Business expansion chores to be addressed
will meet in committee at 6:45 Tuesday evening (March 27), prior to
the city council workshop, to discuss liquor licenses. Availability
of liquor licenses has almost maxed out, while businesses in the
city are increasing. A request has been made from a business coming
into the city, Beck Oil, to sell packaged liquors, but no licenses
are available under the current ordinance.
Following the liquor discussion there will be a public hearing at
7 p.m. on the annexation into city limits and an annexation
agreement request from Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. The
hospital has taken an option on undeveloped property southwest of
the Logan County Fairgrounds. They are requesting infrastructure
development that includes a three-way intersection with Lincoln
Parkway and signal lights.
The subject of sewers is an oft-repeated topic. The
responsibility for the sewer line from the building or home to the
city line is on the property owner.
A resident came to the council recently to address a not-uncommon
problem that occurred in his neighborhood, near the hospital. David
Wilmert said that his neighbor, Diane Brown, had sewage in her
basement. The sewer lines in this area, and most of the older
neighborhoods in the city, do not go directly to the city line. They
are first connected together between the sidewalk and street, and
then connected to the city lines. There may be two or more houses
Lyle Benedict of Benedict's Mr. Economy was consulted. This
particular problem involved getting a longer piece of equipment than
was available anywhere in Logan County.
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Wilmert said that they contacted the city to see if they would
have the equipment that was needed. The residents were willing to
pay for the work and to sign a waiver if damage occurred. But they
were told that the city is no longer doing any work with waivers.
Wilmert and Benedict appreciated the advice and information
offered by the city's sewer system manager, Dave Kitzmiller, and
city engineer Mark Mathon. Wilmert said that they hired a company
from Decatur and then did the neighborly thing; the neighborhood
went together, each contributing a portion toward the total cost.
Wilmert emphasized that he did not like having to send big
dollars out of the county when that money could have been kept here.
He reminded the council that they say they want dollars to stay here
also. This was his purpose in discussing the matter with the
council. He asked the city to reconsider their policy on waivers or
find another means of handling this type of situation. "We can do
what's legally expedient, or we can do what's right," he said.
The multiple connections on the city right of way may pose a grey
area in what is private and what is public. There was one instance
that Benedict recalled when the sewer problem ran the whole block
and cost the property owner $20,000.
"If it's a city problem, it should go to the city," Benedict
said. He suggested that if it can be shown that two or more houses
are on a line running on city property, then it should be up to the
city to take care of it.
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