Village of Palestine
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MINUTES
PALESTINE VILLAGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING
July 3, 2008

The Palestine Board of Trustees met in regular session on July 3, 2008, at 6:00 PM. Trustees answering the roll call were Gene Purcell, Greta Dennison, David Branson, Walter Fritchie, J.D. Kimberlin, and Larry Surrells. Chief Jim Clark was also present. Visitor present was Larry Miller.

The meeting began with all present reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
The minutes of the last meeting were approved.

OLD BUSINESS

Mayor Schofield reported that Frank Weber and she have been working on a revised housing ordinance that will meet the federal, state, and local regulations. The condemnation of the derelict properties in the Village continues to be a major concern for the Board. In the pursuit of clarifying the basis for properties that fall beneath the Illinois Housing Standards, the Board authorized Mayor Schofield to seek a Fair Housing Ordinance, as well as an Ordinance that would reflect the Housing Standards for the Village. It was agreed that, although our Housing Standards are already dictated by the State of Illinois, if we endorse our own Ordinance, it will more clearly identify the basis for compliance and maintenance of the properties in the Village of Palestine.

Of the five (5) properties that are currently being considered for condemnation, only one has shown any determined effort to comply. One other has made some effort, but some of the major areas of improvement have not been completed. The others are being monitored until the given dates for completion.

The housing condemnations are as follows:
1. 307 W. Market has until July 12 to respond.
2. 205 N. Rush has until July 10 to show progress.
3. 415 S. Main is on hold.
4. 509-511 W. Grand Prairie has not responded.

The recent appliance and metal pickup went well and more old unusable items were picked up than in 2007. After a follow-up with Dennis, he said he was favorable to have another pickup in the fall.

NEW BUSINESS

A complaint has been received regarding the alley behind 509 E Connie Rae. Local residents have been using the alley as a street at above legal speed limits. A request for a “Slow – Children” and a speed limit of 10 MPH sign be erected at both ends of the alley as small children are often playing near the alley. Police Chief has been asked to look into this complaint. Several alleys were discussed, and the Chairman of the Streets and Alleys will be making some observations to determine what should be done to eliminate the use of alleys except for what they were designed for. He will make a report at the next meeting.

Formal approval of computer training for Kathy Gonzalez was made. However, Kathy has found that she qualifies for financial aid individually and will use it for her training.

Ameren/CIPS’s contract with the Village to provide services to the Village is up for renewal. They are requesting a 20-year contract extension and have asked the change the contractual payment. After a study of the past 10 years, reflecting the rate experience, the Board was unanimously in agreement that we would not be very good stewards if we passed an extension for 20 years. Mayor Schofield was authorized to pursuit any other options that may be available before we enter into any extension. The conclusion of the Board was that a 20-year period is too long.

The DPW workers are too busy preparing for the Labor Day Celebration and regular work to construct a sign honoring local servicemen. The construction will need to be done by outside help.

After a community assessment meeting, the Village has been encouraged to pursue the annexation of areas West of Palestine, which would include the ethanol plant. It was felt that due to the urging of the community leaders, as we as the possibility of other interests in the ethanol plant, it would behoove the Board to make this matter of immediate importance. It was moved by Larry Surrells and seconded by Greta Dennison, to annex any and all properties that would access for the annexation of the ethanol plant. The motion passed unanimously.

A resolution for IDOT to approve the use of the streets and roads for the Labor Day Parade was presented. Larry Surrells moved, seconded by David Branson, to adopt the resolution. Motion passed unanimously.

Mayor Schofield apprised the Board of the notice that the DCEO Grants, which were initially requested by Roger Eddy, have been approved, and the fully executed copies of each agreement have been received. We were fortunate to receive two grants, one for the Police Department, and one for the Village to use for the completion of the Main Street Park. The Village also received a grant from the Mary Heath Foundation, which will also be used for the Main Street Park and Farmers’ Market. The grant monies should be received no later than August 30.
     Palestine Police Department Grant - $ 5,000
     Main Street Park - 15,000
     Mary Heath Foundation Grant - 6,000

The Aramark threat for breach of contract regarding their uniform service has been settled for $1,000.

The use of Jake Brakes by semi’s entering the Village is in violation of our Noise Pollution Ordinance. It was suggested that warning signs be posted. Walt Fritchie moved, seconded by David Branson, that our noise ordinance be reviewed and updated. Motion passed unanimously.

Gene Purcell adjourned the meeting at 6:42 PM

Patricia Schofield, President
Floyd M. Fuller, Clerk

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