City Council approves equipment, vehicle purchases

Blake Warman, Staff Reporter

The Charleston city council approved a loan for $275,000 for the purchase of various pieces of equipment and vehicles for the upcoming year.

Mayor Larry Rennels said a loan was obtained through First Financial Bank will last for a period of five years and will have an annual interest rate of 1.77 percent. The equipment to be purchased through this lone will be two backhoes, one snow plow, and two Ford F-350’s.

The city council also approved the purchase of a vacant piece of property located at 620 Fifth Street in Charleston. The property is was bought for an amount of $644. Rennels said this property was abandoned at some point for a few years. Since then this property has obtained $10,000 in leans against the property. With the purchase of this property this will allow the city to stop putting leans up against the property.

The city council also approved the construction project to reconstruct the intersection of East Harrison Avenue and Illinois Route 16. The project will be the complete removal of the existing East Harrison Avenue from Illinois Route 16. Then they will reconstruct a new road to replace the previous East Harrison Avenue. This project requires the involvement of both the City of Charleston and the State of Illinois Department of Transportation. This new right of way does not include traffic lights, but Rennels said the traffic lights will be able to be incorporated anytime at a later date if need be.

The city council also approved the replacing of the previous City of Charleston Personnel Handbook of 2008, with the City of Charleston Personnel Handbook of May 20, 2014. These changes Rennels said will be dealing with the the most recent conceal carry law that was passed these changes will also include the sexual harassment policy and social media policy changes.

The council passed 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 passed three different street closures for the Charleston High School 1979 Class Reunion 5K Run/Walk Charity Run on July 26, as well as multiple street closures needed for the upcoming Fourth of July festivities. These festivities are the “Four on the Fourth: Four – Mile Foot Race,” and the Fourth of July parade.

The next city council will be at 6:30 p.m. July 1 at City Hall in the council chambers.

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