Wednesday, June 23


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[JUNE 23, 2004] 

Dual Fifth Street Road news

The city approved an agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation to take over an additional section of Fifth Street Road. The city actually accepted IDOT's offer on Jan. 6, 2003. It was just the agreement portion that was yet to be approved.

The city will receive $188,920 from the state in the transaction. That's the state's estimate for 25 years of upkeep. The city already takes care of the state's portion of that road without compensation. The payment will go into the motor fuel tax pool and can be spent on any city motor fuel tax project, including the Fifth Street road project.

The reason for the transfer is an ongoing plan by the state to get out of upkeep and management of local roads.

The jurisdiction takeover starts at the railroad tracks and goes seven-tenths of a mile west toward Connolley Road. The city already owns from Lincoln Parkway to the tracks, and the county picks up the remainder of the road to the west.


Mayor Davis also gave an update on the Fifth Street Road project. The city and county applied for the federal grant together and each is scheduled to receive $400,000, for a total of $800,000. With the addition of a sewer line and most of the city section becoming three lanes, the city's portion of the road project would run upward of $4.2 million.

Mayor Davis said she learned more about the funding coming through U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood's office. The money can be kept earmarked for the project up to six years, and more grant funds, as much as another $400,000, may become available during that time.

The council voted unanimously that they would accept the $400,000 committed to the project through the congressman's office and follow through with the work when and if the city has the funds to do it.

The county has offered to pay for the initial engineering cost study for the section that includes the city portion of the road. Both city and county see it as a vital gateway for economic growth.

["Fifth Street Road focus of Lincoln and Logan County infrastructure plans"]

Campus View Drive residents' petition soaked

Once again flooding issues on Campus View Drive that lead to septic woes for a couple of residents failed to find resolution. The area receives drainage water off a city-owned street that floods a couple of back yards, and according to two homeowners, Kevin Bateman and Mike Robbins, the flooding causes to their septic systems to back up into their homes. The residents requested the city for compensation to make adjustments to their septic systems that might remedy their ongoing septic problems.

However, it was a general consensus of the council in previous discussions that paying for work on privately owned septic systems would open the city to demands from every homeowner asking for their private property sewer repairs.

The petition was denied.


[to top of second column in this article]

The city did look extensively at other possibilities, including controlling the street runoff and running the city sewer line out to the subdivision, as well as researching the latest in subdivision sewer control: cluster systems. All proved too costly to provide at this time. Alderman Benny Huskins said he hoped something could be done for the people out there in the future.

["Round two of Campus View drainage problems"]

["City looks for new solutions to old problems"]

Crumbling sewer line

The city will go out for bids to repair a sewer line that is collapsing all along Pulaski Street from downtown to Union Street. The line is a single-layer brick that has recently had emergency repairs to portions of it.

City attorney Bill Bates saw two reasons to take time for bids:

It does not fit the legal definition of emergency, since the sewer line is still functioning

To replace the whole line is a huge sum of money, at $286,000. Competitive bids might get the costs down.

Wastewater treatment manager Grant Eaton will get bids for the project, and the bids will be opened before the council session on July 6.

Building permit fee waiver requested

Rob Orr, director of the Lincoln and Logan County Development Partnership, urged council members to support a day-care center in its request to waive the building permit fee. Orr said the site for His Precious Little Ones, on North Kickapoo Street across from Budget Inn, is a great location, and it will be an economic benefit to the community. In addition the business will offer something that doesn't exist here: first and second shift child care.

The council agreed to waive the fee, which is estimated at $500-$700, dependent on the day care's acceptance into the enterprise zone. The business will pay the fees first and then get a refund.

Sewer substation upgrade

A bid of $71,786 by Petersburg Plumbing and Heating Co. for the upgrade of the Kmart lift station was accepted.

No sign

A request by Charles Banister for a "Caution Children Playing" sign for the 1000 block of Decatur Street was denied. Alderman Dave Armbrust said the city has discussed signs like this in the past. "IDOT recommends not to do this," he said.

The petition was denied.

Groundhog Day has passed

It is believed that the groundhog explosion on Limit Street is now over. Forty of the creatures were caught by wildlife professional Les Wood, Alderman Jonie Tibbs reported.

[Jan Youngquist]

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