The regular monthly meeting of the Village Board of Colfax was called to order on Monday evening, February 1, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Ricardo Onken.
Trustees present were:
Rick Vance - Aye
David Rathke - Aye
Jason Pierce - Aye
Carol Stephenson - Aye
Kelly Gradert - Aye
Trustee Lonnie Meiner was absent.
Also present were Village Treasurer Linda Hanson; Village Attorney Tom Shields; Superintendent Brian Hereford; Police Chief Michael Scott.
Trustee Jason Pierce made a motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes and approve as presented. Trustee Carol Stephenson seconded the motion. Vote: Rick Vance – Aye; David Rathke – Aye; Jason Pierce – Aye; Carol Stephenson – Aye; Lonnie Meiner – Absent; Kelly Gradert – Aye; Motion carried.
Village Treasurer Linda Hanson gave the Treasurer’s Report for the month of January, 2016.
Beginning Balance as of January 1, 2016 $268,740.40
Ending Balance as of January 31, 2016 $274,299.94
Increase in income for January, 2016 $ 5,559.54
Trustee Rick Vance made a motion to pay the bills as presented. Trustee David Rathke seconded the motion. Vote: Rick Vance – Aye; David Rathke – Aye; Jason Pierce – Aye; Carol Stephenson – Aye; Lonnie Meiner – Absent; Kelly Gradert – Aye; Motion carried.
Trustee Jason Pierce, Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee, had nothing new to report at this time.
Trustee David Rathke, Chairman of the Police and Liquor Committee, reported that the Activity Report for the month of January, 2016 for the Colfax Police Department is in your folders.
Police Chief Michael Scott reported that Dustin Carter has completed his training and is on his own. Kelly Gordon is on his last month of training and will here as a ride along the end of the month. Kelly will then go on to the local training for a couple of months. Kelly should be good to patrol on his own around the 1st of April.
Trustee David Rathke asked Mike about whether he was still considering hiring another officer. Mike stated we will look at the schedule after Kelly gets finished and is on his own. Right now the Police Department will get a lot of relief because Kelly’s schedule is so that he can work whenever we want him.
Trustee Lonnie Meiner, Chairman of the Water and Sewer Committee, was absent. The other committee members, Carol Stephenson or Kelly Gradert had nothing to report.
Mayor Ricardo Onken acknowledged Randi Morrison, who is scheduled to talk, was present to address the Board regarding the sewer issue at Riverview Subdivision. Randi asked for an update on this issue.
Brian asked the residents that were present if they received their notices to contact him regarding measuring the basements so that they know the level at which to put the sensor alarm. Brian stated that the engineer is not going to be able to come here when all of you are home so Brian is doing this part for them. Need to see at what point this lift station is flooding.
Public Works Brian Hereford gave an update on the situation and the progress that has been made. Brian explained that he has the gotten the infiltration area pinpointed to just behind this building and now just have to wait for it to rain and then Illinois Rural Water Association will come to Colfax and run a camera in there to see where it is coming from. Brian stated that it ran high for about a week after that big rain. Jason asked how much rain we need to make it run. Brian doesn’t know because he hasn’t watched it before. If it just moves a little bit it isn’t going to last long.
Brian stated that Holly from the Illinois EPA has not gotten back to him regarding any grants that may be available.
Randi thanked Brian for all of the extra work that he has been doing to get this resolved. Randi asked Brian if he is the only one that is working on this. This is all on your shoulders.
Resident Dan Kukuck was present and asked to see the map of the plumbing lines for the subdivision. Popejoy’s would like to look at maps of the plumbing lines for the town.
There were several other Riverview Subdivision residents present again although they were not on the agenda. There was much discussion again regarding this issue. Brian explained how the sewer lines are hooked up to the houses in the Riverview Subdivision and how the sewer lines are hooked up in the rest of the town. Once again Brian explained that in the rest of the town the sewer lines go in at a forty-five degree angle and in the Riverview Subdivision they do not. Brian stated you are lower than the lift stations. Brian stated that the only thing you can do is raise your pipes. Brian stated that you cannot go up the line with the camera you can only go up the main.
