The Hoopeston City Council voted Tuesday to extend a redevelopment contract to May 31, 2007 with Bhupendra Naik who wants to build a motel just southwest of the intersection of state routes 1 and 9.

“Mr. Naik is willing to wait another seven months to get the paperwork in order,” said Alderman Bill Goodwine.

Currently, the long-awaited project is at a standstill. Naik needs to receive a letter of No Further Remediation from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The letter is part of the required paperwork to complete financing on the project.

At this time, three wells require caps to ensure contamination does not occur in the ground water. Owners of those wells so far have not agreed to the caps. The parcel of land is located near a former landfill. IEPA agents retrieved contaminated land samples and marginally contaminated water samples. Arsenic and lead were found.

If the letter from IEPA is received by May 31, Naik now has until Nov. 30, 2007, to break ground on the project.

In other news, aldermen:

Approved a tentative 2006 tax levy. The new tax levy is projected at approximately $621,292, with the equalized assessed valuation projected to be $33 million. Last year, the levy was approximately $571,838, with an EAV of $30.7 million.

This year’s projected tax rate is $1.88 per $100 assessed valuation, nearly the same as last year’s $1.86 tax rate.

Heard from Alderman Ed Lotz that Robert D. Pratt joined the Hoopeston Police Department Monday. He will report to the Police Training Institute on Jan. 7 for training. The previous hire, Ron Cade is currently at the academy and will graduate on Jan. 11.

Lotz also announced that due to the New Year’s Eve holiday, liquor stores and bars will extend their hours on Dec. 31. Normal Sunday hours are noon to 10 p.m. On New Year’s Eve, hours will be noon to 1 a.m.

Received a commendation on behalf of the Economic Development Committee from the Peace Corps Fellows Program representative Karen Maudlin-Curtis at Western Illinois University. The committee sponsored new Hoopeston Economic Development Director Shannon Ruh in her internship.

“I want to give ‘hats off’ to the steering committee,” Maudlin-Curtis said. “They went above and beyond what we ask sponsors to do as a part of our internship and have shown a real commitment to the economic development in this community.”

Maudlin-Curtis went on to explain that most communities who sponsor an intern are only required to meet once a month. The steering committee met weekly with Ruh.

Mayor Bill DeWitt received a plaque in recognition of their participation with the program and each member of the steering committee received a certificate of recognition.



WHAT’S NEXT

The Hoopeston will meet at 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at city hall.

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