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August 18 , 2003

City makes Johnson Street one-way again

Monday, August 18, 2003 Posted 9:50 p.m.
The Minonk City Council voted to repeal the one-way street ordinance and then made Johnson Street one way again. The action reversed a decision by the council a month ago that made Johnson Street, which runs by Fieldcrest Elementary East, a two-way street. Alderman Ron Redenius, whose motion had made Johnson Street two way, argued that making Johnson Street one-way again will cause motorists to use his alley to cut across from Sixth to Fifth Street. Redenius said that the dust flies when young motorists cut through the alley behind his house and he is afraid that a child will be injured or killed someday. Redenius favored making Johnson Street one-way during school hours and two-way at all other times.

Alderman Steve Mattox said that making Johnson Street one-way only part of the time is too confusing. He said that a child is not going to look at their watch to determine if they should look both ways before crossing the street. Mattox added that he and Chief Butler reviewed the situation at Johnson Street and determined that a bus cannot fit between another car heading in an opposite direction with cars parked on both sides of the street.

Alderman Russell Ruestman said that solving the alley problem will only lead to problems with traffic in front of the school. He said there is no way that 2 cars can pass between 2 parked cars on Johnson Street. Alderman Redenius replied that 2 cars cannot pass between 2 parked cars on most streets in Minonk.

Alderman Mattox made a motion to repeal the existing one-way ordinance that made Johnson Street, the alley west of Maple Avenue and north of Eighth Street, and East Seventh Street one-way streets. The council approved the motion with Alderman Redenius voting no.

Then Alderman Mattox made a motion to make Johnson Street a one-way street again. The council approved the motion with Redenius voting no. This left the alley west of Maple Avenue and East Seventh two-way again.

Alderman Bill Koos wanted to know if it is possible to consider making some alleys one-way but allowing two-way for local traffic only. Mayor Mark Spencer said that will be discussed with the city attorney to see if it is possible. Residents Bob and Mary Hartzler told the council that the alley that Alderman Redenius is concerned about also goes behind their house and is plagued with fast and reckless drivers. They said that their neighbor almost got hit by a car in the alley this summer.

Well #4 additional payment approved

The council approved the payment of $21,584.62 to The Farnsworth Group for engineering services during the construction of Well #4. The payment exceeded the estimated amount of $17,000 because the time to complete the well was extended by 45 days. City Administrator Trent Smith said that even with the additional payment the project was still under budget at $402,500.

City Audit Report

John Morris, who audited the city's books, said that the city was in good financial shape and that financial information has been recorded timely and accurately. Alderman Bill Koos asked Morris how the $403,000 debt on the Caroline Development affected the city's ability to borrow. Morris said that the Caroline Development has a potential bonding capability of $877,000 and is comfortable with the Caroline Development debt.

City Administrator Trent Smith said that the city will start budgeting $50,000 a year next year for paying down the Caroline Develoment debt.

Morris reminded the council that the city must provide to the state by next year a value of all of its assets. This includes the value of the streets, sewers, water lines, treatment plants, etc. in addition to the buildings owned by the city. Morris said this is going to be a massive project for all communities in the state.

Other news

Westside Park Pavilion Committee member Dave Uphoff told the council that the floor for the pavilion was poured by members from the labor union and finishers union. Uphoff said that he is appreciative of the unions effort in helping build the pavilion and stressed that without their help the pavilion would not have been built. Uphoff said that plans are to start laying the blocks for the walls in the next few weeks.

Uphoff asked the council if a contingency plan is available for handling the potential mud problem if it happens to rain right before the appearance of the circus in Sutton's Park on September 7. The park right now has been tore up in preparation for grass seeding later this fall. City Administrator Trent Smith said that wood chips will be laid down if needed to prevent mudding.