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Pana Council buying building; business courted

Tom Latonis

Breeze-Courier Writer (PANA) — The Pana City Council met in regular session on Monday night with three of the eight aldermen absent for the session. Despite their absence, the Council approved several land acquisition and salesthroughoutthecity.First Ward Alderman, Ray “Butch” Hocq, Second Ward Alderman Katherine Stephens and Third Ward Alderman Steve Scott were absent.

The Council voted to acquire the former music store at 119 E. Second from James Eiler of Pana. The building was also the former home of Barbara’s ladies apparel for $35,000. It is the intention of the city to sell the property to a company know as Atlas 46.

A quick Internet search shows the company is based in Fenton, Mo. and has manufacturing plants located in Vandalia and Hillsboro. The company manufactures tool rolls, bags and packs along with tool vests chest rigs and workshop aprons.

Under the sales agreement, it is contingent on the company entering into an agreement with the city by Feb. 1, 2022 for redevelopment of the site and the operation of the business which will employ a minimum of 30 people.

The vote was 5-0 to pass the resolution of acquisition.

An ordinance to sell several properties around the city was passed on first reading. To pass an ordinance on first reading, a two-thirds affirmative vote is needed. Since there were only five aldermen present and six votes are needed, Mayor Nathan Pastor cast the sixth and deciding vote.

The properties which will be advertised for bids are 102 and 104 Orange street; 7 Cedar St.; 407 Maple St.; 102 N. Johns St.; 1200 E. Second; 1 W. Washington; and 412 S. Poplar.

An ordinance to sell four other properties was also passed on first reading. They are located at 27, 29, 31 and 33 S. Locust St.

A third ordinance for property sale was also passed on first reading. This property is at 108 Michaels St.

All of the properties are to be sold with the successful buyer bidding at least 80% of the appraised value of the land.

One other property, at 105 W. Orange, was due to have bids accepted on Monday. However, City Clerk Kim Doberman said no bids were submitted and Fourth Ward Alderman Kent Sims asked the bid date be extended until Monday, Jan. 24. The request was approved.

Recognize Citizen Pana Police Chief Daniel Bland presented a certificate of appreciation to William Baker for his bravery in assisting a Pana police officer on Christmas day. According to Bland, police were trying to arrest Donald Minard, 40, who resides at the Rosebud apartments on Pana’s east side. A struggle between the Pana officer and Minard ensued as the officer tried to arrest him. Unable to subdue him alone, Bland said Baker jumped in and seconds later, the suspect was placed in handcuffs.

Bland said Baker, “Exhibited bravery in coming to the assistant of the officer” in that situation.” Council members and audience member gave Baker a standing ovation.”

In comments following the presentation, Baker pled for the community to stop violence and “Meet in the middle.”

“It’s not the far left and it’s not the far right who have answers to violence,” Baker said. “We’ve all just got to meet in the middle to resolve our problems.”

Other Business

City Engineer Greg Holthaus said the Illinois Department of Transportation is planning on putting a sidewalk along Washington St. (Route 29) from Franklin St. to Hickory St. It will be located on the south side of the highway.

The city will have to agree to maintain the sidewalk, but the state will pay for its installation. He was unclear whether the city needed to pass a resolution to accept the maintenance of the sidewalk before the state proceeded. He will try to verify what documentation the site needs.

In addition, Holthaus will ask the state if they could extend the sidewalk to the new Dollar General store on the northwest side. He said the police department and the city clerk’s office had received a number of complaints of people walking in the highway to get to the new store. Holthaus said Chief Bland was working on a proposal to reduce the speed limit to 35 mph in that area. It is currently 55 mph.

Council members voted to hire Justin Dudra as a part- time police officer for the city.

He was recently hired as the city’s Ordinance Officer. He would perform police duties after hours of his ordinance office requirements. Also hired was Dawn Dean as a part-time police dispatcher.

After a 10-minute executive session, Council members voted unanimously to extend the contract of Police Chief Daniel Bland through June 30, 2023. The contract had expired on June 30, 2021.

The meeting adjourned at 7:43 p.m. Next meeting of the Pana City Council is Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. int he Council Chambers of Pana City Hall, 120 E. Third St.

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