It’s coming

Art and balloon fest all in order

[AUG. 8, 2001]  All year we wait for that weekend when the morning and evening skies are filled with brilliantly colored orbs and the hushed roar of propane flames. The town takes on an excitement as crowds gather in the parks and at the fairgrounds to peruse amazing arts skillfully crafted or view glowing balloons as dusk gathers. Numerous other side events make a wonderful, fun-filled weekend for everyone. With only 16 more days before the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival begins, the local chamber of commerce reports that all is in order. Lots of new activities have been added to what is already a terrific end-of-summer weekend.

Additions to this year’s schedule are a petting zoo, soapbox derby, Adventure Zone (children’s activities), corporate chalets and fireworks. With local caterers already involved in the weekend, the chamber has contracted Lauer’s Catering from Clinton to supply food and drinks in the corporate chalets. Two corporations have already made reservations, with a possible third to confirm. There is plenty of room for more. A chalet gives your business the best view of the balloon glow while providing a unique setting conducive to making an amiable business impression. It is great opportunity for corporations to show appreciation to their employees or clients, or to entice new business.


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The chamber of commerce is still looking for an additional sponsor for the fireworks. That event is only half sponsored at this time.

You can contact the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce for more information about the above activities. Ask for Connie or Pam at (217) 735-2385.

[Click here for a full schedule of events.]


Historic preservation, economic development goals may clash

[AUG. 7, 2001]  Historic preservation or economic development? A possible conflict between the two goals came to the surface Monday evening when the Lincoln City Council’s Ordinance and Zoning Committee began a discussion of a proposed historic preservation ordinance.

A Casey’s General Store representative and Lincoln property owner Larry Riva, who would like to sell his Fifth Street lot just west of the Postville Courthouse to the Casey corporation, came to the meeting to ask if the proposed ordinance would prevent the new business from being built. Property owners in a historic district who want to remodel, change or demolish a structure would need to get permission from the historic preservation commission and would be restricted to the changes outlined in the ordinance.

Although no specific building or location was named in the 13-page document, Lincoln Mayor Beth Davis has already said she would like the area from the Postville Courthouse west to Postville Road to be designated a historic preservation district. This would include the property Riva wants to sell and Casey’s wants to buy.

"Can they declare this a historic site while we are getting permission to build?" Casey representative Diane Ahern asked.

"They can, but the city council will have the final word," newly appointed City Attorney William Bates answered. "There are a whole lot of things that would have to happen before you would be regulated by that ordinance."


He pointed out that the time element did not favor the historic preservation designation and that a lot of "ifs" stood between the proposed historic district and limitations on the use of Riva’s property.

"If the historic preservation committee were appointed, and if it would hold public hearings to decide that the area should be a historic district, and if the committee voted ‘yes,’ and then if the council accepted the committee’s recommendation, restrictions on what could be built in the area would apply," he said.

He emphasized that the final decision of designating a historic preservation district or a historic landmark would be up to the council.

The time it will take to get the proposed ordinance passed is another "if." The ordinance committee has just begun discussions of the proposal and has a lot of work to do before passing it, according to committee chairman Michael Montcalm.

For the Casey store, the time element could be much shorter. Before any construction can begin, Riva’s lot must be rezoned from residential to commercial use and approved by several commissions. A hearing is scheduled before the city’s planning commission on Aug. 16 and another before the zoning board of appeals on Aug. 20. Then the plan for the new store must be approved by the full council.

Although Mayor Davis said she welcomed the Casey store to Lincoln, she said she had tried to persuade the company to choose another location. She had hoped the city would buy Riva’s lot, which is presently empty, and develop it as a parking area for tourists visiting the Postville Courthouse next door.

However, she said she would not contact either the planning commission or the zoning board of appeals to influence their decisions.



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Ahern said the company has been looking for an appropriate location for 3½ years and that they "don’t see another site" that would be desirable.

