By Steve Robinson | June 27, 2011 - 10:20 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Cornbelters, The Normalite

NORMAL – Since the Normal CornBelters came to town last year, I have spent both seasons so far paying close attention to the Frontier League standings, doing what the fans have been doing lately: Living and dying with where the local favorite team has been finding itself in their fight to reach the playoffs by the end of the season.

That’s understandable, after all. We all wanted the CornBelters to do well last year. But we also knew, strictly from previous experience of watching other expansion teams in other sports in other leagues, that struggling a little during their debut year would be something that might be expected.

The CornBelters finished last year in the lower half of the Western Division and did not make the playoffs.

But now, in 2011, it is safe to say that whether you are a regular at The Corn Crib or a casual fan, since this season has begun, one has had their eyes on the Frontier League standings a little more closely lately.

As a result of watching the standings, I saw something I don’t think I had ever noticed before: A tie at the top between the two teams who would qualify for the playoffs were the season to end now. Going into games on June 27, the two teams at the top of the Western Division – the Southern Illinois Miners and the River City Rascals – were in a dead heat, tied for first place. That left Manager Hal Lanier’s CornBelters in second place, two games out.

That prompted me to double-check on what would happen if the standings stayed this way through the end of the regular season, which would end when games conclude on Sunday, Sept. 4.

I have to readily admit before showing you this that, yes, I am getting a little ahead of myself here. But I take solace in knowing that I am probably not alone in wondering about and hoping for the prospect of September baseball at The Corn Crib for the first time, even if the regular season is only now half-over.

So….hypothetically, let’s say Southern Illinois and River City stay right where they are in the standings throughout the next two straight months, right up the last out of the regular season. What then?

According to the league website, “In case of a tie between two (2) teams, the winner of the division will be determined by (i) winning percentage; (ii) if still a tie, head to head record shall determine winner; (iii) if still a tie, head to head record against each team in the division in descending order of regular season finish will determine the winner; (iv) and if still a tie, a one game playoff will be held the day after the regular season ends at a site to be determined by the coin toss of the Commissioner.”

I assume that if Normal keeps its grip on second place while Southern Illinois and River City remained deadlocked, the CornBelters would make the playoffs in their second year, playing either the Miners or the Rascals, and that is something the players and fans alike are after in the end, right?

And if Southern Illinois and River City stay tied at the end of the season, I would think it would take maybe no more than one or two of those league variables to determine a division leader. I seriously doubt that CornBelters fans will have to wait with bated breath to find out who they would play in their very first playoffs.

I say again: Yes, I know I am getting ahead of myself here. Yes, this is just an information piece to let folks who might not completely be aware of the league’s tie-breaker system. Yes, I know getting to the playoffs in September is something CornBelters fans all want.

But yes, I remember saying in an earlier column that I have been repeatedly told by coaches and managers that sports seasons are marathons not sprints. I was just looking ahead, and like the folks who have been to CornBelters games and looking at the standings, hoping.

Normal will be on the road for six games to close out June and welcome July. They will try to gain some wins in a visit to two Eastern Division teams around Independence Day. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 29-July 1, Normal visits the Chicago suburb of Crestwood to take on the Windy City Thunderbolts. Saturday through Monday, July 2-4, the CornBelters will visit the Joliet Slammers. The CornBelters return to The Corn Crib on Tuesday, July 5 to open a six-game homestand prior to the Frontier League All-Star Game. Windy City will visit here for three games, July 5-7, and Joliet will visit for three games, July 8-10.

Going into games Monday, statistically, Normal First Baseman Steve Alexander continues to hail as the Frontier League’s home run leader, with 12; He is sixth in RBIs currently, with 32. Right Fielder Asif Shah is fifth in homers, with 8. Center Fielder Alvaro Ramirez is fifth in the league in batting average at .361.

On the mound, Normal right-hander Ryan Sheldon is in a league three-way tie for most wins, with five victories, tied with Windy City’s Dustin Williams and Gateway’s Mark Brackman. Sheldon’s Earned Run Average – 1.86 — is the second lowest in the league behind Washington’s Casey Barnes, who leads the league with a 1.69 ERA.

Fellow CornBelters Pitcher Bobby Pritchett is leading the league in striking out batters, having fanned 49 thus far this season.

By Steve Robinson | June 25, 2011 - 10:15 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

NORMAL – When it was announced at the close of the 17th annual McLean County Relay For Life event, held at the track at Normal Community West High School that the 24-hour event had raised a total of $544,662, there were cheers from those who had been at the event throughout. The amount was down slightly from last year’s total of $581,000, but that didn’t deter Relay team members from celebrating the final result of their efforts.

