New billboards in the City of Taylorville, took up the most time during the City Council’s 35-minute meeting Monday night at City Hall. The council’s ordinance committee brought a motion to the full council, to authorize additional billboards with a one-hundred dollar permit and one-hundred dollar annual fee.
A motion to table the billboard motion, failed 5 to 2, with aldermen Martin Vota and Earl Walters voting no. Then considerable discussion ensued, with both Vota and Walters commenting on the issue.
Vota told the Council that if the city tried regulating content on the new billboards, owners could file suit against the city on first amendment grounds. Vota told Regional Radio News after the meeting, that those concerns are why he voted to table.
Walters told the Council that he didn’t want any more billboards put up in the City of Taylorville, citing the fact that there were already 19 signs that were grandfathered and he didn’t want any more. Walters shared those comments with Regional Radio News after the meeting.
After discussion, a motion to table the billboard issue again, was made, and this time it passed 7 to nothing.
Taylorville aldermen met Monday night at City Hall and acted on several items. The council OK’d their annual workmens’ compensation insurance renewal at a cost of some 301-thousand dollars, some 80-thousand dollars more than last year. They also approved the annual tax levy totaling some 2-point-3 million dollars, and approved a 250-dollar excavation fee before any tunneling or excavation of any city street, alley or public place occur, with a 750-dollar fine assessed if the excavation fee is not paid.
The Taylorville Council Monday night at their regular meeting, denied a request from Terry Midland, who lives at 1209 Melrose Lane, asking that the city cover engineering costs for a proposed water main extension, and they increased the rate the Village of Owaneco pays the city for water, from just over 2-79 per thousand gallons, to almost 3-74 per thousand gallons. The council also approved an amended public utility easement agreement with local resident Linda F. Olson, and changed some language in airport hangar leases addressing the late fee, tenant improvements, inspections by the Fire Department, lessee’s responsibility for electric service, and other language.
In his regular report to the Taylorville City Council, city attorney David Fines told aldermen Monday night that notices have been sent to the local businesses that violated the state’s Liquor Control Act from the recent sting. Fines will be meeting with each of them to determine what action will be taken against them for selling liquor to minors. Fines added that the local Kroger store had already met with Fines and agreed to a voluntary suspension of liquor sales from November 27th thru December 4. Alderman Earl Walters commented to the Council, that he felt such suspensions do not send a strong enough message to local liquor establishments.
Mayor Greg Brotherton in his regular report to the Taylorville City Council, told aldermen Monday night, that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, December First at 7pm at the Taylorville Junior High School cafeteria, to take comment on Tenaska’s proposed application for a construction permit for the Taylorville Energy Center. He urged both the public and council members to attend.