At it’s Nov. 16 meeting, the Highland City Council also:
▪ Appropriating Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) funds for 2016 for the maintenance of streets and highways. The state mandated the city send in its MFT estimated budget by Dec. 1 despite the fact the state has not disbursed any MFT funds since July 1, due to the ongoing budget impasse. However, according to Public Works Director Joe Gillespie, the city has enough reserve funds to meet its needs through next year, if necessary.
▪ Approving a contract for ambulance service with Clinton County Special Service Area No. 5 (St. Rose) for calendar year 2016. St. Rose will pay the city $25,155 to cover its fire district with ambulance service.
▪ Approved intervention by the city attorney in a property tax appeal by Highland Healthcare Investors, which is the owner of a leasehold interest in a medical office building in the city.
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▪ Approved an access service request with Bluebird Network for installation and operation of a linear, 10-megabit Ethernet virtual private line between St. Louis and Highland and for installation of a multi-protocol labeled switch to cross-connect to a newly established external network-to-network interface (ENNI) of Big River Telephone Co.
Currently, voice and Internet traffic from the city-owned communication company HCS share the same bandwidth over the Internet and is without separation or Quality of Service (Qos) from CISCO routers at 192 Woodcrest in Highland to the Big River ENNI in St. Louis.
In order to offer business-class service to HCS voice customers, 10 Mbps of dedicated bandwidth is needed, and the upgrade would give the city that.
Cost includes approximately $30,000 in upgrades, plus a five-year service contract at $375 per month and $250 one-time charge.
With the upgrade, additional customers are expected to contract with HCS for voice services. However, the market and profit is yet unknown.
▪ Amended the schedule of FTTP rates and charges to add enhanced “V-fax” service for commercial customers. Virtual faxing allows customers to receive faxes only doing so via their computer. The V-fax service would have a one-time $15 service charge and a $19.99 monthly recurring charge.
▪ Set membership fees for the Korte Recreation Center. Daily admission will increase by 50 cents. Annual memberships will go up by $10, and three-month memberships will increase by $5.
The last increase in daily use and annual membership was in 2011. The KRC currently has 560 annual members and averages about $104,000 per year in general admission revenue.
The fee increases are estimated to bring in about $15,000 over the next year. Parks and Recreation Director Mark Rosen said the fee hikes are needed to offset cost increases in wages for part-time employees.
▪ Declaring four vehicles surplus property and authorized their sale. The vehicles are: a 2010 Impala police sedan with 96,332 miles; a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am that was a seizure vehicle awarded to the police department by the court; 2009 Impala police sedan with 90,370 miles; and a 2012 Impala police sedan with 83,207 miles.
The vehicles will be sold through public ads on Facebook, EBay, Craigslist and other means.
▪ Authorized the execution of the Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association minimum/maximum contribution agreement. This is the city’s liability insurance.