Litchfield Approves Repairs, Extensions

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The members of the Litchfield City Council met on Thursday, June 18, with Alderman Ray Kellenberger and most department heads joining the group via Zoom.

The aldermen approved 12 motions in the 20-minute meeting, including the appointment of Ann Pattillo to the tourism board and the minutes from the June 4 meeting.

Only a few items drew much discussion from the council, with nine of the ten items in new business passing unanimously. The lone exception was granting a contract extension from Brewster Construction for 35 calendar days due to inclement weather on the Eagle Ridge subdivision project at Lake Lou Yaeger. Alderman Dwayne Gerl and Mark Brown and Alderwoman Marilyn Sisson voted against the motion.

One of the items the council discussed was a motion to pay certain recurring bills on a monthly basis without prior approval of city council. Alderman Kellenberger asked if there was a cap of a certain dollar amount for the bills. 

Mayor Steve Dougherty said that the motion is for recurring expenses like utilities, which have fees and penalties if they’re not paid in a certain amount of time. 

City Clerk Carol Burke said that it would also be for some vendor contracts, like cleaning service and billboard advertising, that the council has already approved, but require a monthly payment. Burke also said that most of the bills are less than $25,000.

Questions would be asked about two motions regarding emergency repairs, one for an HVAC system at the westside fire station and one for repairs to a street department dump truck.

Alderwoman Kassidy Paine asked if the replacement of the HVAC system was an emergency repair, with the cost of the new system $6,995.82 by Neuhaus Heating and Air Conditioning. Alderman Woodrow Street said it was and that the old HVAC that had quit was from when the station was built. Mayor Dougherty also noted that Neuhaus gave the city a loaner unit. The new one could be installed in order to keep the firefighters cool.

Alderman Street asked if the vendor for the dump truck repairs, Rush Truck Centers of Springfield, was the only business capable of doing the repairs and asked if this was a special dump truck because the street department had others. 

Alderman Gerl said that Rush Truck Centers was the only one capable of repairing the case around the transmission of the dump truck, which was destroyed. Gerl also said that the dump truck was one the street department used frequently. Cost of the repairs is estimated at $4,296.12, pending removal of the transmission and finding no additional damage.

In other business, the council approved a construction bid for the Lake Lou Yaeger watershed implementation project for $926,153.25 (a 60/40 grant split), accepted pay request 10 from Gelly Excavating and Construction for $307,077.30 for work on the I-55 commerce park, approved a 23 day contract extension request from Gelly due to inclement weather, approved submittal of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Community Development Rebuild Illinois grants, approved the purchase of 12 all-season truck tires from Victory Lane Ford for $2375.04 for two ambulances and approved a downtown facade grant application by Petal Pushers for $2,975 for the property located at 305 North State Street.

The meeting would adjourn at 6:50 p.m., with the next meeting set for 6:30 p.m. on July 2, with a public hearing regarding sale of adult-use marijuana scheduled for 6 p.m.

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