Council debates speed limit

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The Charleston City Council and city residents discussed the possible lowering of the speed limit to 20 mph on Fourth Street on Tuesday.

The ordinance was placed on file for public inspection and will be up for discussion during the next city council meeting.

Michael Stopka, a gerontology graduate student and Charleston resident, said he felt there was too much attention being paid to Fourth Street, and not enough attention to safety on Ninth Street.

Larry Rennels, a city council member, said he has heard concerns from Charleston citizens about how the speed limit will still remain, even when students have left campus.

Rennels also said the new speed limit could become an issue with law enforcement once students have left campus and people might speed through the section of Fourth Street.

“People tend to adjust their habits to what they perceive is needed,” Rennels said.

Rennels also pointed out the lack of discipline pedestrians have when it comes to using the crosswalk.

Blair Jones, the Eastern student representative to city council, said she did not think students would notice the difference in the speed limit, because most people have always assumed the speed limit was 20 miles per hour.

Jones is a junior accounting major.

The city council also accepted the bid award from Manteno-based, EJ Equipment for a sewer camera for $59,250.

A proclamation was also passed during the city council meeting, stating February to be Black History Month.

A resolution was also passed that would continue the contractual agreement between the city of Charleston and Eastern regarding the housing and use of the Geographical Information System software and its support services.

Inyart also announced the appointment of the new Carnegie Library Board of Trustees member, Sally Renaud, an associate professor of journalism at Eastern.

Charleston also received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, which was presented by Jennifer Johnson of Champaign, and awarded by the Government Finance Officers Association.

“You should be really proud of your finance staff and city management,” Johnson said. “This award definitely speaks to the high level of transparency to your document.”

Heather Kuykendall, the Charleston comptroller, said she was very excited about the award and was the first award of its kind presented to the city.

“The city is proud of the efforts of our comptroller’s department and look forward to many more years of personal recognition,” Inyart said.

Kathryn Richter can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]