2021.03.08 Meeting Minutes
GREEN GARDEN TOWNSHIP
REGULAR MEETING MARCH 8, 2021
The regular meeting was called to order by Supervisor Murday at 7:00 p.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. In attendance were Trustees Newton, Standish, Wagner, Dietz, Supervisor Murday, Commissioner Hilliard, Assessor Bushong, & Clerk Coffey.
Trustee Dietz had a question regarding minutes prior to approving. Process explanation was given. T
here was a motion to approve the minutes as submitted from the regular meeting held Feb. 8, 2021 by Trustee Wagner with a second by Trustee Standish. Voice vote: Motion carried.
● Approval of Jim Wayman as Planning Chair & add Mark Sarkisian to PC. Both gentlemen in attendance, and happy to serve their community. Brings the PC to 5 members, including the Chair.
● There was a motion to name Jim Wayman as Chair & add Mark Sarkisian as member by Trustee Standish with a second by Trustee Dietz. Voice vote: Motion carried. Murday reporting
● 40 acre parcel subdividing into 2.5 acre lots, was to meet, miscommunication, did not happen. Will find out more.
● Company using Gateway name looking to put Mobile Home Park south of Steger east of 45. Matter on Land Use pre-application agenda in WC. Dietz monitoring, if it were to go forward would need Map Amendment & Special Use Permit. Existing Gateway has own water & tap into Frankfort sewer. Frankfort can bring sewer south of Steger but states if they supply infrastructure, they will require pre-annexation agreement. Frankfort’s Ordinance states if there is a pre-annexation agreement with us, must comply with building codes & specifications. Conflict there with density of MHP. Frankfort to keep us in loop. County directed developer to contact GG. Gateway property manager contacted, heard someone was using their name, Gateway has no involvement with property south of Steger and does not know who is approaching County, thinks someone is using the name, asked that we let her know if we find out. County & Village think it is “Gateway”.
● Spoke with attorney of applicant (Manhattan-Monee) requesting SUP for Industrial Use on AG
zoned property. Told them they have to come before PC & Board, and comply with requirements (publish in Vedette, post placards, public hearing etc). Time frame looks like heard in May, our position advisory, hope County will take our advice, but County has final say. Becker: Will Parker go to County P&Z then PC? Murday: No, hearing for County subsequent to hearing in Twp.
HIGHWAY COMMISSIONER’S REPORT
● Cold patched & spray patched roads (more maintenance after snow)
● 12 loads stone (Est 168 tons) hauled & spread throughout township
● Dragged all gravel roads, too early to grade
● 3 snow events – Feb. 8, Mar. 8, total 13.4” Season total 39.8” higher than normal
● In house truck & equipment repair
● Replace axle on plow truck, brake chamber replaced, 2 lights & serpentine belt for 6405, various plow maintenance
● Updated equipment list for Will County EMA (qualifies us for reimbursement if used in an Emergency via FEMA)
● Replace 2 signs
● Added “No Outlet” sign on Majestic Dr. (requested, MapQuest says road goes through)
● 1 mailbox post replaced
● Restocked salt supply Present Operations
● Spray patched tar & chip roads
● Plow damage clean up throughout township
● Employee handbook
● Jones repair, 1 truck fuel delivery problem
● Preventive maintenance trucks, wing bolts x 2, leaking plow cylinders
● Remodeling office Future Operations
● Widen box culvert on 104th
● Hard surface roads planned for 2021 – Pauling from Whispering Prairie to 45, 104th north of Pauling quarter mile, Prairie Schooner & Wagon Wheel roads are scheduled to be repaved with letting on April 21st & deadline for completion of June 31st (MFT & Illinois First money)
● Replace cross culvert on 80th south of Dralle (spring 2021)
● 104th south of Manhattan-Monee, working to increase shoulder & decrease slope of ditch with Will County Engineers, this now is a hazard Questions: Schultz questions 277 south east side on 88th, pond with no guard rail or berm, think it’s dangerous. Been there 1-2 years. Hilliard: I’ll check it out. Striggow: How much MFT funds available for what you want to do? Hilliard: About 71,000 Illinois First Funds, 24,000 left over. Strange part, had to bid out before thought about doing. Iroquois Paving estimated about 74,000, PT Ferro estimated about 180,000, totally off. I
called Will County Engineers they said closer to about 70,000. I have enough money, has to be done, road is going to pieces. Once comes through with bids (June 31st) I can cover it, confident enough in budget, even if came on high side, these other projects too. Striggow: We have enough in Motor Fuel? Hilliard: No, MFT & Illinois First (which runs 3 years) we did Links Edge, Whispering Prairie, & Canterbury 5 depleted pretty well. Murday: Grateful to Jim & crew during those storms GGT was head & shoulders above the others, he also fixed an issue for a resident with property damage in the Twp not caused by his crew. Cantone: Twp installed “No Outlet” sign on Majestic, can it be moved so I don’t have to look at it out my front window everyday? Hilliard: Shouldn’t be a problem, plans to meet homeowner tomorrow.
