Village of Channahon Committee of the Whole met November 6.
Village of Channahon Committee of the Whole met Nov. 6.
Here is the minutes provided by the Committee:
Village President Missey Moorman Schumacher called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with Trustees Greco, Host, McMillin, Perinar, Scaggs and Slocum present.
Also present were Village Administrator Thomas Durkin, Director of Community Development and Information Systems Mike Petrick, Finance Director Heather Wagonblott, Director of Public Works Ed Dolezal, Chief of Police Jeff Wold, Village Attorney David Silverman and Village Clerk Kristin Hall.
VP Moorman Schumacher informed everyone present that anyone who speaks at the meeting shall be deemed to have given his/her consent to the recording of their likeness and speech. This meeting is being recorded.
Proclamation – Chief Master Sergeant Scott J. Super VP Moorman Schumacher stated that with Veteran’s Day coming up this Saturday she took the opportunity to thank all veterans. She stated it givers her great pleasure to recognize this young man, who grew up in Channahon and currently lives in Florida with his family. She further stated he serves in the United States Air Force.
VP Moorman Schumacher read the proclamation honoring Chief Master Sergeant Scott J. Super and she offered the gratitude of Channahon to several local resident veterans. She encouraged those in attendance to take a look at the pictures of these veterans on the display board in the Village Hall’s lobby.
VP Moorman Schumacher presented Lawrence and Geraldine Super with the proclamation.
An Ordinance Amending the Village of Channahon Code of Ordinances with Regard to “Backyard Chickens” Village Administrator Tom Durkin stated as a result of the last board meeting there was one minor change to the proposed ordinance. He stated the change takes the proposed pilot program from 12 months to 18 months. He also stated at the last board meeting there was a question that came up regarding whether we should adopt the Will County minimum lot size of 12,500 square feet for the keeping of chickens but that was not included. If that is something the Village Board would like to see included, it would have to be changed and included prior to ordinance adoption. He stated the Village had also received an email from a resident, requesting clarification on the A-2 zoning and along with the suggestion to increase the number of chickens allowed from 4 to 8-10 chickens plus 4 additional animals. He stated this is not currently in this ordinance so if that is something the Village Board would like to see included it would have to be changed in this ordinance.
Trustee Host stated she thought the ordinance was mimicking the Will County requirements for lot size and she personally wants that to be added in to the ordinance. She further stated that a resident had brought that up and she thought it was a good point.
Durkin stated that would have to be an amendment to the proposed ordinance before final adoption takes place.
VP Moorman Schumacher stated 12,500 square feet is about a 1⁄4 of an acre.
Trustee Host stated that would be the minimum lot size along with all the other requirements of the structure being certain dimensions from the lot lines and neighbors.
VP Moorman Schumacher asked if there were any areas in Channahon that would not meet the 12,500 square feet requirement.
Durkin stated that he had looked at a few random lots in Channahon proper and some of them were less than 12,500 square feet. He stated they looked at the minimum R-1 and R-2 zoning and asked the Director of Community Developments & Information Systems Mike Petrick to elaborate.
Petrick stated in a R-2 zoning district the minimum lot size requirement is 7,500 square feet so there very could be some existing lots in the R-2 zoning that wouldn’t meet the requirements. He stated he didn’t think it would be many and none of the newer subdivisions lot sizes would be that small.
Durkin stated the minimum zoning in the R-1 is 12,000 square feet.
Petrick stated it depends on whether or not you’re on municipal services or not. He stated its either 12,000 square feet or 15,000 square feet depending on whether or not municipal services are available. He stated that if a lot has full service, sewer and water, it could be on a smaller lot.
VP Moorman Schumacher stated that she just wanted to see how many residents would be excluded with this lot size requirement. She asked the Board their feelings regarding the email from a resident requesting the changes to A-2 zoning.
Len Wietting, resident of Channahon, asked the Board if the square footage proposed includes the easements. He further stated that the easements are not part of the homeowners usable land.
Village Attorney David Silverman stated that generally lot sizes include easements but not right- of-ways.
Mr. Wietting stated in his subdivision, the easements are 17 feet in the front, 10 feet in the back and 5 feet on each side. He believes that easements should be subtracted from the square footage of the lots since they cannot be used for anything.
Trustee Scaggs asked Village Attorney Silverman to clarify that lot size does include the easements, whether you can use that land or not. Attorney Silverman confirmed that it does.
Mr. Wietting stated Channahon Code of Ordinances also stated that you have to be 5 feet away on each side to have a building placed on the property. He wanted to know why a shed couldn’t be placed right on the property line.
