A full rodeo will return to the Pioneer City next year, after the Robinson City Council approved $20,000 in tourism funds for the event Tuesday.
The Palestine Chamber of Commerce, which runs the event, changed to a bull-riding competition in 2009. This was a response to difficulties securing enough cowboys from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, said event organizer Jim Clark in a 2009 letter to the editor in the Daily News. Barrel racing was also included in the new format.
The funding will allow for more events and more advertising for a longer time over a larger area, said Candace Mahoney, head of advertising for the Palestine Chamber of Commerce. She said the return to the older format will allow better shows and more of them.
The previous format had not worked out as well as they would have liked, said Jeff Shaner, vice-president of the chamber. Bull-riding was a major attraction, he said, and they had difficult getting cowboys in previous years.
"We had good shows last year," he said of the "Bulls and Barrels" format. But people seemed to want the full rodeo, he said, and the chamber wants to give people what they want.
Palestine's Labor Day weekend festivities will begin on Aug. 29, and run until Sept. 3. The rodeo itself with be from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1.
The council also approved $3,000 in tourism funds for Fort LaMotte Days, $1,500 for Winter Days in the Garden and $700 for Central Wabash Archeology.
Also approved Tuesday night was a grant application for a new police squad car. Police Chief Bill Ackman said the city is applying for a grant through the Illinois Justice Information Authority. The grant pays for 75 percent of the vehicle and the city pays for the remaining 25 percent, Ackman said.
Part of that will be paid from extra funding left from another purchase. Marathon gave the city $3,000 for the purchase of a printer and scanner. Ackman said the department would buy one for $1,700 and transfer the remainder to the squad car fund.
In other business:
An occupancy permit was granted to the new Pizza Hut.
John Dappert was reappointed to the Crawford County Airport authority. His new term begins on Jan. 1 and lasts until Jan. 1, 2018.
The council voted to advertise for bids for next year's fuel costs. Bids are due by 10 a.m. Dec. 21.
The council authorized the sale of 407 W. Pine. The structure there had been condemned and torn down. The city will accept sealed bids until 10 a.m. Jan. 8.
The council decided to abate the tax levy for both the 2010 bonds for the storm sewer and the 2008 bonds for the wastewater treatment facility.
Aldermen decided to continue advertising in Discover Central Illinois Magazine for $900.