Note: These minutes were not approved until December 5th. Only approved minutes can be posted.
REGULAR MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGE OF TAMPICO
November 7, 2017
Reagan Community Center
Mayor Kristine L. Hill called the Regular Meeting of the Tampico Village Council to order at 7:00 PM.
Commissioners Robert Sigel and Todd Tornow were present. Commissioners Derrick Maupin and Scott Meier were absent. Police Chief Terry Strike and Officer Boyd VanDellen were also present. Village Clerk, Kathy Leathers, recorded the written and audio minutes. The meeting was also video recorded.
Mayor Hill led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Minutes of the October 17, 2017 Regular Meeting were approved as presented.
Reports of Village Officials
Mayor Hill advised that she had a few things to discuss. We are officially approved for the Enterprise Zone which we have our letter in hand now. They are working on updating the website on Whiteside County to show exactly where our areas are. Mayor Hill said she talked to Gary Camarano from Whiteside County today and he said they’re trying to get it up there. They thought it was up there but it’s not coming through yet. You’ll be able to access that and see what’s going on with that, and they’ll have more information for us down the road.
Mayor Hill said as you see in the hallway, we had a generous donation from Sandrock Insurance. We’re going to be rearranging and changing out some of our office furniture. We agreed that anything we can’t use is going to be shared with other non-profits and pass it along to them. That was very nice that they thought of us and helped us out.
Mayor Hill said I heard through the grape vine, because I wasn’t out trick or treating, that Jeff Hinton did quite a nice lighting display on the water tower for Halloween and it was pretty cool to see. A lot of people were talking about it and some people did text me. I did text him and told him that was nice to have him in the spirit. It’s good to see stuff like that. I commend him for that.
Mayor Hill advised that the E-Recycling went very well. A special thanks to Prophetstown for allowing us to use their equipment and two of their employees, Brian Strike and Don Jensen. Also thanks to Terry Strike, Brian Oostenryk and Bruce Hill for loading the pallets. We had 14 pallets go out of here on the fully loaded truck. That went really well. It’s still available to anyone who has TVs or electronics that they want to drop off. We do have a key to get into the building anytime.
Mayor Hill said we also have some people contacting Village Hall saying Frontier has capped off what’s available for internet service in our town. I’m getting as much run around as anybody else from Frontier. I’ve talked to two people today and I’m not getting any answers yet, whether they’re going to expand or anything else. Time will tell I guess.
Mayor Hill said another thing with Whiteside County with the film promotion to try to promote our area and to get film makers to come out, they said they’ve already had a couple inquiries that are looking into our area. That’s great for the economics around here.
Mayor Hill advised about the Toys for Tots. I’m really encouraging everyone to try and bring a toy in when you come to a meeting. We haven’t gotten any yet and it does help our community. I haven’t done it yet either, but I just wanted to remind everyone. Commissioner Sigel asked if there are businesses around town that people can drop off at. Mayor Hill said we have signs and Bonnie Anderson at the Kickback Saloon has taken toys in the past. Sigel said ok, I didn’t know if Casey’s had anything posted. Mayor Hill said we do have signs around town that Assistant Clerk McIntire posted. I know Anderson has taken toys and then brought them over at times too, so that does help.
Remarks from Guests
Cindy Slock was present to speak on the behalf of the Tiger Cubbies Day Care. Slock said I didn’t know if I was supposed to put this in the agenda or not. If you have a moment, I did email the Mayor. Did you share that? Mayor Hill said no, I haven’t. Slock continued saying I see we’re missing a few people, but I’ll pass this around. I wanted to come and speak on behalf of the Tiger Cubbies Day Care because I know there’s been questions in the past. I’m actually the president of that board. We’re down to five and the members are listed at the top. You are more then welcome at any time to talk to any one of us. We closed at the end of July. We couldn’t find replacements for the two directors that we had for the summer that were going back to other positions in the fall. We did have to close our doors. If you look beyond that, we were open for about a year and a half. We started with only a few children, but at our highest point we had nine. We’re working on closing that gap and we’re licensed for more than that. At the close of the room, which was right before the end of summer, the board would still meet periodically to discuss what options we have and how we want to move forward. Obviously, we had a lot of donations. We had a lot of things from the community, individuals, businesses and organizations. We really appreciate it and want to utilize that room the best that we can. At that time, we thought we’re going to leave it as is. All the equipment and everything is in there. We did talk about maybe looking at a different age group and just reevaluating where it is. The information about the fire marshal, I know that my husband and Bruce also met with him in August of 2016. Originally, we were ages 2-6 years because that seemed like the greatest need for the village at that time. There were surveys that were sent out at the school, so that’s what we licensed for. I have no background in DCFS. I am an educator but there’s a lot of regulations that go into a day care. We looked at ages 2-6, we got everything up and going and we thought maybe that one of the options we could explore are ages 5-12. You can get a license for 5-12 and it’s very similar regulations. There wouldn’t really be any changes needed for the room if we would utilize the same room. Before we opened probably the most expensive updates had to be for new day cares you had to have a second fire exit. With this building, no room has two fire exits. If we are wanting to open another room, we explored the option and what would be needed. Those are all listed there. The room is closed. DCFS is actually still going to be coming to the building because we did not close our license. We thought