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  • Kent Casson

Moreland is newest Commissioner

Joe Moreland is sworn-in by City Clerk Alicia Rhoades Tuesday evening at City Hall.

Chenoa’s newest Water and Sewer Commissioner was officially sworn-in during the regular Chenoa City Council meeting Tuesday evening.

Joe Moreland works for Stoller Trucking in Gridley and bought a residence in the middle of town about five years ago. He lived outside of Chenoa for several years before that. Mayor Chris Wilder had talked with Moreland in depth a few times about the position.

“I think Joe would do a good job,” said Wilder.

Moreland said he will see how it goes and hopes he can do a good job.

“I figure I can sit back and complain or I could do something about it,” Moreland explained. “That’s the only reason I joined when (Mayor Wilder) asked me to.”

City Clerk Alicia Rhoades administered the oath of office to Moreland toward the end of the meeting before he took his seat with other members of the City Council.

In another matter, an intergovernmental agreement with McLean County was discussed by the group. Within the next couple of meetings, Wilder hopes to have a vote on whether or not to take Division Street for any amount of money or to nullify the agreement they currently have.

The county has American Rescue Plan Act funds and an agreement with other municipalities in McLean County.

“That total amount was $5 million at which point I found out they only had $250,000 left, I applied for that amount and there is a tentative agreement written for us to receive that amount,” said Wilder.

According to the mayor, the county would like to see Chenoa finalize any agreement it has with the county highway department prior to a new agreement.

Rich Sullens with Midwest Real Street Machines revealed plans for a cruise-in throughout downtown starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 23 which is also a day for numerous other events in town billed as the “Patriotic Party at the Park” from the Chenoa 4th of July Association.

Sullens would like the area in front of the Finish Line, and possibly beyond, blocked off so cars can be parked there.

“Midwest Real Street Machines has helped with a movie in the park and we’ve helped the food pantry,” Sullens said.

Sullens’ group has grown to 2,200 members.

A bid was approved from McLean County Asphalt to perform seal coat work in the city. This will start on the north side of the tracks at Veto Street. The surface will be grinded with a coating.

“It’s going to be similar to the road going out to the pond,” noted Streets Commissioner Dwayne Price.

Work should be done by the end of August and only one bid was received.

Tim and Cheryl Jolly appeared before the council regarding a TIF application for property on Lincoln Street. The historical home is on the 4th of July parade route and near OB’s, Dollar General and the park district. They are considering this being rental property or an Airbnb.

Mayor Wilder suggested letting the Jollys submit a formal application and come back to a future meeting. He explained funding is based on each application and what they are spending versus what the request is.

“We’ll proceed,” said Tim.

Future options for a city garbage and refuse truck were discussed. The mayor said it is starting to cost in repairs each year and is having rust issues on the box and cab. The 1996 truck is a rear load with a wench for dumpsters.

“We may need to replace or do away with our dumpster service at some point,” Wilder stated.

A used garbage truck could cost $150,000.

The council decided to further discuss Zoning Board recommendations at a future meeting. They have been discussing what constitutes coverage of a lot. The city attorney has been asked to amend the code from the current 35 percent coverage to 50 percent. Parks Commissioner Chad Daiker does not feel landscaping should be counted as coverage.

“Write down what you think should be covered and shouldn’t be covered,” Wilder suggested to the council.

Dan Butler was appointed the city’s zoning officer since the former longtime officer is retiring from the position. Since Butler is willing to stand in full time, the city will need to find someone to back him up. Butler, who works in construction and farming, lives in town and is easily accessible to look at permits.

Changes to the employee handbook were tabled and the council approved minutes from the regular June 28 meeting and executive session along with the bills.

Several public comments were made during Tuesday’s meeting. Questions were raised about what is being done regarding the downtown building in poor structural shape which prompted the July street dance to be moved. Wilder said a letter was sent to the building owner and no response was received so far.

Resident Molly Wilder shared her thoughts on the agreement with the county over Division Street. Her plea is to look into options to get this done and figure out how to get a water line through the heart of the city.

“The county is going to do this road one way or another,” she said.

Molly would like to see a new water line get through the railroad tracks while the city has the chance.

“Please try to figure out a way to work this out.”

Zack Lopeman of the 4th of July Committee reminded the council of a community day at the park July 23, asking if they could use the big tent normally used for the food stand. Activities may include bingo or even water games. On a separate note, Lopeman thanked the city for drainage work on Crittenden Street but suggested the use of a trench box when digging.

“Do you know where your nearest trench rescue team is?” Lopeman asked. “Bloomington.”

Rich Sullens presents information on a Midwest Real Street Machines Cruise-in planned for Chenoa.

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