DANVILLE — With Illinois moving back to Tier 3 mitigations on Friday and Thanksgiving a week away, Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. at Tuesday night’s Danville City Council meeting reiterated precautions the public should be taking with COVID cases on the rise.
“Please, if you’re out in public, wear your mask unless you’re eating or drinking,” Williams said.
He said, in his opinion, it’s the “very least we can do” to show others respect.
Williams also advised people to avoid large gatherings, keep washing your hands on a regular basis, and when in stores, social distance and keep six feet away as you’re able to.
“We have to do everything we can to keep one another safe,” Williams said. “Please consider that as you move forward.”
Williams also offered prayers and condolences, as Vermilion County saw its 28th COVID-related death this week since the pandemic started.
He also reported Pastor and school board member Thomas Miller, who has been hospitalized due to COVID-19, will be leaving the hospital Wednesday.
Williams said he’s not had a chance to fully review the Tier 3 restrictions which require museums, casinos and theaters to close, and capacity limits for stores.
He was to meet with other county and local leaders on Wednesday on how this impacts the city and how the city will move forward.
Williams also discussed how Danville Mass Transit professionally cleans its buses to keep them fresh and clean for riders who need public transportation to get to work, doctors’ appointments and for other needs.
Fire Chief Don McMasters also said they currently have no firefighter off duty due to COVID, as they’ve had some in the past few months.
The city’s Christmas craft fair at Harrison Park Clubhouse next month also has been canceled due to COVID-19.
In other news, Williams reported that he, and city council committee chairmen Mike Puhr and Steve Foster, in addition to Vermilion Advantage’s Tinisha Spain have reviewed the casino application from Danville Development LLC.
“It looks fantastic. They’ve included everything they promised us,” Williams said, adding that he, the aldermen and Spain have gathered comments to send back about the application.
He said he thinks the city’s finally ready to have a new application be submitted to the Illinois Gaming Board for action next year.
In other business, the council approved:
• A $50,000 Western Gateway Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Incentive Program grant application, Western Gateway Tax Increment Financing redevelopment agreement with Joseph Urbana Investments LLC of Peoria and a budget amendment in the city’s Western Gateway TIF District fund for OSF’s new planned urgent care facility at 1 N. Logan Ave., at Main Street and Logan Avenue.
• Putting the city’s 2021-2022 budget and 2020 tax levy on public display for two weeks prior to final action. A budget study session will be Thursday night.
The city’s property tax rate is expected to stay about the same, $2.2642 from $2.26411 per $100 of equalized assessed valuation. City officials project a 1.02 percent increase in the equalized assessed valuation of last year’s $301 million to this year’s $304 million. The total levy of $6.89 million is a 1.02 percent increase.
• Rezoning for signage for The Dwelling Place at First Presbyterian Church, 100 N. Franklin St.
• A special-use permit for Tiara Taylor-Moore for a third Danville Christian Learning Center at 50 E. Liberty Lane.
• Appointing Margie Dash to the Danville Public Building Commission, to replace Jerry Hawker who was elected to the Vermilion County Board; appointing Jeremy Bell and reappointing Jim Knoblaugh and Melissa Rome to the Danville Public Library Board; and reappointing Roberta Allen and Becky Woodrum to the Historic Preservation Commission.
• Amending the parks division budget to compensate Playpower LT Farmington $44,920 for the Winter Park Playground for Everyone playground update. AMBUCS donated money for the new equipment.
• Amending the historic preservation commission design criteria.
• Accepting and placing on file the fiscal year 2019-2020 audit.
• Appropriating $750,000 in motor fuel tax funds for Ferndale Avenue drainage, asphalt and other improvements. City Engineer Sam Cole said there’s no room for curbing or sidewalks.
• Approving a two-year agreement with AT&T for 36-40 land telephone/internet system lines for pump stations, building and fire alarm systems and traffic lights.