Auditor Keith Botsch arrived a bit late on Tuesday night for the Norris City village board meeting, but just in time to take the board through the audit and the state of the village’s finances.
“Overall, the village is in good financial shape,” Botsch said. With $2.2million in the utilities fund, that makes it “strong financially,” according to Botsch. The new trickler system at the water plant was a major expense to the village, even with an insurance payment.
The cash balance in the General Fund was reported at $650,843.00, keeping it in a strong cash flow position. In addition there was $128,000 reported in the MFT fund, $20,000 in the IMRF and $110,000 in the TIF fund for a total of $258,000. The TIF fund brought in $55,799 and $30,331 was spent for the year, enhancing current businesses and supporting new business in the village. Total monies received by the village for the year was $553,451, with $162,000 coming from property taxes; $284,963 coming from intergovernmental sources, such as sales taxes; interest earned was reported at $11,786; fines brought in $205,000; charges for services netted $66,346; and miscellaneous income was reported at $26,000.
The meeting convened at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 3 with all trustees in attendance, except for Carl Whipple and Joe Skaggs, who arrived shortly thereafter. Jim Crouch said the prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance was said.
Dwain Harrelson addressed the board about what he felt was unfair treatment from the village regarding the condition of his property, compared to the treatment of other residents in Norris City. Mayor Kissel’s response was that he was working on getting all the property owners to clean up their properties. The village has ordinances regarding vehicles on properties with no license plates or insurance. They are considered abandoned by the village after a certain amount of time. Harrelson maintained the state doesn’t require him to license a motor home unless he goes somewhere with it, and that his homeowner’s insurance covers it. Harrelson says he is a vet on a limited income and is not able to keep the property up to the village’s requirements, but that he tries to cut weeds on a regular basis, and has some health issues that are limiting. The Mayor said he would work with Harrelson.
The board members talked about issues in the village. Sue James wanted to know if a dog catcher could be hired, because she is hearing reports that some people may use “drastic measures” to deal with dogs on their properties.
Wayne McKenzie has been reading through the village ordinances and compiling a list for newcomers to Norris City. The mayor listed the burning ordinance, grass and weeds clippings on the street, parking on sidewalks, brush piles, abandoned vehicles, the number of dogs and cats someone can have, and stop signs as things new residents may want to know about.
McKenzie also reported that street lights are out at 203 Brooks Drive and on Wakeford Street. Property on North Carroll was brought up. The mayor said he had sent them a registered letter and it had been returned. It is being worked on. Weeds are bad at 205 E. 5th Street. On 4th Street is another property with tall weeds and tree refuse. The mayor said a Brownfield study may be needed to check for contamination at that property.
McKenzie noted there was no stop sign at Forrest and Park Streets on the south side and could not find an ordinance on it. Drivers speeding by one trustee’s home was noted.
Trustee Land spoke about an address on N. Division with a problem with a sewer cover. The village has been trying to get the state to fix the ditch on that property and the village would fix the ditch.
Land reported that a local maker has been found to make the signs for the police cars for a good price.
He said the police force can write up ordinance violations for junk and abandoned vehicles. The police department needs to purchase some items such as flashlights.
Village Attorney Nathan Rowland addressed the board. He had spoken to Rhonda Blades about some Norris City cases still outstanding. The first Friday of the month has been set for Norris City ordinance violations to be heard at the courthouse so police can set the date when they hand out citations. Rowland is awaiting more information on ordinances that other entities are using regarding the growing and sales of cannabis in the village. He said he will have more information at the next meeting to share with the board.
There was no animal control report, except that a dog that was giving the village problems was hit by a car. The mayor said the dog was vicious.
TIF report: The TIF attorney is still writing the agreement for the Indian Creek Post and American Legion Post. Donovan Mead will be offered a portion of the money he requested to purchase the Ker-Thob building on W. Main St., according to the mayor, but the board requested he fill out a financial statement. A vote will happen soon.
Steve Neal had considered dropping out of his TIF agreement and returning the money, but the mayor stated he wanted to continue to honor the agreement in the amount of $8,000.00 as Neal has made many improvements to the building, adding new doors and windows and painting it.
The Legion is starting a “Queen of Hearts” raffle. The mayor said an amendment was needed to the raffle ordinance because it not been updated for a very long time. He consulted the codification system for making a new ordinance on raffles, resulting in O-19-05, which upgrades the language. Raffles cannot exceed a million dollars. The mayor said poker runs were actually never allowed under the old ordinance. The board voted to accept the upgrade on the ordinance.
The trustees determined by resolution to repair or demolish five properties in the Village: 506 N. Division, 300 S. Division, 805 So. Circle, 416 W. Main and a house on Powell were designated by the board for repair or demolition. Resolutions R-19-05 through R-19-09.
The renewal of the liquor licenses for the Legion and Doug’s, both due November 1, was passed with two votes, and three members abstaining. James and McKenzie voted yes, with Skaggs, Pettijohn and Land abstaining. Land abstained because of a possible conflict of interest.
The engineer reported to the Mayor that the Village qualified for a water grant with 60% forgiveness and a loan of 1% on the balance for 30 years.The board agreed with that plan.
The board voted to donate the same amount they did last year to the Dairy Day Association for Dairy Day, $1000.00.
A water line was installed from Wabash to Main Street with a fireplug this past week so that Dairy Day concession stands can keep their water hoses out of the way. This will diminish trip hazards going down Main Street.
The Dairy Day Association has requested the use of the ball field bleachers. After discussion about liability, it was determined that the village would provide the bleachers as needed for Dairy Day.
The tax extension for 2018 payable in 2019 will be $203,154.73 if everyone pays their property taxes, which includes TIF taxes. Without TIF, the amount is $184,582.06
The next meeting will be on Oct. 7, 2019 at 7 p.m.
The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Note: We failed to get a police report for the month of August.
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