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Breeze Courier Writer
(TAYLORVILLE) — Taylorville City Clerk Julie Lilly submitted her resignation to the Taylorville City Council during its meeting on Monday night in the Municipal Building. She has served in that capacity since 2017.
Mayor Bruce Barry read her resignation letter out loud. The letter stated issues with recent events and the changing culture in the workplace without further details provided.
Lilly said she will try her best to aid in a smooth transition to a new city clerk. She said her last day on the job is scheduled to be Her estimated last day will be Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.
All Council members were present except Alderman Jeremy Wilson.
Members tabled the motion limiting the number of liquor licenses with video gaming. Aldermen Chris Skultety asked to hold off on voting until all members were present.
The Council inquired with the Mayor and City Attorney Rocci Romano regarding the intergovernmental agreement with the City of Pana concerning the Lincoln Prairie Bike Trail. Romano discussed the ordinance and suggested some changes, mainly regarding grammar correction and clarifications. The Council and the Mayor agreed to the changes, and updates will be provided later.
During his updates, Mayor Barry praised the Taylorville High School cross country team and the Taylorville FFA Chapter, which were successful at the state and national championships, respectfully.
The Council went into closed session at 7:29 p.m. to discuss negotiations between the city and the respective departments, including AFSCME, fire and police and ended at 8:41 p.m. The Council agreed to direct the Finance Chairman and Mayor to present the favorably agreed upon offers to all three unions which were discussed during the closed session.
In other business, members voted down a proposal of City Hall parking improvements, 4-3. Lone bidder was Phil Tullis Excavating, Inc., with a price tag of about $92,000.
However, with the estimated price of the project, it needed six votes to pass. Aldermen Skultety, Steve Dorchinecz and Kathy Driskell voted “no”.
Several redevelopment agreements between the city and various developers gained approval. They include with Advanced Title Group, Inc. and Jeffrie E. Robinson, 101 S. Washington St. project phase three; Dan Helms, doing business as The Wooden Flower, 1111 W. Spresser St.; Heartland Development Partners, Inc. and Cynthia Frisina, 123 S. Washington St. project phase four; Heartland Development Partners, Inc. and Cynthia Frisina, 201 W. Main Cross St. project phase five; Christopher P. Biondolino and Biond Restaurants III, LLC, 303 Springfield Rd.; Karma Salon and Boutique, LLC and Elizabeth Hohenstein, 101 W. Main Cross St.; and The Dandy Lion, LLC and Jessica A. Oyler, 110 S. Main St.
An amendment to the development agreement with Sangamo Brewing, LLC, and Thomas Noonan was approved.
Several other construction projects were approved. Those included the engineering proposal for the East Poplar St. improvements North Main to North Walnut Street in an amount not to exceed $25,500. Construction observation and services has an estimated cost of $20,000; and street improvements around Taylorville Food Center in an amount not to exceed $53,000 with construction observation services for an estimated amount of $35,000.
The application process for an IEPA Water Quality Management Grant was approved. The Public Facilities Committee recommendation to replace carpeting in the mayor’s office was approved.
The Ordinance Committee recommended the Council to direct the city attorney to prepare an ordinance to amend the city code to place a stop sign at the corner of Knute Rockne Drive and Western Avenue; an ordinance to amend the city code for cigarette and tobacco dealer’s license from the current cost of $100 to $3,000 per year beginning May 1, 2024; also to amend the same code to address the sales of, or gifts of, or possession by minors under 21 years of age, to add nicotine containing products (vape pens). To be included are penalties for first-time offense to be $750; second offense to be 90-day suspension of license; and third offense to be loss of license for the remainder of the license year.
In addition, an ordinance to amend the city code for cigarette, tobacco and vape shop signage to follow similar rules as the signage for video gaming parlors.
The Personnel Committee received full support from the Council on the recommendation to bid for the Heavy Equipment Operator A position at the Water Treatment Plant and direct the Finance Chairman and the Mayor to negotiate with AFSCME to change the CDL requirement to an as-needed basis per department.
The meeting adjourned the meeting at 8:42 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 20, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Taylorville Municipal Building.