The St. Elmo city board held their monthly meeting last week on Thursday, July 5, a day later than usual because of the 4th of July holiday.
In a major shake up for the city board, Dylan Myers has resigned his position as Alderman Ward I. In a letter to the city board, Myers stated “It has been a pleasure and joy to serve the citizens of St. Elmo for the past seven years.” His resignation was approved by the board, retro-active to June 20.
Mayor Ernie Myers can now appoint someone to fill out Dylan Myers’ unfinished term as Alderman Ward I. The board can also operate short one member until elections this fall. If someone is appointed to the position, they would still have to run for election this fall and officially start a new term in April.
With Myers resignation, the mayor has reappointed several alderman to fill out the standing committees. Sandra Mace will now take a spot on the Public Safety Committee as she joins Chairman Allen Nevergall and Rick Mills. Dylan Myers was the chairman of the finance committee, which will now be filled by alderman Rick Mills.
In new business for the city, the board approved a slight increase in water rates for St. Elmo. An ordinance was passes to amend the city’s municipal code for a three percent price increase. This means that the water rate will increase by two cents per 100 gallons used. Currently residents pay $8.75 plus 74 cents per 100 gallons used. The new increase will see residents paying $8.75 plus 76 cents per 100 gallons used.
This rate increase is very minimal. If a household uses 3,000 gallons of water a month, their bill used to be $30.95. Under this 3 percent increase, it will now cost $31.55, an increase of just 60 cents per month. If a household uses 4,000 gallons, their cost goes from $38.35 to $39.15, an 80 cent increase a month. And if a household uses 5,000 gallons in a month, their cost increases from $45.75 to $46.75, a $1 increase.
City officials also discusses what to do about the property on the corner of Ash and 3rd streets, which is the old church which burned down this past Spring. Chief Brock Rich believes the property posses a real hazard as the buildings remains have not been cleaned up. There is a large sinkhole in the middle of the property with a mass of lose bricks and debris. The city would like to see the property cleaned up immediately, especially before school is back in session so no children potentially try to play in the debris and hurt themselves.
Rich recommended to the board that the city send a “repair or demolish” notice to the property’s owner, Jason Shinn. This notice will give the owner 15 days to do something about the mess or the city will legally be allowed to step in and take control.
In other public safety committee news, Allen Nevergall reported that they are currently interviewing candidates for the new part time police officer positions. Rich reported that all the city’s police vehicles have been outfitted with new vehicle cameras and all officers have new body cameras as well.
In public works, chairman Sandra Mace reported that the city was due to pay their annual fees to the Illinois EPA, specifically for the department of water pollution. The board approved this expenditure of $2,500.
The board also approved a June 21 pole vote taken to repair the pump at the Pinnacle Lift Station at a cost of $7,833.63.
Dave Watkins reported on the status of projects ongoing at the parks. The board approved a bid from Dallas Durbin in the amount of $2,650 to put a new metal roof on the concession stand at Deken Park. It will be a white metal roof to reflect heat and Watkins reported he thought it would take about two to three days to install the new roof.
Watkins also reported that the city is currently looking for a maintenance person to take care of Deken Park. The city has had a couple of applicants to far and they will continue taking applications for the position.
Finally, Watkins reported to the board about the project of sealing the walking trail at Deken Park. It was last done three years ago. A bid from K&L Sealing was approved in the amount of $10,878 for the project. Several board members commented that the last time the trail was sealed, the cost was significantly less. The increased price is due to a vast jump in the cost of the oil needed to seal the trail.
The next city board meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 1 at 6 p.m.