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FARMER CITY – The Farmer City Council approved a new liquor license, and heard they will hire a new police chief in the next two weeks at Monday night’s regular meeting.
The council was split on a 3-2 vote to grant Imo’s Restaurant a Class F liquor license with Mayor Mike Jenkins casting the deciding vote after a long pause to consider his choice.
Later, he said he paused to consider council member Scott Testory’s argument that the council decided last year to limit the number of liquor licenses.
Testory said he would vote against the request because the council agreed in principle last year to not create new liquor licenses, but to pass around the ones that already exist.
Council member Jessica DeMarse agreed and voted against the request. She said she would “love” to support Imo’s request, but would stick to the principle of not issuing additional liquor licenses.
Voting for the license in addition to Jenkins were council members Scott Kelley and Mac Harden.
“I don’t have a problem issuing one more,” Harden said.
The Class F license allows Imo’s to serve alcohol, but not to anyone who does not order food.
Additionally, sales of alcohol must not exceed 50 percent of the establishment’s revenue.
Police Chief: Woliung also said a new Chief of Police could be named by February 20. He said the chief would be introduced to the department before meeting the city council.
The new chief will interview finalists for a new patrolman, he said.
Work Truck: The council also authorized city manager Larry Woliung to purchase a work truck. The $10,500 budget for the truck may be used to purchase a 2004 GMC utility work truck Woliung has identified. The newer truck will replace one purchased several years ago.
“They’ve got their money’s worth out of that truck,” Woliung said.
Executive Session: The council also spent a portion of Monday’s meeting in executive session to discuss personnel matters relating to what Testory said was a “former” employee.
Ordinance Code: Testory requested that the city ordinance book be reviewed in full.
Jenkins said such an endeavor could cost up to $10,000 and suggested budgeting for the project during the next fiscal year, which begins May 1. The council agreed.
New greenway: Woliung informed the council that the unused railroad tracks running East West through the town generally along State Route 150 may be cleared out, making room for a greenway from Bloomington to Mansfield.
A resolution passed 14 years ago by local governmental agencies, anticipated the railroad would eventually pull out the rails and ties. The DNR hopes the stretch will become a greenway. Woliung said the railroad would leave some of the infrastructure such as bridges and culverts.