City Council Splits on Fire Truck Purchase


Published on February 5 2013 10:22 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

A vote to purchase a half-million dollar fire engine at Tuesday night's Effingham City Council meeting failed on a 2-2 vote.

The motion was to purchase a heavy rescue squad for just under $506,000.  Mayor Merv Gillenwater and Commissioner Alan Harris voted for the purchase, but Commissioners Brian Milleville and Don Althoff voted against.  Commissioner Matt Hirtzel became ill and left the meeting early so was not present when the vote on the purchase was taken.

The pro for the purchase were that the City would continue its regular vehicle replacement schedule.  The con was that the City did not have the money available to pay for the purchase.

All other items up for a vote on Tuesday's agenda were approved.  The Council adopted revised City Council rules and regulations as recommended by the Illinois Municipal League; agreed to sell or dispose of some surplus items; and awarded Esker and Walker Construction a $15,900 bid for construction of a sidewalk from the Effingham Performance Center south to West Evergreen Avenue to provide easier access from the EPC parking lot to the TREC Trail.

The Council awarded a Class B-1 liquor license to 221 Investments for an establishment to be located in the former Rexroat's Distinctive Dining property at Banker and Jefferson; and concurred with the State in the award of a contract for construction of a portion of the Route 40 multi-use path.  The portion awarded is for a sidewalk that will connect Schwerman Street to Outer Belt West.  A.J. Walker Construction will do the work for $130,000 with IDOT paying for 80% of the cost and the City paying 20%.  The Council also approved the purchase of street maintenance materials for about $135,000, and released the bond on the completed resurfacing of Fourth Street.

Council members agreed to seek a state grant and committed local matching funds for a water line project along Fayette Avenue.  The City's share of the cost is estimated at $90,000.  The Council also agreed to spend $18,000 on the next section of the monitoring system for the water treatment plant that will cover the lime feed system, and agreed to spend $39,000 to replace ceiling tile at the city police station.

Council members agreed to seek bids on the reconstruction of Illini Drive on Effingham's west side, and to seek bids on the reconstruction of First Street.  The Council also discussed a request from Studio T Fitness at 109 West Jefferson for funds from the City's downtown redevelopment program, and discussed taking bids for mowing City properties this summer.