New administrative judiciary system to be established by fall

Jason Howell, Editor-in-Chief

The city is moving forward with establishing an in-house system to handle petty city ordinance violations.

A hearing officer will hear ordinance violations at City Hall instead of violations being heard at the Coles County Courthouse.

Hearing officers are either trained attorneys or retired judges.

City Manager Scott Smith said the city is looking for faster and more efficient compliance on minor issues.

It could take 4-5 months before the new system is implemented, depending on how quickly staff could be trained, tickets reprinted and software implemented, Smith said.

The software, from Tyler Technologies Inc., is in the same family as the finance package already in use by the city.

Going along with the new system, an amendment to water service billing procedures was approved which allows residents to request a personal hearing should they face water disconnection. The new language outlines the fees and procedures under the new system.


In other business, the council:

  • Approved a resolution for temporary road closures during the “Four on the Fourth” four-mile foot race for Habitat for Humanity. The roads will not actually be closed, but right-of-way will be given to runners participating in the race.
  • Approved a resolution closing various streets for Fourth of July festivities from July 3 to July 4. The street closures can be found here.
  • Approved an ordinance giving the ability to charge for firefighter services outside corporate limits and reimbursement of specialized rescue services. Charleston mayor Brandon Combs said this will not affect current mutual aid agreements and is being done to update city code, as Illinois state statute already gives the city this ability.
  • Approved an ordinance granting Yost Management a petition to convert Cougill Apartments to a multi-family dwelling / apartment building. The building was previously nonconforming. “It’s just a change in some wording to help them be able to refinance and possibly do some future updating to that facility,” Combs said.