Light at the End of the Tunnel for Preston Drainage Issue, Fox Property
By LYNNETTE FORTH | For The Prairie Advocate News
LANARK – With Michelle Barnes serving as City Clerk Pro-Tem, Lanark City Council met for a regular meeting on September 3rd at City Hall. Approval of minutes from the August 20th meeting were approved. Upon review of the finance and Treasurer’s reports, Michelle Barnes reported that she had a bill from Southside Service in the amounts of $10.80, and $272.89.
Barnes stated that the bills were from work that the Maintenance Department had done. Barnes also informed the council that she is waiting to hear from Country Companies before she can pay a health care bill.
Following the approval of the submitted bills, members heard a report from Mike Leslie of Willett/Hofmann concerning the resolution of the flooding problems at the Preston property. Last Thursday, Willett/Hofmann engineers spent most of the day at the Preston property, and located the drain pipe in question, and took photos from the inside. A lot of sediment was found on the inner parts. Alderman Anne Lindsay was present for most of the time the work was being done.
Workers were able to get about twenty feet into the line before they could not get any further. A locator was run to the edge of the garage. A Roto-Rooter cable was run approximately 36 feet into the exposed portion. There were no signs of any other lines coming in as far as the camera would reach. It was determined that the two floor drains in the basement are all interconnected. A line going through the east wall was capped twelve years ago. A shared cistern was also capped off.
A one way valve was put on the drain so that no water can come back in, but can be monitored. The only source of water would be infiltration of ground water from a drainage tile that runs along the east side of the house. The next step is to wait and see what happens when it rains.
“Hurry up and wait,” Mayor Huggins replied.
“So we are just waiting for rain now?” Lindsay questioned.
“Best case is that it rains and the one way valve solved it,” Leslie replied. Dawn Preston was present at the meeting, and had no further comment during the evening.
City Attorney Ed Mitchell spoke on the status of blighted buildings within the city. Regarding the Fox property on East Pearl St., Mitchell stated that property notices had been sent out by Doug Moll, with a date to redeem in November.
“Basically, we are on hold until November,” Mitchell explained.
Mayor Huggins spoke on the possibility of offering some sort of economic development incentive to a current business owner expressing the possibility of expanding his business. This idea was brought up at the last meeting, with no decisions being made until more information was made available.
Currently, Eastland Motor Sports is looking for the city to abate a portion of the taxes on a new building that they are considering. The business is not in the TIF district.
“The expansion probably won’t happen unless the tax abatement happens,” Huggins reported.
Council members felt that a deal could be reached following the completion of the building, and were excited to hear that Eastland Motor Sports wanted to expand.
The meeting continued, with the discussion of purchasing office furniture for the new City Hall building. An $11,000.00 estimate was given in the beginning of the buying process, but now SBM of Sterling has turned in a bid in the amount of $2,703.00 with assembly and delivery.
Alderman Ed Fehlhafer questioned, “What do we do with what we have now?”
The Mayor responded, “The new stuff goes into City Hall, and the rest will be moved to other offices, such as the Mayor’s office, and the Treasurer’s office.” Council members unanimously approved the proposal and purchase from SBM for new furniture.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, LaMoille Poffenberger, a member of the First Brethren Church, asked the city to please fix the curb and gutter that has been in desperate need of repair for several years. Poffenberger stated, “Canes and walkers can’t get up the curb because of the gutter. We don’t want anybody to fall and end up with doctor bills and lawsuits. Nothing has been done in the last two years. It’s getting to be quite serious.”
Alderman Lindsay replied, “It’s been on the sidewalk list, and has been mentioned a number of times.” Alderman Fehlhafer replied, “I have brought it up many times, and nothing gets done.”
Mayor Huggins directed the city maintenance department to “get it done, get it on the list.”
The Director of Public Works, Les Guenzler, was present for the discussion, and also reported that the city crew had been working on a water main break on West Pearl Street.
Mayor Huggins questioned whether or not a bill had been prepared to send to iFiber when the fiber optic cable was installed at the corner of North Broad and East Carroll Sts. The water line had been cut. Guenzler said no.
Huggins urged, “Get that to me ASAP.”
A police report was reviewed from Police Chief Matt Magill, and Alderman Mark Macomber questioned, “Can we put the old police vehicle up for liquidation?” Council voted to allow for sealed bids to be submitted for the sale of the old police vehicle to be opened October 1st at 5:00, with the council being allowed to reject any and all bids.
Alderman Fehlhafer spoke regarding a recent meeting of the Water and Sewer committee held on August 26th. The committee decided at that time to reject the proposal received from Chris Spathies regarding his very large past due water bill. “The proposal was not acceptable.”
Moving on with the agenda, Mayor Huggins stated that a meeting of the ordinance committee needed to take place to review the property management codes. Alderman Lindsay is in charge of scheduling the date, and letting those know that are required to attend.
“A joint review board meeting for TIF also needs to be scheduled, with two weeks notice being given,” Huggins added. Sharon Pippen of Community Funding and Planning Services will send out notices. The meeting was set for September 24th at 4:00 p.m.
In his report, Attorney Mitchell informed council members that the levy has been filed with the Clerk. Also, the Lessman contract (Eastland Motor Sportds) was sent to Attorney Jerry Kane.
Mayor Huggins questioned, “Do we need to rezone the elementary school property?” Huggins stated that the issue needed to be brought up to the zoning board.
The Mayor also informed council members that on October 10th, the city will be hosting a Mutual Assistance Meeting that will consist of community members working on lists for equipment needed, personnel ideas, and ways to work together.
Also, on October 1st, the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs will be presenting a mapping program. The program is part of a community wide effort to determine where residents would like to see the city in 5 years, and how to get to that point.
“Savanna and Elizabeth are doing it now. It’s basically the citizens coming together to make a plan. It doesn’t cost to have them come. We will have the meeting at 6:30 before the next meeting. Community attendance needs to be large.”
With no further meeting issues to be discussed, the meeting adjourned, with the next meeting set for September 17th, with the special community wide City Mapping presentation scheduled for that evening at 6:30.