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  • Kent Casson

Solar grant discussed by council

An ESP Solar Grant was discussed by members of the Chenoa City Council during the group’s regular meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.

ESP Solar LLC and the city signed a non-binding letter of intent to work together to develop a solar project in Chenoa. ESP anticipates an award of an Illinois Shines grant to develop a project in McLean County and plans to donate approximately $180,000 of that grant to Chenoa.

“We’ll put something together after tonight and send it to them so they can put it together with the application,” said Chenoa Mayor David Shane.

It is Chenoa’s intent to use the donation to fund senior and lower-income residents’ rate increases on water bills for the city water infrastructure project, help fund city projects which support sustainable energy initiatives for solar rate subscribers to convert to sustainable appliances, fund needed studies to apply for a USDA grant to develop community facilities for parks and green space and to fund rehab of the pool and park area.

The city will set up three funds to receive and track a portion of the grant proceeds and will use five percent of the ESP grant as an administrative fee to support the management of grant proceeds which the city will receive.

Discussion at Tuesday’s meeting also included using TIF funds for professional services for community development, public land use and long or short-term planning.

During public comment, Carrie Holzhauer announced she would like to set the date for next year’s car show for Sunday, June 1 with a rain date the following week. Though she had no way to count how many people came this year, she was impressed with the crowd.

“I’m not complaining on my turnout,” said Holzhauer.

Registration is set from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the awards around 3 p.m.

“I decided to do it on a Sunday so I’m not competing with the Saturday car shows.”

Resident Nancy Todd complimented the city on getting the water situation fixed quickly and for getting the town cleaned up before the Fourth of July. She also thanked the Fourth of July committee for the events in town.

Sally Decker said she was told the restrooms out at the football field were a “disaster” for the holiday. Commissioner Zack Lopeman said people did not throw paper towels away but it was not a disaster.

Commissioner Bev Pickett also praised the city crews for a great job of getting water mains taken care of recently.

Commissioner Manny Hernandez expressed displeasure with the recent incident in the main city park restroom so he predicts the restroom will probably start being closed at night and reopening in the mornings.

Mayor Shane signed an inter-governmental agreement with the county to finish the bike trail to the county line. He also talked with State Senator Tom Bennett about funding help with water bills for those on a fixed income.

The mayor reminded the public of the upcoming meeting on water infrastructure planned for Sunday, July 28 at 3 p.m. at the football field on Division Street. Residents are encouraged to bring lawn chairs as a discussion is planned on the water improvement project which will impact water rates. The council is hoping for plenty of feedback from the meeting.


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