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  • Fairbury News staff

Concerns shared with council

Local resident Ann Ulitzsch voiced concerns to members of the Fairbury City Council Wednesday evening over snow removal.

During the night of the previous snowstorm in early February, Ulitzsch received an urgent call regarding a family member. She said her husband called a non-emergency number for the city to plow them out but was told the alleys would not be cleared until the following day. Ulitzsch’s only garage access is from the alley in the middle of the block.

“We just assumed that was taken care of like a street would be,” she said.

Ulitzsch noted that Brett Fehr of F&R Lawncare came right away and opened up the entire alley. City Superintendent Brett Ashburn explained streets must be cleared during snow events to make room for the next amount of snow.

“It’s not a fun job, it’s not easy,” explained Ashburn.

Mayor David Slagel said the city can discuss what options it has and if there is anything else that can be done for this type of situation but he is not making any promises.

“There is a ton of alley access in our town,” observed the mayor. “It’s really hard to tell if it’s their only access.”

Alderman Jim Tipton admitted it could be difficult to prioritize alleys without checking with everyone that lives on one to know what their own situation is. Ulitzsch said she speaks for more individuals than just herself.

“Hopefully we won’t get snowstorms like that all of the time,” she added.

When it comes to the early February snow removal, Alderman Bill Schmidgall praised the city crews for doing a “fantastic” job. Tipton said he seconds that.

In another matter, the council discussed a bid for acoustic panels in the council chambers which would cost $7500. The large covered frames would go on the walls to absorb sounds in an effort to eliminate echoes. Mayor Slagel noted it is hard for some to hear inside the chambers. Due to concerns over the price by the council, the issue was tabled as other options will be explored.

The city amended the ordinance in relation to water and sewer charges. Ordinances currently state that the rates will automatically go up every year by two percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is higher. This year the CPI was 7.5 percent which the city thought was excessive for raising the water and sewer rates.

“We changed the ordinance to say that if it’s over two percent, the city council can decide what to raise the rate to,” said Mayor Slagel.

Council members voted to modify water and sewer rates by two percent for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

An ordinance vacating portions of blocks 19 and 20 in the Atkins Second Addition to the city was approved. This area is to the east of Popejoy Plumbing and was originally plotted and laid out for an 11th Street and alleys.

“Now that has all been purchased and developed with the 11th Street so basically, we are just saying we are not ever going to build an 11th Street and we don’t need to hold that,” stated Slagel.

A donation request of $750 was authorized for Show Bus Public Transportation and the consent agenda was approved with previous meeting minutes, voucher invoice register, treasurer’s cash report and overtime report.

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