Urbana City Council lowers property tax rate, discusses pollution problem

By Rob Warren

by Rob Warren

Staff Writer

Support the Daily Illini in College Media Madness!

Help the Daily Illini take back the top spot in the College Media Madness fundraising competition! See the current ranking here.

learn more
donate now

The Urbana City Council officially lowered the city property tax rate Monday.

The rate was previously $1.31 per $100 dollars worth of property, but it was reduced to $1.29. This came after Champaign lowered its tax rate to the same amount.

The Council also passed legislation dealing with a recently discovered polluted land plot near the northeast corner of Broadway and University Avenues. Five Point Realty, while conducting a required groundwater and soil survey before construction on the land, found evidence of petroleum contamination, city staff said. The agreement makes Five Point Realty responsible for no more than $10,000 worth of further testing or excavation of the waste.

Council member Danielle Chynoweth, D-Ward 2, asked about liability in the case, what would happen if the waste did have to be removed and who would pay for it.

“In a case like this, where someone dumped cancerous toxins in the ground, is there any way we can find whoever was responsible?” Chynoweth asked.

James Gitz, City attorney, said that this would probably be very difficult.

“Oftentimes you just can’t find the responsible parties,” Gitz said.

Phyllis Clark, Urbana City Clerk, was honored as member-of-the-year in the Municipal Clerks of Illinois organization. Clerks from Rantoul, Danville and Peoria attended the council meeting and presented Clark with an honorary plaque.

Mayor Laurel Prussing also distributed literature to support the upcoming extension of the Urbana smoking ban to city bars.

The literature focused on pubs in Scotland where researchers discovered that after instituting a smoking ban, the lung capacity and general health of pub workers significantly improved.