Prophetstown City Council Seeks Grants

September 14, 2017

The city of Prophetstown is hoping for grants to be written by a recently hired company will help them with several costly projects over the next few months. Mayor Steve Swanson told the Council that he had received an estimate from the engineering firm of Willett and Hoffman to reconstruct the sidewalk from Third Street to the Riverside Motel for $82,000. Another project for the city is the replacement of a wastewater lift station on Highway 78 on the south edge of town. The unit is too old for repair and replacement is estimated at $244,000.

A grant is being sought to help with upcoming projects
including a new water plant for Prophetstown.

 

Swanson said he has given permission to Sharon Pepin with Community Funding and Planning Services to speak directly to Willett and Hoffman to obtain the information needed to write grants that may help fund the projects. He added that the sidewalk grant would not be announced until February 2018 and was unsure of a timeline on the lift station.

 

Brooks Soleta was given $7000 in TIF money to update the outside of his building located at 108 W. Railroad Street. General practice is for the city to provide 50% of the update costs.

 

The city officially designated Lincoln Street, behind the Prophetstown Elementary school, a one-way street to help with traffic flow around the school at the beginning and ending of the school day. Principal Justin Hovey said the change has made a huge impact on the situation and makes it much safer for students arriving and departing school. Swanson said he has also approached the Moore foundation for funding of new electronic school zone signs to be installed on streets around the school.

 

The parking lot owned by Sterling Multi-Products on W. 5th St. was rezoned to light industrial from residential in accordance with the request from the new ownership.

 

Raising the rates of sewer and water was discussed. Mayor Swanson said the cost of operating the facilities continues to rise every year. The last increase was three years ago in the form of a $5 fee. Councilman Danny Baker said he felt an increase was overdue. The consensus was to table the discussion until information is received on the cost of a new water treatment plant.

 

Police Chief Bruce Franks asked the Council to purchase three new laptop computers for the city’s police vehicles at a cost of about $15,000. After discussion Franks said he would gather additional information on which cellular service would work best with the equipment, which may lower the cost.

 

The Prophetstown Main Street organization asked for and was given permission to close Railroad Street and allow alcoholic beverages to be carried into Eclipse Square during their Arts on the Square event on Saturday, September 30th.  Alcohol will only be allowed between noon and 7 PM on the sidewalks between Eclipse Square and the Stumble Inn.

Former Prophetstown resident Barb Siefert was denied a claim for removal of a tree which fell on her property on Buttercup Lane.  The Council determined that since the tree was not city owned they were not responsible. The tree was on property owned by Al Wade.

 

Prophetstown resident Larry Voss made a request of the city to help offset the costs he incurred when he purchased and demolished a condemned property on Second Street.  The city had applied for a grant to demolish condemned properties earlier this year but did not receive the grant.

“It cost me more than what it was worth” said Voss adding if he had not purchased the property the house would still be there. “I did it to improve the neighborhood because it was taking down the value of everybody’s place,” added Voss. The Council discussed starting a grant program to help residents repair properties or to help with demolition costs. It was decided to consider the idea at next month’s meeting.

 

 

 

Department Reports

Public works director Brian Strike reported his department had received the permits from the IEPA to install a water line extension on Lyndon Road. Parts will be ordered and construction will begin soon.

 

Police Chief Bruce Franks had nothing to add to his written report.

City Dept. Reports Sept.

 

The Henry C. Adams Library reported they are currently seeking to fill and assistant librarian position.

 

Main Street Executive Director Tara Pyse asked the Council whether food vendors who would like to set up during for the Christmas Parade would be required to get permits. She was told the Council would waive the permit requirement for local vendors for that event at their next meeting.

 

Alderman Rick Woolums asked for a clarification of the city’s ordinance regarding the parking of trailers, campers, boats, and RVs on city streets. Police Chief Bruce Franks said vehicles are required to be moved every 72 hours. City Atty. Tim Zollinger said the city could rewrite the ordinance if desired.

 

The property owned by the city at 210 W. third which was demolished in July will be put up for sale with bids to be submitted by 4 o’clock prior to the October 10 Council meeting. No minimum bid was set.  The meeting will start at 7:00 p.m.

 

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