UI to fund campus area improvement

By Eric Heisig

The Champaign City Council approved an agreement to collect funds from the University to improve the community around campus during its meeting Monday night.

The passed resolution states that the University will pay the city of Champaign $9,063 annually for three years in addition to a one-time payment of $8,000. That money should have been paid in September 2007, but the agreement had yet to be finalized at that time. According to the city of Champaign, similar agreements were made between the city and the University in 2001 and 2003, and Monday’s vote essentially continued that set-up. The resolution is also a continuation of Campustown 2000, a project started in the late 1990s to increase the number of businesses around campus.

The Council also passed a resolution for a street lighting project in the Garden Hills neighborhood, the area the city has been working on improving for a portion of the year. The resolution authorized city officials to accept a bid to implement better lighting in the neighborhood. Champaign Signal and Lighting Company placed the $209,965 bid.

During the meeting, Dist. 4 Council member Marci Dodds asked why the estimates for the project were lower than the bid. Public Works Director Dennis Schmidt said that while the costs were higher than originally projected, the fee was acceptance for the economy and the cost of materials for the project.

“We felt that we have a pretty good price with this,” Schmidt said.

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Champaign City Council meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the City Building.