By JOHN REZANKA — News Reporter
Elias wants more on sewer bids
Rather than move ahead
with contract negotiations with low-bidder USFilter, Councilwoman Siobhan
Elias has requested the city take a closer look at bids to operate the
city’s wastewater treatment plant.
With that in mind, two items were added to the agenda for tonight’s
Streator City Council meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. downstairs in
the community room at city hall.
Elias has requested the council review the request for proposals which
companies received as well as the procedures for selecting finalists.
She contends that the committee which reviewed the proposals should have
considered bids from all six firms rather than only three finalists.
Interim city manager Bruce Trego said the wastewater treatment plant
committee decided to review bids from the three most qualified firms
because their levels of expertise and resources were important
Elias has also requested the council give clear direction to Trego in
regards to how to proceed with contract negotiations.
While three of five council members agreed during a workshop Wednesday
that the city should proceed with negotiations with USFilter, the straw
poll results did not represent an official council vote.
Elias has questioned whether the two bids were comparable in regard to the
number of employees.
Since the request for proposals assumed that both companies would provide
maintenance services at the pool, she also wants the council to consider
the potential impact to the bids, as well as contract costs, if the city
closes the municipal pool.
As is, the proposed 2004-05 budget calls for closing the municipal pool.
In another addition to the agenda, Elias has requested that the council
establish an official policy regarding the mayor’s ability to make
Up until recently, Mayor Ray Schmitt has refrained from making motions on
action items. However, city attorney Steve Myers advised the mayor during
a recent vote on imposing utility taxes that he did have the legal right
to second a motion.
Both Elias and Schmitt moved in favor of the utility tax increases, so
there is no disagreement over the outcome of the vote.
Elias said she does not necessarily object to the mayor seconding or even
making motions, but she does want the council to clarify the procedures
and make sure the utility tax vote was legal.
In other council business, Trego said he anticipates the council will
approve a contract with Illinois and Municipal Employees Local 1592, the
union which represents public works employees and dispatchers, after an
executive session to discuss collective bargaining.
In other business, the council will consider:
• Issuing a notice of public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 7,
regarding the exchange of real property within the city. In exchange for a
permanent easement to run sewer lines to the northwest side of the city,
the city would give Cobblestone Real Estate Development Inc. a parcel
targeted for residential development. The city will not have to pay for
the easement if it gives the owner the property off of the proposed
detention pond off of Oakley Avenue, Trego explained.
• A Streator Plan Commission recommendation to approve a request to
subdivide the former Anchor Glass property into three lots. Jerry Yendro
of Chamlin Associates is acting on behalf of the petitioner, Lennar
Partners of Miami Beach, Fla.
• Entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency making it clear that the restrictions of a
recently approved groundwater ordinance also apply to the city.
• Authorizing the posting of two stop signs on Kent Street at its
intersection with Wasson Street.
• Purchasing a 2004 Ford F150 Heritage pickup truck from Landmark Ford
in Springfield, through a state purchasing plan, at a cost of $13,541. The
public work’s vehicle will replace a 1982 pickup truck. It is a budgeted
expense out of the city’s sewer operating fund.
• Entering into an agreement with the Norfolk Southern Corporation
regarding improvements to the roadway and railroad crossing at East First
• Directing the city attorney to prepare the documents needed to
transfer ownership of the old Columbia Hotel site at the intersection of
Hickory and Sterling streets to Bruce Township for use as a parking area.
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