Highlights from the May 1, 2023, Decatur City Council meeting include the swearing in of a new City Council, an approved roadwork project for IL 121, and final plans for a major sewer infrastructure project.
New City Council Sworn In
On Monday night a new City Council of familiar faces was sworn in. It was the first City Council meeting for the four individuals elected in the April 2023 Consolidated Election. Incumbent Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe joined fellow incumbents Lisa Gregory & Dennis Cooper in swearing in to a new 4-year term. Returning to the Council is Pat McDaniel for the same term.
– Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe: Moore Wolfe has served on City Council since 2009. She was appointed Mayor following the death of Mayor Mike McElroy in 2015. She was elected Mayor in 2019, and she ran unopposed in 2023.
– Councilwoman Lisa Gregory: Gregory was first elected to City Council in 2015 and was reelected in 2019 and now 2023. She was also appointed as Mayor Pro-Tem on Monday night.
– Councilman Dennis Cooper: Cooper was appointed to City Council in 2021 following the departure of Rodney Walker. Cooper was elected to a full term in 2023.
– Councilman Pat McDaniel: McDaniel previously served on the Decatur City Council from 2011 to 2021 where he also served as Mayor Pro-Tem. The last two years he served as the appointed Liquor Control Commissioner and also sat on the City’s Plan Commission. McDaniel was elected to a full term in 2023. Learn more about the Mayor & Decatur City Council members here: https://decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council/
IL 121 Roadwork
The Council approved another major roadwork project Monday night. The State will resurface IL 121 from University Ave. (which is one block west of Oakland Ave.) northwest to just past the Interstate 72 interchange. This $7.73 million project will be covered almost entirely by the State. The City has agreed to use $25,000 in state Motor Fuel Taxes to help with traffic signal replacement at IL 121 and University Ave. Improvements to IL 121 will include pavement resurfacing, traffic signals, sidewalks, and curb and gutter repairs.
Fairview & Grand Sewer Separation Project
Continuing their investment in sewer infrastructure, Council approved final plans for the Fairview & Grand Sewer Separation Project. This major infrastructure project will separate the combined storm and sewer pipe that serves neighborhoods in the near west side of the City. Currently the sewer system has excessive infiltration and inflow of storm and ground water, leading to basement back-ups and sewer overflows in the area. Council was given the option to either separate the combined sewer or to construct a large storm-water detention pond where excess water would be stored until it could be discharged into the existing combined sewers.
Although a more expensive option, a majority of Council members agreed on the separation option. Separating now will lay the groundwork for future sewer separation projects, as those projects can utilize the mainline storm sewer being installed for this project. This option also significantly reduces the amount of water being processed by the Decatur Sanitary District and should result in cost savings to sanitary district rate payers. In Other Business
In other business…
Council approved a budget for the Centennial Lake Fest, occurring July 8 & 9, 2023. The festival costs are entirely covered by the Staley Family Foundation. The City serves as the fiscal agent, which is why the Council voted on the budget. This festival celebrates the 100th year of Lake Decatur’s creation. Keep updated on festival activities at decaturil.gov/lakedecatur100/, and follow the festival Facebook page: facebook.com/CentennialLakeFest. More information about these topics can be found in the City Council Agenda packet, downloadable/viewable here: www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council-meetings/