By Steve Robinson | May 12, 2022 - 10:42 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite, Unit 5

NORMAL – Concerned about its finances and wanting to give parents and members of the public a say concerning the next steps Normal-based Unit 5 takes concerning them, the district will hold three meetings, one of them virtually, to gain feedback on what the public believes should be the district’s next moves.

The first in-person session was slated for Wednesday, May 18 at Parkside Junior High School. The second in-person session is slated for Monday, May 23 at Normal Community High School from 6p.m.-7:30p.m. The virtual session will be held Tuesday, May 24 from 6p.m.-7:30p.m. To be able to participate in the virtual session, residents must register in advance. A link to register can be found at www.unit5.org.

Sullivan explained the initial surveys his group distributed and received back from parents and other constituents indicated over 80 percent of respondents were open to supplying more funding to Unit 5.

Sullivan said his group will begin a second phase in an attempt to give residents different options building on the feedback received thus far.

New Principals Introduced: There will be two new principals in charge at two schools in the district, District Superintendent Dr. Kristen Weikle announced. Mariana Nicasio will be the new principal at Chiddix Junior High School succeeding Jim Allen, who served as principal there since 2016 and associate principal there since 2015. A 16 year education veteran, Nicasio has served as principal at a middle school in Berwyn. Also introduced as moving to be a new principal starting next school year is Cari Roop, who will be moving from that same position at Glenn Elementary to Sugar Creek Elementary. Roop has been with Unit 5 since 2018.

Grove Elementary School’s “Good News”: Board members were introduced to members of Grove Elementary School’s chess team, comprised of 4th and 5th grade students, together, as a team, took 1st Place at the recent State Chess Tournament. The team’s sponsor is Tiffany Borne. In her memo about the team to Board members, Borne said team members prepped, in part, by playing other chess enthusiasts worldwide online throughout the year. The students on the team are: Arjun Vyas, Kavin Sivignanam, Zachary Borne, Vanshika Bandaru, and Jasiah Nelson.

Normal Community West High School’s “Good News”: Members of Normal Community West High School’s Esports team were honored in a “Good News” report for having come away with two Illinois High School Association State Championships and a 3rd place finish. Team Coaches Jarrod Rachauskas, Cody Hatzer, Travis Lindsey, and Andy Mendez were pleased to their team’s winners forward before Board members. First Place winners in State competition in the Rocket League video game were: Cody Dunn, Nathan Conrad, Dante Phipps, Keagan Wurth, and Jacob Jones.

Jono Edmonson was introduced as IHSA NBA2K game State champion. Luke Sherman and Kwesi Blankson were introduced as IHSA third place finishers in the game called Super Smash Duo.

“Good News” About “Young Authors Program” District Winners: A total of 21 students representing five grade levels at 11 of the district’s grade schools were honored for having participated in the district’s “Young Author’s Program,” in a report presented to Board members by Maureen Backe, Director of Elementary Education for the district. These winners were among 171 entries submitted.

Backe added in a letter to Board members, “The Young Authors Program,” from the classroom to the State Conference, provides a plethora of opportunities to encourage and support authorship, a love of books, and skills that will benefit our students for a lifetime.” A variety of genres are available for students to write in, and a panel of judges read all of the material submitted by students who participate. Materials submitted are judged on originality, creativity, grammar, illustrations, and overall composition.

Student teachers select school winners in February. That is followed by a team of 8th grade students choosing district winners. District winners, their grade level, (and their school) are: Emily Arndt, Zoe Porter, 3rd, and Addie Fritts, 2nd (Hudson Elementary); Kaylee Batesole, 5th, Vincent DeKnecht 4th (Pepper Ridge Elementary); Lily Beal 5th (Colene Hoose Elementary); Evelyn Beehner 5th (Towanda Elementary); Leah Bowman 1st, Roman Felix 2nd (Oakdale Elementary); Surabhi Chincholkar 2nd, Piper Long 5th (Grove Elementary); Austin Crothers 5th (Glenn Elementary); Camille King, Audrey Kirchner both 5th (Benjamin Elementary); Jianna George 2nd (Prairieland Elementary); and Rose Miles 2nd (Cedar Ridge Elementary).

“Good News” About District Receiving Award From Music Merchants Association: District Superintendent Dr. Kristen Weikle told those attending the meeting Unit 5 has been awarded the designation of “Best Community For Music Education” by National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM). Dr. Weikle said NAMM gave the district the honor for “its outstanding commitment to music education.” Dr. Weikle said communities which receive the honor “outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music education, access and education to students.” District officials completed a NAMM survey detailing answers concerning funding, graduation requirements, and class participation among a list of criteria.

