Citizens group sees class size as concern

Meeting Unit 5 school board

When Jan. 25

Key action: The Citizens Advisory Council presented its report on focus group meetings. Dr. Ken Smiciklas said a survey of parents and community members show there is pride in teachers and staff. Reducing class size was listed as an area where there was room for improvement. There were a variety of issues of concern and it was hard to see a trend. To address growth, people favored additions to existing buildings, building new buildings, using portable classrooms, and increasing class sizes - in that order.

Other action Passed the science curriculum. Superintendent Alan Chapman said it followed the board's strategic plan and was a good example for what curriculum planning should be.

Council OKs grant for food bank move

Meeting City Council

When Jan. 17

Key action: Approved a $100,000 grant to Midwest Food Bank to help with the purchase of a distribution center at the former A.Y. MacDonald site, 1703 S. Veterans Parkway, Bloomington. The money will come from Community Block Grant funds. Councilwoman Cheryl Gaines voted against the grant urging the town to give money to dental and mental health programs for the needy who live in Normal.

Town OKs change for RC racetracks

Meeting: City Council

When Jan. 17

Key action Approved a zoning code amendment allowing remote-controlled racetracks as a special use in business and manufacturing zoning districts, except the town's primary commercial corridors on Main Street, College Avenue and Veterans Parkway.

Other action: Amended a pre-annexation agreement with Calvary Methodist Church to add 63.5 acres to the existing site at the northeast corner of Raab Road and Towanda Avenue. The council also appointed Carl Teichman, 1103 Kingsmill, to the McLean County Regional Planning Commission.


City approves bid for drive lift, main

Meeting: City Council

When Jan. 16

Key action: Approved a $167,410 bid for the Ford drive lift station and forced main for $113,115.50. Both agreements are contingent upon the signing of all easements. The station and main will allow for more water and sewerage usage west of 251.


Board sets meeting about annexation

Meeting Village Board

When: Jan. 23

Key action: Received an annexation agreement for land west of the village. The board agreed to hold a special public meeting on Feb. 15 at the village hall to discuss possible annexation.

Other action: Heard construction on the sixth home in the Stoneman Garden subdivision has begun. Homeowners can move in once this home is completed.


City revokes law now out-of-date

Meeting: City Council

When Jan. 23

Key action: Approved revoking a traffic zone ordinance that restricted traffic on a portion of Second Avenue during school hours. The ordinance was no longer needed with the closing of the old elementary school.

Other action: Approved granting a special-use permit allowing bulk storage of Evergreen FS petroleum products.


Board considers water candidates

Meeting: Village Board

When: Jan. 19

Key action Reviewed applications for the assistant water and sewer department supervisor and set interview schedule.


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Board to close campus at noon

Meeting: Prairie Central school board

When: Jan. 19

Key action: Approved closing the noon-hour campus at Prairie Central High School beginning with the 2006-2007 school term.

Other action: Authorized $82,000 for moving the unit offices in August to the west end of the old high school café. The remaining space will be converted to an athletics area. The board also authorized $200,000 for renovating the PCHS gymnasium, which includes the roof, lower bleachers, lighting and $30,000 for floor sanding, and repainting the lobby/gym walls and upper bleachers. A committee formed to study converting the old Chenoa Elementary School into a community center and will make periodic reports.


Board reaches pact on drug inspections

Meeting School board

When Jan. 19

Key action Approved $79,000 bid for replacing grade school building doors.

Other action Approved $10,500 for a John Deere tractor and reached an agreement with the city police to use drug-sniffing dogs to conduct random drug checks.


Village may change water bill timing

Meeting: Village Board

When Jan. 17

Key action Approved $1,700 for the summer recreation program.

Other action Approved the community sale for March 18. The board also discussed changing the water bill from bi-monthly to monthly, creating an automated billing system and possible fines or suspension of water for delinquent bills.

Compiled by Phyllis Coulter, Mary Ann Ford and Dave Tompkins.


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