Western Courier

Council discusses ADA efforts

Emily Smith
The Committee of the Whole discusses improvements to the Amtrak station at City Hall on Monday night.

Isaiah Herard

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The Macomb City Council began their biweekly Committee of the Whole meeting with discussions on the bids received for the Amtrak/ADA (American Disabilities Act) improvements at the Macomb Depot.

According to Mayor Mike Inman, the goal of the Amtrak/ADA improvements is an attempt to see if projects like this could be done in a more efficient way and be done in a manner that would save tax payer dollars.

“Amtrak asked us if we would be a part of the pilot project where they do all the engineering work and design for all the improvements that need to be made,” Inman said. “But (Amtrak) wondered if we would partner in regards to the bid process and then the oversight of the project as the work gets done. We told them we’d be happy to do that. Former Mayor Tom Carper is on the Amtrak Board of Directors, so we thought this would be a good opportunity to enhance our relationship with Amtrak.”

The City Council meeting continued with a focus on an amendment to the Spring Lake Management and Maintenance agreement.

Spring Lake Management President Ryan Hansen said he plans to amend the existing contract to reflect what they have done in year one and year two and continuing the contract into year three with new plans.

“We’d be adding 20 new campsites,” Hansen said. “I would be donating some new picnic tables and new fire pits for those campsites. We’d be donating some trees to plant around the park, and then we’d be putting in some new water space around the park to help people out.”

Inman added that Spring Lake Management’s current contract needed to be modified to reflect the initial agreements of the contract.

“When we initially entered the contract with them in 2014, it was for specific work to be in Spring Lake,” Inman said. “Some of that work was done, some work other than what we originally agreed to be done, and in some cases, some work that we were very grateful was done but we never codified (in) an agreement. So this amendment that was discussed tonight would just simply codify everything that was completed in the past two years and what is anticipated to be completed this year.”

The final essential discussion held in the Committee of the Whole meeting pertained to the small cell antenna/tower right-of-way siting ordinance due to recent upgrades in technology.

According to Inman, the cell antenna ordinance presented is an attempt to uphold the City Council’s right to regulate utility placement.

“As the cell technology has changed, there have been efforts to identify smaller antennas that would be placed where telephone poles are placed in neighborhoods now,” Inman said. “When we say right-of-way, that is a portion of the property in front of the house that is not really owned by the property owner; it’s owned and maintained by the city. The new antenna towers are still relatively tall, and they have apparatus on them that we are not normally accustomed to seeing, particularly in residential areas.”

The next City Council meeting will take place on Monday, May 1 at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Council discusses ADA efforts