The scheduled meeting of the Diamond Village Board was held on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. with Mayor Teresa Kernc presiding. Upon roll call Commissioners present were Mark Adair, Denise Brown, Jeff Kasher and Dave Warner.
Approval of Minutes
Motion was made by Commissioner Kasher, Second by Commissioner Warner to approve the 6/30/2018 regular meeting minutes with correction as reviewed and place on file. All Ayes; Motion Carried.
Approval of Bill List and Additional Bill List
Motion was made by Commissioner Kasher, Second by Commissioner Adair to approve the July 10, 2018 Bill List and additional bill list and place it on file. All Ayes; Motion Carried.
220 N School St. Utility Bill
Mr. Jim Bolker owner of property was present. Village Clerk Lori Holmes explained the meter reading process which discovered a possible leak at property. Mr. Bolker stated there was a leak in the pipe after the water meter which was discovered in the crawl space. The water did not enter into the sewer system, it was released as ground water. Upon review of the account history usage, the board believed the leak had started in the May billing as well. After discussion, decision was made to credit a portion of sewer charge for the July and May billing based on an average usage of 9,000 gallons of water. Motion was made by Commissioner Warner, Second by Commissioner Kasher to credit the account based on a 9,000 gallons sewer usage. All Ayes; Motion Carried.
Video Gaming License
Mayor Kernc stated it was brought to her attention some municipalities are charging up to $1,000 per video gaming machines within their villages. Village Attorney John Gallo stated the village cannot impose a fee if they are not home ruled. The law states non- home ruled forms of government cannot impose any fee for operation of video gaming of more than $25.00 per year per machine. Mayor Kernc appreciated Gallo’s information.
Approve Agreement for Engineering Services; McGinty St. Water Main Replacement
Mayor Kernc stated McGinty Street has old transite water pipe which is very brittle. Kernc stated she would like to replace this line which has been budgeted for. Warner inquired how far the transite pipes run. Public Works Director Austin Vining stated the location on McGinty Street north to Hugh Street east to somewhere in the middle of the block where it transitions to plastic line. After discussion, decision was made to pass this until next board meeting to allow potholing to determine where the transite ends.
Approve Agreement for Engineering Services; Diamond Point Water Main
Mayor Kernc stated this agreement will be passed until next board meeting. This work was to be completed from the Water Tower on Will Road South to Route 113 through Diamond Point. Kernc stated this was budgeted and is a TIF allowable expense when the TIF account accrues more funds. However, based on the findings of the McGinty Street project, there might not be enough funds in the budget to allow for this project this year. This item was passed until the next board meeting.
Coal City School District SRO Positions
Mayor Kernc stated in summary, she attended a meeting with Coal City School District’s Superintendent Dr. Bugg and Coal City’s Mayor Terry Halliday. Kernc presented the information received from the meeting to the board. The school board would like to increase the number of School Resource Officers from 1 to 2 officers. Information was provided by the Coal City Police Department of the cost breakdown providing these officers. Dr. Bugg initially stated he would like to see Diamond pay for 35% of the cost of these officers since 35% of enrollment are living in Diamond. The cost presented would be 35% of $111,067.53 or 35% of $165,578.57 the amount it costs for the officer’s wages, FICA, pension and health benefits-whichever amount that Diamond would contribute. Dr. Bugg questioned Kernc regarding the board members stance and the animosity between Coal City and Diamond. Kernc stated the decision of the board is entirely based on the resident’s tax bill. If you look at the Village of Diamond’s tax bill, we have kept our local tax very low. If you look at the tax bill, the school district is the largest tax dollar on the bill. This is entirely about taxes. The school district also receives money from the nuclear power plant. As a result from the meeting, Kernc reached out to numerous villages and towns to see how this issue is handled. Kernc read her findings and this is not how the other communities handle these positions nor is the cost as nearly as high in some cases. Bugg stated his concern was on the school districts need to overcome the jurisdictional challenges they face when asking the SRO to follow up with school related issued that often relate closely to school safety. Kernc asked Bugg, since 50% of students are outside of Coal City (they reside in Diamond, Carbon Hill, Morris, Mazon, Wilmington, Braceville) then the SRO will not follow up on any student outside of Coal City? Bugg stated that is correct. In a later email, Kernc asked if they have ever reached out to the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department regarding an SRO. Bugg stated they had not thought of that. Bugg then did reach out to the Sheriff Callahan. Callahan stated he understands the jurisdiction challenges we face in our school district, however he would not have the staffing to provide SRO services for the upcoming school year. It might be a possibility down the road. Kernc then presented the follow up information sent by Dr. Bugg. Kernc addressed the board if they were still firm on their previous stance on the SRO positions. Commissioner Warner stated we collect what little tax money we collect to spend specifically for what we were elected; to govern and to manage the Village of Diamond. It is not to take money and spend it on another taxing body without getting residential approval. The other taxing body needs to enact fees etc. to obtain the money they need. Commissioner Kasher stated this issue is all on the school themselves. These positions need to be part of their budget. Kasher stated I am not for increasing taxes however, the only fair way for the school is to increase the tax levy which needs to be voted upon by the residents within the school district. Then it would evenly be distributed throughout all resident’s residing within the school district, not to single out Diamond residents to pay. Diamond residents don’t receive a lower tax share to the school district. We pay the same share as a Coal City, Carbon Hill, Gooselake etc. homeowners, so it shouldn’t matter where you live, a student should be protected and given that service equally. Shouldn’t matter where you live or what zip code you are in, if you are under the taxing body of the school district, you should be treated equally. Commissioner Adair agreed. Adair stated all the other communities which Kernc had reached out to state the school districts pay for these positions, not the villages. They might have been given discounts, however, the bottom line is the school district pays for these services. Commissioner Warner stated this is not a Diamond issue they are presenting; this as a jurisdiction issue. We are not saying a Coal City officer cannot come to a student’s home in Diamond. The school district must discuss this with Village of Coal City to get this lifted for SRO duties. Warner stated we should issue a letter granting permission to allow Coal City SRO’s ability to go to a student’s home within Diamond as needed. After further discussion, decision was made to send a letter regarding jurisdiction restrictions within the Village of Diamond.
Grundy and Will County Sheriff’s Monthly Update
Mayor Kernc read the report summary’s.
Public Works Director Austin Vining stated the new pumps were installed at the Diamond Estates lift station and the pipes were ordered for the School Street project.
Village Clerk Lori Holmes stated the first phase of the village hall security system has been installed. The remaining installation is scheduled to take place in 2 weeks.
Commissioner Warner distributed the WTP/WWTP service report log for the board members to review.
Commissioner Adair stated, is he still getting quotes for the backstop and side fencing for the baseball field. Adair also addressed the need to drag the field.
Mayor Kernc discussed the Comcast franchise agreement and the 1% which is allowed for the PEG (Public Education Government). Kernc stated this is a fee which the village can collect and place in a fund for future use if/when the village would allow a visual recording and air on the cable network for viewing. We would be allowed $.35 per customer per month which would be placed in a fund when the time arises for this need. Commissioner Warner stated we don’t need this. We have the ability at this present time if needed, to broadcast the meeting through our website. The board agreed not to proceed with to collect funds through Comcast customers.
Motion was made to adjourn the meeting at 7:03 p.m. by Commissioner Kasher, Second by
Commissioner Adair. All Ayes; Motion Carried.