swearing in

Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. swore in new Ward 7 Alderman Darren York at the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building Tuesday night, as viewed online via the teleconference meeting as the other aldermen and city officials looked on from their homes.

DANVILLE — With blight continuing to be rampant around the city, the city has received additional grant funding for demolitions.

City officials announced at Tuesday night’s Danville City Council meeting that the city received a $175,000 Strong Communities Program grant through the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

The grants are funded by the Rebuild Illinois capital plan.

The money will go toward demolitions of properties around Danville.

“We have a lot of houses to be torn down,” Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. “I know the citizens of Danville will appreciate it.”

In other business, Ward 7 has a new alderman on the Danville City Council.

Darren York was sworn in at Tuesday night’s Danville City Council meeting.

York then listened in on the meeting. He won’t begin voting until the next meeting. York takes the place of longtime alderman Steve Foster who resigned.

Ward 7 Alderman Bob Iverson said he’s heard from some Ward 7 residents that they believe a candidate running in the next election shouldn’t be appointed to fill a seat due to he or she having an unfair advantage in the next election.

Iverson said it’s the mayor’s call, and he supported it. He also said incumbents do not necessarily have an advantage in an election.

Williams said he interviewed York and the other April 6 election Ward 7 candidate, Kaylan Huber, for the seat.

He said both have good character and care about Danville.

“He’s a man of integrity. He really cares,” Williams said of York, whom Williams has known and he had encouraged York previously to run for office.

York now has some time and is prepared to serve on the city council.

Williams also said York “more closely represented the folks in Ward 7.” Voters can see if they want to vote for him then in April, Williams added.

York, who previously worked for Aunt Martha’s health center, is a senior rehabilitation counselor with the Illinois Department of Human Services – Division of Rehabilitation. He’s also a member of the city’s Human Relations Commission, is involved with his church and has been involved with the soccer association and the local peace marches. His wife, Barb, is a Danville District 118 teacher and they have three children.

“It’s really exciting to have him join us,” Williams said.

The council also heard an audience comment about trash coming out of toters. If there are broken toter lids, residents can can call the city.

In other business, the council approved:

  • The appointment of Foster to return as a Vermilion Regional Airport Authority Board member, since he’s no longer on a government board, with a term to expire Dec. 31, 2025.
  • Authorizing early loan payments to pay off the loan on the 2002 Pierce fire truck refurbishment, by using better than projected cannabis tax revenue; and approving budget amendments including to only pay statutorily-minimum pension payments due to the lack of once-projected casino revenue.
  • Amending Chapter 118 of city codes pertaining to taxation to no longer have funding from the city’s home rule sales tax going to the storm and sanitary sewer fund. Iverson said he disagreed with it, and voted against it.
  • Amending the Community Development Block Grant 2019 Annual Action Plan and CDBG fund for COVID-19 funding.

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