The Taylorville City Council met on Monday evening as they had last meeting—with nobody in attendance. Due to COVID-19, the City Aldermen met remotely, with Alderman Kathy Driskell, Mayor Bruce Barry, and Alderman Larry Budd in attendance and everyone else from their houses.
The city passed an ordinance amending allowing of installment liquor license payments because of COVID-19. Cabin Rental increases also passed. The rental rate will be $60 per rental unit for Sunday through Thursday and $65 per rental unit for Friday, Saturday, and holidays. An ordinance approving the use of the BDD funds for demolition and removal of 204 East Main Cross also was approved.
A discussion was held over increasing the number of UTV permits by 10 to a total number of 35 for the city. Mayor Bruce Barry explained that with COVID-19 hurting revenue, this would be a way to bring a little bit more money into the city.
Aldermen’s opinions were mixed. The original plan was to only get 25 UTV’s see how they went for the year, and then decide to purchase more. Aldermen Kathy Driskell was worried that if they said yes to 10 more, the people who would want UTV’s would just keep asking for more. Mayor Barry asked Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler if there had been any incidents. Chief Wheeler said that there had only been one and it was in Stonington, with a resident who wasn’t even licensed. The vote was held and passed 5-4 with Mayor Barry the deciding vote. Aldermen Megan Bryant, Ernie Dorchinecz, Jim Olive, and Budd voting yes and Aldermen Driskell, Chris Skultetty, Lee Lanzotti, and Shawn Burtle voting no.
A motion to cease all spending from the 2% Utility Tax Ward Account was also a narrow vote with the Mayor casting the deciding vote on that issue as well as it passed 5-4. Larry Budd was very concerned about losing revenue.
Aldermen Budd said that he hoped he would be wrong. Voting yes on the motion was Aldermen Budd, Dorchinecz, Lanzotti, and Olive. Voting no was Aldermen Burtle, Driskell, Skultetty, and Bryant. Even though spending is going to be curtailed, there are still a few projects that have already been signed off on, that will still be taken care of.
Mayor Bruce Barry encouraged everyone to stick together during this tough time and thanked the National Guard for all their help with the Park Glen quarantine. He also encouraged people to help donate either their money or time to the Taylorville Food Pantry.
The next City Council meeting is set to take place on May 4th.