by Pamela Rensing
Mascota City Council held its last meeting of 2022 on Monday, December 19. The meeting was open for face-to-face and virtual participation.
Mascotah City Engineer Tom Quirk was not in attendance Monday night, but did submit his final status report to the council. He said “This will be my final report as City Engineer of Mascota. I have accepted a position with another municipality. This decision did not come lightly as I have spent the past six plus years working for the betterment of the City of Mascota. A lot of energy has been focused. A lot has been accomplished and many more projects are just getting started. It is my pleasure to serve the citizens of Mascota and I wish you all the best.
Quirk replaced Ron Yeager who served as 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 of luck 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 Ahlewine said the City would begin a search for a new City Engineer. In the meantime, “we will handle project management in-house, and then contract with an engineering firm for more specialized aspects of the job.”
Additional agenda items discussed included:
• Councilors approved the second reading of the 2022 4.99 percent property tax levy in the amount of $2,799,475.00.
Tax levies are defined as the dollars required by the city to run operations and pay general obligation bonds.
• Mascotah Fire Chief Joe Zink reports – The Mascotah Fire Department responded to 30 calls for service in November.
MFD training officers are working on setting up the IFSI and SWIC classes for 2023. They have two members who will start the basic firefighting program at SWIC in January. Some members will attend technician and officer level classes.
The MFD annual raffle mailing will take place in January and the dance is scheduled for Saturday, February 25 at the Mascota Moose.
• Public Safety Director Scott Waldrup reports – the Muskoutah Police Department responded to 248 calls in November.
14 accidents happened.
Officers issued 60 traffic citations, 76 warnings and one DUI during the month. He had a warrant arrest and an adult arrest.
MPD received 34 public service calls: 14 health checks, 5 vehicle lockouts, 5 standby/peace officers, and 10 calls for assistance from other agencies.
Mascoutah EMS received 165 calls during November.
• Report of Public Works Department- Public Works Department completed 536 work orders in November.
Some, but not all, Department of Roads work orders include:
On November 12, snow was removed from the roadways; Main roads pretended to snow predicted on 14 November;
– The damaged culvert at Eisenhower was replaced;
5 metal plates were installed in drainage ditches to connect sidewalks in the Stone Mill Subdivision.
Some, but not all, of the Department of Water’s work orders include:
Fixed water main break at S 6 St;
– 12″ water main line downstream Dr in Belar;
– Received training on the new wastewater treatment plant;
Cleaning of drains in various areas of the city.
Some, but not all, Department of Power work orders include:
Outlets added to the park to house Christmas displays;
-New electric service installed for Boeing stoplight on Rt. 4;
Installed new electric service to new stoplights on Rt. 4 and Airport Blvd.
• Council members approved a bid for a new 2023 Ford Police Interceptor SUV at a Government of Illinois price of $40,575.00. In addition, add on equipment (consoles, prisoner partitions, weapon racks, lights, sirens, laptop docking stations and graphics) would require approximately $7,800.00 in addition to the vehicle. This vehicle will replace a 2015 Dodge Durango (MS) that is sold or traded in.
The vehicle was purchased from Morrow Brothers Ford Inc. of Greenfield, IL.
• Council approved a warranty deed to purchase the property from Christopher Lembke for the Phase II electric project. The amount of the deed is $60,000.00.
• Councilors Charlotte Wombacher and Myron G. Approved an easement deed with Wombaker. Easement required for Phase II Electric Utility Project.
• Thane Kiefer, owner of Best Western Off I-64, asked the council to reconsider their “no parking” ordinance for Hayden Drive. He said that by not allowing trucks to park near the hotel on Hayden Dr., it was hurting his business as well as the city’s sales tax revenue.
“Drivers usually have dinner or breakfast at the Huddle House, as well as use that space to fill up trucks,” he said.
Kiefer is not asking to remove the no-parking ordinance entirely, but to modify it to allow two 400-foot sections on the south side of the street by Best Western.
City Attorney Al Paulson said signage may be put up to specify which areas can be used for parking.
Mascota Fire Chief Joe Zink and Police Chief Scott Waldrup said parking by truckers hasn’t caused any problems for their departments.
Mayor McMahan said the issue would be put on the next agenda.
• The Mascota City Council waived business, liquor, video gaming and vending license fees a few years ago to help businesses survive during COVID. The Council now feels that the time has come to restore the fees. They will come into force with immediate effect.
The next meeting will be on January 2, 2023.