Nearly 2,000 people, divided into 132 teams of 12-15 people each, went around the track over the course of the 24-hour period, which ran from noon June 24 until noon June 25. Funds raised at the event go toward informing the public about cancer research, services available to patients, and educating the public.

“Cancer Cross-Checkers” Relay Team Remembers Lori: Lori Hamilton battled Cancer for 19 years. Until roughly eight years ago, she was in remission. From there, she battled it on and off. But the disease returned over the winter and Hamilton lost her fight as a result, passing away on Feb. 1. She was 41-years-old.

Hamilton started her team in 2007, called Cancer CrossCheckers, a reference to her two sons’ involvement in youth hockey. In addition to her husband of 18 years, Jay, Hamilton is survived by her children, sons Clayton, 17, and Casey, 11; and daughter Carly, 14.

Lori’s death “intensified” her family’s involvement in Relay, explained her sister, Missy Hamilton. As a result of Lori’s passing, “we just became that much more passionate about it.

“Lori started this and brought the Relay to our attention,” Missy Hamilton said. “When she passed away, it just made me feel stronger about the relay, and wanting to raise even more money.

“We just wanted to raise as much money as we could and try to memorialize Lori,” Missy Hamilton added. Cancer CrossCheckers team members wore shirts with a specially-designed logo and were even selling white T-shirts with the logo to raise more funds for their Relay team.

But their effort to remember Lori did not stop there this year. Cancer CrossCheckers team members encouraged members of other Relay teams who had purchased the white T-shirts to join them for a lap around West’s track at 6p.m. Friday during the event, just prior to a scheduled “Survivor Lap,” which is an annual Relay tradition to honor those who either have or are battling the disease currently.

The lap with folks in their white shirts gathered for what Missy Hamilton called the team’s “White Out For Lori” event.

Missy Hamilton said the “white out event” was created “to let all of Lori’s friends and acquaintances who have purchased the white shirts remember her.” She said the Cancer CrossCheckers team sold nearly 400 of the white shirts. There looked to be between 40-60 people assembled for the very special lap.

Money from Relay For Life is used to fund research that helps improve treatment, explained Ken McMullen, Lori Hamilton’s brother.

McMullen said Lori’s oncologist altered her medication dosage based on information he had learned at a seminar. “The seminar was the result of research that was funded by the Relay,” he said. “His doing that really extended Lori’s stay with us.”

“Relay really helped her in that way, and drove home the importance of coming out and doing this,” McMullen concluded.

80-Mile Man: Tony Buchberger of Normal was being interviewed live at the Relay by WJBC AM 1230 on Saturday morning. While his voice might not have conveyed it, 47-year-old was in a hurry at the time of the interview conducted by host Susan Almeida.

He was trying to achieve his personal goal of having done 80 miles worth of either running or walking around the track which surrounds Wildcat Field.

His wife, Angel, served as her husband’s press spokesperson during the closing hour of the 24-hour event, while her husband rushed to finish his goal of going around the track enough times for what would be the equivalent of driving from Normal to just short of Joliet – 80 miles.

This was the first time the Buchbergers had been to the annual Relay For Life event since 1998, when the walked for a friend who had the disease. Now though, the Buchbergers had experienced the disease personally, since Angel had undergone treatments for skin cancer. They were now part of a Relay team called, “Team Hope.”

“His goal was to run 80 to 100 miles,” Angel Buchberger said. “Team Hope” designed their own team t-shirts which had the names of five people who team members knew who had contracted or passed away for the disease.

“Team Hope” was walking to honor close to 20 people who either had the disease of had died as a result of having had it, Angel Buchberger said. “Our captain, Ann Kafer, wanted a team of runners, but Tony decided he wanted to run every other hour. He figured if he ran 7 to 8 miles an hour, he would log about 80 miles.

“He figured the pain he would go though to do this would be nothing compared to the pain people who have cancer and the people who love them and lose them go through,” she said.

Buchberger was beset by a couple of blisters which slowed him from running to walking. From roughly 10p.m. Friday until the event ended Saturday at noon, he had been on the track nearly non-stop. He reached the 80-mile mark when he finished the Relay’s last lap before the event ended.

