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|Galesburg City Council Opens 2013
|The Galesburg City Council commenced the new year's business in a mostly agreeable manner.
The Council approved a resolution 7-1 to hold a public hearing for transferring land from the City to the possession of the Public Library. The board of trustees has transferred funds recently in preparation for the subsequent steps.
Aldermen also passed the collective bargaining agreement between the City and the Public Safety Employees Organization, 7-1. An arbitrator sided with the City on Wages and Personal Days but took the side of the employees on health care contributions.
Much discussion was heard, however, during a first reading amending Sunday Liquor Sales. The ordinance would put liquor sales times more in line with the rest of Knox County.
Drug Free Community Grant Coordinator Tina Gummerson spoke to the council and admitted the research doesn't suggest an increase in DUI's or other crimes if times are expanded.
"I kept thinking: why should we be so concerned about the issue?" said Gummerson. "As I was thinking about it over the weekend, I realized that my opinion is still based in fact and research."
Adam Vitale of G&M Distributors spoke on the matter as well. Mayor Sal Garza, speaking on behalf of the liquor advisory commission, said in no way do they promote a lack of responsibility of alcohol use.
"This isn't something that is reflexive, but it is kind of on choice," said Garza. "Treating them like adults and affording them the same opportunities as they have in other communities."
Several of the aldermen expressed their preliminary opinions on the matter, a few with dissent.
First Ward Alderman Ken Goad denied the research, suggesting that human nature will increase drunk driving incidents. The Council will vote on the matter at their next meeting.
The meeting progressed smoothly until during public comment, 6th Ward Alderman Wayne Allen expressed curiosity as to how the decisions to salt the roads are made, referring to the light snow Galesburg received over the weekend.
Public Works Director Larry Cox explained that citizens can call the Public Safety Building if they notice slick roads.
"Typically what prompts that is a call from the public safety building to our street supervisors telling us that the streets are slick," says Cox. "That prompts our supervisors to call in a salt crew and to begin salting operations."
Several other questions were answered about clearing private drive-ways - which Cox explained was due to extreme snow drifting in the vicinity.
Wrapping up the meeting, the council decided to table approval of the Capital Improvement plan, 6-1.
1st Ward Alderman Ken Goad said he felt the council needed more time to look through the document, saying they just received a binder before the meeting.
"We did a lot of talking about capital improvements through the year," says Goad. "I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't remember very many things that were talked about, we got this huge book before tonight the meeting and none of us have had a chance to look through it to see what is or isn't in there."
Mayor Sal Garza explained the council has had extensive time with the material. City Manager Todd Thompson said the book was just a supplement.
"The large book has absolutely nothing to do with the capital improvement plan, the large book is really just a copy of existing documents, comprehensive plans, and several other items that were put together as a resource for you," says Thompson.
In other business, the council also unanimously approved moving forward with new bus shelter designs and placement.
The Council meets again in two weeks.
|01 07 13 by Newsroom
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