Attorney Silverman stated that generally you don’t allow structures to be built over an easement.
Durkin stated a permit wouldn’t be issued if a resident proposed to build over an easement.
Trustee Host stated that if you are not in good standing and you apply for this pilot program that the application wouldn’t be approved.
Mr. Wietting stated that he has been here since 1977 and back then there were none of the easement requirements. He further stated that ordinance didn’t exist. He encouraged the Board if they are going to approve this ordinance to use the actual usable lot size excluding the easements.
Gary Stover, resident of Channahon, stated his concern with chickens in residential areas is predators returning. He stated coyotes are running out of space with everything that has been built and they are already in the neighborhoods. He also stated that rodents will come back and it’s a lot of daily work and upkeep to the owners of the chickens. He stated that chickens cackle all day long and you’ll be able to have a chicken coop right on the easement of your property.
Trustee Host stated the way the ordinance is written a chicken coop wouldn’t be right on the property line. She stated there are numerous setbacks and requirements for the chicken coops. She states a lot of thought has been put into this ordinance to help prevent the concerns you are addressing.
Mr. Stover stated he is originally from Tennessee and his grandparents had chickens. He knows the aroma of chicken coops especially in a humid, wet climate. He is concerned that if the coops are not up kept there is ammonia smell along with the noise, rodents and the predators coming back into the neighborhoods.
Lavae Aguilar, resident of Channahon for over 25 years, stated that she opposes the backyard chicken ordinance. She stated that she and her husband chose to move to Channahon to raise their family in a residential area with good schools. She stated they did not choose a home that was zoned A-1, A-2 or farmland because they didn’t want to grow crops and raise farm animals. She stated that only a handful of people want chickens in their backyard. She stated that having chickens could add to our already existing coyote and fox problem. She stated that chicken coops smell, attract flies and rodents, the chickens are noisy and also create chicken dust, which could bother people with allergies. She stated currently we are dealing with massive industrial buildings being built in our community along with an overload of semi trucks and now you want to add chickens. She has heard people say this will only affect a small area of homes, which are non-HOA communities because the large majority of homes here are under strict HOA guidelines. She lives in a non-HOA community so this will affect her. She stated she has also heard that there are people that already have chickens in the residential area that is not zoned for chickens and nothing is being done about it. She is afraid the ordinance will not be enforced. She stated if there are only a handful of people that want chickens why has so much time been spent on this issue. She thinks the Village Board should leave well enough alone and keep our beautiful community as it is.
Jennifer Parshall, resident of Channahon, stated if there are only a handful of residents who want 4 chickens why is there such a big deal. She stated the limit of chickens is 4, not 40. She stated that Channahon already has predators here if you look on social media, at any time of day someone is reporting a coyote or a hawk. She stated that if opposing residents had come to all of the meetings over the last year, they would have seen the presentations with facts regarding all of the concerns they’re bringing up now. She stated chickens do not draw predators and predators are already here. She stated that Channahon is not a large city without predators, it’s a rural area surrounded by farmland.
VP Moorman Schumacher stated she is not in favor of this and said her concern is if we have a handful of people that want something how do we accommodate the rest of those people who purchased their homes in residential neighborhoods with the reasonable understanding that there would not be farm animals next door. She stated at the last Village Board meeting she asked Mr. Parshall she knows you have bees and now you want chickens, where the line where a residence becomes a farm. His answer was he just wants chickens. She stated her problem isn’t with the chickens themselves but accommodating the other residents. She also stated how many things can we add to a residence before it becomes something other than a residential property.
Dennis Bubinas, resident of Channahon, stated there are A-2 properties that butt up to other residential neighborhoods. He stated that if you are going to allow A-2 zoning to have more chickens that would be right up to their backyards.
Donna Barrows, resident of Channahon, stated she also lives in a neighborhood without an HOA. She stated chickens are noisy and that chicken coops smell and are no fun to clean. She stated if people are getting chickens as a way to educate their children, she thinks it would only last 1-2 cleanings and then the parents will be taking care of it. She stated that chickens, even though they are termed poultry are an agricultural type of animal. She stated a few years ago, someone was raising a pygmy goat. She stated that goats don’t smell as bad as chickens, the Village made them get rid of the goat. She stated that she pays good taxes not to have to smell chicken coop. She stated Channahon has predators; we’ve pushed them out of their own natural habitat, they are going to go where the food is. She asked what are people going to do when their child, or their child’s friend goes out to the coop to collect eggs and raccoon is in the chicken coop and bites them. She stated that the child would need to get rabies shots because predators are natural carriers. She wants to know who would be liable, the people with the chicken coop that could have been avoided by not allowing it. She stated that people are supposed to register their dogs, some people do and some people don’t. She encouraged the Village Board to look at what else could happen.
