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July 21, 2003

Truck parking ban re-instated in city

Monday, July 21, 2003 Posted 9:50 p.m.
The Minonk City Council re-instated an ordinance to ban truck parking on city streets, alleys and berms. The ordinance had been adopted in September 1990 but a motion to rescind the ordinance was entered in November 1999. However, the motion was never acted on. Therefore, to re-instate the original truck parking ordinance the council had to rescind the motion to repeal the ordinance. Trucks over 5000 pounds are not allowed to park on any city street or berm. According to City Administrator Trent Smith, truckers can't park in front of their homes. There is no specified truck route so they can park their tractors in their own driveways but not on the street. In addition, the revived ordinance will ban truck parking in Casey's alley as well as the city parking lots.

Alderman Ron Redenius voted against the motion. Mayor Mark Spencer said that Police of Chief Bill Butler will send a notice to all area truckers informing them of the re-instated truck parking ban. First time violators will be given a warning.

Johnson Street one-way eliminated

The council voted to make the 500 block of Johnson Street a two way street again. The street had been one-way going north since 1973 when the street was black-topped. Fieldcrest school officials did not object to the change since the one way street was in front of the Fieldcrest Elementary South. The school officials said that if the two way traffic becomes a problem, they will notify the city. Alderman Russell Ruestman voted against the change.

City buys sewer camera

The council approved a motion to jointly purchase a sewer camera with the City of El Paso. The $6200 camera will cost the city $3100 and will be shared with El Paso. City Administrator Trent Smith said that $3500 had already been included in the budget to rent a camera so the purchase is definitely a good buy. Smith said that the camera will allow the city to video the inside of sanitary lines to determine where any blockages might occur. It will also help resolve conflicts as to whether lines are blocked on city property or private property.

EPA fees

The EPA has socked the city with an annual permit fee of $7500 to operate a sewage treatment plant and a sludge disposal operation. City Administrative Trent Smith said that it will take an additional 11.5 cents per 100 cubic feet of water billed to offset the cost. Smaller communities are hit harder because the fee is proportionately greater for smaller amounts of sewage treatment. The City of Chicago is exempt from the fee. Alderman Ron Redenius said that the fee is unfair because cities without a sewage treatment plant do not have to pay a fee.

Westside Park pavilion

Westside Park pavilion committee member Dave Uphoff said that work is progressing on the construction of the new pavilion. Sewer lines and water lines were dug by Carey Nass from the City of Minonk. Rich Beschorner led a crew of plumbers from Local 99 in Bloomington in laying the sewer lines and water lines. The sewer line was laid up to the footing and stopped at Fifth Street where the city crew will extend the sewer lines under the street to connect to a sewer main in the berm on the north side of Fifth Street. The water line was connected to a valve on the north end of the park and was laid up to the footing with a faucet attached to provide running water for mixing mortar. The union plumbers who helped lay the lines were Scott Graves, Jason Bowehm, Brady Santamour, Chris Hawkins, Jerry Harms, and Ken Holt. Jerry Hahn from the Labor Local 996 and Dick Davis helped backfill the trenches. Randy Kleen supervised the project and backfilled the trenches with the skid steer.

Last Saturday Randy Kleen, Bill Pingel, Pat Copp, and Dave Uphoff started the laying of the foundation block.

Other news

The council approved the appointment of Nick Miller as part-time police officer. Sherry Stalter resigned from the Parks and Recreation Board. Mayor Spencer said that Stalter served the city well.

City Administrator's Report

The oil and chip project and crack repair project have been completed for this year. Both projects were financed through the MFT fund.

The public works department has finished the water and sewer connections for Ruestman-Harris funeral home. They are now preparing to tie in a new storm sewer line from the funeral home parking lot and the storm drain on Chestnut Street between 7th and 8th Streets to the storm sewer main line.