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(PANA) — The Pana City Council unanimously passed two resolutions dealing with the demolition and construction of the Lincoln Prairie Bike Trail bridge over Flat Branch Creek near Taylorville. All eight Pana aldermen were in attendance Monday night.
The resolutions – which must also be passed by the Taylorville City Council – deal with trail ownership and the split in local costs for the construction. Once the bridge is completed, Pana will transfer ownership of the trail from Taylorville to Owaneco to the city of Taylorville. Pana will own from Owaneco south. Currently, Pana is the owner of the bike trail, all the way into Taylorville.
The second resolution deals with local costs for the construction. Each municipality will contribute a maximum of $60,000 for the project.
The City of Pana is the recipient of an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) grant of nearly $1.2 million for the project, or 90 percent of the funds. Pana and Taylorville are splitting the remaining 10 percent of the project, estimated to be $120,000.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is in charge of letting bids for the project and that will come in January of 2024.
In other matters, the Council heard from Richard Hooper, CPA, of Lively, Mathias, Hooper and Noblet, Taylorville, who conducted the city’s audit for fiscal year 2023. Hooper characterized the city’s financial picture as being in good shape.
“The overall numbers show the city is in very good shape,” Hooper said. “In fact, this is the best it’s looked in the past four or five years.”
While expenditures are up in the General Fund, Hooper said revenues have also increased for the city in the past fiscal year.
He did say the city should be cautious with its Water and Sewer Fund. Hooper said expenses were up about $240,000 over a year ago. This was mainly due to salaries and benefits and an increase in the cost of chemicals used in the process of each utility. Hooper said another reason is the city is required to keep funds set aside to pay back loans which they have incurred for infrastructure projects. He emphasized the city needs to closely watch rates and to enact increases as prescribed.
Members heard from City Engineer Greg Holthaus about a possible road project to improve Sixth Street from Spruce St. to Minnesota Ave. It will utilize a combination of federal, state and local funds. Talks are in preliminary stages and will require more information before he brings it to committee.
Two projects for the water treatment plant were approved. One is to replace three heaters by Nadler Electric, Sullivan at a cost of $8,950. Grunloh Construction, Effingham, was awarded a contract to replace a pair of exterior doors at the water plant with a price tag of almost $11,600. A Class “F” liquor License for the Jack Flash development in Pana. It will run through Feb. 29, 2024.
A representative of Robinson Outdoor Sign Co. and Jason Simac, owner of Junction Garden Center, appears to ask what action the Planning and Zoning Commission took on a variance to an ordinance which would allow the placement of an electronic sign on the Junction property. Mayor Nathan Pastor told them the Commission had denied their request and indefinitely tabled the matter.
They were encouraged to contact City Zoning Officer Justin Dudra for more information and what steps they can take next.
At 7:56 p.m., the Council entered into executive session to discuss land acquisition. After a 22 minute session, they came back into regular session where it was announced no action would be taken.
The meeting adjourned at 8:19 p.m. Next meeting of the Pana City Council is Monday, Nov. 27, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber of Pana City Hall, 120 E. Third St.