By Steve Robinson | April 20, 2021 - 10:53 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Town Council, The Normalite

NORMAL – As a means to find itself in a position to be able to know about and apply for funding opportunities for capital projects in a post-COVID environment, Normal Town Council members voted 6-1 to approve a resolution with Chicago-based McGuireWoods Consulting, with Council Member Stan Nord casting the lone opposing vote. The firm would also assist the Town keeping it apprised on legislative matters. Nord told Council members he couldn’t vote in favor of the contract until he knew the scope of the work McGuireWoods Consulting would do on the Town’s behalf.

City Manager Pam Reece said McGuireWoods’ aid “would help us engage at the State level and hopefully secure dollars for a variety of projects” the Town is seeking to complete. Deputy City Manager Eric Hanson said there are “a number of infrastructure projects that are identified but not yet funded.” He said that would “provide a good road map” for McGuireWoods as they attempt to seek needed dollars for the Town for those projects.

The contract with McGuireWoods Consulting would run for 11 months beginning May 1 at a cost of $4,000 per month. Reece pointed out the Town had not had such representation working on the Town’s behalf since the contract with the previous consultant firm expired in November. Previously, the Town had a six-month consultant contract with Chicago-based Turing Strategies.

Council Renews Town’s Contract With Brokerage Service: Council members voted 6-1 with Nord casting the opposing vote to approve a resolution for the Town to enter into a professional services agreement with Orland Park, Ill.-based Horton Group for brokerage services. Horton Group was among five firms who responded to the Town’s request for proposals for the opportunity to work with the Town. The Town will pay $39,600 annually for consulting services for the next three years.

Council Approves Contract to H. J. Eppel & Co. for Route 66 Trail Project: Council members voted 6-1 with Nord voting in opposition to approve a resolution to accept bids award a contract to Pontiac, Ill.-based H. J. Eppel & Co. for a project which would link the existing Route 66 trail to nearby neighborhoods, allowing access to be granted for both pedestrians and bicyclists. The connection would provide access and trail head parking for users of the Route 66 trail as well as connect the Village of Towanda and future locations to the north. The Town will spend $471,357.55 from monies in its Capital Investment account, and has received partial funding from the State’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

Nord said this item had come before Council in 2018, it was estimated to come in at a cost of $314,000. At that time, Nord added, Town Staff recommended it not be approved because the project bid was $425,000. But now, Nord added, the Town needs to prioritize what projects it spends its transportation-related money on.

Council members heard a pair of public comments related to this item, beginning with Patrick Dullard who represents Friends of Constitution Trail. He told Council members he supports this item because he believes “it improves bicycle and pedestrian safety of Town residents and that alone justifies the investment.”

He said the project also “brings the trail closer to many more Normal citizens.” He said he understands the Route 66 bike route brings people from not just around the country but other countries as well to the area. “This is not just an economic project, but a quality of life project, as well.”

Former Town Council Candidate Ron Ulmer told Council members Constitution Trail receives funding from both the Town through its transportation budget, and the Town’s Parks and Recreation Department. He said does not consider the current level of transportation funding the Town has acceptable “considering the number of potholes and bumps my car hits.” He added he would like to know how much money the Town spends to maintain the streets.

Road Resurfacing Project Approved: Council members unanimously approved a resolution accepting bids and awarding a contract to Bloomington-based Rowe Construction for the 2021 Motor Fuel Tax Street Resurfacing Project in the amount of $1,951,965.50. Streets to be selected for repair were selected based on numerous factors including condition, traffic level, deterioration level, and cost.

Streets to be resurfaced as part of the proposed Motor Fuel Tax project were initially presented to Council on March 1 and are: W. Raab Rd. from Constitution Trail Collegiate Br. To Bradford Lane; Bradford Lane from Miles Lane to Raab Rd,; Gregory St. from Parkside Rd, to Cottage Ave.; Bowles St. from Main St. to University Ct.; N. Fell Ave. from Willow St. to Sycamore St.; and Normal Ave. from Locust St. to Gregory St.

Bid For New Well Construction Near Anderson Park Approved: Council unanimously approved a resolution awarding the bid and approving contracts for Well #21 Division A to Fenton, Mo.-based Brotcke Well and Pump for maintenance at a total cost of $142,163.

Council members unanimously approved a resolution to award the bid for rehabilitation of one of two clarifiers for water at the Town treatment plant. According to information provided in a memo to Reece, John Burkhart, Town Water Director explained clarifiers soften raw water during the treatment process.

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

• Approval of the minutes of the regular meeting of April 5, 2021.

• Report to receive and file Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of April 14, 2021.

• A resolution extending a license agreement with Peoria Charter Coach Company for access to Uptown Station as a transportation provider.

• An ordinance reserving volume cap in connection with private activity bond issues and related matters.

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