He began with the comment that the fire trucks are taken and allowed
to idle. He said that as near as he knew, "that hasn't happened
while I've been chief."
He said that the firefighters take a pickup truck and work out
for 30 minutes to an hour.
He measured, and logistically speaking, the distance is one mile
from downtown. It would take one to two minutes, tops, to travel.
There is always another truck and firefighters on duty downtown and
ready to go.
Staying fit is important and part of their training, he said. The
work they do is labor-intensive. Just the standard gear a
firefighter wears and carries is quite heavy. Assistant Chief Mark
Miller read off a list that included the special coated and lined
coats and clothing and boots they wear, axe, helmet, air pack they
carry, and more, which mounts to 75 to 80 pounds. You have to be in
good condition to carry that much extra gear, he said.
Exercise is important not only to do the work, but also to avoid
heart attacks, which are common in firefighters, the chief said. The
multiday on-off schedule also makes it important to permit exercise
while on duty. "I feel I would not be doing my job if I didn't allow
(the firefighters) time for fitness training while they are on
duty," Hulett said.
The state of Illinois also recognizes the importance of
firefighters being physically fit, he said.
He invited councilmen to contact him anytime they have questions
City Hall repairs
Alderwoman Jonie Tibbs said that it's been discovered, while
examining the gutter system at City Hall, that the gutters leak water into the
building through the facade. It was also discovered that
the roof has hail damage that is causing leaks.
She's trying to get a contractor to bid on the gutters and roof
work. Insurance will be contacted about the hail damage.
Alderman Buzz Busby said, "I would suggest spending a proposed
$2,500 to patch the leaks now," and not wait for more damage to
occur before all the other work could be done.
Sewing cleaning request
Discussion of a request from the prison for sewer cleaning was
continued. Alderwoman Wanda Lee Rohlfs queried the council about the
importance of maintaining a relationship with the prison: Is this a
question of something we do versus do not do?
Busby responded, "We do more for the prison than the prison does
for the city." It was discussed in past meetings that the prison
pays for the chemical, but the city does spraying for them and the
city takes loads of wood mulch out to them.
"It would be opening a can of worms with private sewer systems
that we do not do now," Busby said. However he added, "If you can
get an intergovernmental agreement, I'll go along with it."
The city attorney noted that IGA and the Department of
Corrections have a specific quid pro quo of materials or service
Seven homeowners from the block northeast of Latham Park signed a
petition requesting a look at parking. Angle parking is provided
along the park, and there is parallel parking in front of the homes
across the street. According to the residents, an increasing number
of vehicles have been parking in the area. It is even worse on
Sundays, with two churches nearby, Neighbors to Nations and Lincoln
Christian Church. Residents are concerned for pedestrian, bicycle
and vehicle safety.
[to top of second column]
Tibbs asked Tracy Jackson, the streets superintendent, if he thought
an emergency vehicle could get through there at peak parking problem
Jackson said, "No, I barely got through there the other day."
Mayor Davis-Kavelman suggested finding out what the ordinance
says about the street clearance for emergency vehicle access.
Kathy Horn suggested keeping the angle parking, which allows the
most parking, and eliminating the parallel parking across the
street. Jackson agreed that would be a good solution.
Northwest School has requested that a crosswalk be created with
some striping on the street. The school has said they would provide
an attendant for its use. They would also like a hand-held stop
sign. The petition had a comment added that there have been too many
Jackson reported that roadwork on College Street between Fifth
and Eighth streets could be finished up by Monday. The project has
faced delays created by three big storms. One block has been
seal-coated, and the remaining section has had calcium chloride
applied to rock to hold down dust. The work is weather-dependent and
there is a possibility of storms in the forecast through the end of
The mayor said that she is still getting questions about the
possibility of getting a traffic signal at Fifth and College
A traffic count survey that was returned last month determined
that a traffic signal is not warranted at this time. The Illinois
Department of Transportation report did say that, based on current
growth figures, they expect that a signal at that location would be
needed within five years. IDOT has added it to the city's
The mayor mentioned that she received a letter from ReMax Realty
recommending a piece of property for sale downtown that would be
suitable to purchase for public parking.
Ward 1 representative
Citizens of Ward 1 may expect a representative soon to fill the
seat vacated by Alderman Benny Huskins. Huskins retired on July 15.
The mayor said she had a candidate to present to the council, who
makes the final decision, but she wished to bring a name forth in
executive session before making it public.
The council closed to go into executive session on two points of
order, collective bargaining and election of a public official.
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]