City Superintendent Brett Ashburn told the Fairbury City Council of plans for a spring sidewalk project thanks to allocated state funds.
Former State Rep. Dan Brady previously secured the $150,000 for Fairbury which will be used to install a sidewalk running from the intersection of Fifth and Wanda Lane to Prairie Central High School. The sidewalk will be located on the north side of Wanda and a crosswalk will be added.
“Now we are finally in a place to do it,” said Ashburn.
A couple of trees and a bush will likely need to be removed for the project, which was initially discussed before COVID hit.
“We are going to have to move intakes,” noted Street Superintendent Martin Steidinger.
The new sidewalk will be three feet away from the curb, meaning it will not be impacted by street snow removal in the winter.
During the public comment portion of Wednesday night’s regular Fairbury City Council meeting, Brandy Pekarovich announced plans for another overdose awareness memorial event on May 13 at Marsh Park. This has not been held for a few years due to COVID.
“I’d like to get that back up and started this year,” said Pekarovich.
Funds raised are used to help those with substance abuse. This will be the seventh overdose awareness event as they held six in a row prior to the pandemic. None of the city council members seemed to have an issue with this but Pekarovich was encouraged to talk with Larry Ray about reserving the park.
Steidinger reported work inside Old City Hall is coming along with decent progress and the heat is operational.
“It’s not complete, but it’s on,” he explained.
Speaking on behalf of the fire department, Steidinger said they need a new part for the water way that goes up to the truck tower after the part froze and broke while fighting the Mueller barn fire back in December. This piece, which is only around four feet long, is estimated to cost $1500 to $1700.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that big of a deal to change,” added Steidinger.
Under new business, the group authorized an ordinance rezoning 609 East Maple Street. Previously, the Zoning Board voted to approve the recommendation of changing the zoning from R2 residential to commercial. Ashburn said the rest of Maple Street west is already commercial.
John Teubel would like to be able to have storage units and rent them out which is why the property needs to be rezoned commercial. Alderman Gary Norris made the motion to approve the matter and Alderman Charles Hoselton was the lone “no” vote.
The city approved a new vehicle purchase from K&S Ford. The 2023 XLT model Explorer is to be used by Superintendent Ashburn with the idea of re-purposing his current vehicle for another department. The total cost is $47,419.88.
A project plan proposal was approved for the Water Treatment Plant. This is the next step in order to go to the state for the revolving loan.
“There is a good possibility there will be principal forgiveness with this,” stated Ashburn.
Alderman James Tipton moved to approve the plant project.
Emergency lighting for fire truck 245 was authorized by the council. The company used has always installed the department’s radios, according to Steidinger.
“I know they do a good job,” he said.
Using some donations, the department is going to put a grill guard bumper on the truck before the lights are in.
The city’s chicken coop license ordinance was amended to correct some previous information listed. The change sets a beginning and end date for a permit to avoid having so many renewal dates.
Police Chief Robert McCormick noted the two newest police officers are enrolled in transition academy which will be in March.
Alderman Gary Norris reminded the council the pool is looking for lifeguards. City Clerk Alexandria Reis feels they have a good start but would like one or two more lifeguards.
The consent agenda was also approved Wednesday evening, including Jan. 18 minutes, voucher invoice register listing the bills, treasurer’s cash report, check register and overtime report. A sidewalk request was approved for 408 West Ash. The work will be done in the spring when the weather turns nice.