By Steve Robinson | June 21, 2021 - 10:04 pm
Posted in Category: Normal Town Council, The Normalite

NORMAL – Normal Town Council members voted unanimously to approve a resolution giving permission for a second amended preliminary subdivision plan for Blackstone Trails subdivision. With Council’s approval of this, developers can continue the build-out of a residential subdivision. The developer, iDev, LLC, purchased the roughly 106.48 acres of land for such a purpose in 2009.

The current submitted amended preliminary subdivision plan is for the north half of the subdivision in accordance with an agreement approved by Council members in 2019. The majority of the property was zoned R-1B Single Family Residential, but a strip of land along Shepard Rd. and a portion of Hershey Rd. were zoned R-2 Mixed Residential.

The preliminary plat was approved by Council members in 2009 followed by Council approval of the first final plat a year later. The final plat on the first addition was approved by Council members in May 2013. In January 2019, Council members approved a zoning map amendment rezoning roughly 1.69 acres at the development’s southwest end to be S-2 Public Lands and Institutions so the Town could develop land for use to place a new Normal Fire Department station.

Council members received this item to approve after Normal Planning Commission held a public hearing to review the 2nd amended preliminary subdivision plan where Commission members voted 7-0 to approve the plan. Before the vote at that session, NPC members heard from a resident of that area who posed a number of questions concerning design factors for the new structures.

Council Vote Grants Raise For City Manager Reece: With Council Member Chemberly Cummings absent from the session, Council members voted 5-1 approving a resolution amending the base salary of City Manager Pam Reece. Council Member Stan Nord cast the lone opposing. He explained Tuesday he asked for release of the minutes of the executive session Council members held in a special meeting on June 14. He said he wants those minutes released so the public can hear the discussion Council members had concerning the matter.

But Reece told Council members minutes from June 14’s executive session aren’t due to be released until the Council’s next meeting on Tuesday, July 6. The meeting will be held that day because Monday, July 5 is when municipalities will celebrate the July 4th holiday, which falls on a Sunday this year.

Reece, a 30-year employee of the Town, has a contract to work at her post until March 31, 2024. Her annual salary as of April 1, 2019 was set at $190,550 with an adjustment a year later of $$5,716.50 and a further raise of $4,733.50 effective April 1.

Public Works Director Wayne Aldrich To Retire: Toward the end of the session, Reece announced Public Works Director Wayne Aldrich has announced his intention to retire in August after serving the Town for 24 years. Monday was his last time at a Council session. “We could talk for hours on the impact he has had on this organization,” Reece said. Aldrich joined the Town in 1997 starting as Town Engineer. From there, Reece said, Town officials moved him into the role of Uptown Development Director. In April 2002, Aldrich was appointed by then-City Manager Mark Peterson to coordinate the Uptown Renewal Plan as the Town’s Uptown Development Director.

“Wayne has led what has been the most impactful and remarkable municipal project in the State of Illinois, and certainly in the Town of Normal, leading Uptown Development,” Reece said, adding Council members currently sit in a Council Chambers that came to be courtesy of Aldrich’s leadership when Uptown Station was constructed.

“His legacy in our organization and our community is probably indescribable,” Reece concluded.

Aldrich, who was in the gallery, spoke briefly, saying his time with the Town “has always been exciting and we’ve got a great team.” He added he was thankful for the support he received of three City Managers he served under (the late David Anderson, Peterson, and now Reece), as well as support from Town Council members for being able to complete some of the projects he had done.

Technical Services With Regional Planning Commission Approved: Nord asked an omnibus item concerning a resolution for the Town going into an agreement with McLean County Regional Planning Commission be discussed because of his concern that a consultant working on a project is also on the board of Connect Transit. Council members voted 5-1 to approve the measure with Nord voting against.

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

• Approval of minutes of the special meeting of June 7, 2021.

• Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of June 7, 2021.

• A resolution to accept a five-year proposal from Valparaiso, Ind.-based M. E. Simpson Co. for large meter testing services.

• A resolution to Accept Bids and Award a Contract to J.G. Stewart Contractors, Inc. for the Landmark Drive Sidewalk – West Sidewalk Construction Project in the Amount of $320,295.

• A resolution to Accept a Proposal with Crawford, Murphy and Tilly Engineers for a Hydraulic Model of the Water Distribution System at a Total Cost Not to Exceed $115,000 and Approve an Associated Budget Adjustment.

• An ordinance amending Ordinance No. 5838, concerning an easement vacation for the resubdivision of lot #2 in the first addition to Eagle’s Landing Commercial Subdivision at 1290 Healing Stone.

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