City of Urbana Committee of the Whole met November 27
City of Urbana Committee of the Whole met November 27.
Here is the minutes as provided by the committee:
1. Call to Order And Roll Call
There being a quorum, Chair Jared Miller called the meeting of the Committee of the Whole to order at 7:00pm.
2. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting
Alderman Dennis Roberts made a motion to approve minutes from the meeting held on November 13, 2017. Motion seconded by Alderman Dean Hazen and carried by voice vote.
3. Additions to the Agenda
There were none.
4. Public Input
There was none.
Mayor Marlin informed the committee that as of last week the search firm had received 44 applications for the City Administrator position. The position closes December 8.
Mayor Marlin announced the dedication of a large photograph of Abraham Lincoln, at 2:30pm, on the first floor of the old courthouse near the Lincoln Museum in Springfield. The photo was taken shortly after he received the Republican nomination for President.
On Monday, December 4 at noon, there will be an Illinois Bicentennial Flag Raising ceremony in front of the City Building.
6. Staff Report
1. IDOT Quarterly Update
Police Chief Sylvia Morgan and Crime Analyst Melissa Haynes presented the quarterly update on traffic stops from April to September 2017. Ms. Haynes gave updates for the quarter.
• UPD had individual follow-up meetings with five council members to discuss recommendations.
• The Mayor and HRO have conducted three meetings with local pastors and community members. They discussed traffic stops, ways to reach community members, property taxes, the need for civic education, issues with property maintenance and management in the neighborhoods and needs for jobs. Additional meetings will be held in the future.
• A new traffic stops video filming will be done in the near future with HRO and the police department to educate younger drivers about the process of a traffic stop. A summary of the quarterly statistics shows:
• Significantly fewer traffic stops in 2017 compared to average of the previous five years.
• Reason for stop has not varied significantly in 2017 compared to previous five year average, nor has the percentage of STEP traffic stops.
• African American disparity ratio has increased and is higher for non-STEP stops. The Asian disparity ratio has decreased.
• Disparity ratio for citations and warnings has fluctuated , but remains close to 1.00.
• Traffic stops of African American drivers is concentrated in areas with high African American census population and is concentrated in areas with high citizen-initiated calls for service.
Ms. Haynes told committee members the University of Illinois and Urbana Police Department will be working together on a project funded by a National Institute of Justice Grant. The project will include citizen surveys, interviews of participants, and of community members in areas with high concentration of calls for service.
Michael Schlosser, Director of the Police Training Institute (PTI) was present. He spoke about the National Institute of Justice grant recently awarded to the University of Illinois. The grant is titled Understanding the Impacts of Policing Strategies and Practices (Beyond Crime Reduction) and will fund a research project with the University of Illinois and Urbana Police Department to look at the effects of community policing in neighborhoods. The police department will use different strategies in randomly chosen hot spots, including targeted patrol and community policing, as well as patrolling as usual in a third area (the control group for the study). The research team will look at the effects of the different strategies.
There are three phases of the research project, the first of which is funded and will begin in January 2018, and two more projects with the potential for funding. Dr. Jeff Martin, an anthropologist with the U of I was present and explained his part in the project and said there will be several students who will also be working on the project.
There was extensive discussion, during which frustration was expressed at the lack of information to committee members before the meeting, giving them little time to look at the material to prepare questions and feedback.
There will be more discussion at the Council meeting on December 4 on this item, and it was requested to have more information about the grant available at that time.
Video of presentation and discussion can be found at:
7. Resolution No. 2017-11-075R: A Resolution Accepting Ameren Energy Efficiency Staffing Grant Incentive
Environmental Sustainability Manager Scott Tess informed committee members that this is a grant from Ameren Illinois which will be used to hire some engineering analysis of our guaranteed energy savings project. The analysis is required by state statute and the grant is prorated based on actual energy saving versus the expected energy savings. The money will not be received by the City until the project is finished. This resolution is authorizing the Mayor to accept the grant.
Alderman Ammons made a motion to send Resolution No. 2017-11-075R to council with recommendation for approval. Motion seconded by Alderman Roberts and carried by voice vote.
8. Ordinance No. 2017-11-068: An Ordinance Approving Amendment No. 1 to a Power Purchase Agreement with WCP Solar Services, LLC
Environmental Sustainability Manager Scott Tess told committee members the original agreement, approved by City Council last year had a technical error. The solar array is located on City property and powering the Urbana Arbor Shop. The legal description of the solar site in the original agreement was worded to include two parcels of land. The solar company was not utilizing the entire two parcels, but as a commercial operation was obligated the pay property tax on all of it. The amended agreement includes only the land occupied by the solar company so the company will be paying tax only on the portion they use.
Alderman Roberts made a motion to send Ordinance No. 2017-11-068 to council with recommendation for approval. Motion seconded by Alderman Brown and carried by voice vote.
9. Discussion: Debrief on UN Climate Conference and update on Climate Action Plan COP23 Environmental Sustainability Manager Scott Tess spoke to committee members about his attendance at the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Bonn Germany. He was one of seven delegates sponsored by ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, to attend the conference. Mr. Tess said the common commitment of those attending the conference was to deliver a climate with less than 1.5 degrees Celsius their children.
Mr. Tess went over the City of Urbana Climate Action Plan Phase 2 through 2020. The plan is to reduce greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020.
Some of the current climate pollution reduction activities include:
• Exploring the feasibility of small-scale wind turbines within the City
• Engaging in performance-based contracting to improve energy efficiency of City facilities and street lights
• Evaluating the planning, zoning, and permitting of solar arrays with the US Department of Energy
• Evaluating feasibility of electric vehicle purchases with the Fleet Division
• Maintenance of existing urban forest by the Arbor Division
• Implementation of bicycle master plan by the Engineering Division
Food scrap recycling was discussed. After studying the program in other communities, staff concluded the following would most likely be required for a curbside scrap collection and composting service:
• Additional staff and $250,000 in equipment acquisitions at the Landscape Recycling Center
• Doubling or tripling the current U-Cycle fee of $3.10 per month
• Generating additional markets for finished compost fertilizer product
Video of this presentation and discussion can be found at:
There being no further business before the committee, Chair Miller declared the meeting adjourned at 9:46pm.