Wednesday, March 25, 2009
sponsored by Graue Inc.

City: Money matters top discussions

Budgeting City Hall roof and other building needs

Sysco and Wal-Mart infrastructure sales tax rebates

Additional development agreements for Castle Manor, ALMH in works, with potential for a 3rd development

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[March 25, 2009]  The Tuesday evening workshop meeting of the Lincoln City Council was called to order by Mayor Pro Tem Marty Neitzel.

Money for City Hall roof

Alderwoman Joni Tibbs asked the council to offer opinions on what should be done about the roof of City Hall. The lowest bid for the roof replacement came in at approximately $153,000. If the council wants to go forward with the roof, they will have to figure out how to pay for it.

Alderwoman Melody Anderson said that the budget year ending April 30 has enough funding to pay about half of the total bill. The other half has to come from the new budget year or through some other method.

She added that if the money comes out of the new budget, that is going to pretty well eliminate any other building and grounds projects, such as extra cash needed for windows, or the City Hall security system.

Tibbs reminded the council that when the mold testing is done, if there is mold in the building, that will have to be dealt with regardless.

City Treasurer Les Plotner reported that borrowing from the general obligation bond for the new roof would not be an option, as new bonds cannot be passed again until December of 2010.

Sales tax rebates for Wal-Mart and Sysco

Attorney Bill Bates and Plotner talked about another financial obligation that they have not yet been able to pinpoint a dollar amount for.

The city entered agreements with both Wal-Mart and Sysco for their developments. The businesses paid for city infrastructure, and the city could pay that back to them from portions of the increased sales tax as it returns to the city. Bates said this will be a sizable amount of money.

The base amount for the rebate for Wal-Mart is figured as an average of the sales tax collected from 2002 through 2005. The Illinois Department of Revenue could not supply those figures to the city. They would need to come from Wal-Mart.

Plotner says that there is a similar situation ongoing with Sysco. They have established a base for Sysco but have no current tax payment information to compare it to.

Planning, platting and a private rebate agreement for St. Clara's Castle Manor

The Castle Manor assisted living facility is the first of a multi-stage project by St. Clara's Manor Nursing Home. When complete, the complex will include the assisted living facility, a nursing home and an attached living community.

At the April 6 voting meeting, the council will vote on the plat for stage one, along with the building plans, and will consider allowing the developers of Castle Manor a private rebate agreement for infrastructure.

Frank Miles, attorney for the Castle Manor developers, told the council that streets and sewers for the project will be installed at the developer's expense. The private rebate agreement allows them to recover some of those costs from future developers in the area.

Castle Manor is working with Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital on details to share the expenses for some of the infrastructure, as the hospital sewers will eventually tap into the manor's and the manor's streets will eventually link into the hospital's.

A third developer, who owns a parcel at the far south end of the property, has chosen not to participate at this time. The private rebate agreement allows that for the next 25 years, that developer or any developer who wants to connect to the infrastructure built by Castle Manor will have to pay a fee.

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This agreement would allow the city the authority to grant or deny the third developer the right to join with existing infrastructure and the responsibility of collecting the fee on behalf of Castle Manor.

Bates told the council that the planning commission has met twice regarding this and has voted unanimously to recommend that the council approve the plat and approve the concept of the private rebate.

During council discussion, waste treatment manager David Kitzmiller asked if this would have any bearing on the city's ability to charge for equipment upgrades. The current lift stations that will be servicing Castle Manor and ALMH are sufficient for those facilities, but anything else added to that sewer system would require upgrading the equipment.

Bates said that the rebate agreement will have no effect on that. However, he also warned that the third developer is probably not going to be willing to pay both the city for upgrades and Castle Manor for the tie-in, but the council would have the ability to deny the request if they saw fit.

Alderwoman Kathy Horn to meet with Comcast

Alderwoman Kathy Horn had not yet completed the writing of a letter to Comcast regarding their services in Lincoln before she was contacted by Comcast requesting a face-to-face meeting regarding this.

She has agreed to meet with them on Thursday.

Damage to city's Chevy garage building

Tracy Jackson, street and alley superintendent, told the council that the roof of the city's Chevy garage is in bad condition and is going to need repair. He said that he would contact the insurance company to come and take a look at it.

However, during the meeting, he got a call from city personnel letting him know that the roof had indeed "flipped up" and was now in need of immediate repair. He will contact the insurance company and file a claim as soon as possible.

Emergency sirens still not functioning properly

Fire Chief Kent Hulett told the council that in the test done earlier in the day, only half of the emergency warning sirens worked properly. Further work will be done on the system, and another test will be conducted next Tuesday.

Crumbling street near Lincoln College belongs to state

Jackson says he's been getting complaints about Feldman Drive. The road is not the responsibility of the city, but rather the state of Illinois.


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