By Devese “Dee” Ursery, Reporter
The Troy City Council meeting kicked off Oct. 3 with Chris Bergmann, representative for the Troy Knights of Columbus, thanking the city of Troy, council and staff and specifically Deputy City Clerk Andrea Lambert for their assistance in the Drive for Intellectual Disabilities that took place in September.
“I wanted to thank Andrea always, for the help she provides,” Bergmann said. “Without her, I wouldn’t have gotten all of the paperwork done and by doing so, we were able to collect $4,658 for intellectual disabilities.”
Bergmann said while people often do not think their change adds up, that was certainly not the case here.
“I like to mention this to people who think coins don’t really add up,” Bergmann said. “We had $808 in coins, $34 of that in pennies, which actually equates to about seven pounds of coins. I was just amazed by the generosity of the citizens of Troy. It was very inspiring and we look forward to doing it again next year.”
City Administrator Jay Keeven discussed the rise in aggregated electric rates that will hit the city. During a recent bid day on wholesale electricity the city entered an agreement with Constellation, after Homefield Energy will no longer be providing services.
The aggregated electric rate went from under three cents per kilowatt with Homefield Energy, the city’s current energy provider, to 12.1 per kilowatt with Constellation. The new rate will begin in February.
City Attorney Fred Keck reported that a longtime squatter who occupied space in a structure, located at 110A, 112A, and 110 on Market Street was evicted and that the city is ready to move forward with the process of demolishing the building unit. There will be a 22-space parking lot put in its place.
“Gas is scheduled to be removed on the 11th [October] and electric either the same day or the next day,” Director of Public Works Rob Hancock said. “The demolition contractors have been advised of those dates. They need a certificate stating that the utilities are retired before they start. We are progressing and have everything on track.”
Linda Taake, building and zoning administrative coordinator spoke of what was discussed in the Administrative and Community Services Committee Meeting that took place on Oct.3. The first item discussed at the ACS Committee meeting was the Leaf Burn Ban Ordinance. The Committee reviewed it and turned it over to the Council to approve an amendment made to Chapter 50 limiting the burning of leaves and yard waste.
“There was one change. We changed it from “dawn” to “dusk” on both Wednesday and Saturday…,” Elizabeth Hellrung, chairman of the ACS Committee said.
Next, Hellrung spoke on what happened with the Banner sign discussion. The Committee reviewed the sign ordinance and decided that they needed to regroup and ask the Planning Commission to do another set of reviews.
Taake entered the discussion, elaborating on a couple things that will be discussed on Oct 13, at the Planning Commission Meeting. There will be a public hearing for the Stonebriar Manor Detention Pond variance. That meeting will begin at 7:15 p.m. She also reported that NuWay applied for the variance for their rock parking loading area. The paperwork was sent to the zoning hearing officer.
Chief Brent Shownes reported for the Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Committee. He reported no issues from the Oktoberfest that took place this past weekend. There were well over a thousand people at the festival and the police presence provided a secure, safe, and fun environment for everyone there.
Shownes also discussed the Traveling Vietnam Wall that will be escorted through town on Oct. 19, and that it will be on display at Truck Centers Inc. on Formosa Road. The opening ceremony will begin at 5:45 p.m., from Oct. 20-23. Shownes reported that CIT Convoy collected over $70,000 for the Special Olympics, surpassing last year’s total of $50,000.
“… we’ve done a really good job in the state, Troy is among the top five in the state of Illinois, for a town of our size, it tells you how really great the people are in this town,” Chief Shownes said.
In the public works section of the meeting Tom Cissell, city engineer, discussed several grants and projects from his engineering report.
He first discussed that bids are out for the East Clay Water and Sewer Plans will and will open on Oct.12. The next item Cissell discussed was Formosa Road. He reported that they are in the design phase of the project. The resurfacing and patch work will be done on Formosa near Cracker Barrel to Spring Mill Road near Truck Centers.
Next, Cissell talked about Wynona Trail and how the public works department surveyed the whole corridor and design work has started using that data. The city set a target date for designs to be completed by the end of March for a fiscal year 2023-2024 construction.
Cissell also discussed getting the $235,000 grant that will fund the Zenk Road Culvert and Bargraves detention pond improvements. On page nine of his report, he discussed submitting the $2.8 million Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant on Friday. The grant would cover $1.7 million of the cost and is planned to be announced this upcoming winter/spring. If approved the work will include new sidewalks, new street lights and burying all of the overhead lines on Market Street.
Lastly, Cissell spoke of in this section was the $100,000 DCEO grant that the city received from the State of Illinois. The grant is reimbursement for money spent on the Spring Valley Road project.
Director of Public Works Rob Hancock discussed the work schedule for the public works department. He reported that the Public Works Garage Roof Rehab will begin on Oct. 10, and should take about a week-and-a-half. Hancock also reported that the manhole lining project is completed.
The original price for the project was $106,000 for eight manholes, but went up to $118,000 due to erosion at the bottom of the manholes. Benches had to be built into the bottom of the manholes because they were so eroded they had become flat and it needs to have a trough, according to Hancock. And lastly, he stated that Creekside Phase two Storm Sewer Project will begin on Oct.10, with a complete closure of Creekside at Avalon.
There were no special reports or new business at this meeting. In the Ordinance and resolution section of the meeting the council made decisions on six ordinances.
The first item in this section was a 6-to-1 vote in favor of amending Chapter 50 of the codified ordinances of the city of Troy to limit the burning of leaves and yard waste. The next item, ordinance 2022-43, an ordinance amend ordinance number 1999-01, the Municipal Utility Tax for the city of Troy, to read as follows:
“Any account of the City of Troy and units of the local government for the use or consumption of electricity or gas shall be exempt from the taxes imposed by this ordinance.”
Item O-3, ordinance 2022-44 was an ordinance annexing 2466 Formosa Road, territory owned by Cynthia Westfall into the city of Troy. Ordinance 2022-45, was an ordinance authorizing the amendment to the Municipal Code and revising of the schedule of fees. The updates to the fee schedule reflect the council’s decision to impose a $250 fine for late liquor license renewal applications.
The next item up was an ordinance authorizing the jurisdictional transfer of a certain portion of Bouse Road from the east edge of pavement of Old Troy Road to the west edge of pavement of Formosa Road, a distance of .8 miles.
The last item of the night was an ordinance authorizing another jurisdictional transfer of Whitmore Road from the north edge of the pavement of Bouse Road north to the end of the road. The length of this stretch of road is .26 miles. Ordinances 2022-43 to 2022-47 were all passed with a unanimous vote, as well as for the closed session meeting minutes.
The meeting was adjourned for a closed session. The next Troy City Council Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Troy Municipal Building, 116 East Market Street.