City Council Approves Appointment Ordinance for New Fiscal Year


Published on April 2 2024 6:26 pm
Last Updated on April 2 2024 6:30 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham City Council members Tuesday voted to pass the Appointment Ordinace for the fiscal year beginning May 1.

The Council also passed an ordinance establishing pay ranges for non-union salaried and hourly positions. 3% pay increases were part of the action.

Council members rezoned property along Blohm Avenue, east of Veterans Drive. The land will be used by Meraki Health and was rezoned to multiple-dwelling district with a special-use permit allowing use of the land for the healing arts. The Council also voted to send the property at 909 West St. Anthony back to the Plan Commission for further consideration. The issue involves a proposed rezoning of the lot from single-family residential to two and three family dwelling district. The lot is currently vacant and has been for several years.

The Council discussed a proposed increase in sewer rates of 5% for each of the coming four years. City Director of Public Works Jeremy Heuerman said the increase will help finance reductions in the phosphorus level in city wastewater. Heuerman said similar federal requirements are expected in coming years.

Council members voted to declare property at 304 North 1st Street as dangerous and unsafe, allowing the City to take steps to correct problems both inside and outside the structure at that address. The Council discussed a proposal to improve the exterior of Integrity Electric and Plumbing at 1709 South 4th Street with the City covering 25% of the project cost. There was also discussion of a project for more apartment buildings along 3rd Street with the site being taken out of the TIF District so the developers can qualify for Enterprise Zone benefits. The property is in both districts, and the developers would like to utilize the better incentive.

Council members reviewed a three-year extension of an agreement between the City and the Unit 40 school district for school resource officers. City Police Chief Jason McFarland said the proposed agreement would include a one dollar per student increase in the agreement.

Also Tuesday, the Council heard from Fire Chief Brant Yochum that this Thursday is the official date of the St. Anthony Hospital fire in 1949 while City Commissioner Libby Moeller shared that the statue commemorating the fire to be dedicated on April 14 has arrived in Effingham, and heard from McFarland that Tuesday was National Autism Awareness Day and that stickers are available at the Police Department to place on vehicles where autistic individuals ride so emergency personnel will know since some who deal with autism might not be able to respond in an emergency situation.

Heuerman recognized Wastewater Treatment Plant Chief Operator Joe Williamson for 35 years' service as of Wednesday (today).

City Commissioner Hank Stephens was not present for Tuesday's meeting.