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Council tables zoning request

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 27th, 2012

AMBOY - The Amboy City Council met on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, in the community building with all members present.

Under committee reports, Alderman Shaw advised that the Depot Museum will be closed from Dec. 1, 2012, to March 1, 2013, and during that time will be open by appointment only. He also advised that the work on the freight house is complete.

Alderman Dewey reported that ESDA helped during the Halloween Parade and the Amboy Christmas Walk on Nov. 25.

Alderman Oester said that the park board has set up a committee to work on getting batting cages for next year.

Alderman Weidman said that the Pankhurst Memorial Library had a very good turnout for the Halloween party. They also had stories and crafts during the Christmas Walk.

Under unfinished business, Safe Routes to School Grant was discussed. This would be a federal grant. The grant would be given through IDOT. It is to be 100 percent funded, with possibly 80 percent from federal government to state and the other 20 percent being picked up by the state. The money would go toward sidewalks along routes to the Central and Junior High schools.

In order for the city to take advantage of this opportunity the schools really need to get behind collecting data now. This would include Central and AJHS teachers filling out forms and also parental surveys. A possibility would be to send forms home with the pupils. This would all show a need for the grant.

Under new business, the city auditor George Roach was not present, but Mayor Mekeel read a letter that he submitted suggesting various ways to increase revenue. A copy of the report is available to the public at City Hall.

The next matter to be discussed was the approval of a zoning change on two lots from R-1 to C-2. The zoning change was recommended by the city Plan Commission. This would allow Casey's General Store to purchase and demolish the houses on the property, along with the old WRC building, to build a new store on a larger lot.

Pastor Charles Jeanblanc of the United First Church spoke about the ramifications of having the facility so close to the church - there would be only one house remaining between Casey's and the church. He requested that the council hold off on giving approval for at least 30 days so that he and the council could possibly work out some other arrangement. He is qualified in several areas and could be helpful in establishing some other solution to Casey's development.

Several members of the audience felt that Jeanblanc had a reasonable request and that it would be a good idea to rethink the plan.

Mekeel mentioned that this would only be a zoning change and not approval of Casey's plan, however, it was brought up that once the zoning is changed Casey's can go ahead and purchase the properties, therefore allowing them to go ahead with their plan.

Each council member expressed their opinion and all agreed that they should not rush the matter. There was no motion to change the zoning, but a motion was made to table the item until next month's meeting.

The council did approve payment of $36,271.22 to Martin & Company for paving work done in the city. This would be from Motor Fuel Tax.

Hank Gerdes, along with Garth Dallam, representing the Depot Days Car Show Committee, commented on the plans for the upcoming 25th car show in two years. They are planning now for "a big blowout" at that time. They are holding some money back from the proceeds of the next few shows in order to pay for the bigger and better 25th show.

The building inspector reported nine permits: six for roofing and siding, one for garage, and two for porches and decks.

The animal control report included two cat calls and three dog calls.

With no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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