She also said the company was willing to make some concessions about the appearance of the building so it would fit into a historic neighborhood. These would include a "subdued exterior," all brick and with less red than the standard Casey exterior; a "monument" or low sign rather than the high pylon sign; and a brick sidewalk. Riva and the Casey company would also give the city a 30-by-35-foot area on the corner of the lot to use as an information and welcome center for tourists.

Wendy Bell, representing Main Street Lincoln, which drew up the proposed ordinance based on a state of Illinois document, cited some of the advantages it would bring to the city. She said it would help homeowners get grants to restore historic homes and would help the city become a tourist attraction.

She also said that property could not be designated a landmark unless the owners applied for landmark status.

Bates, however, said that as he reads the ordinance at present, property owners do not have to be the ones to petition the commission for landmark status. "Someone else can petition to have a property designated for the historic district," he said. One-third of the property owners would have the ability to nominate an area a historic district.

Bell said that technically the commission does have the right to nominate a site for landmark status, but the nomination still has to go through the hearings and be approved by the council.

Bates also noted that as the proposed ordinance currently reads, the only appeal for permission to change or demolish a structure would be heard by the same body that originally ruled on the issue.


The ordinance commission will meet again to discuss the proposal at 6:15 p.m. on Aug. 14, before the scheduled work session of the council.

In other business, the council agreed to waive bidding for the purchase of a used leaf vacuum and to approve purchasing a 25-cubic-yard vacuum for $15,800.

The council also passed an ordinance allowing the fire chief to sell the city’s 1976 pumper, which is no longer needed, at a private sale.

They voted to table a request by Logan County for a right of way in front of city hall to install fiber-optic cable to connect the county buildings.

A group of citizens from the Logan County chapter of the Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois attended the meeting. Spokesman Dan Dickerson said the group supported the city’s decision to allow handicapped people to ticket vehicles illegally parking in handicapped spots. He noted that the law says the placard identifying a handicapped person must be displayed prominently on the vehicle.

[Joan Crabb]

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Bates appointed as new city attorney

[AUG. 7, 2001]  William C. Bates was named the new attorney for the city at the regular Lincoln City Council meeting Aug. 6.

Lincoln Mayor Beth Davis described him as "thorough, prompt and an excellent attorney." She said he had been chosen from a field of "eight or nine" candidates who were interviewed. Council members gave Bates a unanimous "yes" vote.

A Lincoln native, Bates began practicing law here in May of 1979. He served as city attorney under Mayor Peter Andrews from 1985-1989. He also served on the board of Elementary School District 27 for 16 years, on the YMCA board and on the board of St. Clara’s Manor. He is presently a member of the board of trustees of Lincoln College.


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His law practice primarily involves estate planning, estate administration, real estate and collection work. He has also done municipal work representing the city of Atlanta.

Bates was appointed to the $64,200-per-year position after the resignation of Jonathan Wright as of Aug. 1. Wright was chosen to fill the unexpired term of state Rep. John Turner after Turner was appointed to a seat on the appeals court and has pledged to run again in the November 2002 election.

Bates said he is looking forward to working with the mayor and the council.

[Joan Crabb]

Click here for Logan County Fair news.

Logan County Board sets budget review

The Logan County Board will start its FY 2002 budget review hearings on Friday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to noon. Sessions will continue Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 8 a.m. to noon; Thursday, Aug. 23, from 1 to 4 p.m.; and Friday, Aug. 24, possibly beginning at 8:30 a.m.

When all hearings are completed, the information will be assembled for analysis. After that the auditors will schedule and make a presentation to the full board.

All meetings are in the third-floor jury room at the Logan County Courthouse and are open to the public.

[News release]

Weather warning

It’s too hot!

During the summer months, heat waves can occur anywhere in Illinois and affect anyone. Young children, elderly people and people with health problems are most likely to be affected. This is a reminder to everyone.

  • Plan to check on the elderly and those with health problems at least once a day during hot weather.

  • Don’t leave children in a parked car.

  • Make sure you drink plenty of liquids during hot weather.

Doing small things can make a big difference.

This public service announcement is brought to you by Lincoln Daily News and the Logan County Health Department.

[News release]

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