Village of Palestine
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August 7, 2008

The Palestine Board of Trustees met in regular session on August 7, 2008, at 6:00 PM. Trustees answering the roll call were Gene Purcell, Greta Dennison, David Branson, Walter Fritchie, and Larry Surrells. J.D. Kimberlin was absent Chief Jim Clark and Margaret Littlejohn were also present.

Visitors present were Bob Taylor, David Hughes, and Robinson Daily News Reporter, Tom Osborn.

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

Mayor Pat Schofield presented a draft of a proposed Fair Housing Ordinance for review. The Illinois Fair Housing Ordinance is much more complex than this. Many small villages have no Fair Housing Ordinance and rely on the state statutes to cover them. The Board has expressed a need to make adjustments in our current Fair Housing Ordinance in order to clarify specific infractions that may affect Village action to improve or condemn sub-standard living quarters. After the Boards’ review, the final recommended outline will be directed to Attorney Frank Weber for the final draft.

Updates on the condemnation proceeding against five substandard properties in the Village are as follows.

1. 307 W. Market – The owner received the summons regarding the condemnation on June 15th and was allowed 30 days for response for the planned action for property compliance. As of July 15th, no response has been received from the owners; however, Attorney Frank Weber suggested that we should give the owner another 30 days prior to taking any further action on the property. It was also revealed that there was over $2,000 real estate taxes that have not been paid.
2. 205 N. Rush St. – By agreement with the property owners, this property is currently on hold. However, there is no apparent work in progress. If in 30 days, there is no further compliance met by the owners, we will continue the condemnation process.
3. 415 S. Main St. – By agreement with the property owners, this property is also currently on hold. We will continue to monitor the progress that has been made in improving the property. There is still a lot of work to be done.
4. 509-511 W. Grand Prairie St. was given a 60 day notice on June 16. There has been no response from the property owner, and no apparent start on improvement.

Streets, Alleys, and Sidewalk Chairman, Larry Surrells had several projects in the works.

1. The alley south of Tracy Dawn is being used as a street. In observance of the use, he believes that stakes should be placed at the west end of the alley to stop through traffic and to limit this alley to only the residents of Tracy Dawn. There will be barricades placed on the east end of the alley to deter entry. Larry Surrells moved, seconded by David Branson, to close the west end of the alley south of Tracy Dawn and leave the east end of the alley open to the residents of Tracy Dawn only. The motion passed unanimously.
2. Due to above normal use, the (north and south) alleys east of Main St., behind the businesses, have progressively deteriorated. Surrells proposed to use Motor Fuel Tax monies to properly fill the holes, then chip and seal the alley. The Board gave approval to pursue these improvements.
3. It was also determined that speed limits should be placed in the alleys that are being used as thoroughfares. Speed limit signs will be placed in the high use alleys.

AMEREN/CIPS has responded with an optional contract with the Village for 10 years, instead of the original 20 years, and propose to pay an annual fee of $6,826.50 which is 90% of the annual fee proposed in the 20 year contract. Greta Dennison moved, seconded by Gene Purcell, to accept the contract. Motion passed unanimously.

In further discussion about annexing the Ethonal Plant, it has been determined that there is about a year left on the Enterprise Zone that was provided to them in the early stages of construction. Attorney Frank Weber advises that the Village must wait to start annexation proceedings, until that zonal provision has expired.
In researching other annexation laws, recently, Senate Bill 2162 was passed to permit the city of Alton to annex non-contiguous property and have the property subject to Alton’s ordinances, control, and jurisdiction. We will research this further to see if the language of this bill could help in developing the premise for further annexations of the Village of Palestine. Senate Bill 2677 – Notice of Involuntary Annexation was recently passed. It requires that, when a municipality initiates action for involuntary annexation, it must notify the residents 15 days in advance, either through certified mail or in person, of taking action. Once the notice is given, no other municipality may annex that area for 60 days. This bill could also provide information for our pursuit of further annexation(s).

The Village has received the approval from the IDOT to hold the annual Labor Day Parade. A copy of the permit has been delivered to the Palestine Chamber of Commerce President, Jim Clark.

Grant money(ies) have been received from the Illinois DCEO for
     Palestine Police Department - $5,000.00
     Village of Palestine – Main St. Park - $15,000.00

The sign for service men/women is currently being considered for replacement. The Flat Rock American Legion has suggested they may be interested in funding a portion of this cost. Walt Fritchie will report at the next meeting. We will need to find someone qualified to build an appropriate sign to honor these who serve.


An amendment to the Noise Pollution Ordinance regarding “Jake Brakes” was presented. David Branson moved, seconded by Walt Fritchie, to amend the ordinance to make the use of Jake Brakes, within the Village limits, illegal and to post warning signs at all entrances. Motion passed unanimously.

The current property taxes (taxable year 2007) due and payable in 2008, for the Village of Palestine, is $89,547.90. Of this amount, $17,436.77 has been received.

DPW workers have need for 3 new two way radios. Three can be purchased for $600 +/- that can be used for communications between the office and each worker and not interfere with the police communications. Larry Surrells moved, seconded by Gene Purcell, to buy 2 radios and have the 2 we now have reprogrammed, and that the Mayor mandate that the radios be carried by the DWP workers and kept on at all times while on duty. Motion passed unanimously.

The office roof has started leaking in several places recently (at least in 5 different locations). It has been tarred to prevent any further leaks at these current locations. Since the roof is at least 18 to 20 years old, the Board agrees that we should pursue replacement of the roof as soon as possible, and requested that bids be obtained for new metal roofing. Larry Surrells has already contacted 2 companies to provide us an estimate for this roof replacement.

Chief Jim Clark gave his report for the month. There has been a substantial increase in unlocked cars having articles stolen from them. It is believed that the culprits could be persons who have been recently released from prison. Otherwise, activities have been about as usual.

Larry Surrells reported that a sink hole has developed in the driveway of the Knoblett property, located at the corner of South Pike and West Harrison. It is being monitored daily and repaired as needed until after Labor Day. Then they will determine what needs to be done to properly restore the area and eliminated any further instability.

Larry Surrells stated that the old Village back hoe has not been used for some time and that it should be advertised for sale. There was consensus approval for this.

Pat Schofield reported that the mosquito spraying extensions and billings for the month of July, are $1772.34 for Palestine, $628.41 for Oblong and $1660.08 for Hutsonville.

Margaret Littlejohn reported that there are 667 sewer accounts that bring in $8,191 monthly. There are 13 that are currently in arrears and have been given their notice for immediate payment to avoid water cutoff.

Larry Surrells moved for adjournment, seconded by Gene Purcell.

The meeting adjourned at 6:48 P.M.

Patricia Schofield, President
Floyd M. Fuller, Clerk

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