Donations Still Accepted After Event: Brook Cranford, Income Development Manager for the American Cancer Society’s West Central Region based in Peoria, oversaw the relay for ACS during the two-day event, said although the event’s final total fell short of McLean County’s stated goal for 2011’s event of $630,000, money will still be coming in through a scheduled “Bank Night” event on July 12. Money could still pour in to count for 2011 after that, she explained, because ACS’ fiscal year doesn’t end until Aug. 31.

In regard to Buchberger’s 80-mile trek around the track, Cranford said, “It’s an amazing, amazing accomplishment. I’ve never heard of anything like it at Relay. I do know there are other relays where people do continuously run, but I don’t know if anyone has run as much as he did.”

Despite not achieving their money goal by event’s end, Cranford said those involved in the relay event should still “be very proud of what they did.”

“We did raise less money than we did the previous year,” Cranford admitted. “However, circumstances in communities are different every year, and Relay For Life sees trends with different relays. After so many years, dollar amounts dip down for a little bit, and in the next couple of years, it comes right back up.

“I think we’re just kind of dipping down a little bit,” Cranford stated. “We’ll be coming back up. We will always improve and make things better. We had about 20 brand new teams this year.

“What we raised this year was over a half-million dollars, right here in central Illinois,” Cranford concluded, adding, “There’s a lot to be proud of. It’s an amazing amount of money to finish this year’s event on.”

By Steve Robinson | June 22, 2011 - 10:10 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite, Unit 5

NORMAL – With the close of Unit 5’s 2010-11 fiscal year approaching at the end of this month, members of the Normal-based School Board unanimously approved a resolution adopting an amended budget for School Year 2011-12 at their June 22 meeting at District headquarters. That took place following a public hearing on the amended budget during which no members of the public addressed the Board.

The budget approved was the first balanced budget the district has had in three years.

The district has managed to balance its budget chiefly on the back of late payments due it from the State of Illinois, and from over $1 million in Federal stimulus funds, explained Erik Bush, Unit 5’s Business Manager.

A release given to the media at the close of the Board’s 15-minute meeting indicated the district’s operations budget will “likely end the year in the black for the first time in many years. Unit 5’s combined expenses in the funds that pay teachers and student supplies, maintain the district’s buildings, grounds and equipment, and bussing of the student body are projected to be $103.5 million with anticipated revenues of $107.5 million.”

The release indicated that late payments received from the State of Illinois account for a little more than $3 million.

Being in the black reverses a trend the district has dealt with since 2008. The district had recorded deficits for school years 2007-08 through 2009-10, which tallied $4.6 million for the district’s education fund. Therefore, as Bush indicated about the current budget numbers, “This kind of financial reversal is welcome news. We’re cautiously pleased.”

Independent auditors are currently in the process of reviewing the district’s budget and financial activity for the 2010-11 fiscal year, which ends June 30. The auditors’ final report is anticipated to be issued in September, as required by State law.

Salaries And Benefits For Certain Employee Classifications Approved: Board members unanimously approved salaries and benefits for the upcoming school year for specific classes of employees. The employee positions for which those salaries and benefits were approved were: Non-certified administrators
; Technology; Title 1 Support; Transportation Exempt; EOP Exempt; Medical Personnel; Occupational Therapist/Physical Therapist; and Occupational Therapist Assistant/Physical Therapist Assistant.

In addition, salaries and benefits were approved for the coming school year for Certified Administrators.

When Board members voted on salaries for food service employees, Board member Mark Pritchett abstained from voting because his wife is employed by the district in that department.

By Steve Robinson | June 21, 2011 - 10:03 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Cornbelters

NORMAL – Before the Normal CornBelters left on their most recent road trip to Washington and Gateway, Manager Hal Lanier’s team was hovering around .500 and looking for a big push to get them in the upper half of the Frontier League’s Western Division.

When the road trip began, so did the CornBelters’ winning streak, taking 2-of-3 in Washington, following that up with sweeping three games at Gateway before returning to The Corn Crib, where they took another 2-of-3 from Evansville. During this stretch, the CornBelters had three games where they scored a total of 39 points to the opposition’s 10.

Looking at the standings as of Tuesday has been a nice bonus as a result of all this because now they are duking it out for second place with second place River City to try to get in — and then stay in – second place, for now anyway, which would put them in the Western Division playoffs. The first- and second-place teams in each division meet in the divisional championship at the end of the regular season in early September.

“We’ve played good baseball,” Lanier said of the winning streak. “It’s been a combination of everything. That’s hitting, playing great defense, and getting quality starts out of our pitchers.

