Decatur to consider reducing hours of operation of drive-thru alcohol windows. Should the city ban them altogether?
In Decatur, it is commonplace for citizens to purchase alcohol at drive-thru or walk-up windows. While it may be more convenient to purchase alcohol at a drive-thru window, these windows are considered to be the easiest way for those with DUI convictions to purchase alcohol, and sales of alcohol for at least one drive-thru window has been connected to large street parties taking place in one of the city’s residential neighborhoods. Furthermore, in a city that has a police officer whose sole duty is DUI enforcement, the widespread sales of alcohol in this manner sends the wrong message about one of the leading causes of traffic fatalities in the United States. At its meeting on March 7, the Decatur City Council is considering stopping sales at drive-thru windows at 10:00 PM each evening. Given the known negative impacts of drive-thru liquor sales, one could ask whether drive-thru windows should be eliminated entirely.
FUNDING TO PROPERTY OWNERS TO PLANT TREES MAY BE ON ITS WAY
The Decatur City Council will consider implementing a cost-sharing program in which the city will provide an 80% contribution up to a maximum of $400 for a tree planted on the street side of single-family residential properties. Given the thousands of dollars that the city spends on an annual basis to cut down trees, such as ash trees that have died to due to the ash borer, this program will be a way to partner with residents to enhance their yards and improve their neighborhoods. On the same agenda, the city council will consider selling wooded property along Lake Decatur (Angle Court) that would be converted to new housing along the lake. Given the significant investment the city made to protect Lake Decatur. and the continued sediment and nutrients that enter Lake Decatur, the city should preserve the green spaces that it owns along Lake Decatur.
Other items on the agenda include approving the submission and execution of a Rebuild Illinois Public Transportation Capital Assistance Grant for $3.7 million that would provide for the purchase of 4 hybrid buses and a bus barn, approving a contract for trenchless long lining repairs in the city’s sewers, the purchase of two wheel loaders for the Public Works Department, and planting trees in downtown, along 22nd St., and within the John Hills Neighborhood.
PLEASE EXPRESS YOUR VIEWS AT THE NEXT CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Meetings take place at 5:30 PM in the council chambers 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. Citizens are encouraged to attend meetings and express their views. Citizens are allotted 3 minutes per person near the beginning of each city council meeting. In addition, citizens can provide comments regarding one regular agenda item per meeting for up to three minutes provided they notify the city in advance (and prior to the start of the meeting). You can request to speak on a particular agenda item at a council meeting by filling out an on-line form at: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/advance-request-to-speak-at-council-meeting/.
CITIZENS ARE ENCOURAGED TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK TO CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
If you would like to discuss city issues with a council member, phone numbers and email addresses for each council member can be found at the following link: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council/.
AGENDAS FOR CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE
An agenda and information about each agenda item for each city council meeting can be found at: https://www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council-meetings/.