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City council talks about Tuscola Serves future

 By Kendra Hennis 
The meeting of the Tuscola city council was called to order at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, August 24. All council members were present for the meeting. The first order of buisness was the swearing in of Juanita Brace for Ward IV. 

The council then moved to talk about the Tuscola Serves Military recognition signs. Carmen Morgan came to speak to the council about the proposed Tuscola Serves program. The program’s goal is to recognize active service members with signs in the town. The signs would be limited to active Tuscola graduates and Tuscola residents. Morgan created a google site that allows people to enter their information into the google form where their submissions will be sent to her. The link to this should also soon be available on the website. Morgan, with the help of Tina Kibler, worked with a sign maker to develop a more durable sign that could be used. Morgan came to the council asking for permission to hang the signs and for them to allow her to put the information on the city’s website. The city gave their blessing for Morgan to begin the project and she will begin sending information over to them. 

In his City Administrator’s report, Drew Hoel talked to the council about their need to upgrade their equipment for continued online meetings. He proposed a plan from Picture Perfect Technologies to provide audio and visual upgrades to the city council chambers. These upgrades will allow them to provide electronic attendance options for the members and general public more effectively. The proposed cost of the upgrades is $10,717, that the council hopes will later be somewhat reimbursed by the Local CURE Program. The council unanimously approved the upgrades. Hoel also reported that Advanced Disposal is in the process of ordering replacement carts and the extension terms agreed on in the last meeting go into effect September 1. 

The board then approved an ordinance pertaining to the local CURE program in hopes that some of their COVID-related costs will be covered by the program. The ordinance is necessary to allow the Mayor to sign necessary documents for the funds. They then approved an ordinance authorizing the addition of Champaign County as a designated unity of government and related boundary modifications to the area known as the Douglas County Enterprise Zone. The Douglas County Enterprise Zone was approved by an intergovernmental agreement among Douglas County and the several municipalities within territory in the enterprise zone. The proposal is pending to extend the limits of the zone into Champaign County in order to include the proposed BayWa/Prairie Solar One power generation facility near Sidney. The Champaign County Board has approved this proposed boundary amendment. The council also approved an amended Douglas County Enterprise Zone Intergovernmental Agreement.

The council then: 

* Approved the minutes of the August 10 meeting. 

* Approved the July financial report. 

* Approved the payment of bills in the amount of $127,212.13.

* Heard about the TIF Delinquency Report Payment of the Red Barn and Eddie Buielier. 

* Approved an agreement with Waive Formal Bidding for the replacement of a sub-irrigation pump at the North Sewer Plant.

* Approved an agreement with Gasvoda and Associates for a replacement sub-irrigation pump at the North Sewer Plant in the amount of $34,205. 

* Adjourned until the September 14 council meeting at 7:30 p.m.

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