City agrees to condemnation letter against Ameren

Robert Blackford/Editor

Members of the Aledo City Council signed a resolution of condemnation addressed to Ameren at its July 7 board meeting. The city cited Ameren for its lack of responsiveness to legitimate concerns of the City of Aledo.

Alderman Mike Chausse, the loudest critic of Ameren on the board, made the motion which was agreed to by all of the council members present 7-0. Mayor Chris Hagloch went on record to support the resolution. Chausse asked if a certified letter could be sent to Ameren to make sure someone had to sign for it.

Chausse noted that the past two city administrations have had ongoing issues with the utility company that weren't getting resolved. Portions of the city have underwent several power outages in the past few years. A power pole near the Dollar General Store remains at a dangerous angle despite numerous complaints. The fire department has had to wait as long as two hours before Ameren has sent people to the sites of fires so the electricity there can be turned off. The city has asked for easement information for years with little response. The complaints have been numerous culminating in the vote.

The city agreed to a joint agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation for preliminary engineering on the multipurpose pathway project.

The council voted 5-2 to to move discussion of a professional services agreement with Bi-State Regional Commission for Preparation of a Community Fact Sheet to the Economic Development Committee. Aldermen Ila Bertrand and Barry Cooper voted against the proposal.

The council agreed on a 6-1 vote to purchase lockers for the new police department building at a cost of $18,500 with Alderman Cooper voting against the measure.

During the discussion portion Alderman Ila Bertrand questioned the large amount asking if it should have been part of the original bid.

Chief of Police J. Michael Sponsler said, "I totally, totally understand that."

The lockers will be paid for out of the TIF fund.

City Clerk Jarod Dale reported that the council will have to purchase a new computer and a desk for the secretary.

Administrator Bob Mahrt informed the council that he and the mayor had preapproved a change order regarding the construction renovation to the police building concerning the sidewalk but was presenting it for the council's approval afterward.

"What do you need us for?" questioned Alderman Cooper after finding out the project had been preapproved.

Mahrt said that he and the mayor had authorization to make changes up to $5,000 and the cost was only $693.

The council voted 6-1 to approve the change order with Aldeman Cooper voting against it.

The council also approved a change order regarding the broaden of generator being installed from a Cummins to a Generac which will save the city $2,113.

Police Chief J. Michael Sponsler noted his concern at the possibility for underage drinking at events where alcohol was being sold outside. I have alcohol concerns. I have traffic concerns," said Sponsler.

The council did decide to require RMA (Roosevelt Military Academy Rough Rider Association) to purchase insurance for the group's ceremony August 23 to unveil the Teddy Roosevelt statue.