“We have scored the bats well,” Lanier said of his team during their winning streak. “I’m happy with how everyone has played. Everyone is contributing throughout the lineup. It’s not just one or two or three or four guys. It’s all nine guys who are getting at-bats.

“We’re getting key hits with runners in scoring position,” Lanier added. “That’s how you win ballgames. When you hit with runners in scoring position, you’re going to have a good opportunity to win games.”

The CornBelters (18-11, in third place in the Western Division, four games out prior to Tuesday night’s game). Monday through Wednesday, Lanier’s troops will have visited the Gateway Grizzlies before returning home for a three-game set against the Florence Freedom Saturday through Monday, June 25-27.

They will get Tuesday off and will have visited Crestwood, Ill. to take on the Windy City Thunderbolts for three games during a 6-day road trip Wednesday through Friday, June 29-July 1. The CornBelters will go to Joliet for three games against the Joliet Slammers July 2-4.

One big reason the CornBelters have been doing so well is because right-hander Ryan Sheldon continues to prove himself on the mound for the ‘Belters. As of Tuesday, Sheldon is in a 5-way tie for most victories, with four. His efforts got Sheldon a solo write-up with Baseball America within the last couple of weeks.

Lanier said Sheldon’s pitching velocity had dropped slightly recently, but during his last outing against Evansville on June 17, Sheldon’s speed had rebounded with his velocity hitting between 89-91 miles per hour.

Sheldon’s speed wasn’t the only thing that had picked up recently. So had his profile, courtesy of the interview with Baseball America. He had done about five or six interviews with national and local media in the previous days leading up last Saturday.

Those interviews have been a blur for Sheldon. All he could tell me was the medium he was being interviewed for, whether website or radio or newspaper, but could not specify exactly which media outlets he talked to, other than Baseball America.

“I just want to keep going and get as many wins as I can,” Sheldon said. “Our guys keeping hitting and they make it easy to get wins.”

“I’ve always said I thought he should be in upper levels of the game,” Lanier said. “We tried all winter to get him an invitation to spring training, but it just didn’t work out.”

Lanier said a major league club wanted to sign the 6 foot-6, 220 pound righty to spring training, but the interested team wanted to have Sheldon stay for what is known as “extended spring training” – an extended period of spring training held once the season starts in April for major league prospects. Lanier declined to indicate which major league club had interest in Sheldon.

“Right before spring training, a club wanted to sign him, but they wanted him go to extended spring training,” Lanier said, explaining the situation. He said he, the CornBelters’ pitching coach, Brooks Carey, and Sheldon discussed the offer but Lanier said he was of the opinion that “I don’t think he should have had to go there because during that period there are probably 25 pitchers there. I didn’t think that Sheldon would get a fair opportunity with that club” as a result, so Sheldon passed on the offer.

Lanier said not going to extended spring training would allow Sheldon “the chance to come back here and put up the number he is right now, hopefully, he gets signed” by a major league team as a result of those.

As of Tuesday, Sheldon has a 4-1 record with a 2.29 ERA. In 39.1 innings pitched, the Kearney, Neb. native has 29 strikeouts, and permitted just 9 walks.

Another CornBelters player on top in stats is first baseman Steve Alexander, who is tied with three other Frontier League players leading the league in home runs. Each man has 8. Alexander’s teammate, Normal right fielder Asif Shah is right behind Alexander with 7 homers.

Looking ahead to the next week in terms of opponents and promotions, by Thursday, Lanier’s crew will be wrapping up a three-game road trip at Southern Illinois. June 25-27, they return to The Corn Crib to host a weekend three-game set against the Florence Freedom.

Saturday, June 25 is another “Star-Struck Saturday” promotion, featuring the Jesse White Tumbling Team. It will also be “Girl Scout Campout Night,” getting the chance to camp out on the field and see a movie on the stadium video board. Sunday, June 26 will feature “Christmas In June” and a State Farm logo ball giveaway. Monday, June 27 is “Early Bird Monday” and “Ladies Night.” It is also “Illinois Corn Growers Night.”

They take June 28 off and then visit Windy City Thunderbolts for three games on June 29-July 1. They spend the Independence Day holiday, July 2-4, on the road facing the Joliet Slammers.

On another subject, June 18 was another “Star Struck Saturday” for CornBelters’ fans. But it wasn’t a baseball hero, but one of the members of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears who came calling for the occasion. Otis Wilson played linebacker for the Bears for eight of his nine-year career. He retired from the game, having played his last season with the then-Los Angeles Raiders in 1989.

