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Pensions, Bel-Aire Motel Ordinance Pass At Council

Updated: Thursday, August 7 2014, 12:06 AM CDT
SPRINGFIELD -- City council unanimously approved a Chronic Nuisance Ordinance against the Bel-Aire Motel, but that process won't begin for another 2 to 4 months.

The ordinance must still be signed by Mayor Houston. Once Springfield Police start enforcing the chronic nuisance and are called to respond at problem tenants at least 3 times, then those tenants will be kicked out.

Aldermen have said this process is just one step in taking control of the problematic property. Mayor Mike Houston says he believes an administrative hearing concerning more than 1,000 code violations will force the owner to give the property up.

"He will then go over to circuit court. Indicate that he doesn't owe this money and a judge will have to make this decision. I believe that as we follow this process, ultimately we will end up with the property," said Mayor Houston.

That hearing will take place on August 21st and 22nd. Also discussed at council Wednesday night was pensions.

Aldermen were able to come up with a compromise, giving police and fire pensions $500,000. That passed by an 8 to 2 vote.

State law requires pensions have 90% funding by 2040.

Alderman Joe McMenamin says more needs to be done in the future to reach that goal.

"We are really passing that debt to the future generations and that's just wrong. It's ethically wrong. It may not be criminally wrong, but it's ethically wrong to pass tax burdens on to those that are not even working yet," said Alderman McMenamin.

Aldermen Gail Simpson and Frank Lesko believe the city should wait to make pension payments until the end of this fiscal year in case the city needs to use any of that money in the budget.

Aldermen Simpson and Lesko became concerned about the budget after CWLP reported more revenue losses in June and July because of cooler weather.Pensions, Bel-Aire Motel Ordinance Pass At Council

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