Marty Nietzel began the meeting by asking for a moment of silence
for former First Lady Nancy Reagan and also for Myron Aper, who
passed away this week. She noted that Mr. Aper was the father of
Lincoln Fire Inspector Tim Aper, and the grandfather of Lincoln
Firefighter Brett Tripplett.
The gallery was filled to capacity with people who were there to
hear presentations given by Joe Schaler representing the Veteran’s
Assistance Commission, Norm and Yvonne Horn of Lincoln Speedway, and
Leslie Hoefle, who spoke addressing financial concerns relating to
the relationship between the city and the Logan County Alliance and
Logan County Tourism Bureau. The council also heard from Maggie
McMurtrey and Sal Pollice representing Tourism, and from Don
Frontone, who was there to talk about electric aggregation.
Information related to the Veteran’s Assistance Commission, the
Hoefle presentation, and the Tourism presentation may be found in
separate articles in LDN this week.
Norm and Yvonne Horn introduce the new manager of Lincoln
The council also heard from Norm and Yvonne Horn and the new Lincoln
Speedway manager Bob Sargent. The Horns are retiring from the
management of the track. Norm Horn said that he and Yvonne were
still the owners of the track, but Sargent, who is also the owner of
the Macon Speedway near Decatur, will be the one running everything.
Sargent explained that in his first year of management, there will
be a reduced schedule. He plans to have races every other Friday
night throughout the summer. For this season, there are only two
Saturday events and one Sunday event on the schedule.
Horn said he would ask on behalf of Sargent that the city once again
allow the track 90 minutes of curfew extensions for the upcoming
season. He also noted that in 2015, the Friday night races had used
only 16 minutes total.
Don Frontone of Lincoln appeared before the council to speak about
electric aggregation. Fortune is a sales representative for Stone
Creek River Group.
In 2014, Frontone bid for the city contract for an electric
aggregation consultant, as did Mark Pruitt of Illinois Community
Choice Aggregation Network (ICCAN). It was the second time the city
was preparing to go into electric aggregation after a successful
contract with ICCAN in the year prior had resulted in Lincoln
constituents being able to purchase electricity at a bulk rate from
In 2014, Pruitt recommended that the city not be involved in
electric aggregation because the Ameren rates were going to be
cheaper. This week, Frotone said that the city had erred in
following the recommendations of Pruitt. He said that ICANN had been
retained in 2014 but did nothing to help the city.
He went on to say that when the city and county began discussing
aggregation for 2016, he contacted the city of Lincoln and asked to
make a presentation, but was denied the opportunity. Upon making
that statement, City Administrator Clay Johnson responded that was
incorrect. Frontone had never contacted his office seeking to
address the council.
Frontone said he had also tried to meet with the council for the
city of Atlanta and had been contacted by Steve Smith of Farnsworth
Group and told not to come.
Frontone's point was that in his
opinion ICCAN was not doing their job, and Frontone had not been
given the opportunity to compete with ICCAN, and consequently offer
his services to the city of Lincoln. He noted that he had recently
represented the city of Normal and the rate he got for them was
$0.5824. He said the city should be in a contract now and taking
advantage of those savings.
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Johnson said that as of Monday night, the rate continues to go down, and the
rate that is available now is already lower than what Frontone secured for the
city of Normal.
Frontone also commented that he thought it was interesting that the city had
voted to take an administrative fee for electric aggregation when they haven’t
signed any aggregation agreements yet.
When Frontone finished, there was no further discussion and Neitzel moved on to
the voting portion of the agenda.
City approves a landscape ordinance for new businesses
First on the regular voting agenda, Monday night was an ordinance to adopt a set
of guidelines and rules pertaining to landscaping at the sites of new
businesses. The ordinance will apply only to new businesses that come to Lincoln
and will have no effect on businesses already in existence.
At the Tuesday workshop session held last week, city Building and Safety Officer
John Lebegue had introduced the topic saying that adding landscaping
requirements had many benefits including improving the overall appearance of new
businesses coming into the city.
The ordinance includes requirements for creating green spaces along the sides of
buildings, in the parking lot areas, as well as along street fronts. It outlines
the plantings that are acceptable in those greenspaces including specific trees.
It was recently announced that Casey’s will be building a new gas station
convenience store in Lincoln at the corner of Woodlawn Road and Lincoln Parkway.
Rick Hoefle asked if the new ordinance would impact that construction. He noted
that historically Casey’s does not add landscaping to their new construction.
Lebegue said Casey’s has already applied for and received its permits, so no,
this new ordinance would not impact them. He also noted that in this particular
case, Casey’s had asked about landscaping in the area, and does plan to
incorporate landscaping into their construction.
Hoefle said that when the item was discussed last week, he had intended to ask
the council to table the motion this week. He said he had reached out to a local
business to talk about the landscaping. He said that business seemed to have no
issues with the landscaping ordinance, and therefore, he was not going to ask
for it to be tabled.
When the item came to vote, with all eight aldermen present, seven voted “yes”
with Hoefle voting “No.”
In other business, the council voted unanimously to approve a Tax Increment
Funding (TIF) Façade grant for a new awning for the business at 616 Broadway
Street, the former location of Mission Mart and Simply Homespun.
Also garnering a unanimous vote was a motion to authorize Johnson and Neitzel to
prepare the paperwork for creating a Civic Foundation for the city of Lincoln,
and filing said paperwork with the State of Illinois and the Internal Revenue
The Monday night meeting that lasted nearly two hours ended with Neitzel sharing
some public announcements about upcoming events in the area before asking that
Alderwoman Kathy Horn call for an Executive Session under Section 2(C)1-1