NORMAL – Normal Town Council members honored retiring City Manager Mark Peterson during what was his last Council meeting before his retirement after 30 years with the Town, the first 10 as Assistant City Manager under then City Manager David S. Anderson, and the last 20 as City Manager. His last day on the job is March 30. A reception for Peterson will be held at the Carol A. Reitan Conference Center of the Bloomington-Normal Marriott on Thursday, March 29.

Mayor Chris Koos led off the Council’s tributes telling Peterson, “Pam Reece will do a fantastic job as City Manager, but this is still a tough transition for me.” He said before he became a Council member, I worked with Mark on a number of projects as a volunteer, and then as an elected official and Mayor for 17 years, which in retrospect, has gone by in a snap.

“It has been easier for me to be mayor because of the quality of management that you displayed,” Koos told Peterson. “The professionalism and integrity that you’ve shown in your tenure as City Manager is exemplary.”

“It’s been a short time for me, but it’s been a pleasure,” said Council Member Chemberly Cummings, who was elected to her first term last April. “Mark has been willing to answer all my crazy questions. No matter the time of day, or whether they were down to the wire, you’re always there. It’s made my first year one of learning and fall right in place so that I can do what I need to do for the community.”

Having been on commissions and boards before running for a Council seat, Council Member Kathleen Lorenz told Peterson, “What I think I will always remember is how approachable you are.” Lorenz added she appreciated “how available you made yourself” to her when she had a concern. She added Peterson had “created such a positive culture through the talent you have hired.”

Council Member R. C. McBride said the word integrity had been used frequently when describing Peterson, “and there’s not a more appropriate word for you,” McBride told Peterson. McBride, a former radio reporter, said he appreciated the times Peterson made himself available to the media when a situation called for it.

Council Member Scott Preston gave Peterson credit for visionary skills, looking down the road at a project’s development. He said that skill involves being able to get the support and bring different parties together to work on the project, which Preston said he has seen Peterson do successfully.

“Mostly, I want to say thank you,” Council Member Kevin McCarthy told Peterson. He said Peterson was “masterful” in trying to help the Council develop of vision for the community.

“We’ve had something special,” Council Member Jeff Fritzen told Peterson about his tenure. He said those who developed and carried through the Uptown concept shared the risk involved. He also credited Peterson’s efforts at team building among Council and Town Staff. “Normal first is how I feel you’ve approached your job.” Fritzen explained to do that sometimes comes “at a personal cost” because of meetings and functions Peterson attended outside his normal working hours.

Peterson credited Town Staff for their work in how they go about their work which helps him to help the Council to have the information needed make their decisions. He was emotional when he said Town Staff “deserve credit for the success of the organization, not me. I’ve been blessed with such a supportive, competent, and dedicated work force.” He, at points, could not get the words out. “I want them to know how much I have appreciated their support and commitment to public service during my entire career.”

He credited his successor, Deputy City Manager Pam Reece, with being his “right arm,” and his executive assistant Sandy Fedden with being his “left arm” who has been with Peterson since he became City Manager.

“You all have my eternal gratitude, respect, and admiration,” he told his senior management team members. “I will miss you all more than I can put into words,” a statement that came from him with some emotion as he choked back tears.

Peterson not only had former Council members and former Mayor Paul Harmon in the audience for his last meeting, but his wife, Rebecca, and one of his two grown children.

Council Approves Site Plan For 2012 W. College: Council members unanimously approved both a site plan and resolution conditionally and partially approving the final plat of the first addition using expedited process to the MP-ONE Subdivision at 2012 W. College. It was done but not before Stan Nord, the current developer, in making his plea to Council members to approve the measures, accused Town Staff of not wanting to follow Town Code to get the job accomplished. He said Town Staff wanted to “add undevelopable acres” on the property to what he wanted to develop.

The property had been a mobile home park five decades ago and said Town Staff wouldn’t allow him to plant trees.

Nord said the land has had three owners in the past 10 years. He said he didn’t believe Normal was following Town Code to help him get the job accomplished. That visibly angered Peterson, who told Nord he was offended by his comments. “Our staff doesn’t pad fees,” Peterson said. “Our staff stands by the code. Peterson said he could have Town Corporation Counsel Brian Day and a municipal lawyer look at the code. But, Peterson said, “We’ve bent over backwards for this applicant. Lorenz said she wants the situation ironed out by legal counsel.

