By Kendra Hennis
The Tuscola City Council began their Nov 12 meeting at 7:15 p.m. with a public hearing in regards to the vacation of the 400 block of East Pembroke Street. There was no public presence, discussion, or comments and the City will move forward with vacating the lot. The hearing was necessary due to the fact that the there was no record of it ever being vacated, and they could not begin building on it without it.
The biggest discussion at the meeting was from Chris Hoogendyk, Tuscola resident, bringing to the attention to the Council about the speeding problem on Lakeshore Drive. Hoogendyk, and numerous members of the Council, are very concerned about the high speed that drivers go down roads in Tuscola. They noted specifically a problem with High School Students going to and from lunch, with high speeds down Prairie and Lakeshore. Hoogendyk requested that the Council reduce the speed limit to 20 mph down Lakeshore Drive, and was open to any other suggestions from the Council in regards to what could be done for the issue.
City Administrator Drew Hoel said that this is a very common issue in town, and that “the thing that slows people down is speeding tickets.” He notes that an increased Police presence is most effective in slowing people down, and that is what they plan to do in the area. Members of the Council made other suggestions in regards to the possible addition of radar screens or the possibility of camera enforced radar tickets in certain areas. The Council is hopeful that with the help of the Police Department, people will slow down and drive safely, and they will not have to go to more extreme measures.
In regularly scheduled business, the Council voted to amend ordinance 111.21, which would increase the number of liquor licenses available in Tuscola from eight to twelve. The increase is necessary for new businesses coming to Tuscola. They also amended ordinance 111.21 to increase the number of Class D liquor licenses (beer and wine only) from two to four.
The Council also:
• Approved the minutes from the previous meeting held October 28.
• Approved the payment of bills in the amount of $121,083.58
• Approved a request to lease the community building with alcohol for Jim and Kay Higgins for a Christmas Party on January 11, 2020.
• Announced that Illini FS has ended their lease with Tuscola, they will vacate by the end of the year.
• Announced that the Property Tax Levy Ordinance is available and located at City Hall if any members of the public would like to view it.
• Approved the renewal of employee health insurance for 2020.
• Approved the part-time patrol officer wage increase to $20 an hour for Lonnie Homann and Sebastian Rivera. This was also voted on in the previous meeting, but the Police Department wanted to name the officers this would specifically affect.
• Adjourned until the Monday, November 25 meeting at 7:30 p.m.