City council to vote on equipment purchases, street closures

Blake Warman, Staff Reporter

The Charleston city council will explore the possibility of obtaining a loan of $275,000 for the purchase of various pieces of equipment and vehicles during its meeting on Tuesday.

Mayor Larry Rennels said the equipment looking to be purchased are two trucks, backhoes and snow plows. The loan was acquired through First Financial Bank for a period of five years with an annual interest rate of 1.77 percent.

Another purchase being considered by the city council is the purchase of a piece of property  located at 620 Fifth Street in Charleston. This piece of property is looking to be bought for an amount of $644. This property according to Rennels was abandoned at some point and has been acquiring leans against the property because of the growth of grass on the property.

The City of Charleston will also be working with the State of Illinois Department of Transportation  to reconstruct the intersection of East Harrison Avenue and Illinois Route 16. This project will require the involvement of both the City of Charleston and the State of Illinois Department of Transportation. The project requires the complete removal of the existing East Harrison Avenue from Illinois Route 16 which will be approximately 791 feet.

Rennels said that they are hoping to submit the bid by August and then begin work on the intersection next summer. This intersection will also no include traffic lights but will be able to accommodate  traffic lights in the future if they choose to do so Rennels said.

What will also be discussed is that Title I, Chapter 9 of the Charleston City Code be amended.This will be done by replacing the City of Charleston Personnel Handbook of 2008, with the City of Charleston Personnel Handbook of May 20, 2014. Rennels said the changes involve the new conceal carry law that was passed this past year along with sexual harassment policy and social media policy.

The council will also vote to pass four individual raffle licenses to Charleston Chill, Coles County Fair Committee, Coles County Arts Council and Men’s Auxiliary V.F.W.

The city council also plans to discuss three different street closures for the Charleston High School 1979 Class Reunion  5K Run/Walk Charity Run on July 26, as well as the multiple street closures needed for the upcoming Fourth of July festivities.

The city council will meet 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall.

Blake Warman can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].