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GIBSON CITY — City council members approved an upgrade to police department electrical service but tabled a decision about computer upgrades Monday night.
Two local electrical contractors presented different solutions. The council approved a plan from R&S Electric that will add new lines and 100-amp service, but will not replace the breaker box.
The cost approved is not to exceed $1,500 for labor and materials, and the work will be required to balance the electrical load between the two phases of service.
An entirely different solution presented by Farmer Electric would have cost about $6,000. Council members Dean Kidd and Laura Miller questioned if the less costly solution would provide enough electrical supply for computer upgrades and the near future needs of the department. Superintendent Randy Stauffer said he believed it would.
Council members also approved vacating the west 15 feet of the alley behind 119 W. 4th Street. Homeowners Steve and Linda Jackson want to add an attached 24-foot-wide garage to their home and need the alley space to meet city code for a side yard equal to 10 percent of lot width.
The agreement will be contingent on receiving a signed agreement from the Jacksons for an easement to allow access for utility work on the east 15 feet of the alley as needed and an agreement not to build a permanent structure on the vacated alleyway.
Golf cart event approved
Delbert Tjarks was present to report that he and Police Chief Steve Cushman have agreed on a plan to govern the town’s first-ever golf cart poker run fundraiser. The event will be sponsored by the Corn Belt Shrine Club from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18.
Concerns were previously raised about golf carts participating that might not meet local requirements for car-like signal and brake lights. Tjarks said each group of carts would be flanked by local carts escorting to each of five stops.
All proceeds will benefit the Shriners Hospital for Children, Tjarks said.
As part of the 10th Street improvements, the seldom-used sidewalk next to Specialty Grains will be removed and downspouts installed to direct runoff water from the buildings to the new storm sewer.
A new 400-foot sidewalk will be installed to connect the Railside Estates subdivision to the school crossing at Lott Boulevard. Stauffer said the project is part of this year’s budget.
Certain sections of sidewalk around the high school and elementary school will also be repaired. Stauffer said the extra-dry winter and summer have caused some sections to separate.
Council members agreed to allow a homeowner in the 300 block of North Melvin Street to have a double-width driveway approach rather than the current single approach.
The approval carries a stipulation that the homeowner pay the additional cost of concrete materials and that the work be done in conjunction with the curb and gutter installation now in progress.
A request by Lori Blythe to hold a private yard party with amplified music from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. was okayed for July 20 at 427 E. 9th Street.
Alderman John Carlson said the city has no form for this, but all neighbors should give prior approval.
Sonja Shubert’s request for additional free black dirt from city’s supply was approved. Alderman Nelda Jordan noted the city’s policy is to make fill dirt available to any resident at no charge, with the resident responsible for hauling.
Stauffer reported that despite the local drought, the city’s wells remain at an acceptable level for now.
However, he urged residents to continue to conserve water by not watering lawns or mandatory restrictions could become necessary.
Engineer Greg Gustafson was present to introduce his new employer as Berns, Clancy and Associates of Urbana. He said the firm is interested in doing business with the city.