During the course of the night, several topics were discussed, and
the council heard from Wesley Fuchs of The Bunker Bar and Grill and
Geoff Ladd of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Lincoln and
"Stuff the Bus" event this Saturday
Fuchs appeared before the council to talk about a charity event
at The Bunker this weekend. On Saturday the bar and grill will host
a "Stuff the Bus" event as well as a food drive.
Stuff the Bus will be a drive to collect school supplies to
benefit children in the District 27 elementary schools, and the food
drive will collect nonperishable foods to go to the Lincoln/Logan
County Food Pantry.
Fuchs said there will be a full day of activities, primarily in
the gravel parking lot on the east side of the VFW building,
beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 8 p.m.
The city fire and police departments plan to take vehicles out to
the event for part of the day, and Fuchs said he's also heard from
the local ABATE motorcycle club that they would like to attend.
However, with ABATE coming, there are safety concerns about
parking the motorcycles in the gravel lot. Fuchs said the hazard
would come in that bikes don't stand well on gravel and would be
more likely to fall over.
Fuchs asked the city to approve closing one block of South Monroe
from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. so bikes can be parked there instead.
Because there was no time for the request to be put on the
agenda, Mayor Keith Snyder asked if anyone would object to him
giving executive approval to the request.
Russell Wright, assistant superintendent of streets and alleys,
was filling in for Tracy Jackson on Tuesday evening and asked if the
street closure would block residents in or out of their own
driveways. Fuchs said there was one or two perhaps, but he would
make sure they could still get access.
Alderwoman Kathy Horn asked Fuchs if he has talked to all the
residents along that stretch of street and he said no. She
recommended that he do so, saying that giving them advance warning
would help to avoid anyone being upset with the bar and grill owners
or the city.
In the end, Snyder approved the request per his authority.
Tourism talks about scenic byway
Tourism director Geoff Ladd had appeared before city council last
week and was asked to return on Tuesday to further discuss wayside
signage for the Route 66 Scenic Byway.
Ladd had two requests for the city. He first asked that the
resolution outlining Route 66 through the city of Lincoln be
altered. The original resolution passed in 2004 omitted a turn south
on Washington Street and instead ran the route straight out Fifth
Street to Lincoln Parkway. Ladd asked that the route be changed so
it would go past The Mill.
Snyder said city attorney Bill Bates had already written that
resolution, and with the council's approval it would be placed on
the consent agenda. All agreed.
Ladd's second request was for permission to place an "Experience
Hub" sign inside Postville Park.
The hub will highlight the Route 66 attractions in the area. Ladd
said Postville Park is the ideal location for the signage. He noted
that the sign could be placed right on the corner of Fifth and
Washington, or it could be placed a little farther back behind the
tree on that corner.
He noted that his preference was farther back, as the sign would
then be accentuated by the recent landscaping projects done by the
From the Ground Up group.
The sign will be put up at the tourism bureau's expense, plus the
bureau will provide insurance coverage, relieving the city of any
and all monetary liability.
The council agreed and once again added the permission to the
consent agenda for next Monday night.
Committee shares draft of job description
In the process of hiring a new city administrator, Snyder has
sought out Aldermen Tom O'Donohue and David Wilmert to serve with
him on a committee to develop a job description and conduct the
search for a new city administrator.
Tuesday evening they shared with the council a first draft of the
job description and asked for input.
During discussion several things were noted, including the
stipulation that the administrator must reside in Lincoln once
hired. The successful candidate will also have the minimum of a
bachelor's degree, with a master's preferred, and no less than three
years of administrative experience in a related field.
Alderwoman Marty Neitzel commented on this, noting that the
person hired would then not be a person right out of college who
needed to be trained for the job. O'Donohue drew a laugh from
everyone when he noted, "No, he'll be training us!"
The only exception to the current job description came from the
city treasurer, Chuck Conzo. He noted that the description made the
administrator responsible for the city budget-building process, with
no apparent input from the finance committee or the treasurer. He
asked that the wording be changed to make it clear that the
administrator would be involved, but with the input of the treasurer
and the committee.
[to top of second column]
ComEd/Nicor to pay $20,000 for architect
The mayor shared copies of a preliminary agreement he has
received from Commonwealth Edison and Nicor regarding the
remediation of benzene at the old coal gasification plant, where the
city street department now operates on Third Street.
The agreement allows the city up to $20,000 to hire an architect
to study options for relocation of the street department buildings.
Remediation will include the complete destruction of all the
buildings on the property, removal of contaminated soils and
rehabilitation of the land.
Options the city is to look at are temporary relocation for up to
1 1/2 years, then rebuilding on the original property, or permanent
relocation of the street department.
The architect is to look at means to provide the street
department with approximately 16,000 square feet of building space,
plus space for the salt shed, and to develop cost estimates for both
the temporary move and the permanent.
Snyder said Bates has reviewed the agreement and sees no need for
changes to it.
Approval of the agreement was added to next week's voting agenda.
Sinkhole on North Logan poses problems
There is a new sinkhole in the city, at the corner of North Logan
and Davenport streets. The sinking area is being caused by the
collapse of a clay sewer line that runs in that area.
David Kitzmiller was on hand Tuesday night to discuss this with
the council. He said the city sewer department has televised the
line at the sinkhole and has discovered that there is approximately
375 feet of 15-inch clay tile that is in very bad condition.
He recalled a situation a few years ago where the digging out and
repair of a sinkhole caused further sewer line collapses. In that
case, as the city worked to repair one stretch of sewer line,
another would collapse. Kitzmiller said he can see the same thing
happening in this scenario as well.
He suggested that before addressing the sinkhole, the entire 375
feet of sewer line should be lined to avoid the inevitable. He said
he has talked to three different contractors who can do the work.
Their prices ranged from $21,950 on the low end to $31,800 at the
He would like to forgo the bidding process and choose a
contractor so the work can begin immediately. During discussion
Alderman Buzz Busby noted that the area of concern experiences a lot
of large truck traffic. He said he agreed that work needed to be
done quickly before the damage got any worse.
The vote to approve a contractor without bid will be placed on
Monday's agenda. Bates reminded the council that in this case, the
vote must carry by a two-thirds majority of all aldermen, not just
the ones present for the meeting. This means a minimum of seven must
be present and vote yes for the sewer department to move forward.
City to host open house Thursday evening
The public is invited to attend an open house and art show at
City Hall on Thursday evening.
Snyder said Alderwoman Joni Tibbs has been spending time sprucing
up the hallways with paint and moving things around to make the
building look its best for the evening.
Tibbs also noted that she had made a trip to the attic and
brought down several old books from past councils. The books will be
on display in council chambers. In addition, several local artisans
will set up displays of their work, and the fire department will
also have their upgraded bays and their hall of historic memorabilia
open to the public.
Evening ends in dual executive session
Earlier in the evening, fire Chief Mark Miller had said that some
of his officers have completed their qualifications for assistant
chief and he would like an executive session to discuss some
At the end of the evening, executive session was called by
Alderwoman Kathy Horn for that purpose, plus discussing acquisition
of real estate.
[By NILA SMITH]