Emergency sirens will move from City Hall to safety complex
The emergency warning siren on top of City Hall is no longer
functional. Considering the new roof that will hopefully be going on
the building soon, the council had discussed placing a new siren on
Hamilton Street. Fire Chief Hulett told the council that plan is not
going to work.
There has been a verbal agreement with the Logan County Safety
Complex saying that the siren can be placed on their roof.
An intergovernmental agreement has been drafted by the city
attorney's office and will be forwarded to the state's attorney. If
it meets with county requirements, it can be signed by the city on
Monday, the county on Tuesday, and the siren can be erected by the
end of next week.
Dan Fulscher of the emergency management agency and Hulett both
agree that with the storm season approaching, this needs to be done
as quickly as possible.
Singleton lift station is failing quickly
David Kitzmiller, wastewater treatment manager, said that the
Singleton lift station is not going to last much longer. With the
heavy rains last week, crews are going to the station on the average
of every four hours trying to keep it running.
Kitzmiller wants to spend $5,000 for a temporary pump that will
keep the station going until the council decides on a larger-scale
plan involving moving the old Kmart lift station to Singleton.
Kitzmiller said that this was only a temporary fix and that
eventually, one way or another, the Singleton lift station would
have to be replaced.
Because expenditures less than $10,000 do not require a vote,
Alderwoman Marty Neitzel, who chairs the wastewater and sewer
committee, told Kitzmiller to proceed with the temporary fix.
Kitzmiller also said that he had heard from Donohue & Associates
regarding the plan that he and city engineer Mark Mathon had
developed for sewer improvements along Woodlawn. The plan includes a
new force main near Malerich Drive, removing the Kmart lift station
and taking it to Singleton, and closing sewer lines running south of
Woodlawn Road along Lincoln Parkway to Fifth Street. Donohue
estimated that the project costs would reach $350,000 to $400,000 by
completion. Kitzmiller reminded the council that this would resolve
the Singleton problem and in the long run would save the city money.
Logan County Emergency Telephone System
At last Monday's meeting, the council voted to renew their
intergovernmental agreement with the Logan County Emergency
Telephone System Board for the coming year, beginning May 1.
The ETSB agreement requested that the city pay a total of
$148,439.55 for the centralized dispatch services. This constitutes
a 5 percent increase over the current year.
Fulscher came before the council last week to express his
appreciation for the vote. He also said that he wanted to explain
the increase. He cited that the ETSB staff raises for this year
would be 2.5 percent and that insurance and workers' compensation
had seen increases that need to be covered.
In addition, the ESTB is requesting an additional $12,000 this
year for their software contract. The New World software package was
purchased using grant funds. The first year of maintenance and
service to the software was free, but now there is an annual fee of
$36,000, which would be divided among Logan County, the city of
Lincoln and 911.
Fulscher explained that the annual agreement provides all
upgrades to the software, eliminating the need for any future
Route 66 Association Motor Tour
The downtown courthouse has been selected as a stop for the
bicentennial Route 66 Motor Tour on June 13.
A letter from Geoff Ladd of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of
Logan County requested closing off parking spaces surrounding the
courthouse. The Railsplitter Antique Auto Club would have a car show
between 2 and 6 p.m. that day.
No street closing would be associated with the event.
City attorney Bill Bates told the council that the parking spaces
on the interior of the square were under county jurisdiction.
Sign ordinance is completed
On Tuesday evening the ordinance committee met to go through the
final draft of the new sign ordinance for the city of Lincoln.
Alderwoman Wanda Lee Rohlfs had e-mailed copies of the ordinance
to the council so all that had to be done in committee was to note
changes and discuss any issues.
One major change is that people failing to comply with the city
ordinance regarding signs will be fined $100.
City attorney Bill Bates said that the original penalty of $10
was really not worth the effort and expense of taking violators to
court. Alderman Dean Henrichsmeyer said that if the city was going
to have a penalty, "it should have some bite in it." The council
agreed and changed the figure to $100.
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New language has been added regarding commercial banners and
pennants. Those types of signs will have rules for temporary use as
well as permanent structures. Rohlfs said that she had thought about
these, and they needed to fall under the same rules as regular
signs, so that the city could be held harmless if one of them fell
and damaged a vehicle or person on the sidewalk.
The committee's work on the ordinance is now completed. Bates
will review the 22-page document, assure that it is written with
proper legal language, correct any errors or inconsistencies, and
make sure that the ordinance numbering is correct and sequential.
The vote on this ordinance will be placed on the next Monday's
agenda. Bates said that his portion of the work can be completed by
then. Alderman Verl Prather said that he understood, but felt that
because he and Rohlfs were leaving office, they wanted to see it on
the agenda as complete before their term ended.
Council hears a letter from Logan Correctional Center
Logan Correctional Center wrote to the city, requesting help in
obtaining signs that would serve as directional markers for
correctional center staff in the event of a prison escape.
The letter states that in updating their procedures for a command
center for a critical incident, there needs to be a plan for manning
the community. The signs would be placed throughout the community as
markers to assist staff members in finding their proper locations.
Tracy Jackson, street and alley superintendent, provided the
Department of Corrections with contact information for the
Department of Transportation. However, IDOC's attempts to contact
IDOT have been unsuccessful.
Jackson said that he was willing to contact IDOT on the prison's
behalf and request the signs.
Police Chief Stuart Erlenbush said that he found this request
disturbing in several ways. First he said that if IDOC has a
critical incident plan, it should be able to offer training so that
prison staff would know where they are supposed to go.
He added that IDOC should share the plan with city police and the
county sheriff, and that hasn't happened.
The council requested that Erlenbush contact IDOC and discuss
this plan and the request before they move forward.
Discrepancies in bond ordinance
Alderwoman Melody Anderson said that she has been reviewing the
bond ordinance for the city, which requires that certain elected
officials and department heads be bonded.
She explained that in comparing the ordinance to the actual bonds
that have been issued, there is a discrepancy. For example, the
mayor is not currently bonded, but the ordinance requires that there
be a $3,000 bond on that city official. She said that some positions
requiring a bond of $3,000 have only $1,000, while others have a
bond of $3,000 when the ordinance requires only $1,000.
She also stated that the bond required for the city clerk is only
$5,000, while office staff is at $10,000. She said that she feels
like the clerk needs to be bonded much higher: at least $50,000, if
The council advised Anderson to bring the current bonds in line
with the ordinance for the time being. Then, at a later date, the
council will look at changing the ordinance, increasing and
decreasing requirements as needed.
License for scavengers does not need to include a sticker
The city has an ordinance allowing scavengers to purchase a
license for $10. With the license, the scavenger receives a sticker
that they can place on their vehicle or carry with them. The sticker
costs the city $5. Anderson said that the city ordinance doesn't say
anything about the sticker, and the city clerk's office has checked
into it and found that these stickers are at the city's discretion.
The council will vote on whether or not to continue issuing the
stickers. An alternative might be to offer additional copies of the
license, perhaps in a smaller version that can be carried or taped
to a vehicle window.
[By NILA SMITH]
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