Wednesday, Aug. 28


Council debates rezoning
Fifth Street lots

[AUG. 28, 2002]  Rezoning two lots facing Fifth Street and changing the downtown parking ordinance came up for discussion Tuesday evening at the Lincoln City Council’s work session.

Cynthia Goodman, who would like to build a flower shop on the two lots at 1103 and 1129 Fifth St., across from the new Casey’s General Store, asked the council to override the planning commission’s decision and rezone the lots C-2 instead of the present R-2.

Wendell Lewis, Goodman’s father and part owner of the lots, and Goodman’s husband, Steve Goodman of Harold Goodman Excavating and Trucking, also addressed the council.

Lewis said he and other family members have owned the lots they inherited for the past 24 years and have not been able to sell them during that time.

"We’ve paid taxes and mowed the weeds on the lots since Father died, and nobody has showed interest in buying them for residential property," he said.

"I don’t blame them," he added, noting that between the Postville Courthouse and Lincoln Parkway there are only six residences. The rest of the properties fronting Fifth Street are commercial, he said.


On Aug. 15, the planning commission voted unanimously not to allow the rezoning, Cynthia Goodman said. She said five neighbors attended that meeting to protest changing the zoning, including the two who live directly behind the lots she plans to develop.

She said she was not sure why the planning commission turned down her proposal but she did not believe all of the members received copies of her petition and other information.

"It is not my intention to go in and cause trouble for the homeowners in the neighborhood," she told the council. She said she plans to construct a paved parking lot and a privacy fence, curbs and gutters along the back of the property. Also the lots need to be graded and leveled, and her husband, Steve Goodman, would do that work.

Grant Eaton, sewer plant manager, said he did not see a problem with drainage, and leveling the lots would be a benefit to the adjacent properties. "We work with Steve, and he would probably improve the drainage," he said.


Alderman Verl Prather said he had talked to some of the other owners of the property, who were in agreement they would sell to Cynthia Goodman. Goodman said the Fifth Street location would be ideal for her shop because it is not near other flower shops in town.

Prather said he had received "a lot of mail on this and would like to know why it was so strongly opposed." Some of the mail has been positive, supporting the rezoning, he said. He asked if the council could put stipulations on the development of the property to assure there is a privacy fence, curb and gutter, and dust-free parking lot, but City Attorney Bill Bates said that could not be done.

Alderman Glenn Shelton said he attended the planning commission meeting and was surprised by the negative vote. He said he was definitely in favor of the rezoning but would not be at next week’s voting session of the city council.

Bates reminded the council that an override of the planning commission’s recommendation takes a two-thirds vote, which means seven positive votes. An absentee is a no vote.

The rezoning will be on the agenda at the next meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 3.


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The council also discussed complaints about the parking restrictions downtown. At present, parking is prohibited from 2 to 5 a.m. so the street department can sweep streets and remove snow.

Mayor Beth Davis said she has been receiving complaints from people who live in downtown apartments about the parking restrictions. She suggested giving passes of some kind to the growing number of people who are now living downtown.

Prather reminded the council that before the restrictions were in place, the city received complaints from businesses that streets and sidewalks were not cleaned.

Street Superintendent Don Osborne said it would be very hard to deal with snow removal if cars could be parked all night. He said he would rather deal with auto owners individually than try to educate the entire public.


"Do we want to try to micromanage this thing?" asked Alderman Pat Madigan. "We can micromanage it or see it as what benefits the community as a whole."

Alderman Steve Fuhrer suggested a joint committee meeting of the police committee and the ordinance and zoning committee to discuss the problem. "It is not going to be easy if we try to do something," he said.

In other business, Police Chief Rich Montcalm said the department was applying for a $22,907 grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation to pay officers to look for seat belt and child safety seat violations.

He also said the department would do an accident study of the Ninth and Elm Street intersection to see if a four-way stop sign is warranted. The city received a petition with 15 signatures asking for the present two-way stop to be made four-way.

Before the work session, the council heard a presentation by Kevin E. Heid from First Midstate Inc. of Bloomington on issuing another general obligation bond. The city has been issuing the bonds since the early 1980s, and the money must be used for capital improvements such as work on infrastructure.

Heid said the maximum bond the city could issue without a referendum for a three-year term would be $465,000 and the maximum for four years would be $620,000. The city has outstanding general obligation bonds of $175,313 at present, which will be repaid by Dec. 1, before the next bond issue, Heid said.

The bonds will be sold locally, and there is an "excellent market right now," Heid told the council. He suggested the council take advantage of the low interest rates in effect at present.

Issuing the bonds will not raise taxes of city residents but will maintain a constant tax rate, he said. The council will have a public hearing on the proposal Sept. 16 at 7:15 in the council meeting room.

[Joan Crabb]

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Motorists urged to be aware

[AUG. 28, 2002]  Community policing tips from Chief Montcalm --

Dear Citizens:

The 2002-2003 school year is fast approaching. This is a very busy time for the citizens of our community. Safety is a critical concern in the areas heavily populated by our children going to and coming from school. Each year, more than 5,000 fatalities results from motor crashes involving pedestrians throughout the country. The citizens of Lincoln can all work together while helping the children start their school year off safely by looking out for the children. The school zone speed limit is 20 mph while children are present. The Lincoln Police Department will be increasing their enforcement to assist in the safety of the children.

Thank you,

Chief Rich Montcalm

Lincoln Police Department

911 Pekin St.

Lincoln, IL 62656

What is LEPC?

[AUG. 28, 2002]  LEPC is a state-mandated organization. Logan County LEPC is your Local Emergency Planning Committee for Lincoln and Logan County. It combines the private, business and emergency sectors of our county for a better understanding and response in case of a large-scale emergency or disaster involving hazardous materials.

Its main function is to help make people aware of the hazards associated with chemical materials and to learn how to package and store those materials safely. It also brings organizations together for exercises on emergency situations associated with a chemical spill so that when a real-life disaster comes, all agencies will know who the key people are in any emergency agency in the county and what part they should do to clean up after the disaster.

LEPC membership is made up of volunteers from the following constituencies: state and local officials; local environmental groups; law enforcement; local ESDA; hospital; transportation; firefighting; broadcast, print and electronic media; first aid and emergency medical services; community groups; health; and industry representatives.

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