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  • Kent Casson

Council hears business presentations

Kishor Salunkhe, representing Reliable Autotech USA, LLC, appears before the Chenoa Council.

Members of the Chenoa City Council heard a couple of presentations from local businesses Tuesday evening regarding the possibility of TIF funding.

Kishor Salunkhe represented Reliable Autotech USA, LLC, which is located at 600 North Division Street. The business designs, tests and manufactures a variety of parts for diverse clients such as Caterpillar and Komatsu.

“We do a lot of prototype work for engineers at Caterpillar,” explained Salunkhe.

Reliable Autotech can do in-house powder coating and they have space for future expansion. Expansion plans include a lean-to for the existing building, redevelopment of the building and adding a 33,000 square foot new structure behind the existing one.

The new building will accommodate tube manufacturing and production and the complete new addition is expected to add 60 full-time jobs.

“We are trying to bring some activity to the town,” added Salunkhe. “Our fabrication business is growing.”

Mayor Chris Wilder said the council would discuss this further once they receive new projections.

Nicole Burke of Home Team Eats made the second presentation of the evening, discussing the mobile food establishment which is looking to become more permanent. Possibilities include a food delivery service or a culinary training program for youth.

Home Team Eats offers a very diverse menu with catering options.

“This has been our dream,” Burke told the council.

“Thank you for being here,” said Mayor Wilder.

This business will also be discussed at a future meeting.

Several public comments were made at the council meeting. Steve Bury asked if the city ever considered a pickle ball court and pointed to the tennis court which could be converted.

“It’s one of the fastest growing activities in the nation,” stated Bury.

Wilder said a local woman is looking into the pickle ball option and an Eagle Scout has been working on obtaining funds.

“There are others that have approached us as well.”

Bury also asked about the resurfacing of Mason Street and if the city is trying to secure funds for the project. Wilder replied the city is currently working on infrastructure plans and attempting to get funding through grants.

Gordon Whitmar said he would like to see a street light installed at Morehead and Route 66 as it is really dark in that area at night. Wilder believes it is something the city can approach Ameren about.

Andy Jolly reported the new business OB’s is moving along and the beer garden should be done in the next week or two. Beer equipment is in place and the golf simulator equipment is ready. When it comes to the old firehouse restoration, Jolly said façade work will not start until next year due to delays.

The new owner of the Finish Line asked if the bar could stay open until midnight on Sundays as they are looking to get a darts tournament started. Some Rivian workers enjoy staying late as Sundays are often their Saturdays and the extended hours could help for times like New Year’s Eve and the Super Bowl. The item will be discussed by the council at a future meeting.

The sale of a vehicle owned by the city was authorized. The 2017 Expedition squad car is no longer necessary for the police department or the city so it has been sold for $9,000 to the high bidder in Pontiac.

Water and Sewer Commissioner Joe Moreland presented information on updates to water and wastewater service discontinuance. He wants to change the day rather than the date so a disconnection does not happen on a Friday or over the weekend.

Residents would be notified on the first Tuesday and shut off on the third Tuesday.

“This way, we can try to do it a little better,” Moreland said.

Chief of Police Travis Cornwall expressed interest in an unused city storage container which is currently at the city shed covering drain tile. The city no longer uses it for disposal and collection of electronic items due to the cost.

“I would like to see us get rid of it,” said Wilder.

Cornwall suggested using the container for storage of targets at the range.

Parks Commissioner Chad Daiker reported he has not received a report from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources survey at the pond. He revealed handicapped parking is going in with the new restroom at the park.

Moreland acknowledged the city has received complaints about water but he hopes the big water main flush in October will solve the issues. They are going to start testing meters.

Regular meeting minutes from Aug. 23 were approved and the council entered an executive session to discuss possible litigation.

Nicole Burke of Home Team Eats presents information to the Chenoa City Council.

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