Wednesday, Sept. 10


Rained-out sesquicentennial festivities rescheduled, scooters scooting and historical preservation preserved      Send a link

[SEPT. 10, 2003]  Lincoln City Council members heard a variety of issues at Tuesday evening's work session. Plans are under way to reschedule street festivities that were rained out during the sesquicentennial; the city will be looking into becoming a facilitator for local historic preservation; a local businessman would like a city scooter ordinance revised or some other opportunity afforded to his customers that allows them to stay within the law; and neighbors see a need for a four-way stop sign. These matters were all discussed at length.


Mayor Beth Davis said that a couple of bands that were rained out of the sesquicentennial celebration would still like the opportunity to perform. She has looked into the possibility of setting up the stages again on Saturday, Sept. 27. The current suggested location is on Sangamon Street from Broadway to Pulaski streets, just past Old Joe's tavern.

The businesses that have been contacted in that area have agreed to the event.

The police have agreed to provide security. Plans still need approval by the fire chief. Again, alcohol would be permitted on the street and regulated by wristbands.

Mayor Davis also said that she has heard favorable comments from people who really enjoyed the festivity in the downtown streets. It brought a lot of people downtown, and there really weren't any problems. She said maybe we could do this one or two times a year in the future.

Alderman Derrick Crane said that his only concern was about how the businesses affected by street closings might feel about it.

With only two weeks to prepare for the event, the mayor said she would like to hear from any businesses that might be affected. The planning committee meets today (Wednesday) at 5 p.m. in her office. Anyone is welcome to attend. The city will vote Monday on approving the event.

Four-way stop

Neighbors near the corner of the 300 block of South McLean and Decatur streets have signed a petition requesting a four-way stop sign. One hundred people say that they are concerned for children crossing at the corner to gain access to Scully Park.

The corner has a yield sign on Decatur Street at present. However, councilwoman Jonie Tibbs said that she has seen cars go tearing through that corner, and she herself has had to brake for them (cars that were supposed to yield).

Assistant Police Chief Harley Mullins was requested to get an opinion from Chief Rich Montcalm and request that a survey be done to consider if a four-way stop sign would provide more safety at that location.

Historical preservation

Lincoln will soon be taking a second look at becoming involved in supporting local historical properties. A request was presented at last night's meeting to endorse a property as a local landmark. Mayor Davis said, "It is important to preserve some of these structures."

Owners of properties that receive the city's endorsement as historically significant are more likely to receive state grants to restore or maintain the property.

City Attorney Bill Bates said the city has no basis, ordinance or otherwise, upon which to declare something as historical in value. If the city is going to approve properties as historically valuable, there will need to be some standards set.

The city passed up an opportunity offered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency soon after Mayor Davis took office. At that time the council was overwhelmed by the volume of information that had to be sifted through to make use of the information. It was seen as too cumbersome to be of practical use.


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Mayor Davis said that she is willing to go through that information and look for what is applicable and what will make it more manageable. She also said she will look up the proposed ordinance that they had prepared and laid aside.


A local businessman came before the council to make a request. Paul Smith, who owns TNT Truck Repair, has also begun another business. He is a dealer and distributor for what he says are high-quality scooters. There are several types of scooters that he sells, and he has had customers come from Peoria and Springfield to buy them.

Scooters are available as both electric and gas. The electric ones go about 20 mph and get about 22 miles per charge.

Smith says sales have been good. A scooter he put on the car showroom floor recently at Jim Xamis sold right away. He's sold about 150 in two months so far. For every scooter he sells there's about $35 tax, and that's good for the city, he pointed out.

The problem comes in that, according to the state, Illinois law does not regulate scooters. They say it is up to local control.

According to Bates, city ordinance does not allow for unlicensed scooters on city streets.

To get a license requires:

1. The operator have a driver's license.

2. The vehicle be licensed by the state.

Smith says the scooters come with VIN numbers and suggests that the city print up licenses and charge a registration fee for them.

Steve Fuhrer suggested that the city should look at this a little closer. There could be problems such as the speed of the scooters. If they are only going 5 mph on streets with a speed limit of 30 mph, they could create a hazard.

Smith's response was that you have kids riding bicycles who break the law.

Mayor Beth Davis thanked Smith for presenting his request and said that they would take this matter under consideration and get back to him.

EMC: Move berm, don't move money

In other business, Grant Eaton of EMC said that they have a suggestion for a project that will provide long-term savings. The railroad is requesting that the city supply liability insurance because a berm at the wastewater treatment plant comes close to their property. The insurance costs $10,000-$15,000 a year. Eaton says that the engineering firm has noted a manner of moving the berm so that it no longer comes in proximity to the railroad property, and then it will not need insuring. Moving the berm will cost a one-time fee of about $30,000.

Eaton also apprised the city that it has gone into the $230,000 contingency fund about $107,000, so far. At the advice of the wastewater treatment plant project supervisors, Benny Huskins and Tom Thomas, he thinks that the full contingency fund should be kept in place. There could still be other costs, such as those requested recently by the Femley-Dickerson Company.

[Jan Youngquist]

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