Brian explained that the Village lawyer after the last meeting stated that the floor drains are not to be hooked to the sewer and they are all hooked up illegally. Brian stated that the floor drains are not to be hooked to the sewer. Dan Kukuck stated it is not hooked up illegally – Brian stated then where is the sewage coming from – Dan stated from the floor drain. Holly from the Illinois EPA also stated that the floor drains cannot be hooked to the sewer.
Ric Onken stated that I think that you expect the Village to pay for all of your houses. Ric explained what the Village is doing and trying to fix before we look at more options.
Randi stated I think we are concerned about time line and spring rains are coming.
Sarah Kukuck stated that the last time this happened I can’t do anything in my house, wash dishes, cook, flush the toilet, take showers because the valve is shut.
Trustee Carol Stephenson asked who would be responsible – whoever built the houses.
Once again there was more discussion on this subject. Brian will continue to work and find a solution to the infiltration problem which will solve some of the problem of water getting in the sewer system but Brian doesn’t feel that it is going to solve the whole problem.
Ric Onken asked the group as a hole, “What would you like for the Village to do?”
Ric Onken stated the Village is looking at this censor – how do you feel that this is going to help you. Randi stated this would be a bandaid at the moment until can fix the long term solution. Greg Riblet stated it would let us know when there is a problem.
Trustee Kelly Gradert asked if there is a way to fix the problems with the drains. Brian stated yes unhook the drains from the sewer.
Trustee Jason Pierce suggested setting up a sewer committee meeting after Brian gets the results of everything and have the residents from Riverview Subdivision come back so they can hear the results and can get updated.
Trustee Rick Vance, Chairman of the Streets and Lights Committee, reported the he checked into the signs for Center Street where the flooding occurs. Doesn’t think we can actually close any streets.
Police Chief Mike Scott stated that he spoke with our Village Engineer and with our insurance people and talked to the McLean County Highway Department. Mike stated went with one of the signs out of the manual. It will be a drop-down yellow diamond shaped with a beacon on top that will be manually turned on when in use. It says something to the effect “Street May have high water”.
Mayor Ric Onken asked the Board if they thought anymore about registering and inspections of rental properties. Ric stated that Village Attorney Tom Shields is checking into whether can do this because the Village is not “Home Rule”. Would have them register to know what we have and also to make sure the properties are up to code. Trustee David Rathke stated it sounds like a good idea but would need more detail.
The next item on Old Business was regarding the old hardware store building.
Trustee Carol Stephenson stated, “I thought he was going to do this himself.” He wanted the Village to rent the equipment and he would tear it down but there are insurance issues if he does it and the Village doesn’t want him to do it.
Ric stated that they have to do in there manually and tear the beams out first because the connection to the other buildings on each side.
Trustee David Rathke asked about the old Fincham building too. Can we get it torn down too? Still need an administrative warrant to get the structural engineer in there first. Unless we have a structural engineer say this place is condemned our hands are tied.
Trustee Carol Stephenson reported that she asked resident Rose Houchens to be here.
Police Chief Mike Scott explained Rose is taking a petition around the neighborhood to get signatures. Darrel Cole Brown moved into 306 South Grove. Since Mr. Brown moved in the Colfax Police has served 4 warrants; issued 2 Ordinance Violations; have made a Class-X felony arrest for possession of meth; issued driving with fictitious license plates; tried to enforce our zoning ordinances to put up a privacy fence – which he has about halfway done – because of the salvage business; finally I wrote up a petition. Rose took her personal time and took a petition around the neighborhood and got fifty (50) signatures and sent to this grandmother who owns the property and lives in Towanda. Mike is hoping that she might have some ideas. Ric asked what our legal options are. We are following through from every angle and very aggressive enforcing all criminal laws.
Mike stated that need to check with Village Attorney Tom Shields to see how to remedy this situation. There are other areas in town that are not up to par either and need to work on these areas too.
Mayor Ric Onken reported on the drainage area at the Petal Pusher – the engineers were here and looked at the situation but Brian hasn’t heard anything from them on what would be the best solution.
Trustee Carol Stephenson made a motion to adjourn. Trustee David Rathke seconded the motion. Vote: Rick Vance – Aye; David Rathke – Aye; Jason Pierce – Aye; Carol Stephenson – Aye; Lonnie Meiner – Absent; Kelly Gradert – Aye; Motion carried.
Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.