On-going, standard Assessor tasks/projects
● Began working on commercial property education & commercial assessments as needed
● Soft appeal submissions are in process of being analyzed & assessed values reduced if justified
● Attended TOI class on Township Budget Process February 25th
● Attended Land Use group call regarding new 63 acre mobile home development for GGT. School District 207U is concerned about number of children who may reside in this development Assessment values published in local papers, Follow-up from Feb. 8, meeting
● Each year, Will County SOA office publishes each township’s assessed values, which is statutory for the county. Green Garden Twp AV’s have always been published in the Farmer’s Weekly
● At the Feb. 8th meeting, Supervisor Murday asked that Assessor request from SOA future publications be printed in the Vedette, versus Farmer’s Weekly since that is the township’s preferred publication. Contacted SOA office & made request. The decision of which publication assessed values are published in is strictly made by the Supervisor of Assessments, Rhonda Novak, who chooses to have this published in the Farmer’s Weekly until further notice. COVID-19 considerations change tax payments – Reminder
● Will County board voted to change the tax payments from 2 payments (typically June & Sept) per year to 4 payments (June, Aug, Sept, & Nov). At this time this COVID relief will only apply to the 2021 collection period. Soft appeal – now open until May 15, 2021 – Reminder
● If a GGT taxpayer feels their assessment value is not accurate, they can file a soft appeal by completing the form posted on the GGT website. Complete instructions are also posted. Assessor’s Budget 2021-2022 Bushong: Concerns regarding budget, do you want me to hold back until the end or now? Murday: Can address when we do budget. Murday: Comments I heard or read about MHP, senior, 55 & older placate explosion of children at Peotone schools, whether true or not, with varying comments. Bushong: It was asked to see HOA contract regarding grandparents etc, don’t know what contract will be right now. Wagner:
Question for Chris Russell, been here 40+ years, always published assessment values in Russell, why stopped? Russell: Not GG, do most around here, don’t think Wilton & GG. Wagner: Do you want GG? Russell: Yes, my understanding historically is (in 50’s or 60’s) my Dad or Grandfather, Pat Cleary, & other papers in the area decided who was getting what and that’s the way it’s been since. Wagner: Makes sense to put all GG info in our local paper. Bushong: Chris would also give us a link to put on website. Murday: We’ll keep fighting.
Cherie Newton: GGT received $10,000 grant from Co. for Food Pantry. After much research, we have Jackson Creek Church & Helping Hands in Peotone, both serving our community. Working with administrator of the Fund, we will fairly split $5,000 to each. Up to Food Pantry if they want cash which may take longer to receive or submit receipts for immediate reimbursement. With board approval tonite I can let Bronner Group know of recipients & amounts, we sign off, they transfer funds. This is a blessing.
