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Tuscola approves fireworks display for Saturday, July 10

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Mayor Dan Kleiss proclaimed June 14, 2021 Hop Conner Day in the City of Tuscola. Pictured is Mayor Kleiss with Hop’s family, Donna Connor Walker, Hop’s daughter; Kali Heckler, Hop’s great-granddaughter; and Greyson Warner, Hop’s great-grandson. Kleiss said “Flag Day, 2021 would have been Hop Connor’s 100th birthday, it is appropriate to honor his memory and remind younger Tuscolian’s of his service and spirit upon the occasion.”

By Kendra Hennis 
The meeting of the Tuscola City Council was called to order at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 16 with members Day, Waldrop, and Morris absent.

Following approval of the consent agenda, the council approved an agreement with Jamaica Pyrotechnics for a fireworks display on July 10, 2021. They noted that the Tourism Board approved a plan to conduct a fireworks display on Saturday, July 10. However, there was insufficient time to coordinate the remainder of the normal Sparks in the Park festival, given the uncertainties of gathering restrictions due to COVID-19. There will be a few activities planned, such as a virtual 5K and VFW pancake breakfast. A complete list of activities will be published this week.

Treasurer Alta Long additionally announced that the proposed appropriations ordinance is available on review at City Hall or on the City of Tuscola website. A public hearing will be held before the July 12 City Council meeting. 

The council also included in their packet that the State of Illinois has officially moved into Phase 5, reducing many restrictions from COVID-19. There will no longer require masks to be worn by employees, officials, and visitors who have been fully vaccinated. Signs at the entrance to public buildings will encourage those who choose not to be vaccinated to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing. There are also fewer occupancy restrictions on the swimming pool, community building, and Senior Center. They noted that they will continue to encourage business to be transacted electronically, where possible, and they will continue to offer remote attendance options for public meetings. 

The council also:

* Approved the minutes of the May 24, 2021 meeting.

* Approved the payment of bills in the amount of $423,678.67.

* Approved the pay request for the Main Street Fencing for Ervin Park Project in the amount of $52,244.26.

* Approved the pay request for all weather courts in the amount of $23,386.50.

* Approved a fundraising request from the TK Martin Memorial VFW Post 10009 Flag Donations on July 3, 2021. 

* Approved a community building lease with alcohol for Sara Pangburn for a wedding reception on June 25-27, 2021. 

* Approved a Pace for Petey 5K Run Route on September 18, 2021. 

* Approved the TK Martin Memorial VFW Post 10009 Patriotic Parade on July 4, 2021.

* Approved an ordinance declaring a squad car surplus property and authorizing sale of the same.

* Approved an ordinance extending the authorization to Ameren Illinois Company d/b/a Ameren Illinois, its successors and assigns to construct, operate, and maintain an electric utility system in the City of Tuscola, County of Douglas, and State of Illinois.

* Approved a resolution concerning the review and release of executive session minutes and the destruction of executive session audio recordings. Hoel noted that there are no executive session minutes from the last six months and no audio recordings from the last eighteen months. 

* Approved a grant agreement with OSFM for Fire Department Equipment in the amount of $24,412.50.

* Approved a contract with Ford of Tuscola for a 2022 Ford F450 Cab & Chassis for $38,098.68. It was noted that these funds were included in the Capital Replacement Plan to replace one of the one-ton dump trucks in the street department. 

* Approved a contract with Rahn Equipment Company for a dump bed, snow plow, hydraulics, and related equipment installation for a 2022 Ford F450 for $37,527.41.

* Approved the hiring of Liriel Jones for Summer Hires 2021.

* Mayor Dan Kleiss also sent a shout-out to the Tuscola High School girls track team for an excellent season, and a wonderful display at the IHSA Girls State Track Meet. Junior Alyssa Williams brought home three gold medals for the Warriors, as well as the 4×200 relay in sixth place. 

* Adjourned at 7:50 p.m. until the June 28, 2021 council meeting at 7:30 p.m.

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