- Kent Casson
Mystery donor helps park
An anonymous donor plans to pay for new equipment at the Chenoa city park.
“It’s a purchase paid in full,” local resident Rachel Kridner told members of the Chenoa City Council Tuesday evening. “Somebody cares enough about the kids.”
The donation is $69,135.77 which covers equipment, plastic mulch, border and an ADA ramp. This will also include a swing set and replaces the wooden structure currently in place. The GameTime Gym system, also known as Cunningham Recreation in Illinois, is inclusive for wheelchairs.
“We have swings, we have things to do on the ground and it’s designed for five to 12-year-olds,” Kridner explained.
Equipment could arrive in January or February and the goal is to have volunteers assemble it.
GameTime is providing $42,000 through a rolling grant.
“That’s amazing,” said Parks Commissioner Chad Daiker.
During the public comment portion of Tuesday’s regular meeting, Dave Shane asked what the priorities of the departments are. Water and Sewer Commissioner Lee Reinhart said one of his priorities is to find some of the water leaks and develop a five-year plan.
“I would love to be able to have a plan but it’s about survival,” said Reinhart.
Shane feels addressing the loss of so much water every year should be a priority to figure out.
“You need to find some more technology,” Shane suggested.
The two men became louder in the back-and-forth conversation which eventually prompted the mayor to take a brief meeting recess.
“We are going to stop this argument right now,” Mayor Chris Wilder told both Shane and Reinhart.
Andrew Jolly suggested the city look at increasing pay for council members who only make a small amount each month currently. He believes this would be more of an incentive to make commissioners more excited of what they are doing for the community.
Wilder explained the council can create a resolution to give incoming councilmen a pay raise but anyone currently sitting does not receive it.
“We don’t do it because of the money,” Wilder noted. “I’d rather spend the money finding problems and solving them.”
Reinhart hopes to see more individuals run in the next election and get involved in their community.
“I feel we’ve done a lot on this council for the past two and a half years,” Reinhart observed.
Streets Commissioner Joseph Bell discussed disposing of certain equipment like a bounce house for insurance purposes along with the tent which the Fourth of July Committee uses every year. He suggested donating the bounce house to the Shop ‘N Go group and the tent to the Fourth of July Committee. Bell also recommended implementing a fee if anyone wants extra picnic tables in park pavilions for private events, although there could be exceptions for non-profits.
“I don’t think we need to be lending out our city tables to businesses,” Bell stated.
Bell will meet with the city attorney and bring back more information at a future meeting.
During council comments, Daiker reported the park season is coming to an end and the next step is making sure everything is winterized. Reinhart said fall hydrant flushing is complete and for the first time in over two years, the shut off list was down to four people. Bell noted the city is still addressing drainage issues working with Kafer Tiling.
Finance and Insurance Commissioner Kyle Buchanan has been thoroughly reviewing the city’s insurance policies. A possible insurance change will be voted on at the next council meeting. Buchanan also said he met with Adam Dontz of the Greater Livingston County Economic Development Council last week with ideas on job creation and adding more tourism in town.