Continuance of public health emergency, financial relief measures, and neighborhood revitalization grant to be discussed at April 6 council meeting
PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY - On March 23, a public health emergency was declared in Decatur. The city council will likely affirm this emergency declaration and keep it in place until the state’s emergency declaration ends.
FINANCIAL RELIEF MEASURES – The city council will discuss possible financial relief measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them would be a waiver and suspension of late fees and penalties for water bills with a due date of March 13 until April 30, 2020 or later.
NEIGHBORHOOD REVITILIZATION – The council will vote to accept a $1.247 million grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation for revitalization of the Johns Hill Neighborhood. This grant funds phase one of a three phase project that will significantly transform this neighborhood and could serve as a model for future revitalization projects. Phase one includes structure demolitions, site and lot clean-ups, and voluntary acquisitions of lots.
CENTRAL ILLINOIS LAND BANK – The city of Decatur recently completed the acquisition of 725 additional Macon County Trustee lots. Joining the Central Illinois Land Bank would allow the city to transfer ownership of hundreds of these lots including side-lots and surplus tracts to the landbank which in turn will sell or give them away.
AGENDAS FOR CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE - An agenda to each city council meeting can be found at: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council-meetings/.
CITIZENS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK TO CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS – If you would like to discuss an issue with a city council member, phone numbers and e-mail addresses for each council member can be found at the following link: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council/.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION AT THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING WILL BE MODIFIED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC – As per the city council packet: “Pursuant to Governor Pritzker's Executive Order 2020-07 suspending the requirements of the Illinois Open Meetings Act requiring in-person attendance by members of a public body for the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation, members of the Decatur City Council and senior staff will be participating in this meeting through a Zoom video and audio link. The Mayor and essential members of the City staff will be physically present in the City Council Chambers, but pursuant to Governor's Executive Order No. 2020-10 and CDC guidelines, no more than 10 audience members will be allowed in the rear of the City Council Chambers at any one time. … The City Council Chambers will be open to those wishing to personally attend through the normal public entrance on the west side of the Chambers, but no more than ten (10) members of the public may be in the chambers at any one time, seating for these 10 will observe social distancing rules, and all of them must sit in the rear half of the seating area to create a separation zone between public seating and the in-person city participants of the meeting. The podium for Appearance of Citizens has been moved to the rear of the chamber. Persons arriving after 10 members of the public have already been seated will be asked to wait in the anteroom of the City Council Chambers where they can watch the live feed and wait until a seat is made available by the departure of one or more of the 10 people already in the chamber. Public comments can be emailed in advance of the meeting to the City Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
YOU CAN WATCH THE MEETING ON THE CITY’S WEBSITE OR GOVERNMENT CHANNEL 18 - For those that do plan to attend the meeting in person, meetings take place at the City Council Chamber located on the third floor of the Decatur Civic Center (1 Gary K. Anderson Place). Free parking is available in the lot immediately south of the entrance.