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Charleston city council

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Charleston Rotary Pool
A worker uses a concrete saw during repair of the Rotary Community Aquatic Center's children's wading pool in Charleston, Ill., on Monday, June 14, 2010. (Journal Gazette/ Times-Courier, Kevin Kilhoffer)

CHARLESTON — The City Council on Tuesday authorized a contractor to determine the cause of the mechanical problems that have kept the Charleston wading pool closed so far this summer.

The council voted unanimously to hire  A & R Mechanical of Urbana to conduct exploratory work at the Rotary Community Aquatic Center’s wading pool. Mayor John Inyart said after the meeting that he anticipates the council will vote on a contract with A & R for repairing the wading pool once the mechanical problems have been identified.

A & R has already been working at the wading pool on an emergency basis. City Manager Scott Smith said the contractor has cut the pool floor into sections and started removing them to examine the pipes and drains underneath. This infrastructure serves the colorful fountains that have made the pool popular with children.

City officials have said it is too soon to know when the wading pool will be able to reopen. The city has offered refunds to anyone who purchased a pool pass with the expectation that the wading pool would be open at the start of the swimming season. Both the main/lap pool and water slide/diving board pool are still open.

In other matters, the council allocated a $13,700 tax increment financing grant to Jimmy Rankin for repairs to the north side of the Jamaican Tan building at 410 Seventh St. Inyart said Rankin is paying to repair damaged masonry, and the TIF grant will help him cover the bricks with stucco that matches the existing covering on this wall.

The council also voted to lease 2,150 square feet along Division Street to Ralph and Jeanne Foley for parking for their McDonald’s, 12 W. Lincoln Ave., for $1,000 per year. Inyart said this is comparable to a lease the Foleys had for the previous 20 years on city property that has since been used for a new driveway for the adjacent fire station.

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In addition, the council heard from Ashmore Township resident John Hamilton about the U.S. Supreme Court considering a case this month that could result in a form of open or concealed carry of handguns becoming legal in Illinois. If there is legalization, he encouraged the city to be open to those who choose to carry handguns.

Other council actions included:

- Authorizing a series of temporary closures from July 12 to Oct. 28 for various streets east of Eastern Illinois University’s campus for construction of an underground steam tunnel for the new EIU Renewable Energy Center.

n Authorizing a loan not to exceed $40,000 from First Neighbor Bank to replace an inspection truck that was totaled in an accident last spring and the fire chief’s 11-year-old truck.

- Granting a variance for Quality Concepts of Kankakee to post a sign that is up to 21 feet tall at the vacant former CTM manufacturing building at 815 Reasor Road. The current sign is 16 feet tall. The sign will include space for up to five tenants at the building, which is available for lease.

- Reappointing Elisa Roberts and Pat McCallister to the Charleston Historic Preservation Commission.

 

Contact Rob Stroud at rstroud@jg-tc.com or 238-6861.

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