'Clean opinion' earned by Gibson City in annual audit

GIBSON CITY — The Gibson City Council adddressed four agenda items and heard one committee report Monday night.

The first item of business was hearing a summary of the 2016-17 fiscal year’s audit from Curt Liles of the Kemper CPA Firm of Champaign. Liles said the city earned a “clean opinion,” referring to wording from the management letter in the report.

In highlights of the report, Liles pointed out that city assets are up slightly, at $14 million. Liles said the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) balance was the only fund “showing distress,” with a negative balance of $10,000 at year-end. Liles said a negative IMRF balance, however, is a common finding for other communities, as well.

Liles emphasized that all other fund balances were positive.

“You have a healthy balance sheet — that’s what people will be looking at,” Liles added.

With all aldermen in attendance, the council voted unanimously to approve the annual audit report.

Railside Phase 3
Aldermen also heard from City Superintendent Randy Stauffer that developers of Railside Estates are ready to begin infrastructure work on Phase 3 of the residential development.

The third phase will add 12 more lots, which Stauffer said will “fill the void” between Phase 2 and the land purchased by the Villas of Hollybrook.

Stauffer asked council members to approve the Donahue & Associates engineering firm of Champaign as the engineers who would approve the developer’s infrastructure details and inspect completed work. The council unanimously approved retaining the firm, for a fee not to exceed $9,500.

There was some discussion, led by a question from Alderman Nelda Jordan, as to whether the council had ever formally approved the plat map for Phase 3. Stauffer said he believed the council had, as the plans are already on file with Ford County. Mayor Dan Dickey suggested that a smaller copy of the plat on the wall in city hall be given to each council member.

Stauffer said that Phase 4 of the development will begin on the east side of the Villas of Hollybrook property, at an undetermined date. So far, the next phase has been started when lots are nearly completely sold from a previous phase. Stauffer said he believes there is only one lot left for sale in Phase 2.

Water tower colors
The 100,000-gallon water tank on the city’s south edge will soon be painted in three colors. Alamo Group has agreed to pay $14,000 to have its rhino logo painted in black, with the “Ag” lettering of “Rhino Ag” in orange.

The company recently requested that the bottom half of the ball-shaped tank be painted black rather than red, to better suit its color scheme of black and orange.

The water tower’s “stem” and the ball’s background will be painted in “water tower white” at city expense, as planned.

Council members unanimously approved the water tower’s color scheme as presented via an email drawing, with Alderman Doug Parsons abstaining. Parsons is employed by Alamo.

Extra payment requested
Stauffer presented a request from Stark Excavating that asked the city to pay additional costs it had incurred due to cold weather. The company said those expenses included concrete additives, extra labor, and placing “blankets” over the concrete.

Stark officials asked for payments totaling $3,770. However, on the advice of city engineers, the council voted not to pay any additional money to Stark.

The combined sewer-separation project is 90 percent completed, according to Stauffer, and the company will finish work in the spring. A final payment to Stark on the $602,600 contract will be due at that time.

Parks and Buildings report
Parks and Buildings Committee Chairman Susie Tongate said she had attended a recent pool board meeting. More details about the pool and needed repairs will be forthcoming, and she plans to attend the board’s next meeting.

Tongate said the youth baseball board has asked if city workers could help their plans for installing new dugouts by digging out existing concrete pads. She said the Gibson City Lions Club is going to fund the new dugout structures at both baseball diamond complexes.

Stauffer said excavating the concrete would not be an easy or quick job, but city workers could probably accomplish it. The question was then raised about whether the request included pouring replacement concrete pads.

Dickey suggested that Tongate have the organizers call Stauffer to discuss project specifics. No further action was taken.

Tongate also said there has been discussion about renaming both the existing McMillen Field near the North Park and the west-side ball fields. Two names of recently deceased community members are being considered for honorary field names, but no petition is yet in circulation.

The petition was requested by the mayor to indicate if there is community support for the change. Any final decision will be made the council, he said.


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