It was noted that Alderman Buzz Busby is currently in the hospital
in Springfield. Les Plotner, city treasurer, said that when he
visited on Monday, Busby was doing much better. It had been decided
that he had suffered a heart attack.
Alderman Verl Prather was not
present either, making eight aldermen present for voting.
City approves street to new hospital
The council approved the final plans, including right of way, for
the Short 11th Street extension. This roadway, to be constructed on
the west side of Lincoln Parkway, will be the access road to the new
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.
Residential request for reimbursement of costs to prevent sewer
A petition from William Vinyard seeking reimbursement in the
amount of $700 for a check valve he installed at his residence at
1710 N. Kankakee St. was denied by the council.
Vinyard had asked that the city reimburse a portion of the costs
he incurred in this installation, as there had been extensive
flooding in his home during heavy rains three times in the past
Alderwoman Marty Neitzel moved that the petition be denied,
saying that the flooding in Vinyard's basement was caused by
extensive water from the storms, which cannot be controlled by the
The vote carried 7-0, with Alderwoman Melody Anderson abstaining
from the vote.
City to go with state vehicle purchase program
Alderwoman Marty Neitzel made a motion that the city purchase a
2009 Ford F-150 four-wheel-drive pickup truck for the sewer plant
through the state's purchasing program at a cost of $18,215.
During discussion, she said that the three local bids they
received were above the budget and also exceeded appropriations. A
bid placed by a Ford dealership in Ottawa was the lowest but only by
about $100. She felt that keeping the business at least in this
vicinity was the best thing to do.
Alderman David Armbrust said that "it goes against my grain to
purchase a vehicle outside the city of Lincoln when we see our
businesses having the problems they are having," but he added that
he couldn't justify the difference between the bids and the budgeted
appropriation, which was at best about $5,000. The bids placed by
the three Lincoln dealerships ranged between $23,000 and $30,000.
Resolution regarding Lincoln Correctional and Logan Correctional
On Feb. 10, David Lockenour, AFSCME 501 president, along with two
other union representatives, met with the council regarding staffing
issues at Lincoln Correctional Center and Logan Correctional Center.
These gentlemen were asking that the city lend their support in
an effort to get more guards hired for the two facilities. They
asked for a resolution and letters to be written to Sens. Raymond
Poe and Larry Bomke and Gov. Pat Quinn.
The council asked that the union representatives write the
resolution and present it to them. Lockenour presented the
resolution at the workshop meeting last week and agreed to return
for this week's committee meeting.
Present for the meeting were John Black of Local 2073, David
Lockenour of AFSCME 501 and Roger Griffith of AFSCME 31.
Alderwoman Wanda Lee Rohlfs said that she had read the resolution
and had done a great deal of research regarding what the city should
and should not get involved in. Labor-related issues were a problem
area in their proposed resolution.
During discussion, Black said that the management at both
correctional facilities agrees that there is a shortage of
Lockenour reinforced Black's statement about the management at
the facilities, saying that the wardens wanted to hire more staff.
He said that what the union is trying to do is get the funding
restored to the prisons so that more guards can be hired.
Rohlfs said that the council was concerned about the safety of
the community as well as the staff at the prison. The resolution
would be revised to express the desire of the city, without getting
into the labor-related issues, and would be ready at the next voting
City treasurer's report
Treasurer Les Plotner offered his February report to the council.
Noting that the budget year is 83.3 percent complete, he says that
expenditures for the year are nearing 100 percent. He noted that
there are still funds unexpended in the general operating fund.
However, that money is earmarked for two city patrol cars that are
currently on order and will, hopefully, be arriving in the near
He said that money on interest is currently yielding very little
return, as interest rates are below 0.5 percent.
City Hall roof
Building and grounds chairwoman Joni Tibbs asked that Robert
Shattuck of J.H. Petty speak about the bids for the roof of City
Shattuck said that he had reviewed all four bids and that all had
been placed correctly according to the bid stipulations. He added
that the bids were in line with what he had estimated the project
Budget constraints are going to be an issue with this project.
Shattuck said that the council could line the gutters for now and
wait a couple more years to do the entire system. He added that the
council has 60 days to accept the bids and wondered whether they
wanted to look at other options.
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Shattuck said that the low bidder has said that he would come and
take a closer look at the roof to see if he could lower the price a
Shattuck added that he could look for other alternatives as well,
but city attorney Bill Bates said that the only way to legally do
either of those would be to throw out all the bids and start over.
Further discussion involved delaying the project for another year
and trying to build it into another budget. It was brought up that
more than likely building material costs are not going to get any
cheaper, so delaying might make things worse.
For the budget year ending April 30, there is approximately
$88,000 for this project. The money that is in this year's budget
can be expended for the roof before the end of the year, but if
there isn't enough money in the new budget to finish the job, then
that would be a problem.
Alderman Dean Henrichsmeyer said that they shouldn't commit to
this project until they know where the 2009-10 budget ends up.
In the end the committee decided to table the bids for the time
City to gain a little extra cash with farm ground
Corey Farmer was the only bidder on the 25 acres of tillable farm
ground behind Wal-Mart. His bid of $227.90 per acre cash rent was
accepted by the council.
The mayor reminded the council that this was land that was given
to the city when the new Wal-Mart was built and that the cash rent
is a nice little income from it.
Sign ordinance nearly complete
Rohlfs said that the work on the sign ordinance is nearly
complete. There were a couple of issues that she had taken to Les
Last, city safety officer, and there was still some language to add
on banners and pennants.
As the council went through each page of the ordinance, Bates
brought up a question regarding a section requiring land surveys
before all permanent signs are erected. He wondered whether it was
necessary to require this of all business owners, as that would add
quite a bit of expense to the construction of a sign.
Last explained that the survey is needed when property owners
don't know where their lot lines are or can't locate their lot pins.
Bates said that the language would be forcing an expense of up to
$2,000 on property owners.
Rohlfs asked that Last take another look at that section and
consider how it might be rewritten or even taken out.
The city attorney will review the completed ordinance before it
is brought to the full board for approval.
Alderman Jeff Hoinacki said that Rohlfs has done a great job on
this and has worked very hard at it. Neitzel and Tibbs agreed,
expressing their appreciation as well.
Street closing for Lincoln College 5K run approved
The council approved a petition from Lincoln College to close
portions of Feldman Drive between Nicholson and Kankakee between
8:45 and 10:45 a.m. on April 25 for the college's 5K run and
City to use technology for communications
The council approved a motion to
set up a system for e-mailing or faxing notices to interested
parties regarding city meetings. Currently all meeting notices
are mailed to council, media and other involved parties.
Building of the budget begins
Anderson, who chairs the finance committee, had the first special
workshop meeting on Saturday morning for the fiscal 2009-2010
budget. The city's fiscal year begins May 1.
During this first four-hour session, council members heard from
all the department heads regarding their budget requests for the new
In addition, city partners and special interest groups were also
there to submit their requests. Requests came from Joel Smiley of
the Lincoln & Logan Development Partnership; Phil Mahler, Logan
County Regional Planning Commission; Andi Hake and Heidi Browne,
chamber of commerce; Barb Reinwald, Main Street Lincoln; and John
Sutton, Logan Railsplitting Association.
The next budget session will be on March 28, commencing at 8
a.m., at City Hall.
[By NILA SMITH]