufacturing and other business ventures, while if it was zoned Agricultural with a special use permit, the City could have some control over what the building could be used for in the future.

Alderman Bill Link suggested the council approve the rezoning to General Commercial so the restaurant may be opened by its Jan. 2 goal. The paperwork could then be filled out again to rezone the land from commercial to agricultural. Several council members agreed with the idea due to time constraints for the zoning committee to meet again and bring the matter back to the council before the Jan. 2 open date.

A motion was made to approve the rezoning of the location from City Park to General Commercial and then bring the matter back to council to have it rezoned from General Commercial to Agricultural with a special use permit. Link recused himself from the vote, Downey voted against the measure, Ober, Koller, Levora, Reese and Harber voted to approve. Wagstaff was absent from the meeting.

Other Business

The council approved the use of the Square by Market Days on the first Saturday of each moth from April to November. The only date the council changed was the first Saturday in September, as the Lions Carnival would be happening on the same day. Market Days would be scheduled on the second Saturday, Sept. 14.

The council approved the one year extension of the loan from COBANK. The council expects to be reimbursed for costs by Alluvial in the next year.

Due to an error in paperwork the motor fuel tax budget had to be reapproved by the council. The council approved the new budget of $102,119.70, which was the total after the removal of chip seal work, surface leveling and all non-biddable items.

The lots on 1000 and 1020 N. Broad were discussed. Two bids were opened at the last meeting and one was accepted from Doug Downey, also a Carlinville Alderman. Downey’s bid was accepted provided that all other “boxes were checked.” At the Dec. 18 meeting, both bids, Downey’s and Dustin Wise’s bid were declined. The city will retain the property for now.