Tuesday, August 18, 2009
sponsored by Graue Inc.

City: New alderwoman approved; mayor urges attendance at meeting to support prison workers; Sheridan Street to get stop signs at Williamette; and more

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[August 18, 2009]  At the Monday meeting of the Lincoln City Council, business was conducted in the usual fashion the first 30 minutes of the evening.

The council then went into executive session on two topics: "Appointment of a public official" and "Probable or imminent litigation."

Stacy Bacon named new Ward 1 alderwoman

After exiting from executive session, Mayor Keith Snyder announced that he was recommending Stacy M. Bacon to fill the position of Ward 1 alderwoman.

Alderwoman Melody Anderson, also of Ward 1, made a motion to approve the recommendation. The vote carried 8-0, with Alderman Nathan Turner being absent for the evening.

Bacon is a lifelong resident of Lincoln and daughter of the late Michael Leake and Shirley Leake, who also resides in Lincoln.

She is married to Rick Bacon, deputy chief of the Logan County Sheriff's Department, and they live at 115 McDivitt Ave. They have one son, Brandon, who will be a senior at Lincoln Community High School this fall.

See more on the new alderwoman in tomorrow's Lincoln Daily News.

Mayor urges attendance at the chamber's town hall meeting

Snyder reminded everyone that the chamber of commerce is sponsoring a town hall meeting Wednesday evening at 6:30 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Limit Street.

As its primary topic, the meeting will address pending layoffs at the Lincoln Correctional Center and Logan Correctional Center due to state budget cuts.

He encourages everyone to show up at the meeting to show their support for the corrections officers.

Stop signs approved for Sheridan Street

Alderman Jeff Hoinacki made a motion to approve placing two stop signs at the intersection of Williamette and Sheridan streets.

The signs will be placed on Sheridan Street, the north-south road at the intersection.

The motion was approved 8-0. Attorney Bill Bates will write a resolution for the signs, as required in city codes.

City treasurer's report

Les Plotner, city treasurer, said that he and Denise Martinek, city clerk, are still working diligently to produce useful reports for the council.

The new system upgrades that the city has installed produce reports in a different fashion than the old system, and Plotner says they are still working on what the best format would be.

In the meantime, he reported that when comparing general operating funds for July 2009 versus July 2008, the city is in somewhat of a comparable position.

He noted that the reports show it differently, but that the gap is caused by the general operating bond that was new this time last year and is now expended, plus tax receipts are arriving later this year than last year.

He also reported that in regard to the letters he had written to legislators about the delinquent sewer bills for the prison, he received a call from Rep. Bill Mitchell on Friday.

Mitchell is going to look into it, make some calls and see if he can get the process moving. Plotner said that to date, the prison is five months behind in their payments, and the dollar amount due is approximately $200,000.

Aaron Schock to visit Lincoln

U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, 18th District congressman, will visit the city of Lincoln on Friday.

Schock will be at the safety complex at 1:30 that afternoon to present the city with the $25,000 security grant award that they won earlier this year.

A portion of those grant funds were used to increase security at City Hall by installing digital monitoring systems and alarms.

The remainder of the funds was used for technology upgrades to the city's software used by the clerk's office.

Martinek said at a meeting in July that the updated software would make the city's record keeping process not only more efficient, but more secure, as it would eliminate the need for much of the handwritten entries that have been a standard practice in the past.

Changes to street closures approved

The changes requested by the chamber of commerce for street closures in the downtown area the weekend of the Lincoln Arts & Balloon Festival were approved by unanimous vote.

Snyder passed out a map showing what the new street closures will be. (In the photo, areas colored in light blue are closed streets.)

Capt. Jeff Singleton to retire

Lincoln Fire Department Capt. Jeff Singleton submitted his resignation to the city, saying that he would be retiring.

His last day of duty will be Aug. 30, and his official retirement date will be Sept. 2.

Singleton has served the city of Lincoln slightly over 28 years.

New firefighter to be hired

The city fire department has received approval on hiring one new firefighter.

