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Council to continue evening meetings

By Rick Hayes
Posted on 2/15/2017, 7:42 AM

Benton"s city council will continue conducting meetings in the evening.

Mayor Fred Kondritz suggested at an earlier meeting that meetings be held in the afternoon, rather than the 6 p.m. starting time.

During public input at Monday"s bi-monthly meeting, Sarah Stowers raised concerns about the recommendation. Stowers said she works full time, she is interested in local government, and would be unable to attend meetings during daytime hours.

"I apologize for bringing that up and it will never come up again," Kondritz said, following Stowers" comments.

In other news from Monday"s council meeting:

* City officials noted a burn ban is in effect for the City of Benton until further notice.

* Public Property Commissioner Ronnie Baumgarte said the city has a significant water leak. City employees have been trying to detect the location of the underground leak for at least three weeks. The council approved hiring Nelson Matters, based in Belleville, to investigate the problem at a cost of $10,600.

* Officials authorized City Attorney Tom Malkovich to prepare advertisement of sealed bids for three properties: the old city hall, the former Logan School property and acreage on Stuyvesant Street.

* Council made a commitment to close several streets in the downtown area for a Farm Days celebration on June 10. North Main Street will be closed from 10 a.m. to noon for a parade; and the square will be closed from noon to 6 p.m.; and approved road closures for the annual Rend Lake on May 13.

* Council approved an ordinance making a four-way stop at the intersection of Jesse and Washington streets; and making a three-way stop at the intersection of Ash and Washington streets.

* Commissioner Dennis Miller reported that Charles Casey has been hired to oversee the day-to-day operation of the Benton Municipal Airport. Gay Bowlin of the Franklin County Farm Bureau announced the organization is sponsoring a public meeting at 6 p.m. March 7 at the Benton Civic Center on the proposed 1 percent sales tax increase that will be on the April 4 ballot. The referendum is being proposed by the Franklin County Board for construction of a new courthouse.

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