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Board Meeting Minutes November 4th, 2020

After an opening prayer and pledge of allegiance, President Michael Suarez called the meeting to order.

Clerk Richard Ramirez took attendance. The following were in attendance: Trustees: David Suarez, Guadalupe Hernandez, Robert Belba, Michael Fiudo, and Charles Arriola. Trustee Raul Munoz was absent. Police Chief Gerald Brown, Fire Chief Robert Allen, Public Works Director Roger Juenger, Interim Treasurer, Sally Rodriguez and Zoning Secretary, Stephanie Pacheco were also in attendance.

A motion to approve the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, was made by Charles Arriola and seconded Robert Belba. Roll Call Vote: David Suarez, yes; Guadalupe Hernandez, yes; Robert Belba, yes; Michael Fiudo, pass; and Charles Arriola, yes. Trustee Raul Munoz was absent. Motion Passed

At this time Mayor Suarez introduced Carlos Gomez. Mr. Gomez grew up in Fairmont, has an extensive financial background and has agreed to take on the role of village treasurer. The mayor asked for the board’s approval.

The motion was made by David Suarez and seconded by Guadalupe Hernandez to approve the appointment of Mr. Carlos Gomez as Village Treasurer. Roll Call Vote: David Suarez, yes; Guadalupe Hernandez, yes; Robert Belba, yes; Michael Fiudo, yes; and Charles Arriola, yes.

Trustee Raul Munoz was absent. Motion Passed

Treasurer’s Report – No Report

Clerk’s Report

The clerk presented a Building Permit Application, 3313 N 62nd Street, Room Addition, Juan De Avila, Owner.

With everything in order, the motion was made by Charles Arriola and seconded by Robert Belba to approve the Building Permit Application, 3313 N 62nd Street, Room Addition, Juan De Avila, Owner. Roll Call Vote: David Suarez, yes; Guadalupe Hernandez, yes; Robert Belba, yes; Michael Fiudo, yes; and Charles Arriola, yes. Trustee Raul Munoz was absent. Motion Passed

Clerk Ramirez presented a Building Permit Application, Marsico’s El Najar Restaurant, 5606 Collinsville Road, a Covered Patio, Alejandro Najar, Owner. There was some discussion regarding one of the drawings Mr. Najar submitted. It appeared a wall might be in the construction plan. It was agreed to approve the permit and ask Building Inspector Sehr to meet with Mr. Najar regarding the drawing.

The motion was made by Charles Arriola and seconded by David Suarez to approve the Building Permit Application, Marsico’s El Najar Restaurant, 5606 Collinsville Road, a Covered Patio, Alejandro Najar, Owner, pending, a clarification of the plan with Building Inspector Sehr. Roll Call Vote: David Suarez, yes; Guadalupe Hernandez, yes; Robert Belba, yes; Michael Fiudo, yes; and Charles Arriola, yes. Trustee Raul Munoz was absent. Motion Passed

Mr. Ramirez presented a Building Permit Application, 2553 N 32nd Street, Carport Extension, Jesus Marquez Perez, Owner.

With no objections the motion was made by Charles Arriola and seconded by Guadalupe Hernandez to approve the Building Permit Application, 2553 N 32nd Street, Carport Extension, Jesus Marquez Perez, Owner. Roll Call Vote: David Suarez, yes; Guadalupe Hernandez, yes; Robert Belba, yes; Michael Fiudo, yes; and Charles Arriola, yes. Trustee Raul Munoz was absent. Motion Passed

Report of the Zoning Board

Mayor Suarez gave a brief overview of the Advisory Report, Case 2020-02, a Variance to allow a Single-Family Home on Less than 3-lot Minimum, 3218 Maple Avenue, Ana Romero­ Lizana, Owner. Ms. Romero has been working on the plans for a new home on property she acquired from the village over a year ago. The property is 50 feet in width and the Zoning Code calls for 75 foot minimum. Ms. Romero has notified the neighbors of her plans and none objected. The board was in agreement with the Zoning Board’s recommendation to allow the variance.

The motion was made by Charles Arriola and seconded by David Suarez to approve the recommendation of the Zoning Board of Appeals as described in the Advisory Report, Case 2020-02, a Variance to allow a Single-Family Home on Less than 3-lot Minimum, 3218 Maple Avenue, Ana Romero-Lizana, Owner. Roll Call Vote: David Suarez, yes; Guadalupe Hernandez, yes; Robert Belba, yes; Michael Fiudo, yes; and Charles Arriola, yes. Trustee Raul Munoz was absent. Motion Passed

Report of Police Chief

Chief Brown reported the community will be seeing some new faces in police cars. The chief has put in place a 12-hour rotating shift schedule. The rotation will bring the previous fixed night and evening shifts into the daylight per rotation.

The chief reported Germain Garcia – Martinez, latest full time hire that has been part time with the village for about 4 years, will complete the academy transition on Friday.

Chief Brown asked those present to identify persons known to them that maybe in need of groceries. The FCPD Charitable Foundation will be holding a food drive out of the Community Center this Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 10am. Recipients park their cars and the food will be delivered to their trunk.

The chief also reported he has been contacted by the St. Clair County Grants Department to advertise the grants department is looking for lead rehabilitation contractors. If anyone knows of any one, please contact the police chief or the grants department.

Report of Fire Chief

Fire Chief Allen reported the fire department payroll as of October 31, 2020 will consist of 206 calls resulting in a slightly higher increase from the past year. The chief is still working on some minor details and hopes to have the report ready for review at the next meeting.

The monthly siren test was successful on both sides of town.

The pumper truck the department had in the repair shop for about 1O days is back in service. The chief reported the cost was actually less than he expected.

