METROPOLIS, Ill. — Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel began Monday’s city council meeting congratulating those who had just been elected on April 6 — mayor-elect Don Canada, re-elected city clerk Jan Adams, alderpersons-elect Leah Michele Longworth (Ward 1) and Dylan Chambers (Ward 2) and re-elected aldermen Darryl Neill (Ward 3) and Chad Lewis (Ward 4).
The swearing-in of the newly elected officials is scheduled to take place prior to the May 10 council meeting.
The council then:
• Ratified action taken during the March 22 meeting, approving $47,128 to Brodke Well Service for material and labor at the Water Filtration Plant.
• Ratified action taken during the March 22 meeting, approving $7,600 to Link Warren for repairs to the floors at Happy Hearts.
• Approved the date change for a street closure approved during the March 22 meeting. The block party hosted by Hope Unlimited, with Massac County Housing Authority, will take place Thursday, June 17, with a rain date of Saturday, July 17. Closed will be Lincoln from Third to Fifth streets from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. with additional time before and after for set up and clean up.
• Approved a road closure from the edge of Superman Square to Sixth Street for the Super Museum Party After Dark family-friendly event from 4-8 p.m. Sunday, June 13.
• Approved the resignation of Linda Smith as the city’s senior accountant with her last day being June 30.
• Approved the payment of $19,200 to Quint Utilities & Excavating for the demolition of 504 W. Sixth St., 508 W. Sixth St. and 303 E. 12th St.
• Approved the sale of surplus property — two almost-30-year-old bucket trucks — to Holt Recycling at salvage value.
• Approved the purchase of a digester blower for the disposal plant for $3,665.63 from Sandner Electric Company.
• Approved sludge hauling from the disposal plant by Perryridge Landfill for $10,000 to $12,000.
• Approved a task order to execute plans for the UV project at the disposal plant.
Under citizen’s request, Chambers noted it is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week and thanked the dispatchers for all their hard work.
Under new business, Ward 4 alderman Jeremy Holley requested the formation of a citizen coalition to combat the city’s litter problem. Holley said there are several organizational steps that need to take place but hoped a date could be established at the council’s next meeting. “I know we can all do this as citizens, but I think people of the city look for us as a council and city government to support it,” he said.
Also under new business, Holley asked about the exploration of annexing Honeywell into the city. McDaniel said there have been discussions with Honeywell. “We have reached out to their representatives. It will take time,” McDaniel said.
Continuing his discussion from the council’s previous meeting on March 22, corporate counsel Rick Abell informed members that the city’s 2020 average residential electric rate was 13.26 cents per kilowatt hour. It was 12.64 cents in 2019.
The information came from the residential rate survey conducted yearly by the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency.
“We get this feedback once a year, and it helps us see where we stand relative to others,” Abell said.
The city’s electricity is a municipal-owned utility.
“Being a municipal, we serve our own distribution system. So, when we get a power outage on our system, it typically doesn’t last long. We had one (Sunday) out by Sonic. We were out an hour and a half; had that been Ameren, we’d’ve been off three or four hours,” he said.
He compared the city’s cost to those whose electric comes from investor-owned utilities, like Ameren, and from co-ops.
“We’ve told people for years we probably won’t be the cheapest, but we won’t be the highest — we’ll be somewhere around the middle. The best thing about where we’re at is we don’t fluctuate a great deal. It’s the spikes that folks have a hard time adjusting to,” Abell said. “Ours historically goes up at a smooth and slow incline.”
Abell noted that Paducah’s 2020 average was “higher than us last year at 13.4 to 13.6 cents and they’re just now putting on another rate increase, so Paducah’s going to be over 14 cents per kilowatt hour.
“We try to stay very competitive,” he said. “Hopefully, we get through COVID and our usage will be a little more normal, and we ought to see our rates slide back down under 13 (cents). The really cold month we had, those rates were 11.86 cents, so we’re doing pretty good.”