Chrisman says to move the junk cars

New city ordinance limits outside parking of junk vehicles to 72 hours

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CHRISMAN – The presence of abandoned, wrecked, inoperative or partially dismantled vehicles within Chrisman city limits is a public nuisance.

City council members unanimously approved changes to the abandoned vehicle ordinance during the Monday, Oct. 7, meeting in an attempt to cleanup the city.

The ordinance prohibits parking an inoperable, junk or wrecked vehicle on private or public property for a period of more than 72 hours. The ordinance does not apply to any such vehicle that is stored inside an enclosed building.

Some other exceptions also apply. Vehicles designed for use on drag strips or raceways may be parked outside provided they are on private property and always in working condition.

Demolition derby cars may be kept outside but only between May 1 and Sept. 30 and such vehicles must be parked in the resident’s driveway and not extend beyond the sidewalk. Residents can have a maximum of two demo derby cars on their property during the May 1-Sept. 30 variance.

The outside accumulation of tires or car parts for any vehicle is prohibited.

It was a busy night for the Chrisman City Council with several issues on the agenda and a citizen complaint about noise related to the operation of equipment at the well house and water plant on Washington Street. Commissioner Brian Haddix confirmed the complaint noting he can hear the noise rom his house and compared it to the sound of a fan on a grain bin dryer.

City employee Matt Shelatto is at a loss to explain the noise. He told the council he has disassembled the water plant’s aerator and can’t find any problems to explain the noise but he is still trying to isolate the issue.

The council finally got some good news regarding a Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant made to the city several years ago but never released by the administrations of Governor Pat Quinn and Governor Bruce Rauner. City clerk Dena Burns reported the final paper work was submitted and her contact at DCEO believed the grant might be released as early as the end the week. The money is to demolish and build a new pavilion in Centennial Park, and city commissioner Thad Crispin anticipates starting that project in the spring.

A couple of issues related to the construction of a new water line from Paris to Chrisman were tabled. The first was an ordinance prepared by the city’s engineering firm to accept an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency loan not to exceed $1 million for Chrisman’s share of building the water line. The other was a contract for the City of Paris to supply Chrisman with water.

Mayor Dan Owen said after the meeting that both items are quite extensive with multiple page documents and council members needed more time to read them. A decision is expected at the Oct. 21 city meeting.

The council did take action on two items related to the new water line. A 50-foot by 50-foot parcel of ground south of the state Route 1 and U.S. Route 36 intersection was purchased from Jim Ingram for $5,000. The ground is needed for a small building for a chemical treatment station.

Chrisman city residents will see an increase on water bills. The council passed a 25-cent per 1,000-gallon raise to the water rate starting Nov. 1.

Commissioner Rodney Wolfe explained the EPA wants a $2 raise per 1,000 gallons to cover the loan payments and the council prefers increasing the rates in small increments to get there. Another raise will be needed after the first of the year.

Haddix informed the council some unexpected expenses have resulted from construction at the sewage treatment plant. Excavation revealed the natural gas line serving the sewer plant is undersized and must be replaced. The other surprise was when excavation broke a water line that wasn’t on the utilities map. As a result, the city has to put in a new PVC line and meter pit to make the repair.

The council agreed to purchase a 12 by 25 foot building for $3,900 to place behind city hall. The new building will serve as a garage for the city’s police car and protect it from the elements when not in use. An expenditure of $1,850 to purchase two body armor vests for the police department was also approved.

Dan Moore, representing the Chrisman Area Community Club, reported the organization wants to move the annual Halloween costume contest from the junior high school gym back to the city square and build an event around that with a parade and a trunk or treat. He needed to know the city’s trick-or-treat hours to avoid a conflict.

After some discussion, it was resolved trick-or-treat hours for Chrisman are 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. The community club’s Halloween party will be Friday, Oct. 25, on the square with hours to be announced.