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  • Fairbury News staff

Downtown quote approved

A planter box is shown in downtown Fairbury this week.

A quote from Gomez Lawn Care to maintain downtown planter boxes was approved by members of the Fairbury City Council Wednesday evening.

The annual cost of service is $6,670 which includes material costs of $3,670 and $3,000 in labor. Last year was the first year the city hired out a service to have the work done. Elite Outdoors did the work previously.

“My vision is to give local landscapers the opportunity to do this each year,” explained City Superintendent Brett Ashburn.

Ashburn feels it is something the city can afford to do and it helps with downtown appeal. The city supplies the water while the company waters and weeds the boxes.

“It’s nice to have all of these planters done instead of a half dozen of them,” he added.

Street Superintendent Martin Steidinger suggested bumping up the work earlier in the season if this is going to be done every year.

Information from Gomez Lawn Care indicates installation will be done in a timely manner and the plants will be fertilized. Watering and maintenance will be done on a regular basis and the contract is for a seven-month period.

In another matter, the council approved a bid from McLean County Asphalt Company for the 2022-2023 Motor Fuel Tax project. The amount is $48,996.88 which came in under the engineer’s estimate of $55,388.80.

Street work is planned for Seventh Street from the trail to the school plus about 10 to 12 blocks in town. Steidinger hopes to do a hot mix project next year rather than oil and chip.

A quote to replace and rebuild equipment for chlorine treatment was authorized. Even though it seems high priced, Water Superintendent Mike Mellott said it would be a good idea to do this for safety reasons. It is basically a maintenance kit rebuild.

“It is important to keep up on the maintenance of these things,” noted Ashburn.

Council members granted a request from the family of Carol Aberle to install a memorial bench in either North Park or Sunken Park. There is talk of putting the bench far enough away from the sidewalk so there is room for a wheelchair. The addition of a tree or picnic tables are also possibilities.

“They’re trying to work through the process of who is responsible for what,” Alderman Jim Tipton said.

The city will install the concrete pad for a bench contingent upon the family’s decision for a location.

The city purchased a swivel dump chute for fire truck 242, which is the tanker. This would be mounted permanently and could swivel to either side. Steidinger received two bids and suggested the city go with the cheaper one. The fire department will install everything.

Mayor David Slagel said he received one complaint about the Scotty McCreery country concert last weekend from someone who lives on Fourth Street, regarding noise. He explained to the resident the speedway was forced to change the location of the stage due to mud.

“In a small town, you can do about anything and it will impact somebody,” observed Tipton.

A city ordinance was amended regarding the parking of motor homes, trailers and boats. Formerly, campers could only be parked in the rear yard property and the ordinance has been changed to allow this in a side yard or front yard. There is no parking allowed between the road and sidewalk and if there’s no sidewalk, it must be a minimum of 10 feet.

In a related matter, the city waived guest parking requirements for special events such as the Prairie Dirt Classic.

“People can still rent out their front yard or side yard for parking like they’ve been doing,” said the mayor.

At the end of the meeting, Tipton asked if the old hospital property keeps getting kicked down the road.

“We’re staying on it,” replied Ashburn.

Many in town have wondered if the owners will demolish the property. This has been a recurring subject for the past several years.

Mayor Slagel said Prairielands Foundation would be on board with helping out should plans proceed with the property. It was noted the racetrack may be interested in the land when they need overflow parking.

“I just want to get some of these eyesores cleaned-up,” said Alderman Charles Hoselton.

A request from Dave’s Supermarket was approved to close Third Street in front of the store on Tuesday, June 14 from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the annual Customer Appreciation Pig-Out.

Dominy Library Trustees Gary Hofmann and Marcia Walter were reappointed effective July 1 for a three-year term.

The consent agenda was approved, which included a sidewalk request at 101 East Elm Street for 225 feet. Other consent items included May 18 meeting minutes, voucher invoice register, treasurer’s cash report, check register and overtime report.

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