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September 2, 2003

Moran Street extension cancelled

Tuesday, September 2, 2003 Posted 9:30 p.m.
In a surprise move the Minonk City Council voted to rescind an offer to buy land that would enable the construction of the Moran Street extension from Maple Avenue to Route 251. Alderman Bill Koos said that the council overlooked the problems involved in making the alley next to Maple Avenue a one-way street which was a provision in the agreement between the City and Robert and Kimberly Schmitt. The Schmitt's were at the council to voice their opposition to the city's decision to make the alley two way again at the last council meeting. A member of the Schmitt family said that the city's reversal on the one-way restriction on the alley makes him look like the bad guy. He said that if the alley is made two way again, he will take the property back.

However, other residents along the alley voiced their concerns to the council about making the alley one way citing the inconvenience of having an alley that is two blocks long made into a one way. One resident, included in a petition of 112 signatures, asked why one property owner should be allowed to dictate the way an alley should be used.

Koos said that he personally feels that making the alley one-way is worthwhile if it enables the building of the Moran Street extension. He stated the it would open up the north end of Minonk and allow connections between the city's two new parks. In any event, Koos said that the city could not keep its committment to the Schmitts and make the alley one way if Moran Street is to be extended. Koos says that making it one way is an inconvenience to other residents and made a motion for the council to rescind the offer to buy the land and seek other ways to extend Moran Street. The council's action stops construction of the Moran Street extension until another alternative is developed.

The council then approved a motion to make only Johnson Street a one-way street and removed the one-way designation for the Maple Avenue alley. Alderman Ron Redenius voted no.

Truck Parking Restrictions

The council considered an ammendent to the truck parking ban passed earlier. The ammendent would increase the weight of trucks included in the ban from 5,000 to 8,000 pounds. In addition, the fine would be increased from a minimum $5.00/$50.00 maximum to minimum $50.00/ maximum $100.00 for each violation. The council deferred action on the ammendent until the next session.

Miscellaneous Parking Restrictions

The council deferred until the next session action on ammending the parking ordinance that would restrict trailers, boats, campers, motor homes, etc. from parking on the streets.

Cat ordinance

City Administrator Trent Smith said that he was informed that because the City of Minonk is a non-home rile municipality that it cannot regulate cats. It is missing from the statues. Smith said that ruling ends the city's involvement in trying to regulating cats.

Street shed repair

City Administrator Trent Smith said that the city has $12,000 budgeted for repairing the overhead doors and the electrical wiring in the city's storage shed. However, he said that the roof is in need of repair and it should be fixed before the other repairs are done. Alderman Steve Mattox asked if the repairs to the building are a bandaid fix to the building. Smith said that the shed could eventually be sold when money is available to build a new shed. Alderman Bill Koos questioned the marketability of the shed. Alderman Ron Redenius said that if the city doesn't fix the shed, it won't be able to be sold. Redenius made a motion to budget the money next year for fixing the overhead door and electrical wiring and spend the money budgeted this year for repairing the roof. The council approved with Alderman Russell Ruestman voting no.

Other news

The council appointed Tim Harper as a part-time police officer. Harper has completed his part time P.T.I. course and is currently employed as a part-time officer with the City of Toluca. City Administrator Trent Smith said his appointment will not increase the number of patrols or wages. It will simply allow other part-time officers more time off.

The council approved a motion to re-appoint the Westside Park Ad Hoc committee for another six months. Committee member Dave Uphoff said that the blocks for the pavilion have been made and will be delivered this week. Randy Kleen is expected to start laying block this weekend with other masons helping out. It is estimated that it will take 3 weekends to complete the block laying.

City Administrator Trent Smith said that the city is talking with the City of Toluca about a joint purchase of a sewer camera. Smith said that the city has enough money to buy a new camera but wants to investigate further types of cameras that are available.

Dave Uphoff asked the city if it could do something about finding out the source of the water that continually runs into the basement of his building at Fifth and Walnut. Mayor Spencer said he will check into the matter.