Public Comment Concerning Sex Education: Resident Toni Gorrell addressed Board members saying she objected to sex education being taught in schools to grade levels lower than are already done at. Unit 5 teaches junior high students sex ed in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.

According to ACLU Illinois website, State Senate Bill 818, titled Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act “creates personal health and safety standards for grades K-5 and updates and expands comprehensive sexual health education standards in grades 6-12 to give young people the information and tools they need to be safe and support responsible and informed decision making about their health and well-being throughout their lives.” According to an outline of the bill, topics addressed include but are not limited to: Anatomy and physiology; healthy relationships; identity; personal safety; pregnancy and reproduction; puberty, growth and adolescent development; and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Three people spoke during public comments, two concerning a new State Bill concerning sex education. Toni Gorrell led off addressing Board members concerning the new curriculum suggested under SB 818 was “unlike what I was taught when I was in school.” She said the new curriculum “fails to teach children about all of the emotional, psychological and physical health risks of promiscuous sexual activity.”

Resident Mary Carlisle followed telling Board members, “My concern is that Unit 5 intentionally chose to opt in to the comprehensive sexual education standards when you could have just as easily opted out.” She said the main goal of the subject matter is “infused in most subject matter with the main goal being “to destroy childhood innocence and destabilize children.” She went on to say diversity equity inclusion “further divides children using diversity to divide children against one another rather than dividing them with principles of unity.”

Resident Karl Sila added his belief the Board’s collective priority has not been the students but rather, politics. He encouraged Board members to stop using the sexual ed program in the State bill “because it’s harmful to kids.”

NORMAL – As every new softball begins, high school team coaches and players have such high hopes – they both hope to make it through with a winning season onto playoffs and potentially, on to State finals. For the coaches, it increases wins in their record at the helm of the team. For players, it’s the same, too, with an added hope that, if their potential is showing, a college coach or a minor league scout will keep in mind as a prospect.

All three Normal high school teams, as expected, have shown they can weather the season well with few losses no matter the opponent, no matter the game’s location. But, in some instances, weather upends the start of the season, causing coaches’ player evaluations to get put on hold.

Normal Community High School: When the season began for Head coach Steve Hassel’s Normal Community High School Softball team, things looked problematic, with the Ironmen dropping their initial three games against a trio of non-conference opponents when playing Pekin, Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin, and East Peoria before registering their first win March 30 in another non-conference contest against Lincoln, 7-6. What has followed is wins in spurts: A loss followed by two or three wins before a next loss. Wins against Mt. Zion and Big 12 foe Bloomington quickly got followed on a 6-0 shutout April 15. NCHS (12-9 overall, 5-0 Big 12 Conference) exchanged wins with Morton over the next two games, NCHS blasting the Potters, 16-1, on April 16 only to drop a 2-1 decision later in the same day.

That loss spurred the Lady Ironmen toward a three-game win streak, beating Peoria Richwoods, and non-conference foe Mattoon twice, 16-5 and 4-3, before sustaining their next loss in another non-conference game against Mahomet-Seymour, 4-2. What followed was a 12-1 loss to non-conference foe Metamora before earning their next win over Big 12 challenger Urbana, 5-4, at the end of April.

Normal Community West High School: At the start of the season, fans of Head Coach April Schermann’s Normal Community West High School Softball team probably wondered when they would see the team’s first victory. Starting their season, the Lady Wildcats drew a loss against Metamora, and a tie with Haleyville (Ala.) during their southern tour which began their season, but quickly followed up with wins over Albertville, Gulf Shores, and Hale County (all Ala.), before dropping a 7-1 decision March 23 to Beulah (Ala.) High School for a current 12-5-1 record.

Their next game, against St. Joseph Ogden on March 28, however, proved to be an indicator of future game endings as the Lady Wildcats went on an 8-game winning streak, starting with a 11-6 win over the Spartans March 28. What followed in that streak were wins over Normal University High, Rochester, Urbana, Danville, and East Peoria. Those wins included shutout wins over Peoria Notre Dame (15-0) and Peoria Richwoods (16-0).

East Peoria evened the score with the Wildcats in the second game the two teams played, winning, 12-8. On May 4, NCHS dropped a 4-3 decision to NCHS, and lost a May 7 contest to Moline, 8-3. The Lady Ironmen’s latest win took place Monday, beating Champaign Central, 17-2.

