At a Normal Town Council meeting before he was elected a member of the Council in April, Stan Nord was a citizen refusing to pay a fee of $11,900 on land he owns at 2012 W. College Ave. Nord bought the property in 2017 and contends he won’t pay a fee that otherwise would have already been taken care of before now when sewer service was activated for that area.

At Monday’s Normal Town Council session held in Council Chambers on the fourth floor of Uptown Station, and with Nord recusing himself from the discussion as a Council member, Council members voted 5-0 to conditionally approve the final plat of a subdivision property Nord owns at 2012 W. College Ave.

The central concern in this matter is needing to pay sewer “tap-on” fee, which the Town imposes for properties where there are additional structures added to properties. The Town does this as a means to recoup costs. Both sides in this matter admit the fee in question should have been paid to the Town by a previous owner of the property Nord now owns.

Council members unanimously decided not to waive the fee Nord said shouldn’t be assessed to his property and is refusing to pay it. Nord bought the property in 2017 and contends he won’t pay a fee that otherwise would have already been handled before now when sewer service was activated for that area.

In addition to Nord excusing himself from the Council dais for the conversation on the matter, Mayor Chris Koos was away on business.

Council Member Karyn Smith, newly-elected with Nord in April, made a motion to have the Town waive the fee, but no other Council member seconded her motion.

Nord’s Pekin-based attorney, Ryan Powers, reasoned with Council members that prior owners of the land were allowed to use the property without the need to have it platted. He called the fee “burdensome.”

Media reports following the meeting indicated Powers informed reporters he and Nord will discuss considering whether to file suit in McLean County Circuit Court over the fee for his 2012 W. College Ave. land that both sides admit should have been paid by a previous owner.

Council Member Chemberly Cummings took issue with Nord’s approach in handling the matter with the Town. Smith then questioned whether Town Corporation Counsel Brian Day wasn’t tangled in a conflict of interest by representing the Town in a potential legal disagreement with a Council member. Day told Smith he represents “the corporate entity that is the Town.”

The land in question was developed without being platted in the 1970s, Day told Council members. He added tap on fees are not charged until the land is platted.

Council Approves Rezoning: Council members unanimously approved an ordinance which rezoned two properties for which the owner of the structures sought rezoned from B-1 General Business to R-3A Medium Density. The properties, whose owner is not identified in Town paperwork, are located at 803 Kern and 910 Kingsley. The rezoning was sought so that be used for multifamily use extensively rather than having to have a B-1 zoning designation for first floor occupants.

The owner sought more flexibility in use of the property granted by the zoning change, according to the report prepared for Council members by Town Planner Mercy Davison. The property at 803 Kern is a three-story structure while 910 Kingsley is a 2 ½ story structure with residents living on the upper floors.

Nussbaum Transportation Granted Expansion: Council members unanimously approved a pair of resolutions which will allow Nussbaum Transportation to expand their operations. The first resolution gives the okay for the business, located at 19336 N. 1425 East Rd., approving execution of a pre-annexation agreement with the Town. Nussbaum recently purchased 29 acres directly south of the current headquarters and 20 acres north of that facility. There are residences near that end of the expanding property.

A second resolution unanimously passed by Council members conditionally approved the final plat for his second subdivision to complete the expansion. Nussbaum’s plan went before a Normal Planning Commission public hearing on May 9 where only the applicant and his engineer addressed Commission members, after which the Commission voted 6-0 to approve the plan, which sent it on to Normal Town Council.

With regard to the annexation, subdivision, and development of the property, Nussbaum would receive reimbursement from the Town of the lesser between actual costs or $50,000, under the terms of the agreement between Nussbaum and the Town.

Public Comments Center On Connect Transit: During the public comments section of the meeting, citizens representing Citizens To Ensure Fair Transit, addressed Council members. Citizens To Ensure Fair Transit is a group looking for representation on the Board of the company which runs in-town bus service, Connect Transit. There is currently an open seat on the board for a Normal resident.

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

• Approval of the minutes of the Council’s regular meeting held May 6, 2019.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of May 15, 2019.

• A resolution accepting the low bid and awarding a contract to Astoria, Ill.-based K. K. Stevens Publishing Co. for the printing of the Parks and Recreation Department’s fall, winter/spring, and summer activity guides in the amount of $30,423.61.

• A resolution authorizing execution of an agreement with Naperville-based Hitchcock Design Group for professional design services for Maxwell Park Renovations in the amount of $91,700.

• A resolution waiving bids and authorizing the purchase of five Otterbine industrial aerators from Berkeley, Mo.-based MTI Distributing in the amount of $39,121.03.

• A resolution approving a memorandum of understanding with Illinois State University providing for audible/accessible traffic signal improvements at the intersection of College Ave. and University St.

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