Joliet City Council opts for new parking meter purchases, installations

By Megann Horstead | For The Bugle

Joliet officials are looking to make commuting in and around the city more convenient.

“We’re expanding the … [the system for] automatic payments for downtown parking,” Councilman Larry Hug said at a recent city council meeting. “It’ll be easier to pay with your credit cards, no more coins. You can also down the road be able to pay with your cellphone through an app. There will be a convenience charge.”

New parking meters could also help the city in addressing the insolvency of its parking fund, Hug said after the meeting.

The pay-by-space terminals are currently active on New Street, Washington Street, Eastern Avenue, York Avenue commuter lots, Union Station, Barrett’s parking lot and the two on-street trial locations.

In June, Joliet began a pilot program for replacing the coin-operated parking meters with multi-space pay stations that can accept coin, as well as credit and debit cards. Since that time, the city has determined the venture to be a success.

As such, the council took action to replace additional meters, which are to be supplied and installed by Total Parking Solutions, by approving a $14,820 proposal to install 19 pay and display terminals, making for a total cost of $178,980 with service agreements and software included.

Rules regulating salaries, fringe benefits for exempt employees amended

Also at the meeting, the Joliet City Council set out to review a measure allowing for an amendment and restatement of an ordinance that establishes salary ranges and fringe benefits for exempt employees.

A recommendation was made earlier this year to have a compensation study conducted. Since that time, GovHR has been working with city staff to implement changes to keep up with collective bargaining raises and combat future compression issues.

The city previously divided employees into four groups, but a proposal recommends 10 salary classifications, job title changes to better match duties to employees, and the implementation of a 2 percent salary increase for all collective bargaining units.

“I just think it’s too quick, too fast, and I would want some more information and [I would rather] vet it a little better,” Councilwoman Jan Quillman said.

Quillman wanted to table the matter until a later date only to find that no one would second her motion.

“Just for record, I do not wish anyone not to have a raise, and I think people are not be paid what they should be paid,” she said. “[That] should be brought up to par.”

The matter also drew concern from a constituent during the meeting’s public comments section.

Joliet resident John Sheridan congratulated the city for consolidating the salary adjustments to allow for consolidation, which was long overdue, and said it is also important to note that it appears some groups already have significant modifications on the books.

“It may be a little dangerous because you might want to look at management and the salary and non-salary employees and say that you’ll do a market adjustment every couple years,” he said. “That might be a little bit [more] fair because if you say you will, I mean, we have a city who has balanced a budget the last four years with reserve money, and this year probably won’t look that great with the reduction from the state [valued at] $1.9 million.”

The measure, as approved in a 6-2 decision, does not go into effect until January 2018. Council members Larry Hug and Quillman cast the dissenting votes.

Round it up

A brief recap of action and discussion from the Nov. 7 meeting of the Joliet City Council:

  • Council members approved a measure allowing for the renaming of the city’s multi-purpose stadium located at 1 Mayor Art Schultz Drive to Joliet Route 66 Stadium.
  • The City of Joliet authorized the transfer of a police dog to Officer Robert Badertscher.
  • Officials entered into joint purchasing agreement with the State of Illinois and Cargill Incorporated to purchase bulk rock salt at a rate of $46.13 per ton. The city is anticipating that it will need 12,000 tons of bulk rock salt during the 2017-2018 winter season.

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