if we reopen we didn’t want to have to do through that whole process again. We are going to continue to have our inspections. DCFS will be here December 19th at 9:15am to meet with one of our summer directors and go through and make sure everything is status quo. We did stop the food program but all we have to do is call them and they’ll reopen our account. This is where the meat and potatoes are. We have five different options that our board looked at. We thought it is a great service for our community members and their children. Number one would be to just reopen summers only. That was our biggest time because those 3, 4, 5 and 6 years old will go back to school in the fall anyway. That’s what hurt us in the past too because in the summer we’d have more and then school starts and we wouldn’t have as many. We could open in the summer with all of the staff that was here last year that are already approved for CPR and all the background checks that do cost. That would be one option. Our second is to not move forward with any other changes in the building. To utilize the same room that is already approved and try the 5-12 age group. All we’d have to do is meet with DCFS and ask them to change our license. Financially there wouldn’t be any additional costs. The same staff would be qualified for that age group as well. In fact, we would probably have more ability to get more people to sub or fill in. Early childhood requires a lot of early education classes through their degree, and there’s not a lot in the area that are willing or have that background. Where the 5-12 age group any of our area teachers, that are off in the summer anyway, would qualify for director status. We do know there is a need for after school programs and maybe those involved with the Tiger Club would be interested. That would be another good option. I could see some costs going into that because the materials in there are for ages 2-6 which is much different for ages 5-12. However, Mrs. Wendland said she would go through and see what we could use from her room. The third option would be to open two rooms. That would require all the costs that the fire marshal suggested. I’m not sure how or why but that’s our state I suppose. I’m not sure why all the doors are fine in the gym but if we are to open a second room we have a whole bunch of other things that need to be done. It is what it is so that’s probably not recommended at this time. The fourth one is bi-county. They currently have a program over in Prophetstown at the elementary school. It’s busting at the seems and they’re looking for a new room and staff to fill a second preschool. Lauri Heston is the head of that and I did call but at this time it’s not an interest. They are currently working with our local grade school because Mrs. Newman is only there a half day. I threw it out there and if she’s interested we could look into that. They are also having trouble finding a director that is preschool qualified. Number five, there’s not a lot of exploration with that but because so many people have put in so much time and effort. I think this would be an amazing use for the room because we don’t have a lot of extra things in the summer for the youth in the community. I would have to have some kind of program in there that would be more like a YMCA. It could be a week theme of science activities, a week theme of sports activities or whatever. The issue with that is I’m not sure what all the parameters are. I know we would have to look into being excluded from the DCFS regulations, and if you do that I don’t know about costs for the programs. I don’t know if we would have the community interested in paying a certain fee for a week. I think it would be awesome to offer something. I talked a little to the YMCA people who put those directors on. They said a lot of times it’s ran through park districts as well. I would have to talk to more people and gather more information. Finally, obviously if we remain closed, we would have to determine what to do with everything that’s been donated. Our balances are on there as well. We did get a $1,000 grant. It’s in the office in our file and I need to look into that and see if there is a timeline associated with it. Mayor Hill said Walmart said we could use it for playground equipment. Slock said I’d have to read and explore more but I’m thinking if we could use it in a way to help all the kids that are here in the afternoon anyway, that would be great. Even if the room doesn’t reopen. We met last night as a board and our request is that you guys look over these options. We feel the second option is our best interest and most viable to reopen in the summer and try a different age group. That same staff would still be able to come back. No decision needs to be made tonight, but if you could report back to us with some direction that you’d like us to take. We’re going to meet again January 8, 2018 so if anyone wants to come to that meeting, that would be amazing. On a side note, not as a board member for Tiger Cubbies, but as an educator, community member and parent, it is a privilege to work with the village and work with the kids and the staff that was in the room. I think it’s so important to have opportunities for kids that are in those elementary ages, to get a good start in school. I didn’t go to an organized preschool but just having a place where they can learn those social skills and get the academic foundation. Our board looked at not necessarily making tons of money from this, but just having a safe place for kids. I think it’s awesome that this was brought to the table to be a possibility, and I hope that in some way it can continue and meet the needs of our community members. I think it does take a village in a sense to support, and to be able to do that we’d obviously have to be financially responsible as well. If some way together, I hope we can find a way to utilize it for a place for kids to learn and grow. That’s all I have. Do you have any specific questions? Mayor Hill said I want to thank the board. You guys have done an amazing job. You’ve really stuck together and have done incredible things. Slock said thank you very much. I really enjoy working with kids and the staff we had in the room was just amazing. Mayor Hill said the board is very well educated and diverse. They come from all types of professionalism and it shows. They are an incredible group. Slock said thank you very much for giving me the opportunity. Mayor Hill asked if anyone had any questions. There were none.
