MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL EMERGENCY MEETING OF THE STAUNTON CITY COUNCIL, HELD IN THE VFW POST #1241 HALL, 120 EAST HENRY ST., STAUNTON, ILLINOIS ON THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2020
I. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Craig Neuhaus called the Staunton City Council Emergency Special Meeting to order at 7:04 P.M. on Thursday, March 19, 2020.
II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:
Mayor Craig Neuhaus led the Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.
III. ROLL CALL:
City Clerk Stiegemeier called roll with the following persons
PRESENT: Councilmembers Maria Bodner, Ryan Machota, Jeff Scanzoni, Mayor Craig Neuhaus, City Clerk Dennis Stiegemeier and Public Works Director Mike Kuethe. Also attending was water treatment plant Foreman Ed Rothgangel.
ELECTRONIC ATTENDANCE: Aldermen Brooke Wallace, Rick Johnson, Randy Hanks, Chad Plenske, Ailee Taylor and Police Chief Jeff Doerr.
Mayor Neuhaus told everyone that the reason he requested this meeting was to make everyone aware of the urgency to be prepared for the COVID-19 Virus. Alderman Bodner stated that all City buildings now have restricted access. Bodner also asked Council Members their opinion on waiving late fees, which is 10% of the bill, in the month of April. The City will also not be doing shutoffs this month as well. After a brief discussion on waiving late fees and shut offs, Bodner will check with Attorney Lading to see if a resolution may need to prepared declaring such.
At this time Mayor Neuhaus introduced Derrek Tiburzi and Christy Blank from the Illinois Department of Public Health. They began by stating that as of this time, there have been 422 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the State of Illinois within 22 counties. There were 136 new cases recorded today, and this number will likely rise quickly since testing kits have now become readily available. The ages of positive residents ranges from 9 to 99 years old. There have also been four deaths recorded with the youngest being a person in their early 60’s. The County is working closely with the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health to keep abreast of the situation, but as of this time there are no positive cases in Macoupin County. Over 3,000 tests have been run, so more positive cases are expected in the next few days. Ms. Blank explained that there are strict guidelines that are followed regarding the testing process. She stated that people who are most symptomatic should contact their primary care doctor for instructions. Governor Pritzker said today that there are more test kits coming soon. Tests are sent to the state testing lab in Springfield. They also explained that “persons under investigation” (PUI), who have shown symptoms of the virus should be quarantined for 14 days. These would be people who have been exposed to the virus via travel or have been in contact with someone who has already tested positive. Currently, there are two PUI’s in Macoupin County. The Illinois Department of Public Health’s website, idph.illinois.gov is available to all residents, and this is kept up to date and this will inform the public as to how many cases have shown positive in each county of the state. The Council thanked Christy and Derrek for coming to the meeting with some very important information.
Public Works Director Kuethe and Water Foreman Rothgangel stated that the coronavirus can not get in to the public water system. Rothgangel said all employees are using all kinds of protective equipment and are doing a great job of sanitizing at the water treatment plant. If any City workers are feeling sick or running a fever, they must stay home as to not infect other co-workers. Also, regarding the water treatment plant employees, at this time, only one plant employee will be working at a time. If one employee would get sick with the COVID-19 virus, all employees would have to be quarantined, which create a real problem since we have a one of a kind water treatment plant. Water treatment plant employees will also have no contact with citizens of the community at this time. The Council Members all agreed with this decision.
A lengthy discussion was held regarding the proposed Ordinance #2055 that was on the agenda for approval this evening. Some Council Members asked for some changes to be made to the Ordinance prior to approving. After the discussion, a motion was made by Bodner, seconded by Wallace to waive the 1st reading of Ordinance #2055 An Ordinance Related To The Emergency Created By The Impact Of The COVID-19 Virus, with the following proposed changes: adding the word “temporary” to Section 7 before the word “memoranda”, amending Section 11 and removing 30-1-1, 30-1-3, 30-1-4, 30-1-5 and 30-1-6, and to remove the last sentence in Section 14. Ayes: Wallace, Johnson, Hanks, Machota, Plenske, Taylor, Scanzoni, Bodner. Nayes: None. Absent: None. Motion carried.
A motion was made by Bodner, seconded by Wallace to approve Ordinance #2055 An Ordinance Related To The Emergency Created By The Impact Of The COVID-19 Virus, with the following proposed changes: adding the word “temporary” to Section 7 before the word “memoranda”, amending Section 11 and removing 30-1-1, 30-1-3, 30-1-4, 30-1-5 and 30-1-6, and to remove the last sentence in Section 14. Ayes: Johnson, Hanks, Machota, Plenske, Taylor, Scanzoni, Bodner, Wallace. Nayes: None. Absent: None. Motion carried.
With no further business to discuss, Councilmember Plenske, seconded by Councilmember Bodner made a motion to adjourn at 8:37 P.M. All present voting Aye, motion carried.