Following a three-hour executive session, the Gillespie City Council voted on Monday night to dismiss George Mull, a Public Works Department employee, effective immediately.
In other action, the council voted unanimously to hire a title search company to help the city determine whether or not it actually owns approximately 200 acres located on the northwest side of New Gillespie Lake. Prior to construction of the lake, the property belonged to Blackburn College, according to city attorney Kevin Polo. Before the lake was built, however, the property was condemned and the city paid Blackburn College for the parcel.
According to Polo, the city has been unable to locate a signed deed for the property. Further complicating the issue, Polo said, is a document indicating the city deeded a portion of the property back to Blackburn College. That resolution, however, apparently was never signed by whoever was the mayor at that time.
The city is a step closer to demolishing downtown commercial buildings damaged by the tornado two years ago. The council unanimously approve payment of $2,000 to the Macoupin Economic Development Partnership for preparing an application to secure a Community Assistance and Development Program grant to raze the buildings, and Polo reported that bids should be let for the demolition work “within a week or two.”
Release of the grant funds had been delayed because of the city’s presumption that an environmental impact study would be required. Polo told the council Monday night that the city “found a way to pay for the environmental assessment essentially within the grant.”
Council members voted unanimously to direct Polo to prepare an ordinance increasing late fees and reconnect fees for delinquent water users. Under terms of the ordinance, which the council will formally consider in April, late fees will be increased to 30% of the unpaid balance on delinquent water bills. The fee for reconnecting water service that has been disconnected for non-payment will be increased from $25 to $50. For renters, the water service deposit will be increased from $150 to $200.
See this week’s South County News for a full report on the Gillespie City Council meeting.