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  • Kent Casson

Trees are the talk of town

The Chenoa City Council shown at a previous meeting / file photo.

An Arbor Day proclamation was read by Mayor Chris Wilder during Tuesday night’s regular meeting of the Chenoa City Council.

“Trees are a renewable resource,” the mayor stated. “Trees in our city increase property values and beautify our community.”

Wilder officially proclaimed April 30 as Arbor Day in the city of Chenoa. He urged citizens to plant trees for the well being of future generations.

In a related matter, the council received a tree planting update for Route 66 and the city parks from resident Sarah Michaels.

“Two more loads of mulch have been donated,” she said.

As Arbor Day is approaching, Michaels noted the city did get Tree City USA information and pamphlets will be available for community distribution. Michaels noted volunteers are welcome to replace trees around town, such as along Division Street, in the park and up and down Route 66.

A vote on the jurisdictional transfer of Division Street, or McLean County Highway 19, was once again delayed as the county board is expected to vote on this Thursday evening. The county’s transportation committee has voted 7-0 in favor of it, but the city wants to wait for the entire board’s vote.

“We have to wait until it’s formal,” noted Mayor Wilder.

Like at the previous city council meeting, there was plenty of back-and-forth discussion among council members and the public on the matter. The county has offered to help pay for the replacement of a water main. Work would entail resurfacing Division Street north of Route 24 and drainage improvements. The county is offering $225,000 for this.

“If we’re going to be sitting here three or four months from now discussing raising water rates, I wouldn’t want to have to answer to the citizens,” said Lee Reinhart, Water and Sewer Commissioner, who feels the city has been given an opportunity.

The group also authorized Motor Fuel Tax funds for fiscal year 2021-2022 for $56,967.05 plus maintenance engineering at $2,389.34 for a total of $59,356.39. This includes spray patching, alley and road rock, salt for streets, drainage repairs, culvert work and storm sewer cleaning.

Council members approved amending the liquor license ordinance, removing residency requirements to obtain a license. Wilder noted someone is interested in bringing a business to town that would require a liquor license. The business owner does not live in Chenoa and does not plan to move to town.

“I don’t want to see us pass up an opportunity to bring in revenue to the community,” Wilder stated.

Commissioner Chad Daiker said he does not see a downside to this since any new business would likely be hiring local people who live in Chenoa.

The Silliman Trust restroom project was approved. Some of the labor is already being donated by certain individuals with the biggest issue involving the walls – whether they are block or poured. Marion Shier of the Silliman Trust is proposing wall mounted fixtures for easy cleaning. Details for the restroom project will be worked out later.

A possible dumpster ordinance was discussed by the council since the city has experienced problems with residents filling dumpsters too high. This creates problems when dumping into the garbage truck. Adding a “do not fill” line to the dumpster is an option. The golf cart ordinance was also reviewed with plans to eliminate the age of 18 and changing it to having a driver’s license in order to operate. Also, a curfew for nighttime driving will be eliminated. Both ordinances were only discussion with formal action expected in the future.

Following an executive session, the council approved pay raises for the police department.

Keenean Wilson and Rachel Kridner were appointed to the Economic Development Committee while the council also authorized March 23 meeting minutes and bills.

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