Harvest Fest payment approved by Gibson City Council


GIBSON CITY — Gibson City Council members approved a $5,000 sponsorship payment Monday night to the Harvest Fest committee to use for the September event in downtown Gibson City.

Event organizer Jennifer Thomas said the committee has booked national country music artist Walker McGuire for the festival, which begins Friday, Sept. 7, and runs through the next day. Thomas said a larger performance stage is being planned which will be similar to the large one used at the Swine ‘N’ Dine BBQ Contest & Festival in Paxton last year.

The sponsorship is significantly more than the $1,500 that the city gave to the Harvest Fest committee last year. Thomas cited Mahomet as the reason why she wanted more money from the city, saying that Mahomet took over the former Sangamon River Music Festival and increased its funding of the late-summer event.

Thomas said she wants Gibson City to be known for the Harvest Fest. The city’s sponsorship would be at an “elite level,” which Thomas said would only include the city’s sponsorship.

Alderman Nelda Jordan requested that Thomas and the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce provide council members with a detailed financial report showing where the money is going. Thomas said she would provide the information.

Alderman Scott Davis said the money would come out of next year’s marketing budget.

Other business
Also at the meeting:

➜ Council members committed $1,000 per year for the next three years toward the Prairieland CEO program. Bob Dickey, retired chief operating officer at Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative in Paxton, said that Rantoul Township High School recently jumped on board to the program, which would establish its own high school class focused on business and entrepreneurship in fall 2019. A handout that Dickey provided stated that each $1,000 investment “helps provide the needed resources for a facilitator salary and other expenses, and ensures the sustainability of the class for future students.” Rantoul joins Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, Paxton-Buckley-Loda and Fisher as the four high schools currently invested in the program. Gibson Area Hospital is another major donor in the program, along with other community businesses.

➜ The council approved the hiring of Donahue & Associates to complete a combined sewer maintenance operation (CSMO) plan. City Superintendent Randy Stauffer said the plan is to be submitted to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and includes updates on the city’s sewer-separation project. Council members approved an amount not to exceed $15,000, with half coming out of TIF 2 and the other half from the wastewater account, though Stauffer said the actual cost could be far less.


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