New hires were approved by members of the Chenoa City Council Tuesday evening following an executive session.
Chad Whately was hired as a part-time city employee at $18 per hour while Michelle Schuler was named to a part-time office position at $15.50 per hour. Also, a pay increase was announced for part-time city clerk Kyrstyn Mullen effective Dec. 19 from $14.50 to $16.00.
Other action resulting from the executive session included Christmas bonuses. All full-time employees will receive $300 each while part timers will receive $150.
Water and Sewer Commissioner Joe Moreland shared some good and bad news. The good news is that someone came in and paid water bills for Christmas.
“It doesn’t get any better than that in a small town,” Moreland said.
This has happened for quite a few years and it was a different person than in past years.
The bad news is that a water line broke on Scott Street.
“We really need to figure out a good budget on fixing lines next year. That was a disaster over there,” noted Moreland.
Council members approved amending the city code for automated payments. Mayor Chris Wilder calls this a good compromise that is short and to the point. The city is trying to encourage paperless billing as they will save money with less mail sent out. The city is willing to waive a fee for those doing ACH and going paperless.
Another ordinance change was approved regarding dumpster rentals. Different amounts are charged for dumpsters of certain lengths and a rental cannot exceed 21 days. If a dumpster is needed beyond three weeks, a resident would have to rent it again.
Parks Commissioner Chad Daiker said they need to have someone do a depth map of the pond as aquatic plants are needed or fish limits must be changed there.
“I don’t know if they have somebody that does that or we need to hire it out,” Daiker said.
During public comment, Melissa Cooper appeared before the group representing the Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor. She explained they are trying to make the corridor festival into a two-day event. Cooper asked if electricity could be utilized uptown for a vendor and if the pavilion at the swimming pool had electricity.
“Does that have power to it?” she asked.
The goal is to eventually get corridor activities to take place near the pool since it is close to Old Route 66.
“There has been power out there. It just needs to be updated,” explained Streets Commissioner Dwayne Price.
Cooper wondered if two 50-amp connections could be installed at the pavilion to accommodate food trucks.
“We’d have to find out if it’s even capable of holding 50 amps or not,” noted Mayor Wilder.
One gentleman asked when the gasoline prices are going to come “back to reality” locally since they tend to be higher than places like Bloomington-Normal.
“It’s crazy,” said Wilder, who admitted the city cannot control this.
November 22 meeting minutes were also approved along with the bills.