Land Town Exchanged With ISU Rezoned: Council members unanimously approved an ordinance rezoning property the Town swapped with Illinois State University related to the construction of the new Normal Fire Station #1 on University St. Therefore, the fire station, which opened in November, sits on what is now Town property as a result. As a result of the ordinance, which passed without discussion, land at 602-604 N. Adelaide St., Sudduth Rd. right of way between Kingsley and Main Streets, and 404 W. Locust St. are now zoned S-1 University. 505-507 Osage are now owned by the Town and have been rezoned S-2 Public Lands and Institutions.

In addition, the ordinance adds an S-3 Historic and Cultural District overlay zoning classification to 305 E. Pine.

Zoning Map To Be Published: Council members also unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing the publication of a zoning map.

Public Hearing Held: A public hearing was held prior to the start of the regular Council session pertaining to the proposed Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 2018-2019 annual action plan. Federal regulations require the Town publish an annual action plan for public comment and hold at least one public hearing concerning the plans content. No members of the public offered to speak at the hearing.

Annual Liquor License Renewals Approved: Council members, meeting in their capacity as Normal Local Liquor Commission unanimously approved liquor licenses for all establishments in the Town, an annual responsibility at a brief meeting held prior to the regular Council session. An omnibus vote was used to approve the establishments’ licenses.

The Town has 77 establishments licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, with 31 selling packaged liquor – Class A; 3 selling it by the drink – Class B; 10 selling beer and wine by the drink – Class C; 17 selling all liquor by the drink – Class D; 4 Hotels – Class E; 2 Brewpubs – Class M; 1 Stadium – Class N; 4 Limited hours licenses – Class O; 1 taproom – Class P; and 4 public college/university – Class Q. In addition, Commissioners renewed licenses of 25 establishments with secondary licenses which included 6 for annual catering – Class F; 9 for Outdoor Garden/Patio — Class H; and 10 for Annual tasting – Class I. The Town also issued permits for 12 entertainment licenses and 11 video gaming licenses. Commissioners also approved minutes from the Commission’s regular meeting of Jan. 16.

Appointments, Reappointments To Various Boards Approved: Hearing no objection, Council members made appointments and reappointments to various Boards and Commissions. Reappointed to the Building Board of Appeals each for a term that will expire March 31, 2022 were: Russ Arbuckle; Jeff Feid; Terry Sims; and Chris Turner. Reappointed to the Historic Preservation Commission each for a term that will expire March 31, 2022 were: Christopher Niebur and Bruce Warloe. Reappointed to the Uptown Design Review Commission each for a term that will expire March 31, 2022 were: David Burnison and Dennis French. Reappointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals each for a term that will expire March 31, 2022 were: Gary Blakney, Keith Palmgren, and Tony Penn. Reappointed to the Historic Preservation Commission each for a term that will expire March 31, 2022 were: Reappointed to the Town Planning Commission for a term that will expire March 31, 2022 was Rick Bosner. Reappointed to the Police Pension Board for a term that will exire March 31, 2022 was Robert Weldon.

Benjamin Ryburn was newly appointed to the Town’s Human Relations Commission, replacing Sandra Harmon. Ryburn’s term will expire March 31, 2022.

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

• Approval of the minutes of the regular meeting of March 5, 2018.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of March 14, 2018

• A resolution to award the bid for the Grant Street and Normal Ave. water main replacement projects to Bloomington-based Stark Excavating, Inc. at a total cost of $897,602 plus up to a potential $15,000 bonus for early completion.

• A resolution to accept bids and award a contract to Morton-based Otto Baum Company, Inc. in the amount of $207,816.14 for the Irving Street improvement project from Fell Ave. to the Hester Street alley.

• A resolution accepting a quote in the amount of $34,291.92 from Eagan, MN-based Factory Motor Parts for purchase of golf cart batteries for Ironwood Golf Course.

• A resolution designating Pamela S. Reece as the Town of Normal authorized representative with respect to the Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) Program.

• A resolution authorizing execution of a conditional right of entry – Dan Kelley.

By Steve Robinson | March 5, 2018 - 10:04 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Town Council, The Normalite

NORMAL – Normal Town Council members unanimously approved a 2018-19 budget of $105,324,432. However, the Town, when it is done making expenditures and taking in revenue will find it will be short on incoming money by over $1.5 million.

