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Taylorville City Council Meets; Tackles Contentious Issues

 width=Monday night's Taylorville City Council meeting lasted an hour and 10 minutes, with a couple of contentious issues discussed by council members.

One of them concerned a recommendation by the Taylorville Zoning and Planning Commission asking the Council to OK a request from Harold Johnson, that property at 1700 East Main Cross be re-zoned from Residential-One, to Commercial-2. During the Zoning Commission's public hearing which was held before the City Council meeting, a couple of neighbors in the neighborhood appeared and asked that the Zoning Commission deny the change in zoning. The Commission voted unanimously in favor of recommending to the City Council, the change in zoning, but when it came time for the Council vote, it failed 5 to 3. Some Council members didn't want the zoning changed, while others indicated that if Johnson would clean up the property and re-apply for the zoning change, they would vote for it. With the motion being defeated, Johnson will now have to go back to the Zoning Commission and begin the process again.

Taylorville aldermen Monday night OK'd a number of resolutions and motions. Resolutions were approved supporting an intergovernmental law enforcement officers training act, they entered into an agreement with the Christian County Major Crimes Task Force, they allowed the Village of Stonington to borrow certain city equipment, and approved an amendment to an agreement with engineering firm Benton and Associates on the city's new water treatment plant. The Council approved an ordinance changing language on some stop sign locations, and OK'd spending 32-hundred dollars to abate asbestos in the city hall boiler room.

Taylorville City Council members Monday night spent the most time in their just over one hour meeting, trying to pass an amended ordinance to try and provide some compensation to 9 property owners whose sewer tap had shifted due to no fault of theirs, causing them major repair bills. As a result of numerous committee meetings and some 15 hours of discussion at those meetings, the proposal brought to the Council Monday night would allow up to 50-percent re-imbursement of costs, up to a cap of 17-hundred 50-dollars, if city officials deem that the repairs to the city's sewer tap were due to no fault of the property owner. Alderman Ernie Dorchinez disagreed with the proposal, saying city crews should fix broken sewer taps at no cost to the property owner.

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Mayor Greg Brotherton told the Council that due to tax caps, the money isn't there to to pay for the sewer repairs that Dorchinez suggested.

[audio:BrothertonaudioSept1514.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The Mayor added that the proposal brought to Monday night's Taylorville City Council meeting, was a compromise between the 9 affected property owners and the city, after over 15 hours of meetings.

After a 30-minute discussion that involved all aldermen and the mayor, the Council voted 6 to one to pass the amended ordinance re-imbursing property owners 50-percent up to 17-hundred 50-dollars, for repairing damaged sewer taps if it wasn't caused by the owner.

A number of motions coming out of various committees, were approved by the Taylorville City Council Monday night. Aldermen allowed the purchase of 15 computers for the police department costing some 49-thousand dollars; they OK'd trading in 2 Chrysler Sebring vehicles the city owns, for 2 new or program vehicles locally at a cost not to exceed 20-thousand dollars each; they voted to re-join the Central Illinois Enforcement Group Drug Task Force if staffing is available; and changed the insurance coverage on the fire department's new platform truck, to cover replacement cost.

Council members OK'd a request by Ben Morrison, to volunteer at his expense to install a light on Tommy Tornado on the City's water tower near Taylorville High School during home games; they accepted the Lake Emergency Action Plan; they approved a crop lease with Brian Moses; they directed city attorney Rocci Romano to amend city code pertaining to swimming at Lake Taylorville; and awarded the highest bid of 231-dollars an acre for farming 4 parcels near Lake Taylorville, to Ed Miller. Aldermen also allowed repairs to a maintenance loader costing no more than 2-thousand dollars, and purchased parts for a Kawasaki Mule costing some 475-dollars.


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