University High School: As of Tuesday, head coach Al Toliver’s crew had double an unlucky number in wins and losses (13), but that same number showed how many wins the Pioneers had overall versus just three losses in Central State Eight Conference play, an indication how well the team was doing against league opponents in their fourth season in this league. U-High (13-13 overall including being 13-3 in Central State Eight) began the season splitting its opening two games against Sacred Heart Griffin, losing the season opener March 15 7-3 only to host the next day and win, 8-1. A non-conference tilt versus Williamsville March 28 turned out to be a big loss, the Pioneers losing, 13-4, but recouping the next day again against SHG in a 16-0 shutout.

But a four game losing streak with no joke included followed for head coach starting dropping a 6-1 contest to LaSalle-Peru April Fool’s Day. That slog included dropping a 5-4 decision to Normal West before winning two straight over CS8 foe Springfield Lanphier by big numbers April 12 and 13, 12-2 and 16-0. An April 14 2-0 loss at home versus Mahomet-Seymour led to the Pioneers spending the next two games pounding the Generals at Decatur MacArthur April 15, 14-4 and 10-0.

An April 16 5-0 loss at Tremont spurred the Pioneers to regroup and win their next three straight all in shutouts – 16-0 and 17-0 April 19, followed by a 15-0 win over the Griffins at home, before dropping their next three straight in non-conference tilts – one to East Peoria and two to Metamora. The Pioneers would drop still another one at Bloomington April 25, 5-4 in 9 innings. U-High would win their next two, home and away against Rochester, 19-5 and 6-2, respectfully, before dropping a 17-4 non-conference game to Olympia May 2, 17-4.

By Steve Robinson | May 9, 2022 - 10:57 pm
Posted in Category: NCHS, Normal West HS, The Normalite, U-High

NORMAL – As every new baseball begins, high school team coaches and players have such high hopes – they both hope to make it through with a winning season onto playoffs and potentially, on to State finals. For the coaches, it increases wins in their record at the helm of the team. For players, it’s the same, too, with an added hope that, if their potential is showing, a college coach or a minor league scout will keep in mind as a prospect.

All three Normal high school teams, as expected, have shown they can weather the season well with few losses no matter the opponent, no matter the game’s location.

Normal Community High School: By all appearances, Normal Community High School’s baseball team has managed a 7-3 record in the Big 12 Conference this season. The problem they have had though is they haven’t played all their games in that conference and they have run into teams which have led to plenty of disappointing endings for Head Coach Ryan Short’s crew who find themselves 12-13 as of Monday. It has been enough to make fans who follow the team on their school-oriented website see red – which usually signifies a loss, or see black, used to signify a game cancellation.

When the season began March 15, NCHS won their opener over Pekin Community High School, 3-1. But then, fans saw red for the next five games, losing to teams on their Gulf Shores Team Trip, losing by 14 points each in two separate games before ending the tour with a 12-0 shutout loss to Alabama-based Hewitt-Trussville High School. Once back at home, big wins – 16-5 over Limestone and 15-4 over Big 12 foe Danville appeared to help. But a shutout loss to Moline followed before the Ironmen notched a pair of home wins, 13-3 and 9-5 over Champaign Centennial April 9 before losing another non-conference contest to University High, 13-6, April 11.

The Ironmen’s April 12 4-3 conference win over Peoria Richwoods raised hopes only to be followed by a trio of non-Conference losses to Peoria Richwoods, Chicago St. Rita, finishing with a 13-3 pounding at Edwardsville before going crosstown to Normal West April 19 for a 3-2 victory. When the Wildcats visited NCHS, the Wildcats scratched out a 10 inning 1-0 win which began a 3 game skid when Champaign Central won a doubleheader here April 23 5-4 and 9-3. The Ironmen took out their frustrations on Peoria High April 26 winning another twin bill, 18-2 and 11-1, and have parlayed those into a 5-game winning streak, adding a 10-4 victory over East Moline United, a 7-3 win over East Peoria, and a 9-6 win at Peoria Notre Dame for good measure.

