NW Illinois News

NW Illinois News

Sunday, November 17, 2019

City of Byron City Council met October 2

By Kristine Gonzales-Abella | Nov 7, 2019


City of Byron City Council met Oct. 2.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

1. CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Rickard called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Led by Mayor Rickard

3. ROLL CALL – Aldermen present: Todd Isaacs, Emily Gerdes, Mittzi Fulrath, Dan Reilly

(via telephone), Zeke Hobbie, Amber Dach, Michael Gyorkos, Christy Hanlin. Eight members present by roll call vote. Quorum established.

* - denotes start of the roll call vote

PRESENT: Mayor John Rickard

City Clerk Caryn Huber

City Attorney Kim Krahenbuhl

Dir. Of Public WorksAaron Vincer

Police Chief Todd Murray

Dir. of Econ. Dev. Larry Hewitt

City Engineer Jason Stoll

Citizens Pam Kultgen, Bill Pirnat

4. REVERENCE PERIOD – Mayor Rickard led the Council in prayer.

5. APPROVAL/AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA – Motion by Alderman Fulrath to approve, as presented, the October 2, 2019, agenda, seconded by Alderman Hanlin. Roll call vote: Gerdes, AYE; Fulrath, AYE; Reilly, AYE; Hobbie, AYE; Dach, AYE; Gyorkos, AYE; Hanlin, AYE; Isaacs, AYE. Motion passed: AYE, 8; NAY, 0; ABS 0.


a. September 18, 2019, Regular Council Meeting Minutes – Motion made by Alderman Hanlin to approve, as presented, the September 18, 2019, Regular Council minutes, seconded by Alderman Gerdes. Roll call vote: Fulrath, AYE; Reilly, AYE; Hobbie, AYE; Dach, AYE; Gyorkos, AYE; Hanlin, AYE; Isaacs, AYE; Gerdes, AYE. Motion passed: AYE 8; NAY 0; ABS 0.


8. TREASURER’S REPORT – No report. Mayor Rickard informed the council that Carol Walters, City Treasurer, has resigned.

9. LIST OF BILLS - The tentative bills for the City of Byron were presented to the Council for discussion. Alderman Isaacs asked about a charge from Entre in the amount of $4,509.40. Chief Murray said this was from a project last year that didn’t get billed. Motion made by Alderman Isaacs to approve the payment of bills dated October 2, 2019, in the amount of $82,181.38. Motion seconded by Alderman Hanlin. Roll call vote: Reilly, AYE; Hobbie, AYE; Dach, AYE; Gyorkos, AYE; Hanlin, AYE, Isaacs, AYE; Gerdes, AYE; Fulrath, AYE. Motion passed: AYE, 8; NAY, 0; ABSTAIN, 0.


a. Bar owners extended hours request – Class A bar owners requested extended hours for holidays and special events. In addition to the dates requested in the past, they added an additional weekend after Christmas and the weekend of Easter. Chief Murray recommended not allowing the additional four dates. Council concurred. As Liquor Commissioner, Mayor Rickard will deny the request for December 27 and 28, 2019, and April 10 and 11, 2020.

Trick or Treat Hours will be 5-8pm on October 31. • We are searching for a new City Treasurer. There is a list of duties by state statute and by city ordinance. Term is concurrent with the mayor’s term. • Chris Logston will be hired as a seasonal employee for snow plowing at $18/hour. He is currently a seasonal mower at $12/hour. Alderman Fulrath asked if the hours are separate for IMRF rules, but they are all combined. Director Vincer is confident he will not exceed the part time hours. • Mayor Rickard said there is a Social Media policy in Dropbox, Keeping It Legal, for council members to review. • Looking ahead, our first meeting in 2020 would fall on January 1. The mayor is suggesting changing the dates of the meetings for that month to January 8 and January 22. It will still allow two weeks between the January 22 and February 5 meetings.


12. CITY ENGINEER’S PROJECT STATUS –Work continues on Walnut Street. Most of the storm sewer has been installed. There were additional water and sewer repairs, but Engineer Stoll is hoping curb and gutter work will start by the end of next week. ComEd has relocated a pole. There will be limited interruption in water service for businesses and residents on Walnut St. to switch over a fire hydrant on Saturday. Work should be completed within a few hours, and they will notify those who will be affected. • Work continues in the Edge of Town subdivision. Paving should be done by the end of the month.

13. REPORT OF DIRECTOR OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – Director Hewitt met this week with the site engineer at Hairy Cow Brewery and they discussed adding a second parking lot. Director Hewitt also suggested the possibility of eventually cutting out angular public parking on Peru Street. • Solar energy is becoming popular in Byron. Several companies have solicitor licenses to go door to door. Director Hewitt will be meeting with representatives of one of the companies to discuss their program and be better able to answer resident’s questions. • Due dates are approaching for TIF audits and TIF year end reports.


a. Community Services – The committee met this evening. Alderman Fulrath reported that they would like to do some sealcoating on the bike path, and hope to allow funds for that in the next budget. • Director Vincer is getting concrete bids in order to have a crosswalk across Mill Road. • Clerk Huber is waiting for a second bid for public parking signs for the two municipal lots. • There will be a change order coming through for work on Walnut Street in the amount of $26,000. This is for work on the water and sewer system, and most of the bill will be paid from the water and sewer account.

