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Tuscola City Council reviews bill payments at meeting

Local Government

By East Central Reporter Reports | Jun 30, 2016

Members of the Tuscola City Council met Monday, June 13.

The Tuscola City Council meets at 7:30 p.m on the second and fourth Monday of every month. If a city-recognized holiday falls on those days, the meeting is rescheduled for the following Tuesday. The meetings are held at the Tuscola City Hall, 214 N. Main St.

Here are the meeting minutes as provided by the Tuscola City Council:


In the absence of Mayor Kleiss, Hoey moved and Shoemaker seconded Alderman Henderson act as Mayor Pro Tem for the June 13 council meeting. VOTE YEA" Cleland, Day, Hoey, Shoemaker, Slaughter, Truitt. Henderson abstained. Motion carried. The regular meeting of the Tuscola City Council was called to order with Cleland, Day, Henderson, Hoey, Shoemaker, Slaughter, and Truitt, in attendance. Alderman Maxey and Mayor Kleiss were absent. Mayor Pro Tem Henderson asked Paul Wisowaty of the TK Martin Post 10009 to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Public Comment - None

Consent Agenda

Administrator Hoel went over the items on the consent agenda:

• Minutes of the May 23, 2016 meeting

• Payment of bills totaling $229,069.18

• Pay request from Building Systems of Illinois in the amount of $168,452.10, for Community Building renovations

• A change order for an additional $11,326 for Community Building renovations

• Street closures on Barker and Center Streets for a block party on June 25, 2016

• Street closure, 5K run route, and parade route for Sparks in the Park celebration July 9, 2016

• Pace for Petey 5K run route for August 12, 2017

Truitt moved to approve the items on the consent agenda. Cleland seconded. VOTE YEA" Cleland, Day, Henderson, Hoey, Shoemaker, Slaughter, Truitt. Hoey moved to approve the consent agenda for June 13, 2016. Shoemaker seconded. VOTE YEA" Cleland, Day, Henderson, Hoey, Shoemaker, Slaughter, Truitt. Alderman Maxey arrived at 7:40 pm.

Requested Time on the Agenda

Commander Sean Connor, TK Martin VFW Post 10009, and Paul Wisowaty addressed council to request permission for collecting donations on the 4" of July weekend. Funds from this collection will go into the operating fund. Commander Connor gave everyone at the council table a Pledge of Allegiance card. These will also be given to citizens making donations to Post 10009's operating fund on July 2, 2016.

Several citizens were in attendance to hear discussion and offer suggestions about the city's mosquito abatement policy. Heather Wilmes and Kirby Pringle addressed council about their concerns. Wilmes stated she is trying to give her family the best quality of life possible and uses no chemicals at all. Wilmes is upset because the city is not upfront about the chemicals used for mosquito abatement and they do not notify the public when the spraying will take place. Wilmes added she believes the city's mosquito control methods are ineffective. Kirby Pringle believes Tuscola is a better place without the mass spraying for mosquitoes. The mass spraying affects both environmental and human health. The chemicals used cause allergy/breathing problems and kills harmless insects. Pringle stated spraying is largely ineffective because mosquitoes breed in standing water and we are not getting the larvae in standing water with the spray. The best way to take care of a mosquito problem is put larvicide in standing water. Larvicides do not kill everything and do not cause human health problems. Hoey asked if we have started spraying yet. Foreman Cruzan answered we only spray when the mosquito problem is really bad. Last year the city sprayed five or six times. Before last year, it had been five years since the city sprayed, Cruzan added. Administrator Hoel asked council to check out the information he emailed last week regarding the effects of mosquito spraying. This information was provided by Wilmes and Pringle. Hoel asked Cruzan about the use of larvicides. Cruzan stated they are not that effective in town. Mosquitoes will travel up to 20 miles. Shoemaker asked how the city communicates when spraying will occur. No one was sure if Facebook or Twitter had ever been used. Shoemaker asked if the city is required to provide SDS information. Administrator Hoel answered we are not required to provide this information. The applicators take the SDS tests and we do make the information available. Hoey stated he does not have a problem with stopping the spraying. He feels we'll have just as many citizens mad if we stop spraying as we'll have if we continue. Shoemaker asked Cruzan if had explored any pesticides that would be more environmentally friendly. Cruzan answered the pesticide the city uses is about the most environmentally friendly one on the market. Administrator Hoel added Pringle made a point that individual repellents are probably more effective than area wide spraying. If council decides to discontinue spraying, the city could make efforts to get information out reminding citizens to use their personal repellents when outside. Maxey used the city's ban on leaf burning as an example and stated we should consider the appeal of the people and look at alternatives. Life goes on and the citizens will learn to adapt. Shoemaker brought up the issue of health hazards, but felt it would be fair to look at different options. Hoey suggests not spraying for two weeks and look into the matter further. Administrator Hoel agreed we would not spray for the next two weeks so council could have more time to evaluate options. Day pointed out we live in an agricultural area and are surrounded by places with standing water. It seems to him everyone should go buy a can of 'OFF'; they need to understand this is the way it is and mosquitoes get bad. A lot of people in town would like to know we tried, Day added, and we have a responsibility to do what the whole community wants.

