The firm has completed its first four-year contract with the city
and is seeking to continue the services for another four years.
Anderson said they had quoted her a fixed price of $19,250 per year
for the next four years. She said this was an increase of $1,250 per
She told the council it seemed like a lot at first glance,
but when she looked at it on the basis of four years, at that price
it figured out to be only a 1.5 percent increase across the full
term of service.
Estes Bridgewater & Ogden was first hired in 2009. At that time
the city did take bids on the service, and this firm came in with
the lowest price.
Anderson said they have been good to work with over the four
years, and as time progressed, their increased understanding of the
city books has made each audit easier.
Mayor Keith Snyder also spoke favorably of them, saying that over
the last four years he has mentioned them to other mayors, and they
have ended up going with the same firm. He also noted that this is
the auditing firm hired by the Logan County Regional Planning
Anderson added that because this is a professional service, the
city is not required to go out for bids; therefore, the council can
simply approve staying with the firm if they so choose.
A new lease for space at the safety complex
Snyder shared that the city has received a lease agreement from
the county for the space used by the police department in the Logan
County Safety Complex.
For the last two years, the city has rented the space on a
month-to-month basis with the hopes of finding another location for
the department. There isn't enough room in the safety complex for
the police officers and administration, so a larger facility has
long been the desire of the city. To date nothing feasible has come
Snyder said the city is still hoping to find a place to move
someday and that the lease agreement allows both the city and county
the opportunity to cancel without harm with a 90-day notice.
Snyder said the agreement for this year asks for $30,144
annually, to be paid in monthly installments. He said that
represented a 3 percent increase in the rent. The lease also states
that in subsequent years the rent will rise according to the
consumer price index.
Snyder said first of all there was no mention of the rent going
down if the CPI fell, so he wants to investigate that.
In addition, he, attorney Blinn Bates and Chief Ken Greenslate
have reviewed the lease agreement and have some language changes
they would like to see made.
Snyder told the council he'd like to go ahead and put the
agreement on the voting agenda, but will follow through with the
questions that have come up in reviewing the document.
IEPA has issues with the city because it didn't rain this year
Snyder said there is an issue brewing with the Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency regarding the sewer effluent system
and the fact that it didn't rain this year.
The city of Lincoln has what is called a combined sewer operating
system, or CSO, in that raw sewage and stormwater runoff are
transported to the waste treatment facility in the same drainage
pipes. Because of this type of sewer system, the city is required to
pull samples of the product that is discharged into public waterways
and test it for certain compounds.
The initial requirement for testing the discharged water was that
the city had to pull six samples within a specific amount of time.
Snyder said the time has run out, and because it didn't rain this
summer, the city was able to pull only three samples for testing.
As a result, the Illinois EPA, acting on federal guidelines, may
force the city to do a new comprehensive study of the waste
treatment process in Lincoln. Snyder said the city could also be
forced to make some changes in how sewage is handled.
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David Kitzmiller of American Water's environmental management
division is working with the EPA and trying to come up with a way to
avoid this type of action and keep the existing waste treatment
Snyder said right now there was nothing to do; he just wanted the
council to be aware that this was going on.
Tax levy will go to pensions
The city will hold a public hearing next Monday evening prior to
the regular voting session to discuss the increase in its property
tax levy for the coming year.
Anderson told the council that the levy increase was not a
significant amount, only $52,500, and that the entire amount would
be earmarked to fund the pension programs for the city fire and
CEDS finally a reality
Horn reported to the council that the Lincoln/Logan County
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, the CEDS, has finally
been approved. She said she wanted to thank congressman Aaron Schock
for his help in getting this accomplished.
The Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership spearheaded
the project, which was developed by holding meetings for input in
every Logan County community in 2008. It was piggybacked and
approved by the Peoria Economic Development Council in August 2009,
sent to Chicago for approval by the state of Illinois, and finally
gained federal approval from Washington, D.C.
Horn and Snyder also said that the city will benefit from this in
that it is now qualified for federal funds if and when any become
available that the city can use.
Money went to the wrong Lincoln
Fire Chief Mark Miller told the council that last year the city
fire department had won a grant from the Illinois Department of
Public Health to purchase equipment for the department. He said the
equipment was purchased, the paperwork submitted to the state, but
the money has never arrived.
Miller said he had investigated this and discovered that the
check that belonged to the city of Lincoln had been issued to
another Lincoln Fire Department in another county.
Miller said the state was now working on the problem, and he
hopes the city of Lincoln will get their money soon.
Firefighter goes above and beyond
Miller shared with the council that he had received a very nice
thank-you from the family of a Lincoln resident as a result of the
actions of Lt. Ty Johnson.
Miller said Johnson was off duty when he heard a call for
emergency assistance to an address just a short distance from his
Johnson ran to the home, where he found that a resident had
fallen down a set of stairs. Miller said Johnson assisted the
resident and family members while they waited for the fire
department and ambulance to arrive.
After the fall victim had been transported to the hospital, with
family following behind, Johnson returned to his home and gathered
up cleaning supplies. He returned to the accident scene and cleaned
up a significant amount of blood in the fall area so that the family
would not have to deal with it later.
[By NILA SMITH]