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June 16, 2003

Council to crack down on downtown truck parking

Monday, June 16, 2003 Posted 9:50 p.m.
Alderman Russell Ruestman initiated action to prohibit the parking of trucks and heavy equipment on city streets and property. Ruestman told the city council that Minonk is the only town around that allows unlimited parking of trucks on its city streets. He cited the potholes in the alley next to Casey's as an example of the destruction that is caused by allowing the parking of semis. Alderman Ron Redenius said that there should be an alternative place for trucks to park overnight. Alderman Bill Koos asked if it was the city's responsibility to provide a parking space for trucks. Mayor Mark Spencer said that the city is not legally obligated to provide parking. Koos said that he didn't want to prohibit parking downtown that would result in more parking on residential streets. Ruestman told Mayor Spencer that the city attorney should check to see if the city can enforce a parking ban on city streets without providing a truck route. The council approved a motion by Ruestman to have the city attorney look into what type of ordinance can be prepared to prevent heavy trucks from parking on city streets.

Council approves more bids for Millennia Park

The council approved another round of bids for construction of the Millenium Park north of town. The council approved a contract to purchase fitness equipment for $6,050 from Reese Recreation, playground equipment and safety surfacing from Recreation Concepts for $17,950, an outdoor skate park from Howard White & Associates for $64,000, and an outdoor in-line hockey rink from Athletica for $50,700.

Alderman Bill Koos asked Farnsworth engineer Neil Finlen how the skate park would be used. Finlen said that kids may use skateboards or bicycles in the skate park. Finlen said that most would probably use bicycles. He added that determining a proper skate park was a very complicated procedure. He said the skate park will definitely be state of the art. He also said that the Department of Natural Resources, who awarded the grant for the park, stipulated that a skate park must be included in the design of the recreation park.

Sidewalk requirements waived in new subdivision

The council approved the waiving of the sidewalk provision in the new residential subdivision to be developed adjacent to the new Millenium Park. The area will be between Lincoln and Johnson Streets north of Tenth Street. A local group of businessmen called "Progress 2000" plans to sell lots in the subdivision. The group is willing to comply with all the subdivision requirements including pavement and curbs and gutter, but because of the added cost and subsequent hardship to sell the lots for the added costs, they wanted the provision for sidewalks to be removed. The presence of sidwalks would hinder the use of heavy machinery during construction. Alderman Ron Redenius said that he didn't want people to ask 50 years later why their subdivision doesn't have sidewalks. Mayor Spencer said that this waiver applies only to this subdivision and not to all subdivisions. Alderman Bill Koos asked when and how sidewalks would be added to the project. City Administrator Trent Smith said that the sidewalks could be added to a block after all lots were developed.

Westside Park pavilion progress

Westside Park pavilion committee member Dave Uphoff told the council that the pavilion location was staked out and ready for construction. He said that Dick Davis would start digging the footings on Friday, June 20. Plans are to pour the concrete for the footings on Tuesday, June 24, after consulting with Randy Kleen and Dave McBride who is head of the local labor union. McBride said that he will provide laborers to help pour the footings. Mayor Spencer said that Craig Meyer of Meyer-Jochums Insurance has not yet come up with a liability insurance policy that would cover volunteer workers on the project. Spencer said that he did not want the project to proceed any further until some type of liability insurance is secured by the pavilion committee. Uphoff said that he will check with some other insurance companies to see if he could come up with a policy that would cover volunteers.

Other news

The council chose a gray brick color for use in reconstructing the retaining wall on the 300 block of Chestnut Street. Illini Brick submitted the low bid to do the construction. The costs included $11,676 for the brick and $5,076 for other costs. The total cost is less than the $20,000 budgeted for the project.

The council approved the appointment of Justin Gales as a part time police officer for the city. Gales is already enrolled in the PTI program and completed the firearms training program. He will start immediately.

Julie May has asked to be removed from the Planning and Zoning Board. Her term was to have expired in April, 2005.

City Administrator's comments

Well # 4 is on line. The City is now able to produce an additional 180 gallons of raw water per minute. More importantly, the E.P.A. will not be concerned if the city has a problem with one of the other wells.

An advertisement has been placed to replace the third full time police officer. The deadline for applications will be next Monday, June 23. The city is still looking for additional part time officers. Additional part time officers will not increase the payroll but will give the present part time officers more time off.

The City Administrator thanked SMF Corporation for their donation of the steel used for the six new picnic tables built by the public works department.