MENDOTA – The Mendota Police Department achieved a first for the department in its 125-year history at the Aug. 5 meeting of the Mendota City Council.
Police officer Tyler Kent was sworn in as the Deputy Chief of Police of the city of Mendota. Never before has the Mendota Police Department had a deputy chief. Kent was introduced by Chief Greg Kellen. He took the oath of office from city clerk Emily McConville and he was pinned with his badge by his father, Lonnie Kent, a retired Mendota police officer.
In other action, alderman Kyle Kim presented an ordinance to amend the age to purchase tobacco in the city. The motion was defeated with four no votes and three yes votes. Mayor David Boelk cast the fourth no vote after a 3-3 tie amongst the council. Two council members were not present at the meeting. The action by the council was just a symbolic vote as the state of Illinois has already passed legislation moving the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 in Illinois.
Alderman Jim Fitzpatrick announced that bid openings for the summer street maintenance program will take place on Friday, Aug. 23 at the city clerk’s office. The streets proposed for maintenance this year are: Diana Drive from 22nd Street to Carolyn Avenue; Gwendolyn Avenue from Carolyn Avenue to Maplewood Avenue; Maplewood Avenue from 21st Street to 22nd Street; Third Street from 11th Avenue to 10th Avenue; Third Street from Fourth Avenue to Third Avenue; Third Street from First Avenue to Second Avenue; 20th Street from First Avenue to Lincoln Avenue; Pennsylvania Avenue from Washington Street to Burlington Street. Proposed alleys are: between Indiana and Illinois avenues from Burlington Street to Chicago Street; between Indiana and Illinois avenues from Chicago Street to Springfield Street; between Indiana and Pennsylvania avenues from Burlington Street to Monroe Street; between Indiana and Pennsylvania avenues from Monroe Street to Jefferson Street; between Fifth and Sixth streets from Eighth Avenue to alley east; east of Eighth Avenue from Fifth Street to Sixth Street.
Alderman Bill Hunt thanked the Mendota Optimist and Mendota Lions clubs for their efforts in acquiring and installing the new basketball court surface and hoops at Strouss Park. Alderman John Pierson suggested cameras be installed at the courts to deter vandalism, which the council will consider.
Mayor Boelk wished everyone a happy and safe Mendota Sweet Corn Festival.
Fire Chief Dennis Rutishauser informed the council that through a joint agreement between Carl Ambler of the Street Department and himself, the city incinerator (burn pit) will be on a restricted burn status until further notice. This is due to the dry conditions in and around the burn pit. The public will be notified when this ban is lifted.
Rutishauser added that as for the rest of the community and the rural fire district, local officials are watching this closely along with communications through area fire chiefs and the Illinois Department of Conservation. If a burn ban becomes necessary, that will be posted as well.
In business from the floor, a resident in the Third Ward pleaded with the council to allow him to keep a shelter/carport located in his driveway. David Abbott, who said he is a disabled Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, told the council that he needs this carport to help with his disability. He said he has had the carport for five months and none of his neighbors have complained about it. However, the structure is a violation of city ordinance and he has been ticketed by the city. The matter is currently in the court system for a resolution.
The next regular meeting of the Mendota City Council will be Monday, Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m.