● There was a motion for GGT to direct Cares Act Funds to be split evenly between Jackson Creek & Helping Hands by Trustee Wagner with a second by Trustee Dietz. Voice vote: Motion carried. Newton: Spoke with Judy Ogalla, shared COVID vaccination center coming to eastern WC, location to be announced soon, hope to be up & running in about a month. Details to follow on website. Also, Cannabis tax dollars to Co., the County Board working toward reparation restitution with these tax dollars. Focus on fair, equitable, & inclusive to WC residents. Land Use did visit “smoke shop” by school, no marijuana or THC, told only sell nicotine based products. No ordinance in WC about selling nicotine products near a school. Wagner: Are they thinking of changing that? How close can a nicotine shop be near a school? Dietz: It’s 331ft. from school, spoke with Robin Tyda, only licensing on tobacco & liquor, this considered retail sales for paraphernalia. Don’t regulate retail sales on C-4. Ordinance on cannabis paraphernalia should be listed & apply to that, but it doesn’t. Murday: Look to address or change ordinance, can’t believe it’s not a topic. Striggow: Isn’t nicotine considered tobacco? Need a license to sell? No license was displayed that I saw, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Murday: County been there & knows, sounds like in conformity, best effort is to change ordinance, may be hard. Murday: Contacted by lady from Governor’s State doing initiative on behalf of supporting Veterans, wants to talk about things being done for Veterans & if she could use website. Murday: Not sure how yet, but maybe a “Police Blotter” regarding any activity in GGT to be put on website to benefit residents. Russell: Public relation person sends weekly. Murday: Can they send just for GG? Russell: Contact Kathy at Sheriff Dept. Bill Wagner: Projects people talking about, things like parks, rideshare, & tornado warning system. If wanted done in next 12 months, need to see what we can afford & put in budget for those. Still need to get together with Jane & Assessor’s Budget. Murday: Part of Assessors Report & Old Business, use of Town Hall. It’s been cleaned, bathrooms cleaned, & open back up to residents. Spoke with Bill regarding parking lot (rain tracks in dirt) once we know about Manhattan-Monee Rd. perhaps pave lot. Drive activity to this building, HOA wants to use for meetings, girl scouts, boy scouts, etc. Will start working on Budget, then bring to Board for discussion. Bill to do legwork. Russ Standish: Murday: Weather alert map with tornado sirens & range sent to Russ. Standish: Were you contacted from…Murday: Have not reached out to state rep or governing bodies in this regard. Wait until after election to speak to other elected officials. Standish: Worried about whether we have to move Town Hall, can’t wreck it, it’s a LandMark. Are we going to move it to land near Pauling? Up in the air, thought she would have contacted. Murday: We’ll keep in contact with Co. Ralph Dietz: Murday: Ralph point person with Land Use, put ourselves on mailing list for LU Subcommittee & Co. Board, we get Agenda (quite lengthy). Ralph goes through looking for things affecting GG. Dietz: Variance for maximum accessory bldg. area 3,000 to 3,775 on Prairie Schooner passed by WC Planning & Zoning. Had a good lawyer. Wagner: A variance? Dietz: 775ft, Frankfort usually turns down everything. Wagner: Maybe we would too, if we knew. They don’t come to us. Dietz: 10 other spots, all 2.5 acres over there, might have HOA. Jim knows about, asked for culvert for Pole bldg. so didn’t go over septic. Murday: To Bill & Ralph’s point on variances, should have put under Old Business, last meeting Bill suggested writing letter to Co. officials with desire to be more invested in notice process, notice of what is happening. I drafted letter on behalf of GGT, suggesting after election, elected officials of GG meet with WC to discuss. Now we receive Map Amendments & SUP, not variances. Our position is notification of anything. Like this Illinois Grow shop, no one knew. Any additions or changes to letter welcomed. Can discuss at next meeting.
Murday: Audited Annual Financial statement completed & filed. Current with state everything on file. Addressing something on social media regarding Penny Massat and improprieties with the handling of finances of GG. Asked Steve Weber (accountant) to quote. He agreed. Asked if anything he saw in our audit, yes, it was not a forensic audit, or managerial audit, but was an audit we have to do & file with Co. & State. Anything causing concern? Or make you believe we ought to do anything like that? His answer was no & I want record to reflect. Feel for Penny Massat & things said, taken out of context. People don’t deal with facts. Hope social media stream implication criminal activity posts what our accountant who filed our audited financial statements said. Murday: Jim, Jane, & I attended TOI Budgeting Continued Education course. Insurance application submitted through TOIRMA effective June1st. Additional things may be added, 95% Road District equipment, Township has Town Hall & some personal effects.
Vote to approve Agenda for Annual Meeting
Correction of typo by Clerk Coffey from August to April.
● There was a motion to adopt Agenda for Annual Meeting Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. by Trustee Wagner with a second by Trustee Newton. Voice vote: Motion carried.
