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Chester's 2021 appropriations rise by $1.48 million over 2020

  • Harrison Street drops precipitously off in front of the Stull home, meaning the family cannot drive to their house.

    Harrison Street drops precipitously off in front of the Stull home, meaning the family cannot drive to their house.
    Don Berry photo

  • Peering over the edge of the eroded Harrison Street.

    Peering over the edge of the eroded Harrison Street.
    Don Berry photo

 
By Don Berry
Contributing writer
updated: 7/8/2020 5:59 PM

The City Council room was open to the public after three months of following COVID-19 restrictions.

The evening started with the annual Appropriations Ordinance public hearing for the 2021 fiscal year.
City Attorney Jeff Kerkhover said this year's ordinance is $1.48 million higher than the 2020 one, for a total appropriation of $24,352,000.
The appropriation authorizes potential future expenditures of city funds.
Councilman Dan Ohlau said he wants the city's water and street department to pick up some of the costs of placing transmitters on each of the city's residential gas meters for better billing efficiency -- a project that has been going on for several years and paid for exclusively by the Gas Department.
He said the gas department has been working hard for the last couple years and said it is time for the water/sewer department to also pick up more of the costs.
However, when the Appropriations Ordinance was approved by council vote later in the meeting, Ohlau was the only dissenting vote.

Harrison St. erosion
Resident Gary Stull addressed the council concerning his property on Harrison Street. The street has been eroding since late winter rains created a mud slide which traveled down to Buena Vista Street.
The city Street Department removed tons of mud and dirt and attempted to divert the water and stop further erosion, and Stull said he realizes that the area in question is on his property.
But he asked the council to address the tons of rock and concrete that was dumped on his land, and what the city can do to help rectify the situation.
Mayor Tom Page invited Stull to a meeting on Wednesday with City Engineer Harold Scheffer.

No-parking request
An ordinance has been proposed to designate a certain area of Servant Street as a no-parking zone. The area is in front of Scott and Christy Pickett's home. Dan Ohlau said he is concerned about the precedent this ordinance could create, saying that other homeowners could make similar requests if this ordinance is approved. It was tabled until the proposal can be examined closer by the council.

Other news
• The city council ratified a bid from New Concept Construction for $17,970 to paint the exterior of the City Hall. They also approved spending $4,000 to $5,000 if New Concept finds that some wooden areas of the building need repair.
• Mayor Page reported that Cohen Fields were closed on Monday, July 6 due to a potential exposure of the COVID-19 virus. The fields and tennis courts will be closed for 14 days but the walking paths will remain open.
• Page also reported that all the Hometown Heroes Banners have all been hung and Patti Carter is now taking orders for next year. He also said the riverboats are still on hold for excursions stopping at Chester.
• The next city council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on July 20.