Now 53, Wilson heads up The Otis Wilson Foundation, a not-for-profit group which concentrates on helping school children, specifically in the areas of fitness, nutrition, and literacy. That means he operates an after-school program, working with kids ages 5-18 in the Chicago Public Schools. “We need to keep our kids educated, keep them active, and make sure they have something to do.”

To answer whether he still is being asked about that 46-10 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots, Wilson said it’s a blessing to be able to appreciate the fans remembering the victory and those times. “That’s because I’m a fan now and I go to all the games and watch the guys just like fans do.

Speaking about the time he spent playing with guys like Jim McMahon, Walter Payton, William Perry, Richard Dent, and to be led by “da coach,” Mike Ditka, was “a wonderful time. We really enjoyed one another. We came to play football every day. We gave the fans their money’s worth, and the fans truly appreciated that, and they won’t let us forget that.

Wilson said he has occasion to speak to current Bears players. He has told them that “if you win football games, Chicago will love you for life. This is a football town.”

Wilson thinks the times when Chicago can hang its fame on one name or one team may be trying to make a comeback, albeit starting slowly, what with NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup at the end of the 2009-10 season, and most recently with the Chicago Bulls making it to NBA’s Conference Finals this year.

“Sports in Chicago is trying to turn a corner,” Wilson said. “But I must say this: It’ll never be like the ’85 team. I mean, we had a collective group of guys that was committed, dedicated, and special. It’ll never be like that again.”

“I interact with fans, talk to them, sign autographs for them,” Wilson said. As we were doing the interview before the last Normal-Evansville game, the scoreboard video screen played the “Super Bowl Shuffle” video. “Folks never forget us. Here we are, 25 years later and they’re still talking about us. I guess we’ve done something good.”

Although we are in the midst of baseball season, there is still a question as to whether there will be a 2011 NFL season. There isn’t much talk about talks between the league and the players that I have seen most recently.

“Fans ask if there will be a season and basically, I tell them, ‘I really believe there will be a season because from what I’m hearing, they’re about 75 percent of the way through getting a deal done. So, yes, there will be football and fans will have other things to talk about other than wondering if there will be a season this year.”

NORMAL – In terms of allowing certain types of farm animals to be kept within the Town of Normal, Town Council members voted that horses and donkeys are fine in specific areas, but the idea of keeping or having urban chickens isn’t going to fly.

Council members unanimously approved a portion of a Town ordinance which allows for horses and donkeys to be kept only in parts of the community zoned for agriculture.

However, when discussion of the ordinance as it relates to the subject of permitting urban chickens to be owned within the community came up for a vote, Council members rejected the idea by a 6-1 tally, with Mayor Chris Koos having cast the lone approving vote.

Council members followed the lead of Normal Planning Commission’s approach to the two different species of animals and split the amendment dealing with horses and chickens, choosing to deal with each type of animal separately. The Council tackled the subject of raising urban chickens first.

“We need to be cognizant of neighbors’ concerns,” explained Council member Jason Chambers, explaining his opposition to the urban chickens portion of the proposed ordinance. “There is possible good in this, but also potential bad in terms of enforcement. Therefore, I am against this.”

“I heard from a lot of people who are against this,” said Council member Cheryl Gaines. “Because of all of the negativity I have had come across on my email and in phone calls on this subject, I am going to vote against it.”

Citing conversations she has had with her contacts from the National League of Cities, Council member Sonja Reece said feedback on the subject she received indicated to her other cities were not having a problem concerning urban chickens.

But, Reece added, the apprehension and fear she ran across from local residents on the subject led her to believe that “now was not the time to do this today.” She said she wants to research the subject further by talking to other cities.

Council member Adam Nielsen said he considered the measure concerning chickens by asking himself if he wanted to see this in his neighbor’s backyard. “I thought no,” Nielsen explained. “I don’t think Normal wants to have chickens and I won’t leave the door open for them anytime soon.”

“For me, it comes down to property values,” Council member Jeff Fritzen said. He said the property values of the homes of those who wind up living next to someone who raises urban chickens could be affected by having coops near their homes.

Allowing the urban chickens and the coops would pit “a handful of hobbyists against the number of property owners in the community.”

“Agricultural animals belong on agricultural properties,” Council member Chuck Scott said.

Koos said he felt the ordinance concerning urban chickens was worth a try. He said he had even considered proposing a “sunset” provision – allowing the ordinance to be n affect for a limited time — to see how it would work within the community.

