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McLean County Times

Saturday, October 19, 2019

City of Lexington City Council met July 8

By Angelica Saylo Pilo | Sep 17, 2019

City of Lexington City Council met July 8.

Here is the minutes provided by the council:

The regular meeting of the Lexington City Council was called to order at 7:00 P. M. by Mayor Spencer Johansen in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.

Mayor Johansen led the council in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll call was taken to find the following physically present: Mayor Johansen, Alderman Schreiber, Alderman Franklin, Alderman Richard, Alderman Colclasure and Alderwoman Wilson with Alderman Stover absent. Members of the staff and public present were: Chief David Belvery and DonCavallini,

It was moved by Alderwoman Wilson and seconded by Alderman Colclasure to approve the minutes of the June 10, 2019 regular City Council meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Alderman Franklin and seconded by Alderman Richard to approve the Treasurer's Report in the amount of $30,032.80. Motion carried unanimously.

Public Input:


Old Business:

Discussion/Vote Phase Il Design Engineering P.J. Keller & Douglas Drive

Mayor Johansen met with Alderman Colclasure the head of the Street Committee to go over some of the plans for this project.

We have some fill out there now. We had the opportunity to get some free fill from the City of Fairbury. All we had to pay for was the hauling. The guys have been hauling and packing that around a little bit. We are up to speed now and can bring some fill in but we need to move forward on the engineering of the road part of it. So we can start basically we are building the base of the road and we can't do that until we get the engineering design of the road.

Now where we are at with Casey's is he got an email from them and expect construction to start late spring or early summer of next year. That is what we kind of anticipated because they close on the property in October. One good indication is their engineering firm in Champaign which is Farnswoth, is pushing them to get the design of the building and get a bid by the end of this week or the first of next week. So they are moving forward on that.

We have moved as much fill as needed to be moved now. It was in their way.

Once we approve the engineering design phase of the road, which will take 3-4 months before they get that done, then it goes to the county for approval, then at that point we will be ready to put it out for bids,

They are charging $25,000. That is for the extension of Douglas Drive North and the right turn lane. The key to this is, if the City was building the road and had no development going in out there we would build it at a lower grade level than what we would when a business goes in. Once we get to this point, that's when we contact Casey's and say "We understand the grades going to be higher for your site. This is the difference for that cost. We need to discuss who is going to pay for that." He does not know what that number will be but there will be a slight change in the construction number

Worst case scenario and Casey's does not go in out there, that road has got to go out there, the county is not going to change their mind. We spend this amount, we are not obligated to spend any more. We put it out for bids and see what the bids are and go from there.

Motion was made by Alderman Franklin and seconded by Alderwoman Wilson to approve the cost of Phase II Design Engineering P. J. Keller & Douglas Drive. Motion carried unanimously.

Update on House Number Changes

Mayor Johansen has provided everyone with a hard copy of the new list which is much easier to read than off the computer. The list is longer than the one previously but it has broken down apartments individually, and a full page for the trailer park. What we will do is mail the owner of the trailer park a letter and tell him what is happening and it will be up to him to change all the numbers We do have to rename three streets and we will leave that up to whatever ward that is in. He us hoping that by next meeting to have the letters ready and everyone can get the letters and mail them out. He does not think we can implement this until October 1st.

This has been out in the paper a couple of times he has not had much feedback.

The county will notify the Post Office of the date that we choose. According to the county, all we have to do is send the letters out.

New Business:

Discussion/Vote Ordinance 2019-4: Appropriation Ordinance

The hearing was held earlier this evening and no one objected to the ordinance.

Motion was made by Alderman Colciasure and seconded by Alderman Franklin to approve Ordinance 2019-4: Appropriation Ordinance. Motion carried unanimously.

Committee Reports:

Mayors Report:

Mayor Johansen reminded everyone that the Farmers Market starts tomorrow and will be every week this year. He encouraged all aldermen to come up or stop by. 

Mayor Johansen asked if anyone needed any follow-up training on the new computers? He will set up a date for the computer help and email everyone when that is.

