Urbana City Council to consider contract agreement with union

By Fatima Farha

 The Urbana City Council will hold a special meeting of the Urbana City Council and Committee of the Whole on Monday.

During the meeting, the council members will vote on a resolution approving a contract agreement between Illinois, the city of Urbana and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1331, which is a public services employee union.

The council will also vote on another resolution approving an extension on the agreement between Urbana and the local International Association of Firefighters.

Alderman Charlie Smyth, Ward 1, said the contracts are going to give firefighters and the union the same provisions of pay increase as the police contract, which will be finalized in one week.

“We’re approving an addendum that has already been negotiated,” Smyth said. “It really allows the city to do some good planning, and makes the negotiation more efficient.”

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    The committee of the whole will also be voting on a motion to allow a brick street renewal between Stebbins Drive and Oakland Avenue.

    According to the motion, the brick street has deteriorated and needs to be fixed.

    “Over the years, heavy traffic, including regular bus route travel, has caused the pavement section to become uneven and rutted, which has impaired adequate drainage,” the motion stated. “Portions of the pavement have been patched with asphalt to correct the deep rutting of the pavement structure.”

    The council will also consider revising the annual budget ordinance and approving a redevelopment agreement with 129 North Race LLC.

    The redevelopment agreement is meant to activate the building and allow for more tenants for the future, according to the ordinance. The agreement would require renovations to the building as well as adding sections such as a photography studio and a gallery.

    The agreement also ties into the city’s 2012 Downtown Urbana Plan, which aims to strengthen economic activity in Downtown Urbana’s public spaces and engage with the community.

    The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the city council chambers and is open to the public.

    Fatima can be reached at [email protected].