After suspending the rules, the council unanimously adopted the ordinance amending Title V, Public Works, Chapters 51, 52, and 53 of the Code of Metropolis by repealing Subsection 51.06(D), Subsection 52.37(A) and Subsection 53.11(D). The subsections held owners of properties responsible for payment of all charges assessed that is not in their name.
The vote, however, didn't come without discussion, part of which included if the landlords will be reimbursed for the outstanding bills they covered.
"This shouldn't be done off the cuff," Aldermen Bob Midnight said as discussions overlapped. "We need to research before we make our mind up so we know what we're saying. We've gotten into the habit of shooting from the hip and sometimes that's not a good idea. It is a good question and needs to be researched so we know what we're saying."
After that, the aldermen agreed the Ordinance Committee will revisit the issue of deposits being increased.
In other business, the eight council members:
• Approved Audit Report #73 covering the receipt and disbursement of Motor Fuel Tax funds by the city for the period beginning Jan. 1, 2011 and ending Dec. 31, 2011.
• Approved the quote of $1871.87 from Little Tractor & Equipment for repairs on the Street Department’s tractor.
• After suspending the rules, adopted an ordinance amending zoning district boundaries.
The council at its Aug. 13 meeting adopted the resolution authorizing the sale of the property involved — a 3.86 acre tract of surplus real estate on Devers Road — to Dana Legereit for the construction of a 40-unit assisted living facility. The city petitioned the City Plan Commission for a public hearing, which was held Aug. 22, concerning rezoning the property from M-1 light industrial to R-4 general residence. The Plan Commission recommended the rezoning.
Abell provided an update on the project noting that closing is expected next week.
• Approved the Metropolis Area Tourism Commission's (MATC) recommendation of its grant application of $28,000 for encampment operation expenses.
• In two separate motions, approved MATC recommendation to accept Gary Kidd’s resignation and approved Ryan Bierbaum, director of marketing at Harrah’s, to fill that position. Alderman David Daugherty abstained from the Bierbaum vote.
• And, approved the low quote of $4325 from H.D. Utilities for the 15Kv underground primary cable.
Under new business, Alderman Bill Carrell provided a report on the Hope Light Project.
The Hope Light Foundation began in 2005 with the goal of communicating cancer awareness information and in providing cancer resource navigation services for the residents of southern Illinois, including the Metropolis Public Library. Those services are provided via the web and at Cancer Corners set up in six southern Illinois libraries. Its symbol is to be a working lighthouse to be built in Metropolis' Dorothy Miller Park alongside the Ohio River.
After a two-year hiatus on the lighthouse portion of the Hope Light Project, Carrell informed the council Monday there has been a change in the project's original plans, including the reducing the price from $150,000 to $60,000.
"We have a little over $20,000 and are still collecting money," Carrell said. "We've received approval from IDNR (the Illinois Department of Natural Resources) last Wednesday. They were happy to approve this and thought it would be an asset on the river. They talk about vision. This lighthouse can be part of our vision to improve the riverfront. We're waiting on approval from the Corps of Engineers and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Hopefully with these approved, we can start construction within 12 months down on the river. We're hopefully going to see this come to an end and build a lighthouse."
Mayor Billy McDaniel reminded everyone that City Hall will be closed Monday to observe Labor Day. The annual Labor Day parade will begin at the courthouse at 10 a.m.
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