The Town anticipates taking in $125,647,117 in revenue. But after expenses are paid and transfers to accounts are made, the Town will find it has total expenses of $127,175,713, establishing the deficit. That $1.5 million deficit is related “to spending funds accumulated from previous fiscal years for major capital projects, including vehicle and equipment replacements, final construction cost of the new fire station, water fund restructure, and various storm water fund projects,” according to a report for the Council prepared by Town director of finance, Andrew Huhn.

The Town also finds itself with an additional loss of income from the deficit caused by a loss of $1.5 million the Town received as its part of the Metro Zone agreement which it had with the City of Bloomington for years until Bloomington City Council members unilaterally pulled out of the agreement with a Council vote over a year ago.

In addition to that, other causes for decreasing revenue for the Town include: Flat or decreasing revenue sources; Implementation of a new 2 percent surcharge for collecting the Town’s Home Rule Sales Tax; A 10 percent decrease in the Town’s share of income tax as a result of modifications the State made to the formula; and decreasing work force within the community leading to limited job and wage growth.

Council Member Chemberly Cummings likened the Town’s actions to when personal income drops, people cut back on frills and tighten their budgets. “That’s all we’re doing,” she said regarding the measures the Council approved.

Council Member Kevin McCarthy added, “Revenue streams are declining – that’s principally why we’re cutting.”

Mayor Chris Koos told the gathering of about 30 people sitting in Council Chambers on the fourth floor of Uptown Station, “I will congratulate staff for the work they did in a tough budget year. This was a hard one. They did a good job of getting the budget straightened out.”

A public hearing, required by State law, was held prior to the start of the Council session and only one citizen spoke to the budget. Former Town Council Candidate Ron Ulmer to Council members, “No reflection on Town employees, but taxes and fees can’t be raised fast enough. Increase taxes, decrease services, cut staff.” He said the Town must make a change in how it operates and part of that could include collaborating with other entities within the community. He added Normal could have “one of the biggest migrations of residents leaving in the State of Illinois.”

Water Bills To Begin Arriving Monthly Starting April 1: After coming every couple months for many years as residents have grown used to, Normal residents will begin receiving their water bills from the Town on a monthly basis starting April 1, the result of Council members unanimously approving the measure. But when this subject was discussed, Council Member Kathleen Lorenz recommended taking the subjects of increasing water rates and the billing cycle separately because the two items were joined in an amendment to an ordinance concerning those subjects. In the first vote, whether to keep the two items together for discussion and balloting on them, Council voted 4-3 to vote on separating rates from billing. Koos, and Council Members Jeff Fritzen, Scott Preston, and Lorenz favoring separating the two issues, while McCarthy, R. C. McBride, and Cummings opposed doing that.

Council members voted 6-1 to increase water rates effective April 1 by 2 percent, with Lorenz voting against it. The increase would boost the fee for per 1,000 gallons from $6.31 to $6.44, with the monthly maintenance charge going from $5.75 to $5.87. The Town’s Municipal Code would need to be modified for billing to be changed to a monthly basis. Currently, residents get their bill every two months.

Lorenz said she wanted to keep water rates flat for one year. But Fritzen countered that by saying were the Town to not increase rates as planned after that year, more than another year risked going by before the subject returned, risking presenting residents with an even larger unwanted increase. He called it a “strategic” move to go ahead at this time with the proposed increase.

As to changing the billing to monthly, Koos said Normal residents have been asking for the change. The current billing cycle, as City Manager Mark Peterson explained, “Sixty days, we’ve been told, makes it tough for budgeting.” He said the change would be more convenient for the residents desiring it. Saying the customer service angle put forth for this change wasn’t enough for him to support it, Preston joined Lorenz in the minority in the 5-2 vote which approved monthly billing.

Refuse Collection Fee Increase Approved: Council members voted unanimously to approve an ordinance establishing monthly user fees for refuse collection in the Town. Services such as garbage and recycling pickup, bulky waste and brush collection, leaf collection, and landscape waste collection will see fees for those services go up to $20 monthly, a $2 increase. The former $18 rate was passed by a Council ordinance vote three years ago.

City Manager Employment Agreement Approved For Reece: Council members unanimously approved a resolution authorizing an agreement for Pamela Reece’s term as City Manager which will begin at the end of the business day March 30. The contract runs through March 31, 2020. Reece, currently Deputy City Manager under City Manager Mark Peterson, was promoted to succeed Peterson, who will retire on March 30 after 30 years with the Town, 20 of them as City Manager. The first 10 years working for the Town, Peterson was Assistant City Manager under then-City Manager David Anderson .