Discussion re Assessor’s Budget
Murday: Bill & I met to discuss, we had questions. Table Assessor’s Budget so Bill can work with Jane on the budget. Bushong: (Forgot in her report) Can Sue attach my Assessor’s Report to minutes so it’s clear & get info there? Murday: My recollection is they don’t like doing that, in fact we want to talk about the minutes. Like to truncate them a little more, says they don’t like quotes in there. If it is permitted, no issues with you doing that. Newton: Can we put on website under monthly tab, Assessor’s Report, doesn’t have to be within minutes. Bushong: Regarding Assessor’s Budget, confused on how to proceed. Submitted budget in Jan. answered questions from Board. At Feb. meeting it was on Agenda to vote on. Under impression from last month’s meeting we were voting this month, still not voting. Confused about additional questions. As of Apr. 1, no budget, do I still keep incurring expenses? Will those be paid monthly as normal? Murday: Yes, don’t have budget in place, most Twp’s don’t know what Levy is yet, in April we vote on what is continuing appropriations, gives Twp ability to continue to operate until budget in place in June. Bushong: Possibly squash some concerns, 2 reasons budget is higher this year & why money was left & not spent. COVID, Assessor’s education & travel for education due to cancellations there is money left over. I am required to make that up, accomplish this year. Salary is the other, only used small portion this year because I don’t have a place to put employees. Used Jackson Twp. for comparison in the past, close to GG. We are heavier in residential, industrial. Their Assessor is part time (25-30 hours a week) paid a little more, also has 2 employees (1 in assessor business for 10-15 yrs) working 25-30 hours a week, they run the office. The Assessor works from home most times, they do the legwork. This is important, I will never get everything equalized & caught up without some help. Do we want to be caught up & efficient? The Assessor’s Office brings in 90-95% of the Townships revenue. Very important role I take seriously. I have put in office proposals going back to Jim Nolan. Murday: These conversations, I want you to have with Bill. These are meritorious comments. My concern raised with Bill was budget went from 34,000 to 43,000 now want 63,000 coupled with salary puts you at 100,000. Levy is 230, almost half what Twp. gets, increased at exponential rate. When Co. did your work it cost 28,000-30,000. JoAnn did it, wasn’t that salary or budget. I want sound discussion to be had. Raise your comments with Bill, so we don’t take this time up. Bushong: The leftover money not spent by Assessor’s Office, where does it go? Wagner: Back into total budget for Twp, for next fiscal year, not a carryover. Bushong: Should it be used to help fund going forward? Wagner: We will get together, discuss outside this meeting for a resolution. Bushong: Will we openly discuss what you & I discuss to the Board? Murday: Subcommittee to work out reaching solution/compromise. For the Board to approve 63,000 when it was 43,000 and 16,000 spent, you say COVID, you bought PPE, computer, so you could work during COVID, now you say you couldn’t do anything because of COVID. Bushong: I did not say that. Murday: Sit down with someone who has done the budget for years. Bushong: Agree, need to understand budget better. Has been mistakes in this budget, even reflecting Assessor budget that isn’t filed correctly. Apologies, concerned that it is wrong. Wagner: See if we can work out rather than here, try and answer ourselves. Bushong: Regarding Levy, levy filed in Dec. the total dollar amount is correct but the line item amounts are not, do we need to refile? Does it affect my budget? Does it affect the Levy? Dietz: My question too, the Levy & Appropriations line items don’t match, does it matter? Wagner: Levy extremely high level, very global. Dietz: Actual totals match, all the stuff in between, subtotals don’t match anything. Wagner: Right. Dietz: Contractual services, Assessor’s budget was 0, on levy says 2,200. Commodities: 9,000 on Assessor budget 5,000 way off, then mix everything up & come up with 42,000 total. Wagner: That’s where Jane & I will get together & come up with conclusion for chart of accounts. In future, funnel up to what Levy items are. Levy to disseminate down to chart of accounts, know how to budget & account for expenses. Every expense should be line item on budget. Need to start articulating what we need, like any business. Funnel up to director. Murday: Process I put in place, intend to follow so not bogged down with 2 hr. Meetings, hope for agreement, this not place for negotiations.
CARES Relief Reimbursement
Murday: Received reimbursement check from Co. payable to Road District. Will see what issue is. Bushong: Reimbursement money, can I use in 2021? Where does that go? Discussion over discrepancy as to where reimbursement funds should be allocated. Taken up with Bill later.
Use of Town Hall
Murday: Already talked about. Thanks Denise Bettenhausen, did remarkable job, proud to let people in here.
Schultz: Any chance of getting Co. Board member here so we can ask what they do & don’t do? Murday: If elected, I expect to spend a lot of time at Co. with folks that represent us. Absolutely something we should do. Striggow: You mentioned bookkeeper & new auditing firm, are you waiting until after election? Murday: Yes, Striggow: Assessor-Trustee thing going on here, Assessor & all the Trustees have to listen to what’s going on, grateful to Bill, but every Trustee should. Murday: When it comes here all Trustees will. Not going to negotiate budgets. Striggow: I think all should be there. Murday: Worry about Open Meetings Act. Striggow: Don’t know if you worry about that. Murday: I do, this is way we will progress. If you don’t like it, don’t vote for me. Chiocca: Think you’re doing a great job Don.
There was a motion to adjourn the meeting by Trustee Standish with a second by Trustee Newton. Voice vote: Motion carried.
Meeting adjourned at 8:28 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Susan Coffey, Clerk