DANVILLE — The Danville Police Department is prepared for any local protests or rallies, as the FBI issued warnings about possible armed protests in all 50 state capitals for the upcoming presidential inauguration next week.
Danville City Council Ward 1 Alderman Robert Williams asked Danville Police Chief Chris Yates, at Tuesday night’s city council Public Works Committee meeting, if the police department was taking precautions for any possible problems.
“We have contingency plans for any type of illegal activities,” Yates replied.
Yates told aldermen prior to the November election that the police department had plans in place for the election, in case of any civil disturbances in the city.
“We’ve had communication with the state...,” he then said, about getting intelligence and also communicating with other agencies they work with.
The Danville City Council’s Public Works Committee Tuesday night recommended authorizing a grant application to the Illinois Department of Transportation Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP).
The full city council will act on the application next week.
“It will assist us in funds for traffic enforcement and other safety programs,” Yates said.
Patrols, 180 hours of additional patrols on the streets, could address, for example, distracted driving and seat belt usage. The annual grant, which starts Oct. 1, has been around $21,000 to $24,000 in the past, he said.
“It’s important. It’s vital to our traffic enforcement endeavors,” Yates said.
In other police department news, Yates said three police officers will be sworn in Jan. 20. Those to be sworn in: Tyler Johnson, Jesiah Bergman and Damon Bellik.
In other city personnel news, Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. reported he’s completing interviews with three corporation counsel candidates this week.
Williams is hopeful a recommendation could come later this month or by Feb. 2.
In other business the committee recommended approving an amended engineering agreement with Clark-Dietz, now totaling $310,225, to realign West Williams Street to make it an s-shaped curve instead of two t-intersections between Robinson Street and Logan Avenue.
Aldermen also recommended approving the purchase of property for the realignment project. Purchases: 502 Robinson St. for $7,000 from Willard Cameron Jr. (where a house will be demolished), 509 W. Williams St. for $1,000 from Paul Baldwin; and exchange of land at 519 W. Williams St. with owner Frederick Neubert for 614 W. Williams St. at the southeast corner of West Williams and Chandler streets.
City Engineer Sam Cole said these are all the needed land acquisitions except Kirchner Building Center’s storage area, that the city is proposing to relocate nearby.
The realignment, if all goes well, is “probably a 2022 project,” Cole said.
City officials will coordinate the realignment with the Carle at the Riverfront project so Williams and Madison streets won’t be closed at the same time.
Williams said the public has been overall positive about the realignment project.
In other business the committee recommended approving: a 10-year franchise agreement with Comcast; and a budget amendment for Harrison Park Golf Course for credit card fees.
The Comcast agreement doesn’t prevent other entities from being in the community.
“It’s not an exclusive agreement,” Williams said.
The city receives 5 percent back on cable services, about $15,000.