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home : local news : local news August 20, 2017

7/27/2017 2:09:00 PM
City gaining 2 officers; property owner to comply
Daily News

Robinson will gain two new part-time police officers and a street sweeper following action by the city council Tuesday night.

Aldermen took action on nine of the 11 items on the agenda, including resolving a property issue from January.

Two part-time police officers will join the Robinson Police Department sometime in the future. Alderman Gene Sinclair made this request after announcing that two of the department's part-timers will not be able to continue because of scheduling conflicts.

"Previously we've had four part-time officers, but one was recently hired full-time and another one is doing consulting work and is not able to fill shifts," Sinclair explained.

The council agreed to Sinclair's motion to hire the two new officers as positions in training academies become available. Sinclair said there is no timetable for this but it will happen in the near to distant future.

A new street sweeper is on its way to Robinson. The council agreed to buy a 2017 Elgin Pelican street sweeper from Key Equipments and Supply Company for $197,995. Superintendent of Public Works Lawrence Quick said the sweeper should arrive about the week of Aug. 14.

The matter of an abandoned apartment complex at 707 S. Cross was resolved after the council met with the owner, who agreed to the city's demands.

Joe Dart, Robinson, appeared before the council last winter after hearing his property was going to be condemned. During that meeting he asked that the council hold off on its decision until August, when he would be finished with other projects and be able to comply.

Tuesday, Mayor Roger Pethtel informed Dart of the building redevelopment committee's ruling that he must come up with a plan of action for the property in 30 days and enact the plan after 60 days. The city has received numerous complaints about the building's condition in the past.

"We know it's your business, your livelihood, and we don't want to take that away, but it's something we need to address," Pethtel told Dart.

Dart agreed to the terms and told the council there are several outstanding sewer bills for the property. He wondered if the bills could waived. Pethtel said that he would bring that up to the wastewater treatment facility committee and let them decide.

Other property-related business was made during the meeting when the council approved a new ordinance.

Alderman Jim McKinney presented the ordinance, which will allow property owners to have access to up to three dumpsters at no cost following demolition of property. This gives owners an incentive to continue the clean-up process. Interested owners are encouraged to contact city hall for more information.

Three invoices for the Robinson summer tennis program were approved for payment and reimbursement by the council. One bill for Jasco Promotions for team T-shirts cost $390. The council also agreed to reimburse instructor Tom Buchanan $320 for the USTA registration fee and to reimburse Steve Jenkins $538 for fees and costs of instructors. The city has annually helped with these payments.

Plans for this year's First United Methodist Church Praise Fest were announced during the meeting, while the council also approved requests for street closings.

A member of the church announced that the event will be 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, and asked the council's permission to block Frankin from Main to Walnut and Walnut to Franklin and Chestnut. The closings were approved. The event will feature games, music and entertainment.

Semi-tractors and trailers will no longer be allowed to travel on three streets. The council approved Alderman Russell Snider's ordinance to prohibit those vehicles from traveling on Poplar, Maple and Hazel between Jackson and Eaton streets. Sinclair's other requests to create a truck route from Main to the city limit at South Eaton and the creation of a loading zone on Locust Street were approved.

The council was also made aware of two properties on South Lincoln that need attention. Property at 709 S. Lincoln has an overflowing dumpster near the street. This could create a health hazard with school beginning soon. Chief Chad Weaver and the city police are expected to investigate.

Animals have also been spotted wandering the streets and area at 806 S. Lincoln, which also has health hazards. The council acknowledged its awareness of the situation and said a plan is being acted on.

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