Wednesday, July 16


Council says goodbye to Osborne and attends to other business    Send a link to a friend

[JULY 16, 2003]  Donnie Osborne has been Lincoln's street superintendent since 1984. Tuesday night at the city council meeting he introduced Travis Jackson, the temporary replacement for street superintendent, to the council.

Osborne begins his vacation Wednesday and will retire on Aug. 22. He has been street superintendent for 19 years and served with five Lincoln mayors: Wilson, Andrews, Guzzardo, Ritter and Davis. Osborne included every mayor and alderman that he has served with when thanking people for their support. He said that there would be a lot of things that he would miss about his position, but there would also be things that he would be happy not to have to deal with.

In other business the council heard:

  • A report on the sesquicentennial budget
  • A request from the 911 board
  • Announcement of a picnic with the police at Centennial Court
  • A report on the historic homes brochure and on the sale of bricks from the Abraham Lincoln well
  • The monthly Animal Control report.
  • Sidewalk petitions
  • A request to close some streets in the area of the old junior high temporarily
  • Curb work
  • A letter requesting to purchase the Lincoln Area Taxi Company.

The city council went into an executive session to discuss employee hiring at the city clerk's office.

- - - - - - -

Paul Short, in his presentation on the sesquicentennial committee budget, gave information that was compiled on June 30 and covered the time from the start of the committee to June 30. He also gave a revised budget of the entire event. As of June 30, the committee had $53,682.02 in income and $33,980.35 in expenses. The committee has paid deposits on the sesquicentennial entertainment, stages and souvenirs.

Short said that when the committee compared this year's event with the one in 1953, they were similar in cost with adjustments made for inflation. This year's event will cost approximately $115,000, while the 1953 event cost approximately $102,000. The committee has $55,000 in donations with another $10,000 committed but not paid.

Short also said that since the running of the "Lincoln for Lincoln" article on Saturday the committee has collected 10 percent of the $3,000 they have budgeted. The committee's major concerns are the wristbands, food and beer. These things are the big ifs, mainly due to not knowing how the weather will be.

In advertising, the committee has received $11,000 from Lincoln tourism bureau funds, and the Budweiser distributors have paid for radio ads in the Springfield area.

Councilman Verl Prather announced that the Illinois Municipal League Conference will be Sept. 18-21 at the Hilton in Chicago. He encouraged all councilmen to attend, saying that it presented a great learning experience for them. You learn something every day that you are there for every type of community, small or large, he said. Prather handed out forms for councilmen planning to attend to fill out. The forms need to be in by Aug. 15. Prather said that he would like the forms returned by next Monday so that the city council can vote upon the expenditure at the meeting that evening.

Councilman Glenn Shelton introduced Dan Fulscher of ESDA. Fulscher addressed the council, requesting that they consider staffing the communication 911 room at the safety complex with the emergency telephone system board. The staff would be entirely civilian, freeing up police officers for other duties. The police chief and sheriff would continue to have input. They would still have access to warrants and files. The civilian staff would receive elevated training. They would be there strictly for communication purposes.

The emergency telephone system board would contract the work with the city and the county. Wages for the new employees would have to be proportionately figured out. There is a collective bargaining contract with three of the members of telecommunications. Fulscher asked the mayor to appoint someone who could work with him on this change. The council will address this request at their next meeting.

Police Chief Richard Montcalm announced that there would be a picnic with police at Centennial Court on Thursday, July 17, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Montcalm said, "This is a good time to interact with the kids. There will be a disc jockey, hot dogs and soda, and flyers and brochures will be given out to the kids. It is nice to see kids come up who are starting to get to know you."

The police plan to do five or six more picnics this summer. Montcalm invited the city council to attend.


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Councilman Derrick Crane reported on the historical homes brochure. Mayor Davis said she hoped that people with older homes would apply for the historical homes plaque. She said they would be getting the brochure out to homes in the older areas of Lincoln. Two applications for historical homes recognition have been received so far.

Crane also said that the city was selling bricks from the Abraham Lincoln well on Fifth Street and Madison. The bricks are $25 each. They are pre-numbered and come with a certificate of authenticity. The bricks can be purchased anytime through City Hall. Someone from Oregon has already purchased one brick.

Councilman Benny Huskins informed the council that the Illinois-American Water Company has fenced off part of the city's land. Grant Eaton of the sanitation and sewage department said that this causes problems for his crew when they need access to the property and the lake's area. The water company stores equipment in the fenced-off property. Mayor Davis thanked Huskins for the information. The city's attorney, Bill Bates, will look into the matter.

Councilwoman Jonette Tibbs gave the Animal Control monthly report. There were 80 adoptions during the past month. The shelter's income grew and they were self-sufficient. At one point the shelter was down to 39 animals; however, they are once again full.

Councilman Patrick Madigan presented two sidewalk repair petitions to the city council. One petition was for 356 Fifth St. and one for 539 10th St. The city now has new petition forms.

Councilman David Armburst reported that he and Street Superintendent Osborne had been approached by the construction company currently doing work at the old junior high school. The company is requesting to close one-half block of Kankakee Street and Broadway Street entirely up to the Holland and Barry alley and one-third of Kankakee Street to Ottawa Street. There would still be an open lane at this street closure. These streets could be closed for more than a year while the company's work continues. The company would like to use these closed-off areas for stockpiling their equipment.

Councilman Huskins stated that the city has had problems with damage to the streets near the new school construction. The company should have responsibility for any damages they cause, Huskins said.

Fire Chief Robert Washam said that he was not comfortable using an alley in case of a fire. The high wires in the alley would cause problems for his trucks. The Methodist church would not have fire protection in case of a fire.

Bates said that the construction company should present their request to the city council at the next meeting and should be prepared to present the city council with some assurances before the council can make any decision.

Osborne said that the council can always tell the company "no." He also recommended that the council videotape the streets prior to any closures so that any damage the company may cause can be noted.

The city council heard a request for work on a curb at 1029 N. Monroe St.

City Clerk Melanie Riggs also read a letter from Bryan and Melissa Rankin. The Rankins are asking to purchase the Lincoln Area Taxi Company and request to be licensed for that purpose.

The public vehicle licenser board will have to hold a public hearing to address this request. The licensing board consists of the mayor and the city council. The public hearing will be on Monday, Aug. 4, at 7:15 p.m. during the city council meeting. The Rankins will be responsible for having the public hearing posted.

Mayor Davis gave a brief report on the Lincoln Developmental Center Task Force meeting in Springfield Tuesday afternoon.

The city council then went into an executive session to discuss employee hiring for the city clerk's office.

After the executive session the mayor and city council honored Donnie Osborne for his 19 years of service.

[Don Todd]    

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