b. Public Safety – No report.

c. Administrative – The committee met this evening. Alderman Hanlin reported that they discussed final payment for William Charles for the work on 3rd Street. The committee recommends payment. • Cannabis Ordinances were on the agenda, but they would like to speak with Alderman Gerdes prior to discussing further, and hope to set up a special meeting in October. Alderman Gerdes had attended sessions at the IML conference regarding the new laws. • The committee discussed utility taxes. The natural gas ordinance is prepared and the committee recommends passage. There is a possibility the tax would start being collected November 1. The ComEd tax ordinance is drafted, and the committee authorized Attorney Krahenbuhl to send to ComEd’s attorneys for approval. • A revised TIF application for Jim Bergagna was reviewed by committee. They had already awarded him $2200 for exterior painting of his building, however, he has not been able to reach the painter to start the project. He received three additional new painting bids which were higher than the original quote. The committee agreed to increase his TIF grant to $3600, which is 75% of the lowest quote he received.


a. Rush Property – Attorney Krahenbuhl reported that the father of one of the sons is his legal guardian, and if the court approves, he can sign off on the residence. Chief Murray has received a quote of less than $200 for pest control, and they have already started exterminating.

b. Revisions to personnel policies – No updates – in committee.

c. Cannabis Ordinances – As reported in committee reports, the committee hopes to schedule a special meeting in October to discuss further.

1. Retailers’ Occupation Tax Ordinance 2. Business Zoning Ordinance

d. Utility Taxes – Attorney Krahenbuhl asked council to consider passage of Ordinance 2019-2, authorizing utility tax collection by Nicor. The tax is 5%, with a.15% charge for collection fees. Nicor attorneys have approved the ordinance, and if passed, we will send a certified copy to them, along with a certified copy of the minutes showing the vote on the ordinance. The minutes will be sent following approval at the next meeting. Alderman Hanlin motioned for passage of Ordinance 2019-2, authorizing the implementation of a Nicor utility tax. Motion seconded by Alderman Isaacs. Alderman Fulrath asked if 5% is the maximum the city can collect, and Attorney Krahenbuhl confirmed that it is. Roll call vote: Hobbie, AYE; Dach, AYE; Gyorkos, NAY; Hanlin, AYE, Isaacs, AYE; Gerdes, AYE; Fulrath, AYE, Reilly, AYE. Motion passed: AYE, 7; NAY, 1; ABSTAIN, 0.

The second utility tax ordinance covers ComEd and other electricity providers. The tax is based on usage. The more electricity used, the lower the tax rate. Attorney Krahenbuhl reported that the committee authorized him to send to ComEd attorneys for approval. No action is needed from council at this time.

e. Downtown Snow Ordinance – No update.

f. Harvest Drive Street Conveyance – Tom Palmgren has requested that the city take the right of way on Harvest Drive. There is 100 ft. of road going west to the far limits of the condos in Jackson Knolls subdivision. A property is located there where the street only goes part way across the lot, and therefore, they are having issues closing on the property. The committee is recommending that the property on Harvest Drive be conveyed to the city pending receipt of a letter of intent from Jerry Jackson, the property owner, stating that he will convey the property, and an agreement from Tom Palmgren that he will pay for all legal fees generated from the conveyance. Attorney Krahenbuhl will prepare the letter of intent, but will not prepare any other paperwork until both conditions are met. Tom Palmgren was working, and not able to attend the meetings tonight. Roll call vote: Dach, AYE; Gyorkos, AYE; Hanlin, AYE, Isaacs, AYE; Gerdes, AYE; Fulrath, AYE, Reilly, AYE; Hobbie, AYE. Motion passed: AYE, 8; NAY, 0; ABSTAIN, 0.

g. William Charles Final Payment – The committee recommends final payment to William Charles for work on 3rd Street in the amount of $208,169.58. Alderman Hanlin added that this figure is slightly higher than the budgeted amount, but within the appropriated amount. Roll call vote: Gyorkos, AYE; Hanlin, AYE, Isaacs, ABSTAIN; Gerdes, AYE; Fulrath, AYE, Reilly, AYE; Hobbie, AYE; Dach, AYE. Motion passed: AYE, 7; NAY, 0; ABSTAIN, 1.


17. COUNCIL TALK – Chief Murray updated Council regarding the burglary at Sam’s Drive In last weekend. The restaurant was not vandalized. A 16 year old female has been arrested.


a. Section 2(c)11 – Pending, probable or imminent litigation

b. Section 2(c)1 – Personnel

c. Section 2(c)(5)(6) – Purchase/Sale of City Owned Real Property

d. Section 2(c)(21) – Review/Approval of Closed Meeting Minutes

e. Section 2(c)(2) – Collective Bargaining Negotiations

Mayor Rickard advised there was no need for an Executive Session.


a. Next Regular City Council Meeting – Wednesday, October 16, 2019 @ 6:30 pm.

Mayor Rickard adjourned the City Council meeting at 7:05 pm.


Want to get notified whenever we write about City of Byron Council ?

Sign-up Next time we write about City of Byron Council, we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.

Organizations in this Story

City of Byron Council