When the subject of horses and donkeys being kept came up, Council members unanimously approved the animals being kept solely in agriculture-zoned areas of the community.

In May, Council members heard a proposal to consider permitting urban chickens from Mike Sebald. Council members voted to pass the subject to the Normal Planning Commission for a hearing. Following the June 9 Planning Commission hearing, the subject found its way back on Monday’s agenda for Council approval.

Town To Pay For Amtrak Pedestrian Overpass Design: Council members unanimously approved a resolution approving to a supplemental agreement with Indianapolis-based RATIO Architects for schematic design and design development for a pedestrian overpass at the currently under construction Multimodal Transportation Center. The Town will pay RATIO $148,750 for that part of the project to be done.

The current plans for the Multimodal Transportation Center include a new platform on the north side of the tracks. Both the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Union Pacific Railroad are discussing with Town officials the possibility of the south platform being reconstructed to meet current standards.

Motion Related To Electric Vehicle Purchases Approved: Council members unanimously approved a motion authorizing the rebate of the one percent Municipal Retailer’s Occupation Tax for purchases of certain electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles.

In an attempt to support on-going efforts by the Town’s Electric Vehicle Task Force, Town staff is proposing an incentive program for those persons who purchase an electric vehicle. In order to qualify for the rebate:

• Vehicle must have been previously determined to qualify for the $7,500 Federal Electric Tax Credit Program;

• Only new vehicles will qualify for the rebate. Used vehicle are not eligible.

• Vehicles must be registered to a resident or business located in the Town of Normal;

• Proof of payment of the tax must be provided, along with a general application to be developed by Town staff.

Town staff is considering making the rebate available through Dec. 31, 2013. That would coincide with a goal set by the Town’s Electric Vehicle Task Force of having 1,000 electric vehicles on the road in the community by 2014.

Form-Based Code Objections Voiced: Council members voted 6-1 in favor of an optional form-based code for new development along Normal’s portion of the Main Street Corridor. Council member Chambers cast the lone vote in opposition.

Prior to the vote, Council members heard from two men who are opposed to the idea of an optional form-based code. Phil Boulds, president of the Main Street Association, and Dale Naffziger, vice president for the group, each addressed the Council.

Boulds told Council members he attended the most recent Normal Planning Commission meeting where, as he explained it, the Planning Commission “spent an hour talking about chickens and 10 minutes talking about code.”

Boulds added he felt as though “we are having form-based code forced upon us.” Council member Gaines objected to that characterization, saying she “begged to differ” with Boulds’ assessment of how the community’s leaders were handling the situation.

“My take on form-based code is that it is a planning tool,” Gaines said. “It has never been the (Town’s) intention to enforce a code on property or business owners. It’s a tool to show there’s vibrancy here. I don’t want people to think there will be a lot of costs involved.”

Fritzen said he had concerns with there being two form based codes in place, one for each of the Twin Cities. “One of the problems is that Main Street is such an expanse, but once you reduce it to just Normal, it’s primarily institutional.”

Koos said the Town “is dedicated to promoting a business environment in this community.”

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

• Approval of the minutes of the Council’s regular meeting of June 6, 2011.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of June 15, 2011.

• A motion to waive the formal bidding process and accept a quote from Channahon, Ill.-based Equipment Management Company for genesis rescue tools in the amount of $42,880.

• A motion to accept a bid and approve the purchase of a by-pass pump from Godwin Pumps of America, Inc. in the amount of $53,630.

• A motion to accept bids and award a contract to Bloomington-based Stark Excavating, Inc. in the amount of $89,052.10 for the Hovey Ave. box culvert rehabilitation project and approval of a required FY 2011-12 Budget Amendment.

• A motion to waive the formal bidding process and accept a quote totaling $570,900 from Charlotte, N. C.-based SSI Schaefer for the purchase, assembly, and distribution of 11,000 wheeled garbage carts.

• A resolution authorizing the execution of a Collective Bargaining Agreement with International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local #2442.

• A resolution authorizing execution of a License Agreement with State Senator Shane Cultra (53rd Legislative District) for office space at 104 W. North St. in Uptown Normal.

• A resolution conditionally and partially approving the final plat of the Communities of Mercy Creek Subdivision in the Town of Normal (Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community).

• A resolution conditionally and partially approving the final plat of the CBC Subdivision by expedited process.

• A resolution approving an amended site plan at 1500 N. Airport Road (Eastview Christian Church).

• An ordinance amending Section 7.4-3 of the Town Municipal Code – Water Service Connections.