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Highland City Council Discusses Logo For Strategic Plan

By Stephanie Malench

The Highland City Council met on February 16 this month due to the President’s Day holiday.

Mayor John Michaleis read a proclamation declaring the week of February 20-27, 2021 FFA week. FFA is Future Farmers of America, an agricultural education program that provides a strong foundation for the youth of America and the future of the food, fiber, and natural resources systems by promoting premier leadership, personal growth and career success among its members through citizenship, volunteerism, patriotism, and cooperation.

During Citizen Requests and Comments, Susan Hodgson of the Illinois Trekkers asked the city for permission to have a special event in Highland called A Walk In Highland. The event replaces the Volksmarch and is to be held on May 1 starting at 8:00 a.m. Walkers will be able to choose a 5K or 10K route along the sidewalks of the Village.

The first items approved under New Business was the reappointments of Stephen Thiems and Clifton Couch to the Cemetery Board of Managers and Brad Kohlbrecher, William Blechenger, and Craig Korte to the Silver Lake Commission.

The Council then held a discussion about how to proceed in a partnership with Harrison Edwards to design a supplemental logo for use in the City’s marketing and economic development activities.  The new logo would supplement but not replace the current logo of the US and Swiss shields but would help speak to who the city is in national marketing literature with Highland Communications Services. No firm price has been given for the new high resolution logo except it would be under $4,000. Several council members expressed concern at the price with the loss of income due to the pandemic and feel maybe there should be a discussion of a strategic plan to supplement the comprehensive plan for economic development.

The Council approved requests for bids for a new asphalt hotbox. Funds will come from the Street and Alley account.

A bill was passed annexing a tract of land directly north of 13 Poplar Street owned by Steven and Cecilia Kloss to the city. The Klosses plan to use the land to expand the existing Kloss Furniture Warehouse. Another bill was passed rezoning the land from single family residential to industrial.

The City approved refinancing their General Obligation Sewage System Bonds Series 2012 for bonds with a lower interest rate. Based on current interest rates financial advisors WM Financial Strategies report that the refinancing will save the City approximately $280,000 after the payment of all costs of issuance. The savings would to to the sewer system.

A special use permit was granted to Frey Coffee LLC to open a drive thru coffee shop (Scooters Coffee Drive Thru in the parking lot of the recently closed Pizza Hut Restaurant at 12571 State Route 143.

A second  special use permit was approved for St. Paul’s Catholic Church at 1412 9th Street to build an addition to be used as hospitality space, additional overflow seating for mass, and space for special events.

The redevelopment agreement between the City of Highland and TJO Holdings for the property at 907 Main St. was approved assigning TJO Holding’s rights to the property so that the Bank of Springfield has access to any funds paid out to TJO Holdings.

An ordinance was passed renewing the pool rental agreement with St. Joseph’s Hospital from March 1 , 2021 through February 28, 2022 so the hospital can provide aquatic therapy to patients.

The City Council announced plans to apply for  Park Enhancement Funding for the new park at 911 Main St. The total project will cost  of $39,116  including concrete planters, concrete bags games, concrete chess tables, retaining walls to replace the railroad ties around the parking spaces and removing mulch and vegetation from around the fountain.

The final resolution passed  approving a change order on the public safety building construction project to upgrade the roof and the low voltage access control systems, totaling an additional $21,459.97.

The next City Council meeting on March 1 will be held live in the council chambers at City Hall at 7:00 p.m.

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