Checkers is supposed to start construction this week, the remodeling phase of it. They got their building permit and has been in contact with the Health Department. They anticipate being open by September. They plan to reface the whole front of the gas station.

The question was asked if we would see an increase in income from the increase in the new gas tax? Mayor Johansen thought we would see an increase in our Motor Fuel tax. When all that money is collected, they start at the top and take all their money out and what is left is what we get. He hopes to see an increase. We did not budget any money for this.

Mayor Johansen and Alderman Stover met two weeks ago with gentleman that wants to open up a fitness center in Karen Wingo's building. Alderman Stover will have more at the next meeting.

Mayor Johansen did meet with someone last Saturday over a coffee shop, and we met for over an hour and they are putting some numbers together. If this happens, he has a good name behind him and will be good for Lexington.

Mayor Johansen has been approached by someone wanting to open a cannabis dispensary and that should be put on the agenda for the next council meeting, what out stance is going to be on the new laws. We need to discuss the tax benefit to the city and the medical benefit, there is proof that it helps. If we don't have it here, people will buy it someplace else. He thinks we should license it out the same as we do a liquor license, We limit how many licenses we allow in town. He feels it will take a long time to get something written up and passed. The governor has signed the law but there is so much that has not been clarified. The person wanting to start the dispensary has to pay a large fee to start the dispensary and does not want to do that if we are not going to allow that in town.

Mayor Johansen reached out to Fred for an update on the brewery. He had not been returning phone calls or tests up until today. He is sorry for the delay in his response as his phone was not working. He has been working on running the electric and plumbing. His goal is to have the brewery open in mid September. He has had Prairie State Gaming come by and look at setting up video gaming in a separate room and wants to know where we stand on having video gaming. Mayor says he needs a separate license for that.


Chief Belvery reminded everyone that this Saturday, the 13th, from 9-11 A.M. up at the Elementary School on the West side we will be doing our Bike Safety Program. He has gotten all of his stuff and they are ready to go. He believes there are enough volunteers to staff everything.

Next Tuesday, the 16th, up at the Community Center the senior's have their monthly luncheon and the Police Department will be putting on a presentation on preparedness. Both FEMA and the US Government recommend that everyone should have a premade plan and supplies for a natural or manmade disaster. We will be going thru that with the seniors with what they should have around the house to be prepared for that.


Alderman Franklin has found file space for the insurance information that he has inherited from Alderman Stover. He also took a tour of the properties.

Mayor Johansen told about the claim on the insurance due to a lightning strike on the water plant. This is the second time the plant has been hit. Lightning hit the ground storage tank. Farnsworth said the building is grounded but the ground storage tank is not. They are working on a couple of ideas. Everything is back to normal now. We were never in a crisis where we would run out of water. One of the service pumps ran dry and tore the pump up. There ought to be some sort of protective valve that shuts everything off. They will look at it tomorrow and we will know if we need to replace it.




Alderwoman Wilson reported Billy is helping out Forrest part time until they get their guy fully trained.

Mayor Johansen commented that Forrest had called and requested Billy's help. With the award that he received earlier this year for the water plant, word is around that he is a pretty good operator. He is doing this on his own time, so it is not taking away from is work here.


Alderman Colclasure stated that for the past several weeks city crews have actively been removing trees, branches and shrubs from the trafficway adjacent to residential homes throughout the community. In addition, the large tree located on the north side of Douglas Drive has been cut down and hauled away, Evidence of the advanced stage of deterioration of the old oak tree was most evident and we were very fortunate that the tree hadn't toppled over onto P. J. Keller Highway during recent storms.

In the most recent past the city has been stockpiling truck loads of dirt near North Douglas Roadway and moving forward as much as possible as we await a final decision for the parties involved in regards to the engineering design phase.

We have received an email from Zack Knight totaling 9 pages that says that the "North Douglas Drive Roadway design contract for the city's review." This includes design of the county required right turn lane as well as the additional roadway to the north that would account for a second Casey's entrance of the new road.

No further update on other projects at this time,

There being no further business, motion was made by Alderman Franklin to adjourn at 7:41 PM. Motion carried by unanimous voice vote.

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