Normal Community West High School: Normal Community West High School, under Head Coach Chris Hawkins, also holds a 7-3 Big 12 Conference mark, but unlike their crosstown rivals, the Wildcats are two games above .500, at 14-12. The Wildcats opened the season with 5-1 win over Effingham March 17. But during their spring break tour, dropped two, one to Oswego and one to Arkansas’ Fort Smith Southside for a 1-2 start. They repeated that pattern while on break, first by beating Troy, Ala.-based Charles Henderson High School, but then following the win up with a loss each to Arkansas’ Valley View High School and Alabama-based Spanish Fort High School.

Their next victory came April 1 over Springfield’s Sacred Heart Griffin, 8-7, and two wins — 5-3 and 12-7 — over Limestone in a doubleheader followed the next day. An 8-6 loss to Bloomington followed April 5. Normal West got a boost from a 15-0 shutout over Danville Apr. 7, but lost 5-4 to Champaign Central Apr. 9. A 5-3 win against Champaign Centennial Apr. 12 gave Normal West an 8-6 record, but that advantage became victim to a three game losing streak which followed against St. Viator, Brother Rice, and NCHS. West did avenge the loss to NCHS two days later, April 21, 1-0. That was followed by a loss to Spring Valley Hall and wins over Maine South, Dunlap, Peoria Richwoods and Peoria Central. But the last couple of games Normal West has played – against Lincoln-Way Central and University High — have gotten the Wildcats to their current record.

University High School: In the Central State Eight Conference, it’s head coach Steve Paxson’s players who are leading the league with an 12-2 league mark and 18-6 overall. Fans were encouraged by the Pioneers’ season opening 10-0 win over Sacred Heart Griffin. But game two against the same Cyclones team gave SHG the victory and U-High a fast 1-1 mark which quickly slid to 1-3 due to losses to the Cyclones and Non-conference foes Mount Vernon and Oak Forest.

But the March 19 loss to Oak Forest caused the Pioneers to regroup and the result not only led to victories but double digit victories which included victories against their next eight opponents starting with a 16-0 win over Springfield Southeast March 29. From there, the Pioneers won their next eight games, six of which they left their opponents scoreless. A brief two game losing streak followed, with losses to Chicago’s Brother Rice and St. Viator of Arlington Heights, but after that the Pioneers were on another seven game winning streak which included leaving four more opponents scoreless.

A May 4 loss at home to Springfield was the Pioneers’ last recent slip, and what followed were back-to-back triumphs against Lincoln-Way Central, U-High winning 12-0, and a 19-5 win over Normal West May 5.

NORMAL – In a few short months, 16 acres of land at Colene Hoose Elementary School will be transformed from unused land on school grounds to space where youngsters will spend time on a natural playground and where learning spaces will be available for teachers to help their students learn.

On May 4, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for a natural learning and play space at the Unit 5 grade school located at 600 Grandview Drive. One of the school’s former students, Charlie Jobson, donated $5.1 million to create the new space at the school he attended, and in Normal to honor his parents, who lived in town for 40 years.

A former Hoose student, Charlie Jobson, remembers his years at the school fondly enough that he donated $5 million for construction, adding he intends to donate roughly another $200,000 over the next three years.

Jobson said he hopes the new playground will become “a community resource, for Colene Hoose kids, and other kids in the community who can come here, as well,” he said. “I hope it stands the test of time and becomes a centerpiece for the Town and the neighborhood.”

The school’s 50 third graders from the school which educated around 400 students were invited to attend the groundbreaking. In beginning his remarks to the gathering, Jobson started by the youngsters by saying he hoped they would have warmer weather to play in once the construction was completed. The ceremony took place on a gray overcast day.

Jobson explained a natural playground help youngsters “to use their imaginations and create their own magical spaces.” He added the new playground will be “for all kids, and not just the 40 percent of kids that are more physically strong. It’s for kids who like to have quiet spaces and special needs kids. It’s suited to a full range of play.”

The design for the playground reimagines the entire 16-acre grounds as a place where youngsters can learn, explore, and play. Included in the design, created by Danish landscape architect Helle Nebelong, are an alphabet labyrinth, a mound shaped mound, a river garden, and an amphitheater. The playground will cover 16 acres and is being designed by Danish landscape architect Helle Nebelong. It will include an Alphabet Labyrinth, a Snail-Shaped mound, a River Garden, an Amphitheater and more to bring elements of nature to the schoolyard.

Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds is constructing the playground. Also to be added are several multi-functional outdoor classrooms, and playing areas. Logs, boulders, sand, pepples, and a meadow will be joined by various shrubs and trees, including edible plants, for rounding out the finished product.

Weather permitting, the project should be completed by late August or early September.