The Town conducted a national search for candidates in seeking a successor to Peterson.

Under the terms of the contract, Reece will be paid an annual salary of $185,000 and receive an annual car allowance.

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

• Approval of the minutes of the regular meeting of Feb. 19, 2018.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of Feb. 28, 2018

• A resolution authorizing a contract extension with Bloomington-based Henson Disposal for processing of recyclable residential construction, demolition, and bulky waste collected by the Town of Normal at a rate of $55.51 per ton.

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

• A resolution authorizing an amendment to the supply and processing agreement with Midwest Fiber Inc. for the operation of a drop box recycling program in exchange for the use of Town equipment.

• A resolution authorizing intervention in a pending property tax assessment appeal before the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board.

• A resolution conditionally and partially approving the final plat for the seventh addition to Constitution Trail Centre Subdivision.

By Steve Robinson | February 19, 2018 - 10:42 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Town Council, The Normalite

NORMAL – If you are, or know the parent of a child or young person in a sport that doesn’t have its own facility to cater to those who play the sport, such as Soccer, for example, you’ve heard the conversation before. Those parents yearn for a site their kids can play at within the Twin Cities. Up until recently, there was a facility near Central Illinois Regional Airport which catered to young Soccer players until the Federal Aviation Administration took over the land.

At their regularly-scheduled session Monday, Normal Town Council members voted unanimously to authorize funds for and gave the City Manager authority to enter into an agreement with Clearwater, Fla.-based Sports Facilities Advisory, LLC (SFA) to conduct a feasibility study and economic impact analysis of a multi-sport facility being placed in Town.

Simply because the study is being done should not be an indication a facility is in the works, Council members pointed out as they approved spending an amount not to exceed $47,000 for SFA to conduct the study. “Just because the study says ‘your community is prime for a facility like this’ doesn’t mean we’ll do one,” Council Member Jeff Fritzen said.

Council Member Kathleen Lorenz said studying the need for possibly needing such a facility is worth the cost because of all the other events which use area facilities. She cited the State Farm Bloomington-Normal Holiday Tournament, known by the nickname, “The Classic,” as another event that draws fans from out-of-town when held annually the four days after Christmas.

Council Member Kevin McCarthy called the study a “pricey idea” but worth it for what is being looked into.

Four firms submitted proposal requests to be selected for the assignment. The firms also had to make in-person presentations to a committee made up of Town officials before the final selection was made as to which firm was selected.

SFA, which has been in business since 2003, will send representatives to make three in-person visits to Normal as part of their research for their final report.

There was public comment before the discussion from two citizens – one for and one opposed. Former Town Council candidate Ron Ulmer spoke against the expenditure, saying no investor had shown interest in a Soccer facility. “If they want Soccer,” Ulmer said, referring to parents, players, and fans who have been seeking a facility, “Have them mount a campaign to rescind order” that would help the local Soccer association put pressure on FAA to let them reuse the land. He cited President Donald Trump seems to favor such actions nationwide.

“I would support this because it would be a community amenity,” said Bob Kohlhase with an opposing view. “It would bring in dollars from visitors.”

Tax Levy For Rivian Motors Abated: By a unanimous vote, Council members approved an ordinance abating the 2017 property tax levy for Rivian Automotive. Doing so was in accordance with the 2016 economic incentive agreement the Town signed with the auto manufacturer. To receive the abatement, Rivian successfully completed a couple of stipulations sought by the Town: To complete its purchase of the former Mitsubishi Motors of North America on the Town’s west end; and invest at least $500,000 in project expenses, but did not include the cost of the former MMNA property. The Town estimates the abated property tax for the Rivian land will equal $74,900 for the Town and $32,300 for the Normal Public Library.

Subway Lease Amendment Approved: With the exception of two omnibus items pulled for discussion, the remaining five items on that list were approved unanimously. The first item pulled from the omnibus agenda concerned an amendment to the lease agreement the Town had with Subway restaurants concerning the franchise operated in Uptown Station. Council members unanimously approved a lease agreement concerning rent to be paid to the Town by Subway Real Estate, LLC, the operators of the Station’s Subway restaurant which has been in operation since Uptown Station opened in 2012.

Subway Real Estate LLC, operator of the Subway restaurant in Uptown Station, was seeking to renew its lease with the Town to continue operations but was seeking, among other things, to extend the base term of the agreement so that it would expire in 2027.

