Litchfield Council Meets In September

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Members of the Litchfield City Council met on Thursday, Sept. 3, for the first of two meetings of the month.

Among the items approved during the meeting was an ordinance pertaining to the Local CURE Program, the $250,000,000 federally funded program that is meant to reimburse local governments for COVID-19 expenses.

City Administrator Tonya Flannery said that the city is working with a consultant for their CURE (which stands for Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency) applications. Among the items eligible for reimbursement include personal protective equipment, computer expenses for remote meetings, envelopes for drop boxes and more.

Mayor Steve Dougherty said that the city has been encouraged to apply for “everything.”

In other business, the council approved motions to direct the City Attorney to request a title search and administer a quit claim transfer for deed for a residential structure located at 1010 South Walnut Street, to direct the City Attorney to begin the condemnation and demolition process for a residential structure located at 808 East Edwards Street and to direct the City Attorney to begin the condemnation and demolition process for a commercial structure located at 110 North State Street. Another building matter was taken after the council met in closed session as the bid for surplus property located at 1007, 1009 and 1013 South Walnut from Kenneth Barker was accepted by quit claim transfer.

The council also approved pay request number 12 from Gelly Excavating and Construction for $436,294.49 for work done on the I-55 commerce park.

They approve the purchase and installation of six Watchguard Vista HD Cameras for $12,529, an easement to CableOne (New Wave) for the extension of service under the city rail spur to feed the McKay NAPA warehouse and office project and to reject any and all bids submitted for the overlay and curb rehabilitation of State Street and authorize the rebid of the project in early 2021. Mayor Dougherty said that the project received only one bid, which was well over the projections. Flannery recommended rebidding the project in February.

In lake business, the council approved the purchase of $3,500 in largemouth bass (at $1.75 per fish) from Seven Springs Fish Farm, approved pay request number two from Endrizzi Contracting for $88,862.90 for work on the watershed implementation project, authorized Crawford, Murphy and Tilly to perform the annual dam inspections for Lake Yaeger dam, Litchfield Lake dam and the Five Mile Lake dam for an amount not to exceed $13,200 and to approve pay request number seven from Brewster Construction for $170,431.07 for work on the Eagle Ridge subdivision, with Aldermen Mark Brown and Dwayne Gerl voting no.

Discussion pertaining to the lake also started the meeting as Tammy and Steve Estell addressed the council. The Estells have leased lake lots for more than 15 years and had never had any problem until this year, when they believe they have faced unfair treatment.

Tammy Estell told the council that they were told they had until Aug. 25th to remove property from the lot, but Lake Superintendent Eric Lamb had the property removed before then and also tore down a pavilion. 

Steve Estell said that a pop up camper was also an issue with Lamb, despite other lake lot owners having multiple campers or cars in similar positions. Estell said he moved the camper to a common ground area that was always full of trailers and cars, but for some reason, Lamb didn’t want the camper near the lot. Estell said that he was also asked to remove poles from the lake, which he did, despite other lake lot owners not being asked to do so.

Mary Schneider also spoke about Superintendent Lamb, but favorably. Schneider said that the lake is being used more and has made a lot of improvements, giving Lamb much of the credit.

The council is scheduled to meet again on Sept. 17.

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