City Council to vote on leasing agreements, purchasing new real estate

Cassie Buchman, City Editor

The City Council will talk about street closures for different events, renewing a leasing agreement between the city and the Special Olympics of Coles County, the acquiring of new real estate, and amending water and sewer rates during its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Charleston City Hall.

Resolutions to authorize the closing of streets for A Girls on the Run 5k on April 18 and Sarah Bush Lincoln’s 2015 “Races for all Paces” on May 16 were made.

Jackson Avenue, between Seventh and Eighth Streets, will close on June 20 for the CTF Illinois 9 Muses Art Fair.

Mayor Larry Rennels said if an organization wants to have an event involving street closure, it is necessary to fill out an application by the city clerk.

“It helps to have the support of the police, fire department, public works department,” Rennels said. “If they all feel it is not a problem, it comes to the city council in favor of a resolution.”

Although the city could then vote against a street closure, it is very rare.

The lease agreement between the city and Special Olympics of Coles County will expire on April 30. Because of this, a resolution to renew it for another year will be voted on.

the Special Olympics organizes games for those with developmental disabilities.

They lease office space in the Charleston’s Municipal Building.

The lease will last for another year. It will go from May, and run through April 2016.

“The rent they pay is $182.07 per month, plus $15 for reserved parking spaces,” Rennels said.

Rennels said the Special Olympics is planning one event at O’Brien Field, and a number of other activities are to be planned.

“There is office staff for the organization who sponsor the activities the activities,” he said.

A resolution to acquire the real estate on 1901 18th Street will be voted on.

“It is being acquired as a right of way,” Rennels said.

The property is being bought to make a storm sewer on the south side of Garfield between 18th and 20th Streets.

The city will purchase strips of land to make a detention facility for excess water.

Each strip of land will be 187 feet by 10 feet wide, and has been appraised for 2.97 cents per sq. foot. The total price will be $5,554. The property will be paid for with motor fuel tax funds.

Every year, the city renews water and sewer rates, which they will do at this meeting.

“A number of years ago, we did not renew them on an annual basis,” Rennels said. “We looked, and discovered we’re not charging enough to produce water.”

Because of this, it had a large rate increase, and because the city did not want to get into a similar situation, the city renews and checks the rates every year to see if it needs to be raised.

The new rate increase of 3 and a half percent is being asked.

The average resident of Charleston uses 5, 250 gallons of water.

“A lot of people use less, a lot use more,” Rennels said.

The overall water bill rate for an average resident will be raised by 2.34 cents.

Elections for various positions in Charleston’s government will be held Tuesday. This will not affect the meeting, as elections are usually on Tuesdays.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]