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  • Kent Casson

Wilder bids farewell, Shane seated

Residents of Chenoa said goodbye to one mayor and hello to another during Tuesday night’s regular meeting of the Chenoa City Council.

During his parting comments at the start of the meeting, outgoing mayor Chris Wilder thanked the community for eight years.

“It’s been great,” Wilder reflected. “A lot of nice things have happened thanks to a lot of wonderful community members.”

Wilder said it was nice to have new community members move in and step up to help.

“I wish you the best and good luck to Dave (Shane) and Zack (Lopeman),” he added.

Newly-elected mayor Dave Shane thanked the community for putting him in the position.

“We are not looking back, we are going to move forward from here,” stated Shane.

Shane encouraged residents with any ideas to bring them to City Hall and communicate.

“You are who we are working for.”

According to Shane, the city is setting up a website where people can see what is being accomplished.

City Attorney Steve Mann administered the oath to Shane along with commissioners Zack Lopeman, Joe Moreland and Dwayne Price.

In a vote of 3-2, Moreland was named water and sewer commissioner, Price was assigned to parks and health and Lopeman to streets and alleys. Moreland and Price voted no to these appointments while J.E. Myers, Lopeman and Shane voted in favor.

City officers appointed included Steve Mann city attorney, Ben Smith city treasurer, Alicia Rhoades city clerk and Travis Cornwall chief of police. The zoning board appointments were tabled.

Nancy Todd discussed a project planned for Silliman Pond. She and others have been in contact with Larry Martin who does work at Lake Bloomington. The pier needs to be replaced along with the seawall and repairs are needed on the side of the pond.

“There needs to be some serious work done,” admitted Todd.

Todd feels the city could do minor upgrades to get by for this year as Martin is not able to start work until November. The council approved a down payment of $28,278 for the pier and shore work. Lopeman said he does not want to get rid of the floating section that was his Eagle Scout project.

“We want to enter into a formal contract then vote on it,” suggested Mann.

During public comment, Melissa Cooper reminded the council of her Shop ‘n Go event scheduled for May 20-21. She asked for barricades and cones as part of Second and Owsley will need to be shut down. She will also need security in the park with several vendors planning to attend.

It was revealed Division Street work will start soon and the city is unsure how that could impact Cooper’s event.

“I think it will be driveable,” Mayor Shane said of Division Street. “We’ll do all we can to have everything opened up for you.”

High School student J.C. Spence revealed plans for his Eagle Scout project which includes putting two batting cages on the north end of the old tennis courts. The high-end estimate is $7,000. Spence is asking friends, family and local businesses for donations.

“There would be two poles that will be on the outside of the fence and one in the middle,” Spence explained.

Sally Decker expressed disappointment with the way the city parks looked during the recent Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor event, referring to the area as a “dandelion field.”

The treasurer revealed the city’s general fund ended with a surplus on April 30 while the pool had a deficit and the water and sewer fund had a large surplus.

Commissioner Moreland said he talked with State Bank of Graymont about a loan at six percent for 10 years. He believes the city needs to start thinking about long-term projects.

“Our projects aren’t going to go away so a little cushion would be nice.”

With the Chenoa 4th of July celebration approaching, Lopeman asked City Attorney Mann if the July 3 street dance could return to its original location.

“I’ll have to think about that and get back to you,” replied Mann.

Mann reported the city has not been able to gain access to nearby buildings for an inspection. Concerns were raised last year about the structural integrity of the buildings which are in close proximity to the traditional street dance area. This forced the 4th of July Committee to move the dance down the street.

“Maybe we could get somebody to do an outside structural inspection of it,” said Mann.

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