In addition, the ownership of the Subway in Uptown Station has changed owners, and they were seeking to change its rent to fixed monthly payments. Currently, the rent, according to a Town Staff report “is greater of 10% of gross profit or $1,400 per square foot.” Currently, Subway is paying a monthly rent of $1,927.33. The Town has another concern in that the restaurant can only take in a certain amount of money from the restaurant because Uptown Station was constructed in part with the use of tax exempt bonds.

The other item removed from the omnibus agenda concerned an ordinance amending the Town’s liquor code giving restaurant and bar owners the opportunity to serve as early as 9a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Currently, those establishments must not open until 11a.m.

Only the following establishments with the following types of licenses would be affected by the change: Class B (Consumption on premises-Beer only); Class C (Consumption on premises-Beer and Wine); Class D (Consumption on premises-all liquor); Class D (Consumption on premises-all liquor); Class E-Hotels, and Class M-Brewpubs

Under the proposed ordinance, establishment in these categories can now begin sales on Saturday and Sunday at 9a.m. But Fritzen objected to the hours in the amendment and asked if it could not be altered so that the hour serving could begin would be changed to 10a.m. The Council voted down that change by a 5-2 count with Fritzen and Council Member Kathleen Lorenz casting opposing votes. When it came to the original amendment, to begin serving at 9a.m., Council members approved the start time change by a 6-1 vote, with Fritzen voting against it.

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

• Approval of the minutes of the regular meeting of Feb. 5, 2018.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of Feb. 14, 2018

• A motion approving hourly rates and direct costs for 2018 with Clark-Dietz, Inc.: Crawford, Murphy, & Tilly, Inc.; Farnsworth Group; Lewis, Yockey and Brown, Inc.; Maurer-Stutz, Inc.; and Wight and Company to provide engineering services for various Town departments.

• A resolution authorizing an agreement for construction materials testing services for the 2018 construction season with Bloomington-based Ramsey Geotechnical Engineering LLC (RGE).

• A resolution approving a salary schedule adjustment for classified employees to reflect the cost of living adjustment.

NORMAL – Normal Town Council members voted to approve a resolution moving forward a 20-year materials recovery and solid waste management plan along with the City of Bloomington and McLean County. The governing body’s decision seemed to agree with everyone, but one provision within the document led Council Member Scott Preston to cast a lone dissention leading to a 6-1 vote.

While the entire group appeared favorable toward the long-term plan, the issue which prompted Preston to oppose it was a set of clauses concerning recycling for multi-family housing, commercial operations, and recycling of construction and demolition materials recycling was included.

In each of those clauses, an ordinance mandating the communities and the county set certain recycling benchmarks if voluntary participation doesn’t help residents contribute in the program. That one item prompted Preston to disagree.

“I was not in favor of language that took a stance and advocated for ordinances by the Town as well as the City if certain benchmarks are not met,” Preston said afterward. Preston said had the mandated benchmarks come with an explanation of why they were being considered, Preston said he would still have voted down the resolution.

“I didn’t like the plan has a recommendation of mandating,” Preston added. “The rest of the plan is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people for the past two years. It’s an ambitious goal to be looking 20 years out.”

Preston said he commended Michael Brown, executive director of the Ecology Action Center among those who put the 26-page report together over the last couple of years. There are a lot of great things in the plan,” Preston added. “The recommended ordinances were the sticking point for me and that was why I couldn’t vote for this.”

Brown explained after the meeting that some small companies and renters do offer recycling but the percentage of companies that do that “isn’t as high as it could be. That means there’s a significant room for improvement.” He added rental companies told him that if they were mandated to provide recycling to help the community, to do so would “actually level the playing field” for those companies compared to complexes or companies who have recycling provided.

Wayne Aldrich, director of public works for the Town, said he has been contacting private companies which provide recycling services to apartments and multi-family dwelling operators.

City Manager Mark Peterson told Council members during the session the McLean County Landfill “is pretty much done. They are beginning a closure process. He added the plan “tries to move the needle on the Town’s recycling option.”

Council Member R. C. McBride told Brown and Aldrich during the meeting that establishing a 20-year plan “is a good thing.”

Jay Tummula Gets Human Rights Commission Appointment: Council members unanimously approved the appointment of Jay Tummula to the Town’s Human Rights Commission. Tummula is filling a vacancy left by the resignation of Mandava Rao, the result of Rao moving from the community. Tummula will serve a full four-year term which will expire March 31, 2022.

