Town of NormalNORMAL – Anyone familiar with Normal’s history won’t deny that, years ago, relations between the Town and its primary employer, Illinois State University, were not always steady. But history has shown the relationship between the two entities has taken time to nurture and develop the cooperative spirit local residents, University officials, and students have now become accustomed to experiencing.

It’s a relationship with a history that, as both sides saw it, could be something other college towns could afford to learn from. To that end, representatives from both the Town and ISU jointly recently attended an annual meeting of the International Town/Gown Association (ITGA), held in Chicago earlier this month. Both the Town and ISU hold ITGA memberships. Representatives from 400 college towns and the universities in those towns, including Normal and ISU attended the three-day event.

Normal and ISU’s representatives gave presentations at ITGA as well, including sessions on Planning for Town/Gown Success; Enhancing Neighborhood Livability Through Town/Gown Relations, and Large-Scale Parties: Can They Be Stopped. Heather Wagner, communications manager for the Town, told Council members Normal’s representatives at these meetings even had a chance to talk about improvements made along Main St.

Wagner told Council members Normal’s representatives at ITGA explained Normal and ISU “have tried to impress upon students that they live in residential neighborhoods and what they do off campus is an extension of their University Code of Conduct.” ISU’s Code of Conduct provides rules and regulations for students and student organizations to abide by while they attend the University.

“College students do have a concern about their futures when the possibility of disciplinary action is concerned,” explained Harriett Steinbach, coordinator of leadership and community connections, part of ISU’s Office of the Dean of Students. Steinbach presented ITGA information along with Wagner to Council members.

“We want to help students understand they are citizens of the community who have a responsibility to their neighbors,” Steinbach added.

Wagner and Steinbach explained ISU is one of the few universities in the country which seems to take the attitude that activities of students living off-campus do need to be monitored because doing so is in the best interest of the University. The pair pointed to the Neighborhood Action Team (NAT), created by Normal Police Department in conjunction with the Town’s Legal and Inspection Departments. NAT works with residents in addressing neighborhood complaints.

“We will continue to plan events,” Wagner said.

“I’m very, very proud that our University is at the forefront of these issues,” stated Council member R. C. McBride, one of the ISU alums on the Council said, following the presentation.

“I think we’ve just scratched the surface for continuing the relationship between the Town and the University,” added City Manager Mark Peterson. “I feel we’re on the same page, moving in the right direction together.

Peterson noted the first meeting of Normal’s Town/Gown Committee came in 1985, following the infamous “beer riot” in 1984.

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

• Approval of minutes of the regular meeting on June 6, 2016.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures as of June 15, 2016.

• A resolution accepting the low bid and authorizing a contract with Springfield-based Henson-Robinson Company for the replacement of low slope roofing systems at the Normal Theater and Community Activity Center in the amount of $186,409 and approving an associated budget adjustment to provide for the higher than expected project cost as well as a 10% recommended contingency.

• A resolution to accept bids and award a contract to Bloomington-based Stark Excavating in the amount of $146,000 for the reconstruction of portions of the Pine Street right-of-way, and the parking lot for the 305 Pine Street property.

• A resolution rejecting bids for the “Normal Theater – House Lighting Upgrade Project.”

• A resolution to accept bids and award a contract to Stark Excavating, Inc. in the amount of $483,352.35 for the improvement of Virginia Ave. from University St. to Franklin Ave.

• An ordinance conditionally and partially approving the final plat of the Lipic Subdivision fifth addition by expedited process (103 W. Poplar St.).

• An ordinance amending parking restrictions in the 800 block of Broadway Ave.

• An ordinance establishing prevailing wage rates.

• An ordinance amending Section 25.16-3 of the municipal code of the Town of Normal regarding fees for Parks and Recreation programs.

• An ordinance authorizing execution of a contract for the purchase of the property at 222 Keiser St. for $25,000 and authorizing the donation of that property to Habitat For Humanity of McLean County, Inc.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 20th, 2016 at 10:38 pm and is filed under Normal Town Council, The Normalite. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed.