Council Meeting

Electric vehicle charging stations, a new liquor license, and a plan to extend the city’s crown jewel were all on the agenda during the first council meeting of 2014.

The group unanimously voted to add three new electric vehicle-charging stations and to charge residents 75 cents-per hour to use them.

“We’re talking about a charging capacity of adding 4 vehicles now,” said Councilman Bob Fieseler. “That would be roughly two-and-a-half cents, per customer in terms of a subsidy for this project.”

Two stations will be added to the Van Buren parking garage downtown as well as adding another station near the current one in the Van Buren surface lot.

Riverwalk Extension

The Riverwalk extension proposal passed by a vote of 6-2.

This plan extends the city’s crown jewel to the south from its current end at Hillside Road down to Martin Avenue, but don’t expect construction any time soon.

With a $3 million dollar price tag, council members said this vote was just for planning purposes so the option is there when the time is right.

“I think this should be in the [Capital Improvement Plan] in the future outside of the five year plan,” said Councilman Grant Wehrli. “So as things change, the economy gets better, grant money things like that, so we can cobble away at it. I think it should absolutely be there from a land-planning standpoint.

The extension will become part of a future city capital improvement plan.

Community Development Block Grants

Also approved, was the annual action plan for the Community Development Block Grants, or CDBG.

The two main criteria to receive a CDBG are providing affordable housing to low-income residents and removing barriers for people with disabilities.

The city awarded nine grants totaling about $830,000 to groups such as Loaves & Fishes and Little Friends.

New Liquor License Proposal

The council also held a first reading of a proposal that may create a class ‘V’ liquor license for AMC Showplace 16 at Route 59 and 95th street.

Council members were concerned about the theatre’s ability to stop underage drinking in a dark theatre.

The council is expected to vote on the proposed liquor license at their February 4 meeting.

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