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  • Fairbury News staff

Council hears vehicle talk

Several citizens filled the back of City Hall Wednesday night during the regular meeting of the Fairbury City Council.

They were showing interest in the use of side-by-side vehicles in town. Examples of these types of vehicles include John Deere Gators or Polaris Rangers. The state refers to these as recreational off-highway vehicles.

Fairbury currently only allows golf carts and not side-by-sides as the city voted against the latter in 2019. Mayor David Slagel told the group if they want the city to revisit the issue, the council must be convinced to put it back on a meeting agenda.

“We’d have to have a committee meeting,” explained Slagel.

During public comment, local resident Brad Duncan spoke in favor of side-by-side vehicle use, saying several towns are allowing them. This includes Colfax, Chatsworth, Gibson City, Chenoa, Minonk, Havana, Rushville and Flanagan.

“There have been some counties that have allowed them in Illinois,” said Duncan.

After checking around with other towns, Duncan heard no major problems from police departments.

“They are a little bit safer than a golf cart if you were to get in an accident,” observed Duncan.

While side-by-sides do go faster than golf carts, Duncan feels it would add another option for people.

Marty Arteman of rural Fairbury was the next to speak. He does not see a downside to allowing these types of vehicles in town.

“If people want to use these things, sell them stickers for a fee,” Arteman suggested.

Alderman Steve Endres feels everything should be reviewed, including golf carts.

Also at Wednesday’s regular meeting, City Superintendent Brett Ashburn revealed a recent meeting with the Illinois Department of Transportation regarding Route 24 did not go the way the city had hoped.

They said Fairbury’s portion of Route 24 is now on their radar but it could be two to three years before it is addressed. Work could entail a basic mill down and re-asphalt.

“Our problem isn’t the cracking of pavement – it’s underneath,” said Ashburn.

Street Superintendent Martin Steidinger told the council the road work from the state would not be in the near future.

“If we see a new road in here in 10 years, count your lucky stars,” noted Steidinger.

Ashburn also said park lights for the tennis and pickle ball courts arrived earlier than expected and RTJ Electric will replace the lights at North Park.

A water leak detection proposal was approved from Leak Detection Services, Inc. The city still has more water loss than it should and the state wants to see the numbers come down. The hope is to have the company see where the city is losing water.

“If he’s able to find it, it’s worth every penny,” admitted Ashburn.

Section III of the city’s pay ordinance was amended for pool employees. Those under 18 can have a different rate than other workers.

The council authorized the purchase of a snow box attachment for the new front-end loader. Steidinger said the city will need it for the upcoming winter season when they push snow. Steidinger is happy with the new loader so far.

Alderman Endres received a complaint over a tree blocking a stop sign on Ash Street when heading west. The peach tree has been there for several years.

“The present homeowner has nothing to do with that tree but it is on city property,” Endres said.

The annual Motor Fuel Project was approved for sidewalk work on Main Street. Rebuild Illinois funds will be used.

City Council members approved the consent agenda, which included the May 17 meeting minutes, voucher invoice register, treasurer’s cash report, check register and overtime report.

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