The toy drive wrapping is 30% complete. The group is still soliciting funding and has close to $10,000.00 to date. The chief is very grateful to Mary Beth Peterson for orchestrating the wrapping process in all the right COVID ways.

The chief has purchased 100 masks for distribution day. He is still working on the food process and proper social distance measurers. The drive usually has 10,000 gifts to give away and is almost there. There is still shopping to be done.

Report of the Public Works Director

Public Works Director Juenger reported Ameren is in the process of replace village streets lights with LED at no charge. He would like everyone to be aware due to the fact that the company seems rather random in the process and residents may be wondering what is happening. He is thankful for such a wonderful opportunity.

Committee Reports

Police/Public Safety-Chair- Charles Arriola

Charles Arriola reported work has begun at the police department renovating the front hall way into a “safe zone”. When the renovation is complete the area will be open 24/7 for emergency reporting with a direct line to dispatch. He is looking forward to being able to advertise the option on the website, Facebook and in the village newsletter.

Economic/Finance, Development, Planning, and Tourism – Chair – Michael Fiudo – No Report

Fire Protection – Chair – Robert Belba, Sr. – No Report

Community Relations & Communications – Chair – Raul Munoz – Absent No Report

Public Health & Housing – Chair- Guadalupe Hernandez

Trustee Guadalupe Hernandez asked for an update from Public Works Director Juenger regarding the drainage issues on the east side of town. The director reported he has plans on getting started digging ditches and adding culverts on those streets. His crew is currently working on holiday lighting. When that is finished, he plans on working with the drainage problem there.

Streets, Sewers, Grounds, Building & Parks – Chair – David Suarez – No Report

President’s Report

Mayor Suarez introduced Killian Weir and invited him to give an update on a new state program available from the office of the Illinois Department of Human Services. Mr. Wier reported a new program is available for persons over 65 who are immigrants with no insurance. The applications are available on line at, www.abe.illinois.gov, or at 225 N 9th Street, the East St. Louis DHS office. Mr. Weir suggested using the internet application option.

Mayor Suarez reported a meeting has been set up with the village engineer to determine the 2nd phase of the village wide, road repairs. He hopes to have a plan to present at the next meeting.

The mayor could not wait to express his pleasure with the Trunk or Treat event held October 30, 2020. The event was amazing, and he is committed to making it annual.

Once again, the Mayor’s COVID safety reminder, mask up, wash hands and keep distant, especially with flu season among us.

At this time, Clerk Ramirez wanted to add a thank you to Therese Suarez and Ben Garcia for orchestrating a hay ride out of Koke’s the same night as the Trunk or Treat. His grandchildren, along with others thoroughly enjoyed it.

Public Comment

Ana Romero wanted to thank every one for their contribution in allowing her new home to happen.

Katie Heaton, representing the village library, was also there to give praise to the Trunk or Treat event. Ms. Heaton reported, she believes the adults may have had more fun than the kids.

On a more serious note, Ms. Heaton reported through the efforts of the Latino Round Table group she participates in; the village is the recipient of a $25,000.00 Connectivity Grant. It was a nationwide grant and the village was in the top 40 picks. She will be setting up mobile hot spots and is open to suggestions. Congratulations were shared.

Another resident asked about the possibility of a carrier like Charter or Spectrum coming to the community. This opened a repeated discussion of the aggravation in trying. It was concluded that Spectrum Business is actually in the community now. It’s the frustration involved in trying to make it available to residents that the mayor struggles with. The mayor and board of trustees is committed to keep trying.

Executive Session

At this time the mayor asked the public to leave the building as the board is entering an Executive Session regarding finance.

After the public had left the building the motion was made by Charles Arriola and seconded by Robert Belba to enter into an Executive Session regarding finance. Roll Call Vote: David Suarez, yes; Guadalupe Hernandez, yes; Robert Belba, yes; Michael Fiudo, yes; and Charles Arriola, yes. Trustee Raul Munoz was absent. Motion Passed 7:31pm

The motion was made by Robert Belba and seconded by Charles Arriola to return to the regular order of business from Executive Session. Roll Call Vote: David Suarez, yes; Guadalupe Hernandez, yes; Robert Belba, yes; Michael Fiudo, yes; and Charles Arriola, yes. Trustee Raul Munoz was absent. Motion Passed 7:37pm

The motion was made by Michael Fiudo and seconded by Robert Belba to approve a Civilian Christmas Bonus as presented. Roll Call Vote: David Suarez, yes; Guadalupe Hernandez, yes; Robert Belba, yes; Michael Fiudo, yes; and Charles Arriola, yes. Trustee Raul Munoz was absent. Motion Passed

At this time Fire Chief Allen asked those present to witness a drawing for the 50/50 fund raising raffle held on behalf of the Toy Drive. Ana Romero was asked to draw. Gerald Brown’s name was the draw, and winner of $1,000.00.

Municipal Bills

The motion to approve payment of the bills as presented on this day, November 4, 2020, in the amount of $24,048.96 was made by Charles Arriola and seconded Guadalupe Hernandez. Roll Call Vote: David Suarez, yes; Guadalupe Hernandez, yes; Robert Belba, yes; Michael Fiudo, yes; and Charles Arriola, yes. Trustee Raul Munoz was absent. Motion Passed

Adjournment

With that, a motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Charles Arriola and seconded by David Suarez. Roll Call Vote: David Suarez, yes; Guadalupe Hernandez, yes; Robert Belba, yes; Michael Fiudo, yes; and Charles Arriola, yes. Trustee Raul Munoz was absent. Motion Passed

The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted
Richard D. Ramirez
Village Clerk
November 4, 2020

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