There was no Unfinished Business to discuss at this time.
Mayor Hill began to speak on the Resolution in Support of Illinois Bicentennial Celebrations. It’s the 200th year anniversary for the State of Illinois. They are sending out a flag that we’ll be able to fly here. We are getting the flag pole up. I swear we’re getting it up. We have all the hardware for it, but they’re sending us a flag as well. It’s state wide on December 4, 2017. That is the date for the flag raising. I did get an email on that. It’s also going on the website. They have a special dedicated page for things that are going on state wide.
The meeting turned to the discussion of Adopting Building Codes for Unsafe Building Ordinance. Mayor Hill advised that she and Chief Strike received a whole bunch of information in a large packet from Mr. Shirk yesterday, and they have not had the time to weed through it to see what’s even feasible. She would like to table this item until we can go through that information. Mayor Hill said the main purpose for this isn’t to go after anyone but to address abandoned buildings that have become a burden to the community. Village resident Sue Frank was concerned that this could lead to things that people in Tampico wouldn’t be able to afford. Frank’s concern was having to have a building inspector, and the cost of remodeling for residents. Frank wanted to know who the building inspector would be. Mayor Hill advised no one would be needed and that is not the case. She said it is merely to address unsafe and abandoned buildings. Mayor Hill added the intent was to give the Village a better leg to stand on in dealing with abandoned buildings.
Building permits issued by Zoning Administrator, Ron Kuepker, were 315 S. Main – new roof and siding.
Clerk Leathers spoke on the Illinois Municipal League Statehouse Briefing. Leathers said the Illinois Municipal League will be keeping watch on the Sales Tax Administrative Fee and the Audit Filing Clarification being discussed in Springfield.
Commissioner Sigel said he still doesn’t understand the Day Cares balance and where the money is coming from. Sigel said because of his concerns he wasn’t sure he wanted to approve the bills at this time. Commissioner Sigel advised he would not approve paying the bills since he has questioned why the Village is still paying bills for the Day Care and has not gotten an answer. Sigel indicated cash totals for the Day Care change at every meeting and he wants to understand why that is. He stated he has asked for an explanation and has not been given one. Clerk Leathers explained Day Care funds have been kept separate and expenses have been paid exclusively through that fund. Leathers stated when the Day Care closed there were still pending payments from the State and final expenses. Sigel asked if any of the money from the town went towards the Day Care. Leathers said no. Sigel said so none of the Villages money went into the Day Care fund. Leathers said no it did not. Sigel was told the Day Care operated under the Village’s umbrella. Sigel asked in that case, why doesn’t the Village give money to the food pantry. He asked why that was separate. Leathers told him the Food Pantry is completely separate from the Village and had been started through the churches. Commissioner Tornow advised Sigel it is separate. Leathers invited Sigel to the Village Hall so she could show him the Day Care accounts for deposits and expenses. Mayor Hill asked Sigel why he did not ask these questions of the Day Care board president, Cindy Slock, while she was here earlier in the meeting. Mayor Hill and Clerk Leathers tried to explain to Sigel how the accounting program works and advised him to come into the Clerks office for further explanation. Mayor Hill told Sigel all he has to do is go to Village Hall and review the information. She said he has been encouraged to do so over the last several meetings. Sigel stated he would approve payment of the bills this time until he could have a better understanding of the Day Care funds. Mayor Hill called for a motion and a second to approve payment of the bills as outlined.
Bills were ordered paid on a motion by Commissioner Sigel with a second by Commissioner Tornow. Mayor Hill asked if there were any questions. “Yes” votes were Sigel, Tornow and Mayor Hill. The motion carried.
Mayor Hill asked if there was anything else. Resident Susan Frank asked the Mayor about the internet provider she mentioned earlier in the meeting. Mayor Hill explained she was asked not to reveal much information until it was assured they could provide internet service. Frank insisted on being told the providers name. Frank said it will be just like everything else around here. She said it will be a done deal and people will have no choice and be expected to pay for it. Mayor Hill told her that was not the case and she was sorry she mentioned anything.
The meeting adjourned at 7:35 PM. The next Regular Meeting of the Tampico Village Council will be Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 7:00 PM in the Reagan Community Center located at 202 W. Second Street.
Kathy A. Leathers
Kristine L. Hill
MINUTES APPROVED THIS 5th DAY OF December, 2017
**These minutes are not official until signed, dated and sealed by the Village Clerk**