Devon Greene/ Editor-in-chief
The Macomb City Council met on Monday to discuss the purchase of a new tandem truck for the Public Works Department and a possible construction project aimed for this fall along Western Avenue and University Drive.
City Administrator Scott Coker opened the business of the afternoon with his discussion of a new truck for the city of Macomb after their current truck showed a cracked frame.
Coker and the Operations Manager for the Public Works Department, Brad Whitford, explained that they received several quotes for a truck and said that they would be buying the truck frame and truck bed separately.
Coker also explained that they had $140,000 budgeted in the Capital Equipment Fund for the purchase of the new truck and that they were looking for approval of $132,974 for the truck chassis and Knapheide truck bed.
Alderman-At-Large Dennis Moon expressed his concern with the state of the current truck as well.
“I did go out and look at it this afternoon,” Moon said. “If you just walked up to it, you’d think there wasn’t much wrong with it. I didn’t get up underneath it where the frame was cracked but that is a major violation.”
Whitford said that the Public Works Department plans to sell the old truck but only got a quote from one company; Mack.
The council then voted for the discussion to be placed on next week’s consent agenda.
The next item on the agenda was pavement repairs on Western Avenue and University Drive. Coker explained that Whitford had investigated some concerns along the two roads in the past month and expressed the need for renovation.
“This is concrete pavement that was white-topped a few years ago with smaller cut squares,” Coker said. “So we’ve got some areas, five separate areas that are failing. We are proposing to go in and remove all that concrete and remove all that pavement and core out approximately eight inches to put in a new sub-base and pour eight inches of concrete.”
Coker is putting together a bid package to put out for a price estimate and he said that their expectation is that this would be less than $70,000 total.
Mayor Mike Inman jumped in and spoke about the state of the roads going forward.
“Again, this is one of those situations much like that tandem truck we just talked about,” Inman said. “If you walked up out there, you may not realize the extent of the issue but with the amount of bus traffic those areas are getting, it’s imperative that we address it. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t have this budgeted but it’s something we need to do.”
Moon was there when the slabs were placed and was concerned about the project at the time and is troubled about the state of the road as it sits now.
“We stood out there and watched this and it is dangerous,” Moon said. “Those slabs do rock and if those flip and get under a truck or car, this will be cheap compared to that.”
The renovations of the road would be taken out of the Infrastructure Sales Tax Fund which currently sits at $1.84 million, but with the scheduled projects planned for this year, the anticipated balance would be $311,000, so the renovations to Western Avenue and University Drive would be taken from the remainder of this balance.
Coker said that he hopes to get the project done by this fall and needs a week to get it out for bids. The Council then voted to move this discussion to roll over to next week’s city council meeting as well.
The final discussion was led by Inman where he discussed the community participation in downtown Macomb this past weekend. He called out Hashtag for Macomb, Dance Marthon’s Children’s Miracle Network’s Color Run, the Out of Darkness event and the various student organizations that plastered the square with paintings for the Western Illinois University Homecoming week.
“That’s what I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to and all those events, there was an extremely good representation of students from Western Illinois University giving back to this community,” Inman said. “It was heartwarming and I was glad to be a part of it and witness it and have some outstanding conversations with a very diverse group of students from Western and I wanted to tell them thanks.”
Inman then closed the public portion of the meeting and called the council to an executive session.