Council approves land purchase

Sam Fishel, Staff Reporter

The Charleston City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday to acquire 39.16 acres of land currently owned by the First Christian Church.

During their meeting at City Hall, city council members voted on acquiring the land adjacent to Sister City Park. After the vote, City Manager Scott Smith voiced his pleasure for the acquisition.

“I appreciate your [the city council’s] support,” Smith said. I know it’s been a long road.”

According to Smith, efforts to acquire the land date back several years to his time as Parks and Recreation director.

Smith noted the current goal is to finish the deal for the property. Further development is “way down the road,” according to Smith, though the council currently favors adding the property to Sister City Park.

“I think it will make a very nice addition,” Smith said.

The cost of the acquisition will total $458,034.96. The Charleston Area Charitable Foundation will provide these funds through a grant.

The City Council also approved a motion to tentatively prevent parking on the east side of 2nd St. between Taylor and Polk avenues. The motion will be up for public inspection for the next two weeks after which time it will be up for final approval.

The temporary parking ban came at the request of Eastern Illinois Properties who seeks to patch up the grass beside 2nd St. to prevent further degradation.

Additionally, the council approved a motion to adopt the annual prevailing wage rates for Coles County, as recommended by the Illinois Department of Labor. According to Mayor Brandon Combs, these rates are used to determine the average pay on hour-by-hour wages.

These rates were unchanged since 2015 because of the budget crisis.


Sam Fishel can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]