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November 17, 2003

IDOT to pay for I-39 overpass repairs

Monday, November 17, 2003 Posted 10:00 p.m.
The Minonk City Council received good news Monday night from Woodford County Board Chairman Larry Whitaker. Whitaker told the council that IDOT (Illinois Department of Transportation) will pay up to $750,000 in repairs for the I-39 overpass at the Caroline Development. The overpass was designed to last 20 years but the surface is crumbling only 11 years after being built.

Whitaker said that Woodford County Engineer Dennis Bachman contacted IDOT about the problem and was able to make connections with the proper individuals to get financial support to repair the overpass. Whitaker said that representatives from IDOT inspected the overpass and felt that they had a morale obligation to help fund the repair.

Whitaker said the bids for repairing the overpass will be let in January in hopes of starting the repair to the overpass in the Spring. Earlier this year, the County had indicated that the exit would have to be closed down in order to expedite the repair and to save money. However, Whitaker said the funding provided by the State will allow one lane to be open during the repair work so that the exit and entrances ramps can still be used. He said the repair work is estimated to take 28 work days and last a duration of 50 days.

Minonk sesquicentennial

Cathy McKay told the council that the Fourth of July Committee will be responsible for planning Minonk's sesquicentennial for next year. She said the committee this year will be known as the Sesquicentennial Committee. The committee decided to hold the sesquicentennial celebration the second weekend of June. She said that committee is already designing a calendar and T-shirt to be sold as fund raisers. A meeting is scheduled for 6:30 on December 3 at City Hall to plan the events for the celebration. Anyone who is interested in helping with the celebration is invited to attend the meeting. Cathy suggested that local organizations may want to plan an event for the celebration. Suggestions for events to be held for the celebration are welcome.

IDOR Revenue

City Administrator Trent Smith told the council that the city will fall $15,000 short in its budget for this year. Finance Committee Chairman Bill Koos said that the budget shortfall is the result of nickel and dime items finally catching up with the city. Koos said that many unexpected expenses not planned for came up this year. He said the $7500 fee required by the State to license the solid waste treatment plant was unexpected among others. Koos added that if the State withholds revenue or tax revenues fall short of expectations, the city will fall further behind. He said the city will be $25,000 behind at the beginning of the next fiscal year and adjustments will have to be made in next year's budget to account for the shortfall.

City Administrator's Report

Dick Davis continues to work on the extension of Moran Street from Maple Avenue to Chestnut Street. The rainy weather has slowed progress.

The brakes and steering on the city's plow truck are being repaired at a cost of $2500 to $3000.

The public works crew continues to be busy repairing roots in sewer tiles. Also, problems exist for tiles that were not known to exist. These rediscovered lines are being notated on the old maps as they are found.

Dave Jenkins took the mandatory State fitness test on Saturday, November 15, as the preliminary to continuing with the part-time Police Training Instruction (PTI) course. Upon passing the fitness test, he will continue into the part-time PTI course. He will be eligible for police work during this entire process.

Preparations are being made by the Minonk Business Association for the annual Parade of Lights. This will take place on December 6 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Randy Kleen will again ensure that all the lights are in working order throughout the holiday season.