Jobson started by telling the youngsters, “This playground’s for you, and really, all the kids in this town. It’s a place where you can use your imagination, create your own games, make your own magic place here, and play however you want. I hope you like it and hope it’s your special place.” He told them, that just as they are doing now, he was a third grader when he first attended Hoose and stayed through sixth grade.

“This natural playground is a big thank you to the teachers of Colene Hoose, and the community.” He said the school “took good care of me and gave me a lot of love on the way as I was growing up.”

Jobson added “a big thank you to Unit 5 for their vision and support of this project. A lot of people have helped bring this project to fruition. The playground will be named after his parents, he said, who were members of the Twin Cities community for over 40 years.

Community officials attending the groundbreaking were: Dr. Kristen Weikle, district superintendent; Barry Hitchins, current Unit 5 Board President; Stan Gozur, Board Vice President; Board Members Amy Roser, Kentrica Coleman, Jeremy DeHaai, and Alan Kalitzky; Normal Mayor Chris Koos; Normal Parks And Recreation Director Doug Damery; and Town Planner Mercy Davison. Unit 5 Board entered into a contract with Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds to build the new grounds. A group of individual youngsters were selected to stand with and assist Board members in digging into the ground to get the project formally started.

The selected youngsters looked happy and excited to be assisting with the process alongside the grown-ups. Audience members attending applauded once the shovels were overturned.

Dr. Kristen Weikle, Unit 5 Superintendent, explained what makes this playground special is it is a natural playground at a public school in the Midwest. “It will draw attention of those outside our community as well as in Bloomington-Normal,” she said. “We in Unit 5 would not be able would not be able to do this without Mr. Jobson’s generosity.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to have this opportunity and donation to bring something that is so unique to our students in Unit 5 but to our community, as well,” stated Unit 5 Board Member Amy Roser.

“The playground was designed so that it would be universal to all,” explained Hoose Principal Dr. Adam Zbrozek, adding, “We are absolutely blessed to have this much space in the middle of a large city. “Jobson’s vision of using it differently and more was amazing. So, yes, we wanted to absolutely explore this. It was a great idea.”

Dr. Zbrozek, who has been principal at Colene Hoose Elementary for eight years, said Jobson’s gesture “also shows the power of the relationships that are built within schools. It’s just amazing.” Dr. Zbrozek characterized being approached by Jobson for this as “absolutely shocking and wonderful and unbelievable, but it was just amazing. He’s just an amazing individual and we’re very lucky to be connected to him.”

Construction began shortly after the formal ceremony took place and is set to be completed by October. Planting of the meadow and some of the shrubs will be completed by next spring when planting conditions are at their peak. Designers of the natural playground said it should “last a lifetime,” matching the lifespan of traditional parks and playgrounds, and will be in compliance with all Town building codes, accessibility regulations, and playground standards.

Following the ceremony, Jobson said, “I got interested in natural playgrounds and I was looking to give something back to the community. He said he saw there was land at Hoose to do something and approached Dr. Zbrozek to see what could be accomplished. Jobson said he wanted to find a space in town for creation of the park, but driving by Hoose and seeing the land it was situated on gave him reason to rethink his plan.

By Steve Robinson | May 2, 2022 - 10:40 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Town Council, The Normalite

NORMAL – Pam Reece has been a part of the Town of Normal for over 30 years and while she was Assistant City Manager, her boss then, Mark Peterson retired in 2018. Upon his exit, Reece became City Manager. At Monday’s Normal Town Council session, Council members voted 6-1, with Council Member Stan Nord casting the lone opposing vote, to extend Reece’s contract past its original expiration date.

A performance review with Reece and Council members took place during an April 4 executive session meeting. As a result of the Council vote, Reece’s contract with the Town will now end on March 31, 2024. Her original contract with the Town has been extended by one year, with it set to expire March 31, 2025. An $8,000 raise based on performance now increases Reece’s annual salary to $209,000.

Citing increasing costs, including what he cited as increasing local taxes, Nord told Council members, as a result of that, “I just don’t feel that it shows we’re being fiscally responsible to keep giving pay increases for a population of 50,000 people and a big bulk of those are college students.” He suggested Reece “go to a bigger pond because we can only afford so much money.” He also made note of local roads needing repair as to where money ought to go.

