Wednesday, May 23, 2007
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City chiefs and department heads report busy year           Send a link to a friend

[May 23, 2007]  The Lincoln City Council heard annual reports from all the city department heads at Tuesday night's business session. The reviews were over the city's past fiscal year, May 1, 2006, to April 30, 2007.

Speaking were:
  • Harley Mullins, assistant police chief

  • Mark Mathon, city engineer

  • James Davis, fire chief

Nearly everyone held in common a significant amount of extra work in bringing the numerous developments to the west side, with Sysco, Wal-Mart Supercenter and I-55 Commercial Park being the major projects. Commercial properties are in various stages of progress up and down both sides of Route 10 and Woodlawn Road from Business 55 to Interstate 55. These developments required extensive planning that included collaboration with businesses, outside contractors and engineers, and other government entities. The work has required major infrastructure design and financing.


Lincoln Police Department


  • 1,222 traffic citations

  • 608 written warnings


  • 496 traffic accidents; 395 of those on the roadway and 147 on private property


  • 2,471 incident reports

  • 495 arrests

  • 425 juveniles processed

The department went through an audit of training and procedures.

On May 7 Stuart Erlenbush was appointed police chief. He has implemented some of the changes recommended in the audit.

City engineer

Public infrastructure for the Wal-Mart Supercenter included Malerich Drive, Stuart Drive and sewer system extension, which are all completed.

For the I-55 Commercial Park, work with and between the property owners and the Lincoln Planning Commission led to the recent approval of the subdivision re-plat that adjusted number, size and layout of the lots. The Aussman-Johnson subdivision development was approved.

Phase one of the Sysco project is completed, which included the extension and construction of Heitmann, Sysco and Madigan drives; utility installations; and drainage improvements.

The final cost of Sysco's phase one came in 2 percent under initial estimates. This attested to contained construction costs, Mathon said.

Phase two is under way. This includes modifications to the interstate ramp, some added turn lanes and traffic signals on Route 10.

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Other improvement projects in the city were traffic signal upgrades at Union and Woodlawn, Logan and Keokuk, and Logan and Broadway intersections. These signal lights will be operating on new, energy-saving LED light bulbs and are expected to help with the city's electric bill.

Fifth Street road project: The city is responsible for a portion of this project. Hanson's engineering of Springfield is working on updating those plans and will submit the final report to the Illinois Department of Transportation. When IDOT has approved them, Hanson's will develop the construction plans. In the meantime, the city is continuing to look for funding mechanisms, Mathon said.

The slurry coat maintenance on several city streets last fall had a disappointing result, but the contractor will be redoing the work, Mathon said.

For this year's big project, reconstruction on North Sherman Street, bids will be let out later this summer. The work includes curbs and gutters, drainage improvements, and new asphalt surfacing.

Mathon said that he has been working with the county in the development of its geographic information system. GIS helps with a whole lot, he said: economic development, zoning and more.

Lincoln Fire Department

  • 1779 calls; average five calls per day; up 142 calls over last year; up 302 over two years ago

Inspectors have worked closely with Les Last, the building and codes officer, on the big projects: Wal-Mart, Sysco and Culver's to name a few. They have been involved in reviewing building plans to make sure everything is up to code for new construction.

Davis said his main objectives when he took over as chief were training and equipment. The department consists of about three groups, with a few men who have 25-plus years of experience, some 15 to 20 years, but a large majority are under 10 years and need the education. The men have been getting training. Classes are certified through the state fire marshal's office.

A cascade system was purchased for the technical rescue trailer. This makes more air for air packs available on the scene. "Whether in the city or out in the county, we don't have to come back to the station," Davis said.

Rescue struts that have multiple uses were purchased. They can be used for confined-space rescues or vehicle rollovers.

Numerous hand tools have been bought also.

The big purchase was replacing old radios and pagers. Communications in the field are greatly improved, the chief said.

Annual city department reports continue Thursday with reviews from Tracy Jackson, street superintendent; Dave Kitzmiller, wastewater treatment and sewers manager; and Bill Bates, city attorney.

[Jan Youngquist]

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