Tuesday, April 19, 2011
sponsored by

2-hour parking, switch in health care insurance, city finances and more

Send a link to a friend

[April 19, 2011]  Monday evening 10 aldermen were present for the voting session of the Lincoln City Council.

As Mayor Keith Snyder called the meeting to order, he asked everyone to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of two losses this week.

Bob Shattuck, who had cancer, died Friday. Shattuck was well known to the Lincoln community and the council as an architectural designer who had assisted in work for the city.

Snyder also remembered to the council Gene McDonald, who died Sunday. McDonald was a retired coach at Lincoln Community High School. He began his career at LCHS in the late 1950s as an assistant coach, moved up to coach, then athletic director.

New parking ordinance approved


Last week at the Tuesday workshop, aldermen reached an agreement on what parts of the city's downtown area should be limited to two-hour parking.

At that time city attorney Bill Bates said he would have to write a proper ordinance outlining the new area, and the council could then vote for the approval of the ordinance. Bates said he wasn't sure he could have the ordinance written in time for this week's voting session, but he did.

Monday evening, by unanimous vote, the following two-hour parking restrictions were put into place.

Two-hour parking will be enforced in the following areas:

From the west: Broadway Street beginning at Logan running continually through town to Hamilton; Pulaski Street beginning at Chicago Street and running continually through town to Hamilton; Clinton Street from Chicago to Kickapoo; Sangamon Street between Pulaski and Broadway; Chicago between Pulaski and Pekin; Kickapoo from Clinton to Pekin; and McLean from Clinton to Pekin

The map shown here will be posted on the city website in the near future. (Click on the map for a larger image.)

Next week's meeting will begin with an adjourned voting session

The city of Lincoln has an official budget document. The passing of the budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year will be done by vote at next Tuesday night's meeting of the council.

Alderwoman Melody Anderson walked through some final changes to the budget and talked about the fact that at the moment there are two bottom-line figures for general fund expenditures. Both totals come in at less than $6,000,000.

Currently negotiations are under way with union representatives in regard to contracts for the police department and fire department. Anderson has penciled in two figures for union wages, based on the possible outcomes of the negotiations.

Currently the projected revenue figure for the new fiscal year is approximately $5,900,000.

Treasurer gives March report

City Treasurer Chuck Conzo delivered his report on revenues for the month of March.

In March of 2009 the general fund balance came to $612,209.40, but by March of 2010 that balance had dropped to a mere $71,959.82. This was due to the state of Illinois lagging far behind in their reimbursements to the city.

However, of late, the state has been able to make more timely payments, and that is reflected in the fund balance, which at the end of March this year came to $552,626.02.

If the state continues to make their payments on a regular basis, the city will be in a much better cash-flow position.

City will switch health insurance providers

Alderman Tom O'Donohue offered some options for the council to consider on changing health insurance providers.

Currently the city has employee health benefits with Blue Cross Blue Shield, but O'Donohue provided information from Health Alliance.

He spoke about one plan offering a $1,500 deductible and adding a health savings account to help cover the deductible.

Doing this, each employee who signs up for the higher deductible would have $1,000 put into the city's health savings account on their behalf. The employee would then have the option of paying into the HSA to reach the full $1,500, or not.

[to top of second column]

Taking out a plan with a higher deductible will save the city several thousand dollars in premiums, and HSAs can earn interest while they are held in account.

O'Donohue said that in addition to being a better deal for the city, he feels this is a better deal for the employees as well because the Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO does not cover services offered by Springfield Clinic at the new hospital campus. Health Alliance does.

Altogether, employees will have three options to choose from: the higher deductible coupled with an HSA, a lower deductible PPO or an HMO 100 percent plan.

During discussion Anderson said she thought the Health Alliance options offered city employees three really great options. She noted that health insurance is the second-largest expense for the city, surpassed only by salaries.

It was also noted that this switch will save the city a minimum of $23,000.

O'Donohue also said he believes health insurance should be reviewed annually instead of every two to three years as is now being done.

In the end the proposed switch to Health Alliance was approved by unanimous vote.

City asked to drop charges of ordinance violations

Charles Kodatt of the 900 block of North Logan Street spoke to the council, asking them to drop charges of ordinance violations against him.

Kodatt said he had been ticketed for having a vehicle parked on his property, and it was a vehicle he needed because of health issues. He said the vehicle had an untraceable registration for a reason.

Alderwoman Marty Neitzel asked him if the license plates on the vehicle had expired at the time of the citation. Kodatt said he didn't know, but possibly. He said the citation was issued last fall, and since then he has sold the vehicle.

He was also ticketed for having containers of garbage on his property.

Kodatt said the containers held waste from sewer backups that occurred in his home on four different occasions. He said he didn't know what to do with them because he was not going to ask the garbage workers to handle that kind of waste.

The charges against Kodatt are being prosecuted in court, and Kodatt came to ask the city to drop the charges. He said that going through the courts was going to be costly for him as well as the city.

No one commented except for the question about the expired plates.

The mayor thanked him for coming and expressing his concerns.

Executive session

At the end of the evening, Snyder asked that the council go into executive session according to city code 2-C-11 to discuss pending, probable or imminent litigation.

The Monday night voting session will re-adjourn at 7 p.m. April 26. At that time the council will vote on the budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year.


< Top Stories index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching and Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law and Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health and Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor