Wilsonville Village Trustees on Tuesday night approved a property tax levy and an appropriations ordinance, both of which are identical to last year’s, and debated a property issue with a local resident.
One trustee also called into question the police chief’s job performance, prompting the board to enter into a 30-minute executive session to discuss personnel. Trustee Stan Katich brought up the issue during a discussion regarding the monthly treasurer’s report. He said he objected to the payment voucher for Police Chief Kenneth Kallal, claiming Kallal failed to comply with provisions he recommended last month.
“We’d like to have the chief report to a trustee when he’s in town,” Katich said, after which he polled members of the board. “I didn’t get a call, did you get a call?” He said the chief also was to clock in and clock out and refrain from submitting hand-written time reports.
Kallal said he has started clocking in and clocking out in compliance with Katich’s request, and he said he reports to Village President Jeff Rhodes when he is in town. Katich bristled at the suggestion the police chief should contact Katich and Bill Molinar because they usually have a list of possible ordinance violations to be investigated and ticketed. Both Katich and Molinar are freshmen trustees first elected to the board last April.
“It seems like you never have anything that needs to be done when he’s in town,” Katich told Rhodes. “Me and Bill usually have a list of things for him to do.”
“Actually, I have a lot on my list,” Rhodes countered. “There’s more to police work than ordinance violations. There are crimes in town, we have sex offenders in town.”
As the discussion continued, Kallal asked the board to go into executive session. “If we’re going to talk about me, personally, then I want to go into executive session,” he said.
Village Attorney Kevin Polo advised that the board could discuss general duties of the police chief in open session but an executive session would be appropriate if the trustees were going to talk about Kallal specifically.
Later in the meeting, on a motion by Trustee David Day, seconded by Dustin Calcari, the board went into executive session, presumably to talk about Kallal. No action followed the closed-door session, but before adjourning, Rhodes asked trustees to work together in lieu of “going off in opposite directions,” an apparent reference to the earlier discussion. “We get more done by working together.”
APPROPRIATION AND LEVY
On a motion by Trustee Molinar, seconded by Day, the board unanimously approved an appropriation ordinance to govern spending from May 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021. Village Clerk Tena Cerentano said the appropriation ordinance is identical to the one approved last year.
The new ordinance sets spending limits from the General Fund at $45,840, $2,000 from the Audit Fund, $10,000 from the Motor Fuel Tax Fund, $25,000 from the Water Operating Fund and $4,500 from the Sewer Operating Fund. The appropriation totals $87,340.
Appropriations ordinances are not formal budgets but instead set spending limits from specific funds which cannot be exceeded without further action by the board. For most municipalities, actual expenditures are well below the appropriated amounts.
Board members also voted unanimously to approve a property tax levy identifying the amounts the village hopes to generate for each of its funds from property taxes next year. The tax levy, which also is identical to last year’s, totals $16,950. Broken down by funds, the village hopes to collect $3,900 for General Corporate Purposes, $1,370 for Police Protection, $3,880 for Fire Protection, $1,900 for the Audit and $5,900 for Insurance.
The levy differs from the tax rate in that the County Clerk is responsible for setting rates by which the village’s total equalized assessed valuation must be multiplied to generate the amounts levies. Because Macoupin County is subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), municipalities seldom receive the full amount levied in the form of property tax revenue.
In a related financial action, the board approved a Motor Fuel Tax Program resolution appropriating $17,500 in Motor Fuel Tax funds for next year’s street maintenance program. The newly approved resolution will be submitted to the Illinois Department of Transportation for final approval.
Estimated program costs include $4,032 for road oil, $3,910 for slag, $1,600 for cold patch mix, $1,008 for aggregate, $1,200 for salt for ice control, $800 for snow removal labor and $3,000 for grading and ditch work.
The board voted to give Adam Kilduff 90 days to remove a gate he allegedly erected across a platted but undeveloped street on property owned by Debbie Tarrant after Tarrant approached the board to complain about the village enforcing its purported property rights. Tarrant owns 11 lots on the village’s southeast side comprising about three acres. She reportedly is in the process of selling the land to Kilduff.
The property is bisected by an undeveloped section of South Street according to plat maps and the city claims property rights over that right-of-way.
Tarrant said the street has never been developed or used. Likewise, a platted but undeveloped alley borders the property on one said. Tarrant said she should have control over both the alley and the undeveloped portion of South Street.
She said Kilduff received a letter from Polo saying Kilduff had erected a fence on a city street. Polo said Tarrant had told him the fence ran parallel to the street but later learned the fence actually crosses the street.
“The street is not physically there,” Tarrant argued.
“But it’s platted,” Polo responded.
“Your tenant or whatever he is,” said Village President Rhodes, referring to Kilduff, “told me he was going to have the property surveyed and that he would be more than happy to remove the fence after the survey.”
Trustee Calcari added that Kilduff told him that he planned to build a pole barn where the platted street is located. “We told him he could not build there,” Calcari said, adding that the village is trying to preclude future issues that would arise if a permanent structure was erected on the right-of-way.
Calcari said in a similar dispute involving Trustee Molinar before Molinar was on the board, the village required Molinar to recognize the right-of-way of a platted, undeveloped street. “Adam (Kilduff) has to be held to the same standards as Mr. Molinar,” Calcari said.
Tarrant said the street and alley had never been used and should be considered part of her property.
“What do you want us to do, Debbie?” asked Trustee Roland Rife, Tarrant’s brother and the previous owner of the property, “let him build on a city street?”
“I think you should give me South Street and that alley,” Tarrant said. “Write out an ordinance to give them to me.”
“We won’t do that,” Rife responded.
“You’re not the mayor,” Tarrant retorted. “Jeff (Rhodes), can’t you do that?”
After further discussion, Rhodes asked Polo how the matter should be resolved. Polo reiterated that South Street is platted and is therefore considered village property.
“He has to move the gate,” Rhodes told Tarrant.
Molinar suggested giving Kilduff 90 days to remove the structure. “I’m not in that big of a rush,” he said.
On Moiinar’s motion, the board unanimously agreed to give Kilduff 90 days to remove the gate.
In separate actions, the board agreed to hire Justin Thornhill as a temporary part-time maintenance worker and to advertise for applicants to replace former maintenance worker Mike Campagna.
Rhodes said he and several trustees had been performing maintenance tasks since Campagna’s departure, but he said he did not intend to continue to work in that capacity.
“I need help,” he said, adding that the village has some trees down and has other tasks that need to be done on a weekly basis, including emptying the basket on the sewer system lift station. “We need someone to do these things. I’m not going to do it anymore. I’m elected as Mayor and it’s not my job. It’s good that we all pitch in and help. I just don’t think it should be our responsibility.”
Thornhill previously was hired as a meter reader and Rhodes said he is willing to take on the additional maintenance responsibilities until the village can hire a replacement for Campagna.
The village will advertise for applicants in December and January with an eye toward hiring someone in February.
In other action, the board approved a meeting schedule for 2020. Regular meetings will continue to take place at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month. There will be an All Committee Meeting on the first Monday of every other month, starting in February.