Lanark Holds Public Hearing for CDAP Grant for Sewer Improvements
By LYNNETTE FORTH | For The Prairie Advocate News
LANARK – A public hearing was held to obtain citizens views on the submission of a Community Development Block Grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for sanitary sewer improvements within the City of Lanark during the regular council meeting on February 5, 2013.
Sharon Pepin, Community Funding & Planning Services, informed the council that a public hearing is a requirement of the grant program, and is the first of two Citizen Participation Hearings. The CDBG program is funded by Title 1 of the Federal Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. Through this program, funds are available to assist Illinois communities to meet their greatest economic and community development needs, with an emphasis upon helping persons of low to moderate income.
Eligible activities funded under the Public Infrastructure component include water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer projects that involve the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, demolition or installation of public infrastructure and improvements.
The City’s Lift Station and Sanitary Sewer Improvements cost is estimated at $883,000.00. Lanark is applying to DCEO for a Community Development Assistance Program Public Infrastructure grant in the amount of $450,000.00, which is 51% of the project cost and includes funds for the administration of the grant. The cost to the city will be $333,000.00.
The public may access the City’s Community Development Assistance Program grant application by contacting the City Clerk to arrange a time. A complete copy of the grant application will be available at City Hall after February 19th, 2013.
Pepin thanked the council for allowing her to assist them in the construction of the Municipal Building. “Thanks so much, it has been a pleasure working with you this past year,” she said.
Following the public hearing, council members heard from a representative from Willett, Hoffman and Associates on the building demolition project award recommendation for the properties at 101, 105, and 107 North Broad. Eight qualified bids were reviewed, with the lowest bid being from Northern Illinois Service Company of Rockford.
Alderman Tom Kocal questioned how long the council has to make a decision on the bid, and was informed by Mike Leslie of Willett Hoffman, “60 days.” A meeting of the streets and properties committee will meet on February 12th, at 7:30. Kocal stated that he would like to see active participation by the council at the meeting.
(NOTE: The 2/12 planned “Committee of the Whole” has been moved to Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, at 7:30 pm at City Hall, 111S. Broad St.)
A salesman from SBM (Sterling Business Machines, Inc.) presented recommendations for furniture to be used in the Municipal Building. All furniture proposed is made and designed in Muscatine, Iowa and comes with a lifetime warranty on all goods, and a five year warranty on furniture fabric. The city will receive a discount of 58.7% for being part of a municipality. A motion was made by Alderman Mark Macomber, and seconded by Ken Weaver to accept the bid from SBM, and to purchase 10 executive chairs, 20 regular stacking chairs, and 4 tables.
Mayor Ed Stern reported that the audit report has been finished, and shows that the city is in good financial health. “The audit is done to detect fraud, mismanagement, and also talks about net assets. We have a 10% increase in general funds overall,” Stern noted.
Michelle Atherton was sworn in as the new City Treasurer, and will begin her duties on February 15, 2013. Mayor Stern commented that he had spoken with three different candidates, and felt that Atherton was best suited for the position.
In the general audience portion of the meeting, an employee from Burkholder Construction spoke in regards to their recent approval of the use of TIF funds for a building addition. Burkholder had decided to build two additions, instead of the one that was approved previously, so the employee was speaking on behalf of the company to make sure that nothing additional in regard to TIF monies needed to be done.
Ken Viglietta addressed the council about a meeting to be held on February 28th, at the Heritage Center to discuss the book “Hollowing out the Middle”, which tells what area schools can do to entice people into the community. Alderman Kocal responded by saying, “About 15-20 people within the community have read this book, and it is very good.”
(See the feature article in the 2/6/13 issue regarding the discussion of Hollowing Out the Middle, set for Feb. 28, 6 pm at Lanark’s Heritage Center.)
Committee reports included Chief of Police Matt Magill discussing the replacement of the 2003 squad car. Magill presented a price quote from Miles Chevrolet located in Decatur of $30,403.00.
“In 2009, I budgeted $35,000, and I would think that adding an additional $5000.00 should cover additional costs.” Chief Magill stated that if any grants open up, he will definitely try to get some money. Council members voted to put the purchase onto the next meeting agenda.
A planning commission meeting will be held on February 14th at 7:00 p.m. to consider rezoning applications.
City Attorney Ed Mitchell informed the council that he completed the contract with Eastland Motor Sports, regarding water treatment. He also stated that the Nicor Gas franchise agreement will be put onto the next meetings agenda.
Alderman Ken Weaver reported that he had several residents in his ward asking about a “bulky waste” pick up day in the Spring, inquiring if one will be held. Alderman Anne Lindsay informed the council that she has had citizens inquiring about obtaining a recycling container, although they already have a dumpster. Denny Pate of Moring Disposal replied “Sure, we can certainly work with them if they want to recycle.”
Council members voted to purchase a post office box for the Municipal Building at a cost of $65.00 for six months.
The next regular council meeting will be held on February 19th, with the public encouraged to attend.