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  • Fairbury News staff

Council hears club requests

Sue Popejoy and Jordan Hornickel appeared before members of the Fairbury City Council Wednesday evening representing the Boys and Girls Club of Prairie Central.

They presented information on cost sharing for building improvements at the facility on north First Street. There are holes in the walls and a gap which allows balls to get caught or travel through.

“We have the challenge of balls getting stuck up there or they fly into the hallway,” explained Popejoy.

After receiving bids, the club would like to go with Slagel Insulation to install steel on the hallway side and acoustical steel on the wall in the gym. The club has $5,000 they would use toward the project.

“This is the first step in getting that stuff kind of enclosed,” said Hornickel.

“I was wondering if a net would be better,” stated Alderman James Tipton.

Mayor David Slagel said it appears most of the insulation is still there, but the cover is peeling off.

A secondary exit for the gym and putting doors on restrooms are other projects under consideration. Hornickel would like to see doors on restrooms to control them better. After reaching out to John Zimmerman, the club received a tentative construction estimate of $6,000 to $7,000.

“We don’t want to have an incident where we could’ve controlled it,” added Popejoy.

The capital campaign for the new Boys and Girls Club building kicks off soon, followed by a community effort. The building itself will not go up until 70 percent of the funds are guaranteed. The project is estimated at $5 million and will include a full-size gym with a senior center and exercise room. Current plans call for the existing building to be used as a teen center.

Popejoy and Hornickel plan to gather more information on prices for the council and a discussion is expected at the next meeting.

“I want to thank you for your eagerness on this,” said Alderman Bruce Weber.

In another matter, the council approved a food pantry donation. Alderman Jon Kinate made the initial motion for $2,000 but rescinded it after Weber suggested $2,500, which was eventually authorized.

Dental and vision insurance renewal was approved. Dental will have an increase of three percent with six percent for vision coverage. City Treasurer Dale Diller noted these are fairly small increases, especially since there were no increases in the past four years.

Council members also voted to pay out sick days to employees with more than 48 days available at the end of the year. The total as of last week was $3,072 and last year, almost $3,500 was paid out.

Police Chief Robert McCormick revealed Detective Rafferty was accepted into the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. This means Fairbury will be able to access some of their resources and they would be able to provide information. McCormick described it as an extensive process which took several months.

“I’m just proud of him for being able to get that done,” stated McCormick.

This is related to the type of work Fairbury Police Department has been doing.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the Fairbury City Council:

-Approved Dec. 7 meeting minutes, voucher invoice register, check register, cash report and overtime report.

-Paid the annual Fairbury Area Chamber of Commerce dues for $650.

-Appointed Jessica Wenger as a signer for bank accounts with Bank of Pontiac, Morton Community Bank and First State Bank of Forrest.

-Amended the ordinance to Chapter 3 of the municipal code book which indicates payroll will now be done in-house starting the first of the year and no longer outsourced.

-Reappointed Seth Welch to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

-Received an update on an emergency sewer department purchase of a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) as the previous controller went out.

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