The city of Macomb has found a new Community Development Coordinator

Steven Barnum , Assistant News Editor

The city of Macomb has found a new Community Development Coordinator.

On Monday evening, the city council voted unanimously to appoint John Bannon to the Community Development Coordinator position. The position has been vacant since Ray Heitner departed in September for a city planner job in Iowa City, Iowa. The council is certain that they found the perfect fit for Macomb.

“He’s very well qualified,” Alderman John Vigezzi said.“I think he will be a great asset to the city.”

Mayor Mike Inman also shared his thoughts on the hiring, which he feels was an easy choice.

“John has been an excellent addition to the community development office. I’m looking forward to his continued contributions,” Inman said.

The council also approved Fire Chief J.R. Hyde’s request for a new vehicle for the fire department.

Hyde explained that the city of Macomb owns three pumpers, one ladder truck and one rescue truck. The new vehicle, which is a 2016 E-One HS Rescue Pumper demonstrator model, would replace two of the existing vehicles. It holds more firefighters and will be able to carry rescue equipment. The new vehicle would be used for frontline purposes, meaning it will be the first truck to head to an emergency. Older trucks in the inventory will be pushed to the backline.

Of many advantages to the new truck, Hyde knows that it would likely cutdown on maintenance issues throughout the year. Inman also acknowledged how this could be an opportunity to increase efficiency and improve response times.

Banner Fire Equipment, Inc. out of Madison County, Ill. will supply the vehicle, which will cost $550,000. According to City Administrator, Dean Torreson, a brand new model would cost more than $800,000. Money for the truck will come from the restricted fund used for fire protection services and not from the general fund. Additionally, the city will sell the outdated vehicles to help make up the financial difference.

To purchase the truck, the council agreed to enter a loan-financing plan with Citizens Bank for $57,190.10. The plan has a 3.53 percent fixed interest rate, and the city will make annual payments for 12 years. Although Macomb chose Citizens, Inman was appreciative of Mid America National Bank, United Community Bank and First Bankers Trust Company, who were also involved in the bidding process.

Introduced by Public Works Director Scott Coker at last week’s committee of the whole meeting, Macomb has now agreed to enter a mutual aid program.

The Illinois Water/ Wastewater Agency Response Network is a group of Illinois towns who can offer aid to those who are hit with sudden an unexpected expenses.

Towns who come to the rescue will be reimbursed, but those who join the network are not required or committed to help. The motion to enter the network was moved and seconded, making Macomb the 155th municipality in Illinois to join. To close out the meeting, the city council decided to approve an application submission for the “Abandoned Residential Property Municipality Relief Program”. If approved, the city will be able to use the awarded money to demolish vacant and dilapidated homes. Torreson says that the grant comes with a $75,000 maximum per community. According to City Attorney Kristen Petrie, there is no guarantee that Macomb will get the money since the majority of funding opportunities are given to cities in the Chicago area.