At last week's meeting, Chief Kent Hulett had expressed that he wanted to hire a new firefighter in time to send the person to a special training at the University of Illinois in mid-September.

Sewer acceptance for Castle Manor subdivision

At the workshop meeting last week, Mark Mathon, city engineer, said that the Castle Manor subdivision has concluded most of the underground improvements to the sewer system, including work done in the parking lot area between the old Wal-Mart and Kroger.

The manor requested that the work in that parking lot area be accepted by the city prior to everything else so they can wrap up their contracts.

The motion was made to accept the work officially labeled as "runs one and two."

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Auto Sales

During discussion, Bates asked if there was a written easement on file for this property, saying he didn't recall having one.

Mathon said that there was one, but Bates wasn't sure there was a plat with a dedication of that area.

Mathon said that it had been in a separate vote, but he didn't have a copy of it with him.

Bates asked if that easement had been recorded, because he has never seen it.

In the end, the motion was amended to approve runs one and two, pending proof that there is a properly written easement on record, or at least in hand and ready to file.

With the amendment, the motion passed unanimously.

Mayoral appointments to board and commissions

Snyder asked for approval to appoint Rick Zimmer to the zoning appeals board and received such in a unanimous vote. Zimmer replaces Bob Johnson, who resigned.

Snyder also said that he was making a couple of changes to council committees.

Alderman David Armbrust will come off the Logan County Regional Planning Commission and Turner will be added.

Alderwoman Joni Tibbs will serve as the city's representative to the Main Street Lincoln organization, replacing Hoinacki.

Mayoral appointments to city committees do not require council approval.

Motion regarding sewer dispute dies on the table

At the beginning of the executive session, Mathon and the city's wastewater treatment manager, Bob Tackett, were asked to stay in the chamber, while Bates was asked to leave the room due to his conflict of interest in the matter between the city and Dorothy Ade.

When the voting session adjourned, Alderman Buzz Busby made a motion that the city offer to pay Ade the sum of $1,389.63, providing that she and her daughter, Kathy Miller, sign a waiver relieving the city of any further responsibility in regard to her capped sewer.

When no one seconded the motion, the mayor verified that there was to be no second, and the motion died on the table.

Alderman David Wilmert indicated that he would like to continue discussing this issue next Tuesday night at the committee-of-the-whole meeting.


Technology grant applications update

Wilmert said that the technology committee has received some good news regarding grant applications for fiber optic technology for the city of Lincoln He asked the mayor to share that news with the council.

The 156-page federal grant application for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program was submitted prior to the deadline of Aug. 14.

Snyder said that so many municipalities applied for the grant that the federal database for those grants crashed immediately in trying to process them all.

Therefore the grant application deadline has been extended.

The mayor went on to say that the city has been informed that they have won a state grant for technology.

He said that Lincoln was one of only 10 awards in the state. The amount of money to be received is $170,000 and contingent upon receiving the federal grant as well.

If the city undertakes the fiber optic project, cost to completion will be $1.9 million. The federal grant will cover 90 percent, with the state grant designated as the 10 percent matching funds.

The mayor did note, though, that the state grant came in $20,000 short of the $190,000 needed for the match.

Mayor expresses appreciation to Together for Lincoln

Snyder said that he wanted to say "thank you" to the members of Together for Lincoln for the work they have been doing on the city garage on Kickapoo Street, across from Latham Park.

The Together for Lincoln group has put in several hours painting that building top to bottom and all around. The mayor says that it really looks much better, and he appreciates the efforts they have made.

Toro mower for sale

The city will be taking bids on a 1999 Toro mower with zero-turn radius and a 42-inch deck.

According to Tracy Jackson, street and alley superintendent, the mower is in reasonably good running condition and should be fine for the average homeowner.

Petitions approved for street work

A petition by Lee Figuaroa for a curb break at 603 Decatur St. was approved, along with a petition from Robert Lamm of 520 N. Kankakee requesting curb and gutter repairs at that address.



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