When the fall season rolls around this year, the city of Urbana Street Department will have new leaf machines at its disposal after City Council on Tuesday agreed to replace the department’s aging leaf pickup equipment.
By a 4-0 vote (council members Eugene Fields, Pat Thackery and Doug Hoffman were absent), council agreed to replace the city’s three leaf vacuums, purchased in 2000 and 2001, with three new Dinkmar units at a cost of $49,875 from the Partners Manufacturing Group.
In order to stay within the budgeted amount of $50,000, Street Superintendent Colin Stein said a comprise was reached. To save money, the Street Department decided that due to the low hours on the engines in the current leaf vacuums, the engines would be kept and transferred to new chassis, which were showing signs after being in service for over 15 years.
“All the guys felt the motors were in great shape and had very little hours on them,” Stein said.
Director of Administration Kerry Brugger said if the city had been forced to buy new engines and chassis, it would have likely cost over $100,000.
Annexation saga nearing an end
Council heard the first reading of an ordinance accepting the annexation into the city of a 1.419-acre property at 638 Childrens Home Road.
The annexation process began in July of 2015 when council passed a resolution approving water and sanitary sewer services to the property. Over a year later in September of 2016, council passed an ordinance to provide a statement of services in the territory to be annexed and approved an annexation agreement with Urbana Township in which the city agreed to pay a one-time payment of $1,084.92 to the township to help cover lost tax revenue the township will no longer collect once the property is annexed into the city.
To continue moving forward with the annexation, the agreement was given the go ahead by the Champaign County Commission on Jan. 17.
Community Development Manager Doug Crabill said if the annexation is approved by council after three readings, the annexation should become official around June 1.
“This has been a long time in the works,” he said.
In other business:
•Urbana Police Sgt. Christoper Snyder reminded council that the annual community Easter egg hunt, which is sponsored by the Urbana Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 93 in partnership with Judge Gil Weithman and family, will be held at noon on April 15 in the grassy area in front of the high school.
Snyder said the hunt is open to kids up to the age of 12, and there will be 2,500 eggs available.
•Council member Dwight Paul said he was asked by a resident to remind locals of a free community meal hosted every third Wednesday of the month at 5 p.m. at the Urbana Church of the Epiphany, located at the corner of Scioto and North Kenton streets.
“They’ve been doing this for a couple years now, and they’ve had as much as 175 to 180 people there for a dinner,” Paul said.
•Council President Marty Hess reminded residents not to blow grass into city streets when mowing.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.