Mayor Keith Snyder called
on the Scouts to lead the council in the pledge to the United States
With one seat vacant and Alderwoman Stacy Bacon absent for
the evening, eight aldermen were present for voting.
Two vote no on enterprise zone
Alderwoman Marty Neitzel made a motion to approve the most recent
request for an amendment to the enterprise zone, and it was seconded
by Alderman Jeff Hoinacki.
During discussion, Steve McClure of Opportunity Alliance took the
podium to address the group and field questions.
This amendment to the zone will add enterprise zone designations
to a number of communities throughout Logan County where there are
grain elevators that plan to expand in the near future.
The suggestion to add these communities came from the Logan
County Board after Elkhart Grain in Elkhart was approved last year.
McClure said this new amendment also adds property within the
city limits of Lincoln that would be available for business
development in the future.
In addition, at Snyder's request, this agreement includes only a
50 percent reduction in applicable construction fees, where in past
agreements, all fees had been waived.
McClure noted that this would help the city, as they would be
able to collect some money from the development of enterprise zone
property included in the agreement.
Alderman Buzz Busby voiced the same question he did at the last
discussion: "What is Lincoln getting out of this?"
McClure reiterated that developable property in the city already
in the zone makes it more attractive to businesses, plus the change
in the fees would add to city revenues.
He added that much of what would be purchased for the elevator
expansion would not be purchased in Logan County. Therefore, the
sales tax abatements included in the enterprise zone designation
would have no effect on this community.
Alderman Joni Tibbs expressed thoughts that even though this
wasn't going to affect the city all that much, it would help the
county, in that the elevators that are expanding will become more
efficient and will be able to service the farmers more quickly at
She expressed concern that with the elevators not being large
enough to accommodate farmers quickly, those farmers might be taking
their products to locations outside the county.
Neitzel said: "This is my last time to vote yes on the enterprise
zone. I don't feel we are being fair to the people of the city of
Lincoln. Lincoln needs whatever this council can give it."
She went on to say that the enterprise zone was saving the
elevators money. If they spend $500,000 for new equipment, they will
save $30,000 in taxes, yet they aren't going to be spending that
money locally, helping area businesses.
She ended by saying: "I was very hesitant to even make this
motion this evening. I want you to see how we feel about our town."
When the roll call vote was taken, six voted yes but Aldermen
David Armbrust and Busby voted no.
Second annual payment to Walmart approved
The second annual sales tax rebate payment to Walmart will amount
The payment, which was approved by unanimous vote, is part of an
agreement made regarding infrastructure construction when the
Walmart Supercenter was built. The city is to pay Walmart
approximately $600,000 total in annual payments, based on increases
in sales tax revenues from the new store.
The first payment, made in October, amounted to slightly less
than $183,000. With this year's payment of $185,699.26, the city is
over halfway through the payback plan.
Bid awarded to Davis-Houk
Davis-Houk of Urbana was unanimously voted as the winner of the
bid for the Singleton lift station project. Coming in at $560,000,
that bid was approximately $150,000 less than all other bids for the
After Busby made the motion to award the bid, Neitzel asked what
the real savings was going to be to the city by doing the
complicated, three- to four-step switch-outs between Singleton,
Kmart and Zion lift stations.
Busby said that even though the bids had all come in higher than
originally anticipated, overall, this plan will save the city at
least $300,000 over replacing all the lift stations.
Busby also noted that the project will be paid for out of the
2009-10 budget year.
[to top of second column]
Troop 111 invites everyone to participate in Scout Sweep Day
Jason Shaffer of Cub Scout Troop 111 addressed the council,
inviting them to all join in Scout Sweep Day on May 15.
The now-annual event began as a project for Troop 111, but last
year several other troops and organizations were invited to join in
and did so.
Shaffer said he is hoping they will see the same participation
He also said that in addition to the downtown area, this year the
troop plans to spend time on the city's west side, cleaning up
around Kroger and Walmart.
The troop will be issuing a press release regarding the sweep in
the very near future.
Council honors Les Last
Les Last, the city's building and safety officer, is retiring the
end of this week. Monday evening there was an informal reception on the main floor
of City Hall.
During the meeting, Snyder called Last to the podium and
addressed him directly, expressing appreciation for his years of
service to the city and wishing him well as he enters retirement.
"We know you didn't have an easy job," Snyder said. "In fact
you've had a very difficult job, and having been across the hall
from you, I've heard some of those difficulties."
Snyder presented Last with a plaque marking his 15 years of
service to the city.
Last then spoke: "In all the years I have worked here, I have had
good people to work with in the office, the street department, fire
department, the police department; they are all great."
After he finished speaking, Last left his normal seat with
department heads and joined several members of his family, wife,
children and grandchildren in the general audience.
Lebegue sworn in
Immediately following Last's leaving his seat, Snyder called on
John Lebegue to come forward and be officially sworn in as the
city's new building and safety officer.
Lebegue was invited to say a few words and expressed
appreciation to Last for the week they have spent together.
He said that he had found the people of the city to be very
welcoming and that Lincoln has a lot of charm.
He noted that there were some challenges ahead, some areas in
town that were going to need some "tough love," but that he looked
forward to working to make those areas better.
Consent agenda items approved
Included in this week's consent agenda vote was approval for
street barricades on the downtown square during the 2010 Grand March
for prom, to be held May 1 at the Logan County Courthouse; street
closures on April 24 for the Lincoln College Run, Ramble & Roll;
and a proclamation designating May 15 as Scout Sweep Day in the city
Budget meeting rescheduled
The second budget workshop had been scheduled for April 10.
Alderwoman Melody Anderson said the meeting would have to be
rescheduled to April 17. Again, that meeting will begin at 8 a.m.
and be finished no later than noon.
[By NILA SMITH]
Past related report