Trustee Slocum clarified that the Board was not increasing the number of chickens allowed in A- 2 zoning.
Durkin stated what is proposed in this current ordinance clarifies that up to 4 animals; outside of domesticated pets that can be kept in the A-2 zoning. He stated that A-2 zoned properties are a minimum of a 5-acre lot. He stated the l in the A-2 district.
An Ordinance Amending the Channahon Code of Ordinances with Respect to Village Privilege Tax on the Purchase of Diesel Motor Fuel at Retail Durkin stated there is no rush on this item so there is no waive of 2nd read being requested if the Village Board wishes to mull this over before taking final action. He stated over the years, Village staff has been looking at a variety of options to replace significant loss of revenues to the Village, which occurred as a result of the change in rules made by the Illinois Department of Revenue regarding collection of sales tax revenues. He further stated that in the past, that large amount of sales tax revenues available to the Village were used in large part to fund a more robust road improvement/maintenance program and to fund equipment, general capital and infrastructure needs for all Village departments. He stated in addition, a much smaller amount of those funds were used to augment operational expenses in both the general and utility funds. He stated with the recent approvals by the Village Board of the Crossroads 55 industrial development and the soon to be completed work on the infrastructure around I-55, it is not unreasonable to think that additional development in those areas and throughout the immediate regions outside of the Village of Channahon will be forthcoming. He stated the proposal to increase privilege tax on the purchase of diesel fuel at retail sale will help ensure that a source of funding is provided to maintain the impacts of the road infrastructure of the community that these additional developments will bring. He stated the ordinance provides for the addition of $0.02/gallon on the sale of diesel fuel, the addition will result in a total Village sales tax on diesel fuel of $0.11/gallon. He anticipates that this increase will provide approximately $225,000 of additional diesel fuel tax revenue to the Village restricted to the use of maintaining and repairing Village roadways.
VP Moorman Schumacher stated this is only for diesel fuel, not regular motor fuel.
Durkin confirmed that Motor Fuel Tax would remain at the current rate of $0.04/gallon.
VP Moorman Schumacher stated that rather than impacting the residents with a gasoline tax, an increase in the diesel fuel will paid mostly from the freight traffic passing through the community. She indicated in the Freight Advisory study that said 67% of the freight movement in the county is the trucks passing through. She stated it’s more of a user fee, it’s the wear and tear on our roads, interchanges and the need for increase infrastructure here. She stated that if we can put this motor tax on diesel and charge it to those people who are passing through here, that are not residents, that a way to benefit from the traffic flow.
Trustee Slocum stated that one of the reasons we were able to get the interchange done is the Village Board did increase it 7-8 years ago. He said this is money we could use for other road and infrastructure projects.
VP Moorman Schumacher stated the light at the east side of the re-routed frontage road for example, while we did argue and get IDOT to approve it, IDOT is not paying for it, that’s the kind of things we can use Motor Fuel Tax for.
Durkin stated in the Freight Advisory study and there are 94 projects in and around Will County, not all related to the Village, the point being the source of matching funds in order to access those federal funds is going to be great. He stated it’s a way for those uses that are coming to the Village and offset the road maintenance costs that are coming in the future.
Trustee Scaggs stated that will make us the highest in the county, we were tied with Bolingbrook at $0.09. He also asked when the increase would take effect.
Attorney Silverman stated that right now in the ordinance, that portion was left blank so that the effective date could be talked about.
Trustee Scaggs also asked what the State status was on the use of Motor Fuel Tax.
Attorney Silverman stated there was a Constitutional Amendment last November, the Safe Roads Act. He stated in that amendment it really talks about what you can use those funds for, all transportation related things.
VP Moorman Schumacher stated that if we have this money from Motor Fuel Tax it would offset the money we contribute from other revenue sources could be used for other projects.
Durkin stated he got notice from the Governmental League that another property tax freeze bill is pending at the State level, which is looking to freeze the tax extension. He stated that would limit the Village in terms of where that money is available for public purposes.
VP Moorman Schumacher stated that is one of those things that has absolutely no bearing on the State budget because they don’t get money from property taxes but it cripples the Village in what we are able to do, what services we can provide. She realizes that will put us the highest in the county. She stated the last time it was increased none of the freight accounts even mentioned it and she stated it obviously hasn’t stopped them from coming here.
Trustee Slocum asked if notices would be sent out to them.
