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City Council approves budget, group home, and SCADA

By Kendra Hennis 
The Tuscola City Council called their April 26 meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with Alderman Scott Day absent. 

Following approval of the consent agenda, the council approved a contract with Donohue & Associates for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System Design and Installation for Arcola/Tuscola Joint Agency in the amount of $204,700. City Administrator Drew Hoel noted that this contract is for the Arcola/Tuscola Joint Agency and the funds used would come from the Joint Agency funds. This allows for the collection and real-time monitoring of pressures, flows, pump activity, ect. at various points throughout the system. It will also allow internet-based monitoring by all users/operators simultaneously, and it will archive the data for future analysis. He noted that his is a huge step forward than the current setup, and should help them to understand and resolve issues more quickly. 

Additionally, the council approved a Special Use Permit Application to Newt Investments for a Group Home at 815 Timmons Drive in Tuscola with the terms of 24 hour care and a four-resident limit. The representative stated to the council that when they came to them a few years ago, they did not expect that they would have the need for more homes. However, they have received a lot of interest due to the area due to the lack of other services in Douglas County and families appreciating the close proximity and community. She also noted that she can’t say at this time that the limit will be only five homes due to high interest, and that they hope to keep expanding. She addressed community concerns with parking and delivery trucks in the area, saying that they have learned from issues in the past and that they hope to have no major issues.

The council ended by discussing the Summer 2021 Swimming Pool Operations. Hoel presented concerns with staffing at the pool, as there is currently only one registered lifeguard and six in the process of becoming certified. He noted that in standard years, the usual starting number of employees at the pool is 20. This leads to concerns of being able to staff, training new staff, feasible hours of operation, and already existing occupancy limits. The council opted to wait until the May 10 meeting for a decision on pool opening, hopeful that more express interest in that time. Interested individuals must be at least 15 with a work permit. 

The council also:
* Approved the minutes of the April 12, 2021 council meeting.

* Approved the March 2021 financial report.

* Approved the payment of bills in the amount of $286,087.51.

* Approved a pay request from Ne-Co Asphalt Co. for the Ervin Park Improvement Project in the amount of $149,305.

* Approved a fundraising collection request from the Tuscola Lions Club for collection for Diabetes Alert Day on May 22, 2021. 

* Approved an intergovernmental agreement for Governmental Body Maintenance of Traffic Control Devices with the Illinois Department of Transportation. 

* Approved the utility billing write-off recommendation for uncollectible past-due accounts. This will take those customers out of the system and stop sending them notice. However, there is still a record of past-due accounts should they try to start another. 

* Approved the FY2022 Budget Adoption. 

* Approved the FY2022 Wage and Salary Schedule.

* Adjourned until the next scheduled city council meeting on Monday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.

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