Charleston named ‘Butterfly Capital of Illinois’

Corryn Brock, Associate News Editor

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The City of Charleston was named the “Butterfly Capital of Illinois” by the Urban Butterfly Initiative during the Charleston City Council meeting Tuesday.

Paul Switzer, biological sciences professor, presented the award to Mayor Brandon Combs and the council.

Switzer said UBI’s mission is to increase habitat for butterflies in cities.

“In the process of creating that habitat we’re trying to increase urban beauty, property values, saving maintenance costs and educating community members,” Switzer said. “It’s really urban development for people and for nature.”

The City of Charleston has completed 19 out of the possible 24 action items for the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, a part of a partnership between the National Wildlife Federation and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to help save the monarch butterfly.

The monarch butterfly population has decreased by 90 percent in the last two decades.

Combs said the steps taken by the city have brought diversity to the area.

The council voted unanimously to support the designation of the city as the “Butterfly Capital of Illinois.”

The council voted to put the budget on file for the fiscal year beginning May 1 and ending April 30, 2020.

The copies of the budget will be available at Carnegie Library and City Hall until April 16.

The council amended an ordinance regarding gambling, under the restrictions on and conditions of licenses alcoholic beverages title.

“Authorized Gambling Area: The gambling machines authorized by the State of Illinois in licensed premises shall be restricted to a gaming area that occupies a maximum of 10 percent or less of the licensed premises and is ancillary to the main occupancy of the building or suite which the business occupies. The gaming area shall not occupy more than 10 percent of the business area of the story of the building in which it is located in the licensed premises,” will be added in the city code.

Combs discussed the recognition of excellence in promoting bicycling as an alternative to auto travel and the people who work on the trails have his and the council’s support.”

“We support them wholeheartedly in these efforts, and we see that we’re seeing physical signs of what all this is doing to our community,” Combs said. “This is much more than just winning awards, this is helping put Charleston on the map more and more every single day.”

Combs said the city improvements could almost bring him to tears.

“I see these things happening in our town, and I see the progression and the proactiveness,” Combs said. “I cannot say enough of how it is so humbling to a part of that and to see the community come together to be a part of this.”

The council approved authorizing the execution of a contract between the city and Excel EcoClean for janitorial services at City Municipal Building, Recreation Department, Police Department, Police Training Facility and the Lincoln Douglas Debate Museum.

The council also approved the sale of surplus equipment, a 2006 29-foot Kodiak Thor Camper Trailer, from the Charleston Police Department.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].