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August 4, 2003

City fails feline felon fix

Monday, August 4, 2003 Posted 9:50 p.m.
The Minonk City Council gave no relief to Minonk resident Rick Joyle's complaint about his neighbor's cats. Joyle, who lives at 822 Locust Street, claimed that his neighbor has at least 9 cats that are destroying his flower beds and other landscaping on his property. He claimed the cats are a nuisance and are costing him money for repairs to his property.

Alderman Ron Redenius asked Joyle why he doesn't treat the cats as a public nuisance and file a complaint with the police. Joyle replied that he did but Chief Police Bill Butler said he didn't want to touch this case with a 10 foot pole. Mayor Spencer said that treating the cats as a nuisance is difficult to do unless you can catch them in the act of destroying property. If you do catch them, there is nothing you can legally do with them because the County does not take in cats because there would be too many of them. Even if the city passed an ordinance to restrict cats, the city does not have the personnel to enforce the containment of cats. Mayor Spencer told Joyle that the council would consider the matter again at the next council meeting.

Street shed repair

The city council wrestled with what to do with the city's street shed on Jefferson Street. The shed's roof leaks and is need of electrical upgrades and replacement of the main door. After an offer to buy the old bakery building on Oak Street was never acknowledged by the owner, the city is setting aside $12,000 each year towards a fund to build a new shed. According to Alderman Bill Koos, at that rate it will be 2008 before the city could afford to build a new shed. Koos said that the city could divert funds from other projects and put more towards the new shed but that would hinder the other projects. Koos noted that the city has to resurface Chestnut Street and redo the downtown parking lot in the next few years.

$12,000 has been set aside for repairs to the street shed. $7,000 would be needed for electrical repairs and $5,000 is needed to replace the big doors. However, there would not be enough money to repair the roof. Upon a suggestion by alderman Matt Fink, the council decided to defer a decision until each council member inspects the shed themselves to determine which repairs should be done first.

El Paso nixes sharing sewer camera

The Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Minonk and the City of El Paso that was approved at the last city council meeting for the shared purchase of a sewer camera was not passed by the El Paso City Council. The El Paso City Council prefers to lease the camera with an operator from the City of El Paso public works department rather than entering into an agreement that would benefit both cities. According to City Administrator Trent Smith, this totally defeats the purpose of the shared purchase. It would probably be more expensive because of the operator expense. The city would still be required to have their own personnel on site and would try to rush each job to keep the leased labor expenses to a minimum. The city does that now and only video a line as a last resort because of the expense. This should be done first, according to Smith.

The city will look elsewhere to share purchase the camera equipment. The Toluca Public Works department is also very interested in an Intergovernmental Agreement according to Smith.

Westside Park pavilion update

Westside Park Pavilion Committee member Dave Uphoff told the council that work on construction of the new pavilion in the Westside Park is proceeding on schedule. Randy Kleen, Dave Uphoff, Dick Moritz, Ray Matter, and Virgil Folkers laid concrete blocks for the foundation on Friday. On Saturday laborers from local 996 worked at spreading and tamping the fill sand poured into the floor area. Rick Fewell operated the loader to fill sand into the hopper. Laborers from local 996 who helped were Jason Roe of Minonk, Nancy Sopher and Dave McBride from El Paso, Randy Mounce from Pontiac, Dave Armstrong from Chenoa and Jeremy Kilpatrick from Kappa. Tobey's Construction and T &T Cartage donated the use of a Wacker Packer and Jumping Jack for filling and tamping the sand fill. Randy Kleen, Dave McBride, Jason Roe, and Dave Uphoff put forms around the perimiter of the foundation in preparation for pouring the concrete floor next weekend. The finish blocks for the building have been ordered from Roanoke Concrete and should be delivered in 3 weeks.

City Administrator's Report

Dick Davis has indicated that he will be starting on the Moran Street extension on or about August 11. The roadway will have a 20 foot surface when finished.

The Public Works Department has finished the water and sewer connections for the Westside Park Pavilion. The new storm sewer line between the new funeral home parking lot and Chestnut Street drains and the storm sewer main line has also been completed.

The city has gone ahead with the leveling of Sutton's Park. Thank you to Jim Baumann and Minonk Township for donating the grading work. This project would not have been realized otherwise and it was truly needed. Thank you also to Jerry Welch and his donation of the Woodford County Pheasants Forever Chapter grass seed drill. The entire area will be seeded this fall. Again, thank you to both Jerry and Jim for this work and to Harold, Brad and Bruce Tjaden and John Durre for the clean up of the northern end of this park. The entire park is much improved and the community should be proud.

Volunteerism makes a community whether it be on a large department such as the ambulance squad, fire department or ESDA OR by individuals on one time projects such as the Westside Park project, the Millennia Park project or this Suttons Park project just to name a few. Everyone benefits and without the generosity of the volunteers and their time, the City would have nothing. THANK YOU.