Council discusses police reports, new bike path

By Rachel Bass

Urbana police officers wrote 80 reports this past weekend and arrested multiple people, said Chief Eddie Adair at the Urbana City Council meeting Monday night.

The majority of reports came from Campustown and related to noise disturbances from the weekend’s good weather and Homecoming and Halloween celebrations, Adair said. Despite the heavy activity, it has been relatively quiet for Urbana police this fall, he said. He also asked for community understanding for those residents who had to deal with loud neighbors. Police could not respond quickly because of the large amount of calls, he said.

Director of Public Works Bill Gray also addressed members with a resolution from the Illinois Department of Transportation that will match council funds for a bike path to be constructed on Springfield and Goodwin avenues. The path will run north to Bradley Avenue. Gray reminded members that the project is separate from the road construction in that area.

Gray also asked the council for permission to build a 10-foot easement from Race Street for the four-story Stratford residence that is currently under construction. The easement will put all electrical utilities underground and remove the overhead lights. This will allow the electrical company, Ameren, easy accessibility to maintain the power supplying the Stratford Project, Gray said.

City Attorney Steve Holz addressed members about the resignation of former alderwoman Laura Huth, who left because of a conflict of interest.

Huth served on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity while an alderwoman and, according to Housing and Urban Development policy, this is not allowed, said alderwoman Danielle Chynoweth. The conflict of interest existed because a government official cannot put money into a general fund that a private organization such as Habitat takes from, she said. Members discussed still being able to work with Habitat and maintaining the long-standing relationship with them, Chynoweth said.

Members concluded the meeting with the singing of “Happy Birthday” to alderman Jim Hayes.