Savanna City Council Paves Way for Renewed and Robust Independence Day Celebrations
By MICHAEL MILLER | For The Prairie Advocate News
SAVANNA – The Savanna City Council took action to approve an expanded Fourth of July celebration for the City this year, including the debut of its Fourth of July Parade, expanded fireworks celebrations, and more activities for children, at the June 11th, 2013 meeting at 333 Chicago Avenue in Savanna.
Present at the meeting were Council members Bill Robinson, Merle Long, Peg Haffey, Jeff Griswold, Christine Lee, Lisa Robinson, Ray Skiles and Gary Scott Law. Also in attendance were Mayor Tony McCombie, City Clerk Paul Hartman, City Attorney Phil Jensen, and department heads Sheryl Sipe, Michael Moon, Shawn Picolotti, and John Lindeman.
The planned public hearing concerning possible legal action against Mediacom was put off, due to a letter received by Jensen from Mediacom staff indicating that a settlement proposal had been offered, and the Mayor and Jensen will follow up on this issue.
Robinson’s Finance Committee report included the news that fully $21,558.59 had been received from the Illinois Department of Transportation, which would cover the City’s repair of a state highway.
The committee also received a request from Jensen to increase the City Attorney fee from $18,000.00 a year to $21,000.00. The full Council approved this request.
Robinson also reported that they had received a quote of $300.00 per year for the potential internet service provider for the iFiber service. The Finance Committee approved this quote.
There were exactly no bids for the property at 1708 Chicago Avenue.
The Council continued to mull over their options regarding the Meadows Development Group and its recent auction on May 31st. Jensen said he’d had a good communication with the Meadows’ group, and that he’d been assured they intended to honor their original agreement with the City.
Jensen felt that it would be wise to have an agreement drawn up whereby the group would pay the City $16,000.00 (or $2,000.00 per unsold lot, with eight lots unsold). The Meadows is not yet sold, however, and even if it is, the individual lots will still be actively sold.
Jensen contemplated an agreement whereby as each lot is sold, the City would get $2,000.00 per lot, potentially. Since the Meadows group is currently in default to the City, McCombie explained, they could give the City $16,000.00 or 8 lots of their choosing.
Griswold expressed agreement with Jensen’s proposal and McCombie concurred. The mayor added that she’d like to resolve the situation promptly, as it has been one that the Council and committee has been dealing with for quite some time. Eventually the Mayor agreed that it would be a good idea to have members of the Meadows come to a Council meeting to discuss the matter, and that was where the matter ended.
Ordinance #2042, which would amend the way City employees are paid for overtime, and redefine the work week, was passed on second reading after a motion by Robinson. Likewise, Ordinance #2043, governing the accrual of vacation and compensation time for city employees, was also approved on second reading, unanimously.
The Council reviewed its lease with Computer Dynamics for use of city property (the Pinnacle Water Tower) for that company’s equipment, and approved the fifth addendum of that lease, which will extend the agreement until March of 2014.
Fourth of July Preparations
The Council read and approved a resolution to temporarily close Illinois Route 64 between Division Street to Chicago Avenue in anticipation of the first annual Independence Day Parade, on July 3rd between 6 and 7 PM.
Fire Chief Picolotti expanded upon the Independence Day celebrations, telling the Council and audience that after the parade, there will be expanded fireworks, a “bouncy” house, a “bouncy” slide, a “bouncy” obstacle course, face painting, food, a clown and other activities.
McCombie said that there had been a “ton of contributions” from businesses and residents and that they were to be thank for the expanded slate of activities.
Robinson and McCombie thanked the volunteers who worked on the landscaping outside of City Hall, at no cost to the City.
Public Works Superintendent Lindeman cautioned the Council that his department’s projects may slow down a bit in the next month, due to being down one man in staffing, leaving him with only two men to deploy.
McCombie said that Representative Mike Smiddy will conduct a town hall meeting on June 25th, from 5 to 7 PM and thanked both public works and the police department for their hard work.