mayor opens new year with appointments and State of the City address
[MAY 2, 2006]
The perseverance of the townspeople and its city
leaders through difficult times could be seen as a tribute to the
first city named for Abraham Lincoln. In her "State of the City"
address, Mayor Beth Davis reflected on the challenges the city
administration faced and has gotten through during her
administration and where things are today.
Monday being the opening meeting for the new fiscal year and with a
full council in attendance, the mayor conducted a number of official
matters. She appointed department heads, announced new committees
and chairmen, and gave her State of the City address.
Past department heads were all asked to accept reappointment:
Police chief: Robert
Fire chief: James
Building and safety
inspector: Les Last
Streets and alleys
superintendent: Tracy Jackson
City attorney: Bill
All of the above accepted the mayor's invitation to continue
their service and were sworn to their offices by Melanie Riggs, city
The mayor asked Verl Prather to serve as mayor pro-tem, and
aldermen approved his nomination.
The mayor reappointed aldermen mostly to the same committees, as
there are many ongoing projects. "I appreciate all your hard work,"
The mayor called upon the department heads for their reports.
Les Last, building and safety inspector
A total of 462 building permits were granted, resulting in
$16,694,767.70 construction (Last was joined in chuckling over the
70 cents). The office received $17,881.60 in permit fees.
The following expansions were completed: Lincoln College
maintenance, Lincoln Christian College indoor sports complex, Maple
Ridge, and Zion Lutheran Church addition and modifications for
handicapped. New building construction took place at Coy's Car
Center, Dollar General on Limit Street, and Sysco will be completed
this month, Last said.
Last said that he processed 431 ordinance violations and made 30
appearances in court. Five repair or demolish orders were issued to
property owners this spring, he said.
Tracy Jackson, streets and alleys superintendent
The streets department has been performing routine maintenance on
alleys, right of ways and boulevards; filled potholes; repaired or
installed sidewalks and curbs; coordinated with AmerenCilco in tree
maintenance; and performed storm cleanup. They will continue pouring
handicapped ramps, and there will be a lot of seal coating to
maintain streets this summer.
The department has worked with various organizations putting on
events throughout the year: Lincoln Heritage Days, the Logan County
Fair, Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival, Elks Crippled Children's
Fundraiser, and other events.
They also work with other
departments and agencies: the police department daily, the fire
department at fires, the Logan County Emergency Management Agency
during incidents and jointly with the Logan County Joint Solid Waste
Agency in cleanups.
When possible the department performed street work that has saved
the city some money with the Elm Street project and extending
Madison Drive 1,200 feet at the Sysco site.
Seasonal work included leaf pickup, plowed snow and now spraying
Dave Kitzmiller, wastewater treatment facility manager
The plant pumped 2 billion gallons wastewater this past year.
They cleaned 82,000 feet pipes in the collective system, televised
(remote-viewed sewer pipes) 7,000 feet for problems, replaced aged
visual equipment, replaced pumps at Union and Pulaski Street lift
stations; preparing to replace Lincolnwood with Zion lift station
and the south plant soon to follow.
In November the plant celebrated seven years with no lost man
accidents, Kitzmiller said.
James Davis, fire chief
Davis said his report would be a bit short, as he just began in
his position three months ago. He said that his priorities are
training and equipment, which has meant getting the new guys to
school and getting the best equipment possible.
He credited six individuals for spending a lot of time applying
for a homeland security grant. They should hear back on that in a
couple of months. A trip was made to Indiana to begin looking for a
From most senior man to lowest in seniority, they are getting
involved and seeing the results from it.
They have had 540 runs this year, 15-16 structural fires, with
three or four mutual aid assists from the Lincoln Rural Fire
The police department has continued the D.A.R.E. program for
sixth grade through high school ages.
They've taken advantage of purchasing some supplies through the
military surplus. Through that avenue they've been able to acquire
computer parts and weapons at a substantial savings, Rawlins said.
A new officer is completing his six-week training at the
University of Illinois.
All officers are current in the National Incident Management
System, although more training classes are expected that they will
need to certify in yet.
Three officers have recertified in dismantlement of clandestine
Three field training officers have been expanding their knowledge
and sharing different ideas.
Officers are continuing to pursue schooling opportunities,
strengthening the department in a diverse range of areas from
criminal law to criminal investigations.
The department continues to strive to help the Logan County
Sheriff's Department and work collaboratively.
Mark Mathon, city engineer
Elm Street reconstruction is nearly complete. The south end was
paved last week and the north end is scheduled for today (Tuesday)
weather permitting, Mathon said.
He worked with the Lincoln Planning Commission and Wal-Mart on
final construction plans, with digging beginning at that site last
Phase 1 of Sysco is near completion with the development of
Sysco, Heitmann and Madigan drives.
Phase 2 includes traffic signal light improvements at Heitmann
and Madigan drives on Woodlawn Road, plus interstate ramp access,
which will be let out for bid this summer, with work to begin in the
Two other traffic signal plans were added this last year for
Woodlawn Road, one at Taylor Court and one at Arthur Park.
Broadway Street overlay from Logan to Union Street was completed,
and channel shaping of Brainard's Branch and riprap was added at
Grove and Palmer Street bridges.
Mathon has been heavily involved in GIS meetings with the county.
The project is in the parcel mapping stage and is of particular
importance in the process of farmland and property assessment.
Bill Bates, city attorney
Sysco and Wal-Mart agreements took a lot of the city attorney's
time this last year. Much of it was new territory and Wal-Mart likes
things done their way. To negotiate with them created some "trying
times," Bates said.
He spent a considerable amount of time writing ordinance
violations and taking them to court for the city. Addressing these
is for the betterment of the community.
He also addresses tickets written by the police. There were 10
tickets after this past weekend, with most alcohol-related.
He reviews documents for all departments and also deals with
grievances from city departments, though Lincoln does not have many,
he said. He commented that he thought this was because the city has
a good working relationship with the unions. New three-year
contracts were completed this year, which is productive for the
city, Bates said.
Finance chairman Verl Prather reminded department heads to watch
the first two to three months' spending, with easier budget time to
follow that period.
Prather called a streets and alleys committee meeting for 5:30
p.m. May 9 to discuss the Fifth Street Road project. The city will
be responsible for a large portion of the costs from Lincoln Parkway
to Interstate 55. "It's time, with all the development going on out
there, to get this taken care of," he said.