His objections were quickly countered by his fellow Council Members like Karyn Smith, who got specific about one of Nord objections – a need of money. “I fail to see how need for quantifying and qualifying someone’s pay,” she said. Smyth was joined by Council Member Kevin McCarthy who added, Reece, in the midst of a pandemic, “has performed quite admirably.” He also to exception with Nord’s hinting at finding higher pay elsewhere “is not how to instill a culture of ‘we value people.’” Mayor Chris Koos added, “We vote on this once a year and this is the easiest vote I make all year.”

Council Approves Entering Into Agreement With Farr And Associates For Uptown South: With a 5-2 vote, Council members approved a resolution executing an agreement between the Town and Chicago-based Farr Associates Architecture and Urban Design to begin master planning services related to Uptown South. The Town will pay Farr Associates $80,000 to begin master planning for redevelopment of the unfinished area south of the railroad tracks called Uptown South.

The Town owns most of the properties within this area which is approximately 8-acres and south of the railroad tracks. Farr Associates plans to four steering committee meetings and interviews with stakeholders in the area followed by sending out a survey and holding four public events to get public feedback to their plan.

Council members got early feedback during a public comment from Normal resident Doug Fansler. Fansler said, to his knowledge, it has been three years since the Town last had any sort of meeting allowing the public to see what the current plans for Uptown had been held. The Town last held a Town Summit, inviting 60 residents to discuss varying topics concerning the community. At individual tables at that meeting, the mayor and Council members sat and heard about citizen concerns. The meeting took place at Community Activity Center at One Normal Plaza.

Preston said his objection stemmed from the fact Council members have approved plans for that area before.

“For me, the action we were doing tonight was doing a lot of the same actions we previously had.”

Council Renews Insurance Group Participation: By a 6-1 count with Nord casting the lone opposing vote, Council members voted to renew the Town continuing to participate in the Municipal Insurance Cooperative Agency (MICA), and pay 3.1 percent more in membership last year.

MICA members include 22 of Illinois’ public entities, and provides insurance coverage on a partially self-funded basis, according to council materials. Normal pays roughly $1.9 million of MICA’s annual program budget of $16.1 million. Normal’s share this year will cost roughly $480,000 more than it did last year. Normal’s been a consortium member for nearly 40 years.

“Youth On A Mission” Members Address Council: Council members heard from Youth On A Mission, which began in October. Paige Malloy, an advisor for the group, began their presentation. She said the group has worked on projects they feel would have an impact on the community, as well as met with Town officials to learn more about how various departments function. Tracy Freeman, a teacher at Normal Community West High School also addressed Council members about her being asked to help the group. A total of eight students from the group addressed Council members following Freeman’s introduction.

Through meeting with civic leaders, Freeman said, she saw “a passion for local in the students that I have never seen.

Liquor Commissioners Approve License For CornBelters, Fine Team For Filing Late: Prior to the regular Council session, Council members, met in their capacity as members of Normal Local Liquor Commission and voted unanimously to renew a Class D Liquor License (All Liquor – On Premises Consumption) for NORMAL CORNBELTERS BASEBALL, LLC., d/b/a Normal Cornbelters. The application the team submitted for the liquor license was filed late with the Town for their renewal for the 2022-23 license year. Liquor Commission recommended approval of a Class D liquor license Renewal and ordered team management to pay $3,000 in late fees in order to comply with Town Code.

Omnibus Agenda Items Approved: Omnibus agenda items approved by the Council included:

• Approval of minutes of public hearing March 21, 2022.

• Approval of minutes of the regular Council meeting of March 21, 2022.

• Report to receive and file Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of March 16, 2022.

• A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement with Mr. Craig Onsrud for operation of Ironwood Golf Course Pro Shop and private golf lessons.

• A resolution authorizing frame rail replacement and corrosion repairs to a 2014 Pierce fire engine.

• A resolution to waive the formal bidding process and accept quote from Amboy, Ill.-based Dinges Fire Co. for the purchase of 11 Bullard TXS thermal imaging cameras and related accessories at a cost of $37,553.65.

• An ordinance authorizing a purchase agreement for a parcel of property located at 316 N. Glenn in the amount of $12,500.

• A resolution authorizing a contract extension with Washington, D. C.-based Cardinal Infrastructure, LLC for professional services related to Federal advocacy and funding.

• A resolution authorizing acceptance of a proposal from MCCi to implement Laserfiche Electronic Content Management (ECM) solution for a total of $211,780, including a one-time cost of $158,305 and an annual licensing cost of $53,475.

• A resolution conditionally approving the final plat for Heartland Community College second addition (West Raab Road).