By Pamela Rensing
The Mascoutah City Council held their last meeting of 2022 on Monday, Dec. 19. The meeting was open to in-person and by virtual participation.
Mascoutah City Engineer Tom Quirk was not in attendance Monday night but had submitted his final status report to the council. He stated “This will be my final report as City Engineer of Mascoutah. I have accepted a position with another municipality. This decision did not come lightly as I have focused much energy for the past six plus years for the betterment of the City of Mascoutah. Much has been accomplished and many more projects are just getting started. It was my pleasure to serve the citizens of Mascoutah and I wish you all the best.”
Quirk had replaced Ron Yeager who served has City Engineer until his retirement on January 3, 2017.
According to Mayor Pat McMahan, Quirk had accepted a position with the City of Fairview Heights. “We want to wish Tom the best in his future endeavors,” he said in a phone interview. “It has been a pleasure working with him.”
Also in a phone interview, City Manager Rebecca Ahlvin said the City would begin the search for a new City Engineer. In the meantime, “we will be handling project managements in-house, and then contracting with an engineering firm for more specific aspects of the job.”
Additional agenda items discussed included:
• Councilmen approved the second reading of the 2022 Property Tax Levy of 4.99 percent in the amount of $2,799,475.00.
The Tax Levy is defined as dollars needed by the City to run operations and to pay General Obligation Bonds.
• Report from Mascoutah Fire Chief Joe Zinck – The Mascoutah Fire Department answered 30 calls for service in November.
The MFD training officers are working on setting up IFSI and SWIC classes for 2023. They have two members that will begin the basic firefighter program at SWIC in January. A few members will be attending technician and officer level classes.
The MFD annual raffle mailing will go out in January and the dance is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Mascoutah Moose.
• Report from Public Safety Director Scott Waldrup – The Mascoutah Police Department responded to 248 calls in November.
There were 14 accidents.
Officers issued 60 traffic citations, 76 warnings, and one DUI during the month. They had one warrant arrest and one adult arrest.
MPD received 34 Public Service Calls: 14 Well Being Checks, 5 Vehicle Lockouts, 5 Standby/Peace Officer, and 10 calls to Assist Other Agencies.
The Mascoutah EMS received 165 calls during November.
• Report from Public Works Department – The Public Works Department completed 536 work orders in November.
Some, but not all, work orders for the Street Department included:
-removed snow from roadways on November 12; pretreated main roads for snow predicted on November 14;
-replaced damaged culvert on Eisenhower;
-installed 5 metal plates across drainage troughs to connect sidewalks in Stone Mill Subdivision.
Some, but not all, work orders for the Water Department included:
-fixed water main break on S. 6th St;
-lowered 12” water main in Bellar Dr;
-had training on the new Wastewater Treatment Plant;
-cleaned sewer mains in various area of town.
Some, but not all, work orders for the Electric Department included:
-added outlets in the park for Christmas displays;
-installed new electric service for Boeing stoplight on Rt. 4;
-installed new electric service to the new stoplights at Rt. 4 and Airport Blvd.
• Council members approved the bid for a new 2023 Ford Police Interceptor SUV at the Illinois Government Price of $40,575.00. In addition, the vehicle will require approximately an additional $7,800.00 for add on equipment (console, prisoner partition, weapon rack, lights, siren, laptop docking station, and graphics). This vehicle will replace the 2015 Dodge Durango (MS) which will be sold or traded.
The vehicle was purchased from Morrow Brothers Ford Inc. of Greenfield, IL.
• The council approved a warranty deed for the purchase of property from Christopher Lembke for the Phase II Electric Project. The amount of the deed is $60,000.00.
• Councilmen approved a deed of easement with Charlotte Wombacher and Myron G. Wombacher in the amount of $20,000.00. The easement is needed for the Phase II Electric Utility Project.
• Thane Kifer, owner of the Best Western off of I-64, asked the council to reconsider their “no parking” ordinance for Hayden Drive. He stated that by not allowing trucks to park by the hotel on Hayden Dr., it is hurting his business as well as sales tax revenue for the City.
“Drivers usually have dinner or breakfast at Huddle House, as well as use that location to fill up trucks,” he stated.
Kifer is not asking for the total removal of the no-parking ordinance, but to amend it to allow two 400-feet sections on the south side of the road by Best Western.
City Attorney Al Paulson said that signage could be installed designating what areas can be used for parking.
Mascoutah Fire Chief Joe Zinck and Police Chief Scott Waldrup said the parking by truck drivers had not caused any problems for their departments.
Mayor McMahan said the issue would be placed on the next agenda.
• The Mascoutah City Council had waived business, liquor, video gaming, and vending license fees a few years ago to help businesses survive during COVID. The council now feels it is time to reinstate the fees. They will go into effect immediately.
The next meeting will be held January 2, 2023.