Illinois Municipal Insurance Cooperative Renewal for 2017-2018 Durkin stated this is just information for the Village Board. He stated they the Village is a member of the Illinois Municipal Insurance Cooperative along with 20 other communities. He stated the renewal rate for property, liability and workman’s comp insurance is down $9,000 from last year. He stated that is attributable to the workman’s comp insurance falling which is a credit to our employees for the work they do in a safe manner. He stated he is looking at ways to improve the training for Village employees and make sure they are provided the tools and resources that they need to continue to do their job safely. He said the Village has a $50,000 self-insured retention, that’s the portion of our insurance that is self-funded. He stated any amount over that, is provided by the insurance company.
VP Moorman Schumacher asked what have our savings been over the last several years, how much have we gone down.
Durkin stated back in 2014-2015 the total cost for property, liability and workers compensation was in the $375,000 range. The premium for the 2017-2018 year is approximately $247,000. He stated 20 community pool retention fund is about $900,000 in the positive so we are looking for ways to stay positive. He also stated that the Village would be getting a $22,561 safety grant back, which can be used for a variety of safety purposes. He stated the Village has continuously got that back over the years. He also mentioned another grant that allows for 25% off the Villages bill for Lexipol policy manuals, for the coming year as part of the insurance program, resulting in a $1,600 savings.
Community Development & Information Systems
Petrick stated he had no formal items.
Finance Department Finance Director Heather Wagonblott stated in August 2016 the Village had three certificates of deposit mature and at that time a request came to the Village Board to utilize the proceeds from those CDs and invest in a different financial instrument. She stated after the Village Board approved, those moneys where then invested into long-term bonds and other financial instruments through Bernardi Securities. She stated they have been invested for the last 15 months. Matt Bernardi from Bernardi Securities is here to give the Board a brief presentation of how the investments have been doing.
Matt Bernardi, Investment Specialist with Bernardi Securities, stated he was here to speak about the short-term fixed income portfolio for the general fund. He stated the portfolio was initiated about a year and a quarter ago. He gave an overview of his prepared presentation that was provided to the Village Board.
Lateral Hiring Update Chief of Police Jeff Wold gave a quick update on our lateral hiring process. He stated they received just over 20 applicants for the position, the hiring panel interviewed 10 of those applicants. He stated that background investigations were done on the top two candidates and he would anticipate to bring the top two candidates in front of the Village Board’s consideration at the next meeting, November 20th. He stated the hiring panel will also be doing a second round of interviews to determine the order of the next tier of candidates in the event we look to hire more in the future.
Trustee Slocum asked if the no left hand turn lane sign at Pilot come down because of construction. Chief Wold stated yes. Trustee Slocum asked if it could be put back up. Chief Wold responded that IDOT could be asked and that it would be up to them. Trustee Slocum stated that traffic is really brutal in that area, especially from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Public Works Department
2017 Shoulder Maintenance Program Director of Public Works Ed Dolezal stated this is an award of contract to Gallagher Asphalt in the amount of $30,650, which is under budget. He stated this involved shoulder maintenance along Hansel and Ridge Roads.
2017 MFT Road Maintenance Project Change Order No. 1 2017 MFT Road Maintenance Project #2 Change Order No. 1 Dolezal stated that both of these items are for work we previously awarded for maintenance. He stated these are change orders to these contracts to extend the completion date.
2017 Various Spray Patching Project Change Order No. 1 Dolezal stated this change order represents minor final quantity adjustments resulting in a net savings of $460. He states the new contract value is $19,455.
Crossroads 55 (VentureOne) Development – Acceptance of Two Plat of Easement Grants Lewis Family & Marine Properties – Acceptance of Plat of Easement Grant Dolezal stated these items both involve easements being granted to the Village for infrastructure that’s being installed. He stated this is routine and we need to accept it.
Keating Pointe Subdivision Street Light Replacement Dolezal stated that Keating Pointe has some decorative streetlights, one was knocked down and we need to replace it. He stated there were unable to get the same exact streetlight as the manufacturer has discontinued it but a similar streetlight is suitable.
Trustee Host asked if any money was recouped from the vehicles insurer. Dolezal stated if we can, we follow that procedure and pursue it.
WWTP Replacement and Repairs Dolezal stated there are heaters in the Waste Water Treatment Plant screened building and they have had the heaters fail. He stated these are special explosion proof heaters and of the three, one needs to be replaced and they are having the two others sent to the manufacturer to see if repair is an option. Total cost for the replacement and maintenance of the three heaters is $8,800.
The Committee of the Whole was adjourned at 6:58 p.m.