Tummula moved to the U. S. 17 years ago to take a job with IBM. From there, he joined State Farm as an analyst in the field of information technology, his current job. He is co-chair of the Minority and Police Partnership, and a volunteer with Ecology Action Center and Community Health Care Clinic. Tummula is married and has two children.

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

• Approval of the minutes of the regular meeting of Jan.16, 2018.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of Jan. 31, 2018

• A resolution authorizing the execution of an intergovernmental agreement with McLean County for centralized booking services.

• A resolution approving a lease amendment for the Heartland Theatre Company at the Community Activity Center.

• An ordinance abating the levy of 2017 property taxes for Special Service Area Number One.

By Steve Robinson | January 16, 2018 - 10:02 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Town Council, The Normalite

Town of NormalNORMAL – The notion that the Town of Normal will, thanks to an unanimous Normal Town Council vote at Tuesday’s scheduled session, begin negotiations for a development agreement for a building on the east side of Constitution Trail brought out people who were opposed to the idea.

Currently, the site houses The Pod art studio, 104 E. Beaufort St.; Windy City Wieners restaurant, 106 E. Beaufort St.; and Slingshot Co-Work computer center, 108 E. Beaufort St. The Town has owned the building those three businesses have been in since 2001.

The Town is seeking a development plan for the property and to that end, put out requests for proposal, or RFPs, from developers to see what interest they would generate in the 1.28 acre site on the northeast arc of Uptown Circle. Development of that part of the arc was not considered originally when the Town put plans into effect in 2000.

Normal Town Council members unanimously passed a resolution authorizing negotiation of a development agreement with Davenport, Iowa-based Bush Construction for the proposed Trail East project.

Bush Construction proposes building a five-story, 115,000 sq. ft. building with its frontage facing Uptown Circle, Constitution Trail, and College Ave. The way Bush Construction has the building designed, its cost is estimated at $29.2 million. A variety of sources would provide funding, explained the report to Council members written by Sally Heffernan, the Town’s Economic Development Director.

But the notion of constructing a building while sacrificing a building that has been in, first, Downtown, and now, Uptown Normal, for years didn’t sit well with some residents who addressed Council members.

Wearing a T-shirt that said, “This Place Matters,” Andy Streenz represented a group of about 10 people who attended the meeting who were opposed to the development plan. “It’s in the heart of your community,” Streenz said of the site of the proposed project. He said by going forward with the project, if Normal chooses to, the Town “is setting out to destroy the character of Uptown.” He said he was concerned with the loss of such buildings.

Christopher Myers also belongs to the same group concerned with Uptown losing something if such buildings are lost. “They deserve to see another century,” he said.

In discussion following the public comments, Council Member Chemberly Cummings said, “We won’t do anything that changes our community. Change is always difficult. Be patient with us. Know that we have heard you.”

“This is just stage one,” Council Member R. C. McBride told an audience of about 40 people who sat through the Council discussion in Council Chambers.

Council Member Jeff Fritzen said the Council “needed to be careful not to have a negative tone about the prospects involved with this project. “We need to be careful not to fear new development.”

The Council session began at 5p.m. to discuss a personnel matter. Council members also met in their capacity as the Normal Local Liquor Commission prior to the start of the regular meeting. The only business on the agenda for Commissioners was to unanimously approve minutes of two prior meetings – a regular meeting held Oct. 16, and a special meeting held Dec. 18. The Council session was held Tuesday because of Monday’s Federal Holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

• Approval of the minutes of the regular meeting of Jan. 2, 2018.

• Approval of Town of Normal Expenditures for payment as of Jan. 10, 2018.

• A motion to initiate a zoning map amendment – 602=604 N. Adelaide, Sudduth Road right of way, parking lot at the southeast corner of W. Beaufort St, and the School St. underpass, 404 W. Locust St., 404 Normal St., 507 Osage (ISU properties), and 305 Pine St. (Town of Normal).

• A resolution authorizing the quotes for installation of new water heaters in the total amount of $47,233 for Anderson Aquatic Center and approval of an associated budget adjustment.

• A resolution approving the executive session meeting minutes of January 8, 2018 and considering the public release of executive session minutes from meetings held on the following dates in 2017: July 17, Aug. 11, Aug. 21, Sept. 18, and Oct. 2, and from Jan. 2, 2018.