Mayor — No Report

City Clerk – Absent

City Treasurer

Treasurer Long reported Eddie Boutilier, Red Barn Vet Service, and Rachel Puckett are delinquent on their TIF loans. Long called council's attention to their copies of the FY17 bound budgets on the council table.

City Attorney - Absent

City Administrator – No Report


Cleland moved to approve ordinance 2016-0-6, an ordinance declaring two trucks surplus property and authorizing the sale of same. Slaughter seconded. VOTE YEA" Cleland, Day, Henderson, Hoey, Maxey, Shoemaker, Slaughter, Truitt.

Mayor Pro-Tem Henderson asked Administrator Hoel to explain the cable franchise fee ordinance. Hoel reported he has been trying to get the service fee removed from Tuscola resident's Mediacom bills. Council made the decision one year ago to not implement this service fee, which was intended to replace the franchise fee. Hoel went on to say he has learned the city needs to pass an ordinance setting the service fee at 0% in order to get Mediacom to stop charging this fee. Once the ordinance has passed, Mediacom will stop charging the fee and turn fees already collected over to the city. Hoey moved to approve ordinance 2016-0-7, an ordinance addressing the payment of cable television franchise fees in the city of Tuscola, setting the fee at 0%. Truitt seconded. VOTE YEA" Cleland, Day, Henderson, Hoey, Maxey, Shoemaker, Slaughter, Truitt.

Treasurer Long reported the FY17 appropriation ordinance is in the council packets and on file at City Hall for public review. A notice advising citizens they can review the ordinance will be published in the paper, along with an announcement setting the public hearing for the appropriation ordinance at 7:15pm on July 11, 2016.


Henderson opened discussion and asked for comments about the Planning Commission's recommendation for a special use permit for a Douglas County Annex Office Building at 209 E. Van Allen. Leslie Smith, 204 E. Scott, addressed council about her concerns with the building. Her lot is directly behind the proposed building site. Smith feels there will be an increase in traffic down the alley and this alley already has a lot of traffic because of the Catholic Church. Smith is also concerned about her children seeing the coroner take bodies in and out of the building. Smith added she knew she could not stop the building, but would like a privacy fence put up on the alley side of the building site. Administrator Hoel stated the building is proposed as primarily an office building. They do have a temporary morgue, but are very discreet when using the morgue. Smith's children should not be able to see bodies taken in and out, Hoel added. Hoey asked Smith if she had asked the County Board to put up a fence for her. Smith answered she was not sure who to ask. Administrator Hoel agreed and Henderson suggested Smith start with the County Clerk. Day moved to approve the Planning Commission's recommendation for approval of a special use permit for Douglas County to construct a County Annex office building at 209 East Van Allen. Shoemaker seconded. VOTE YEA* Cleland, Day, Henderson, Hoey, Maxey, Shoemaker, Slaughter, Truitt.

Josh, a representative from Farnsworth and Associates reported to council the HVAC and electrical at the Community Building are not at substantial completion on the punch list. They have no reason to think Building Systems of Illinois will not make good on them. At this time, Farnsworth recommends approval of the pay request and holding the entire retainage. Administrator Hoel noted there is $95,000 left in retainage. A walk through punch-list inspection done last week shows a few clean up items remaining, Hoel added, but the major project components are finished. Hoel feels it will be the end of the month before the project is complete.

Truitt moved council go into executive session to discuss land acquisition and review prior executive session minutes. The time was 8:09 pm. Cleland seconded. VOTE YEA" Cleland, Day, Henderson, Hoey, Maxey, Shoemaker, Slaughter, Truitt. The meeting was called back to order at 8:24 pm with Cleland, Day, Henderson, Hoey, Maxey, Shoemaker, Slaughter, and Truitt present.

Contracts and Agreements

Truitt moved to authorize the purchase of the property at 116 West North Central Avenue for up to $50,000, plus closing costs. Cleland seconded. VOTE YEA* Cleland, Day, Henderson, Maxey, Shoemaker, Truitt. VOTE NAY" Hoey, Slaughter. Motion carried.


Hoey moved to approve resolution 2016-R-3, a resolution concerning the review and release of executive session minutes and the destruction of executive session audio recordings. Day seconded. VOTE YEA" Cleland, Day, Henderson, Hoey, Maxey, Shoemaker, Slaughter, Truitt.


Truitt moved to approve a Professional Services Agreement with Francis and Associates in the amount of $59,000, for engineering services and design of the route 36/I-57 intersection. Shoemaker seconded. VOTE YEA" Cleland, Day, Henderson, Hoey, Maxey, Shoemaker, Slaughter, Truitt.

Hoey stated he would like to see more movement toward getting the At Home Tuscola store opened. He thinks the project has gone on for quite some time.

Slaughter told council the Library had an outdoor movie event that generated 290 people in our downtown area. Everything was put on by the Library, Slaughter added, so kudos to them. Truitt pointed out the tourism board paid for the movie rights. The audio/video was donated by Doug and Amanda Foltz and this was a very good collaborative effort, Long stated.

The motion to adjourn was made by Hoey and seconded by Henderson. VOTE YEA" Cleland, Day, Henderson, Hoey, Maxey, Shoemaker, Slaughter, Truitt

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Tuscola Community Unit School District 301

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