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Highland Approves Korte Rec Center Rate Increase

By Jake Leonard

The Highland City Council met for their second meeting of 2022 on Monday, January 18 at Highland City Hall.

Kay Ahaus, a local advocate for solar and clean energy products, came and spoke during public comments in favor of recent legislation in the Illinois General Assembly regarding clean energy, otherwise known as the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA).

Following no council requests, it was reported during staff reports that there will be a discussion in the second meeting of February regarding fee increases to $250 per machine for all gaming machines within the city’s corporate limits. The price increase is in response to legislation passed in December.

Additionally noted in addition to the public comment was the training for CEJA is now bring released. They are in discussions with the Illinois Municipal Electric Association to make proposed ordinance amendments to be compliant with the legislation by March.

The first item of business was an ordinance to declare personal property of the city’s Light and Power department and authorization of sale and/or disposal. Noted among their surplus inventory were 14 capacitors, an obsolete three-phase recloser, and three oil switches.

The second item of business was a resolution to authorize the sole source purchase from Motorola for various items of equipment, including body cameras, in-car camera systems, digital storage, and other equipment. The resolution would also waive the customary bidding procedures as required by Illinois law.

The purchase would be processed through Motorola retailer WatchGuard Video of Allen, TX for a five-year video package-as-a-service. The total cost is $136,170 with an immediate cost of $13,278. The city will receive a quarterly invoice of $6,468 during their five-year agreement.

The next item of business was a resolution authorizing a contract with Target Solutions Learning LLC for emergency services training and document management for Highland Emergency Services. The contract will initially be for one year at a cost of $5,345.

The fourth item of business was a resolution authorizing an agreement with the Marine Community Fire Protection District for ambulance services. Based on the proposed agreement, it will be for a term of two years with the first year cost being $91,680 for fiscal yar 2022, due in November.

The fifth business item was an ordinance to authorize the city to surplus personal property, including the water reclamation facility. Among inventoried surplus property were used equipment no longer in service that were removed during previous plant upgrades, spare parts for equipment removed in prior plant upgrades, lab equipment and supplies replaced with newer equipment or supplied from previous upgrades, outdated SCBA and gas detection equipment no longer usable, and outdated office equipment, not limited to typewriters, telephones, answering machines, and intercom units.

The sixth item of business was an ordinance to create a new article under Chapter 46: Parks and Recreation in relation to the Korte Recreation Center, which establishes rates for use of the center. The ordinance sets daily, quarterly, 20-visit, premium, and annual passes for residents, local non-residents, and distant non-residents.

The local non-resident pass specifies for those residing within the Highland school district outside Highland proper, as well as residence within Marine and St. Jacob townships. The distant non-resident pass specifies those residing outside of the school district and Marine and St. Jacob townships. The rates will begin for daily passes on February 1, while annual passes will begin with the new rates on March 1.

The rate increases under the ordinance specifies the annual minimum wage increase to $12 per hour, building up reserves, and a three-year lapse in annual membership data among the main reasons for the increase.

The rates under the proposal reflects that the rates are still comparable to rates set in Farmington and Fairview Heights. Annual passes will still be $60 cheaper, $485 compared to Farmington’s $545. An annual pass in Fairview Heights is $730. A monthly pass increases to $42.50 is $5.50 cheaper than Farmington’s rate of $48, while Fairview Heights charges $65. The premium membership in Highland will be $575, which is $103.25 cheaper than Farmington ($678.25). Fairview Heights does not offer a Premium membership. Overall, the increase in revenue will be at minimum a total of $15,000.

The next item of business is a resolution to authorize the city to apply for the county’s Resource Management Program grant. In the proposal, the Parks and Recreation director will be seeking $11,488.44 for the grant and $4,200 for matching funds and in-kind labor for a total of $15,648.44.

The purpose of the grant is a continuance of improvement efforts to waterways within Silver Lake Park. Most of the grant funds, if approved, would go towards rip-rap for waterway improvements with the intention of reducing erosion. The remaining portion will be applied to replacing the tracks on the skid-steer, which operates a piece of equipment purchased in a previous grant disbursement.

Finally, the expenditure list since the last meeting was introduced with a total amount of $1,035,726.76.

All motions passed unanimously, and there was no action requiring entering executive session.

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