QUINCY — The City of Quincy is trying something different when it comes to filling potholes this summer.
The Department of Central Services typically would send trucks throughout the city and patch holes with shovelfuls of a bituminous coal mix.
“Yeah, the city has been doing that for 20 years, and it doesn’t work,” Quincy Mayor Mike Troup said after Monday’s Quincy City Council meeting. “You put the patch in there, and in the winter, you get another snow, and the plow knocks it all out.”
The city now has leased a pothole repair truck for 90 days from a Kansas company. Troup said two shifts, who received training earlier this month, will work Monday through Friday to address Quincy’s streets.
“They actually use that warm asphalt. It’s just like you’re putting down new asphalt on the street,” Troup said. “They dig up the area, square it off, seal it, roll over it and then move to the next one.”
He said the average time to fix a pothole is about 15 minutes.
Asked how many potholes the city has, Troup said, “A ton of them. That’s why we pushed for a second shift.”
He said the order of potholes to be fixed will be determined by aldermen through requests from citizens.
“We’ve taken a look at what sections are really the worst,” Troup said. “We’re also evaluating if that street is going to be completely redone next year, (those potholes) drop to a lower priority. There’s no sense for us to repair it, if we’re going to totally redo it next year. Let’s work on the other streets that we know we aren’t going to do anything else to for several years.”
City applying for $550,000 housing rehabilitation grant
Aldermen voted to commit $20,000 in city funds toward a Community Development Block Grant offered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. City Planner Chuck Bevelheimer said the money will be used only if Quincy qualifies for the grant. The city also will be reimbursed from the grant proceeds.
The city is applying for $550,000 to be shared among 10 owner-occupied homes to be rehabilitated in the city’s 1st and 2nd Wards.
Jason Parrott, a community development planner, said the city sent letters to 250 homeowners with low-to-moderate incomes in the two wards. Forty-five homeowners showed interest in participation and have met income guidelines. A public hearing on the grant was held Monday night before the City Council meeting.
“The next step is we are doing housing needs surveys to show the state (of Illinois) the state of the homes in this area,” Parrott said. “These are the key areas that need improvement, and all of that gets forwarded to state.”
Parrott said the application deadline is August 3. He hopes the city will learn if it qualified for the grant “within a couple of months.”
“We have grants that we sent to the state at this time last year that we still have not received,” Parrott said with a smile. “It could be six months or more before we hear if we are awarded anything. That’s what we’ve tried to stress to the residents we’re working with. It’s a long process, and the state’s involved, so it could be even longer.”
Farha questions use of Illinois Fire Chiefs Association
Aldermen voted to approve an invoice for $11,435 from the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association for assessments and processes for the hiring of a new fire chief. The Quincy Fire and Police Commissioners, a three-man board, recently voted to approve the hiring of Bernie Vahlkamp to replace Joe Henning as the city’s fire chief.
Alderman Mike Farha, R-4, questioned why the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association was needed during the hiring process. Troup explained the City Council voted a couple of years ago to seek potential outside candidates for the police chief and fire chief positions, and the association helped vet those candidates.
Farha asked who approved the expenditure. Troup replied, “They may have gotten approval from the previous mayor (Kyle Moore). That started before I was mayor.”
Troup said he wants to review the hiring process, explaining that police chief Rob Copley is expected to be retiring in “the next few years.”
“This is not a concern about who was selected,” Troup said. “It’s the process because the city spent more money than I think the aldermen expected.”
- Learned the city has received a Tree City USA designation.
- Approved allowing the Quincy Notre Dame football team to repaint school logos on Jackson Street from Eighth to 12th.
- Authorized spending $17,000 with Miller Construction for the emergency demolition of a structure at 1340 N. 5th.
- Appointed Casey Pigg to the Sister City Commission.
- Added Alderman Kelly Mays, R-3, to the barge dock, Central Services, police and transit committees.
- Approved installation of an overhead sign to be installed at O’Connor Financial, 511 Maine.
- Gave permission for the Quincy Boat Club to hold a party with a band from Aug. 6-8 in front of the club at 401 Bonansinga Drive.
- Gave permission for the District to hold a Feast in the Heart of Quincy fundraiser from 6-10 p.m. on Aug. 8 in front of Dick Brothers Brewery, 929 York.
- Gave permission to the Rotary Club to hold Oktoberfest on York Street between Ninth and 10th Streets on Sept. 25.
- Gave permission to Scott Edlin, owner of On the Rail at 129 S. 4th, to hold an outdoor concert on Oct. 23 from 6 p.m. to midnight. The alley adjacent to the property, as well as the city-owned Newcomb Hotel lot on the corner of Fourth and Maine, will be used. The petition was approved 12-1, with Farha voting no.
- Approved a raffle conducted by the District through Aug. 8.
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