A resident approached the council to ask about tests for environmental contaminants on property on U.S. 6 that was the former site of the Bassick factory. The city has been in discussion with the current owner and a potential developer for the property, as well as a lawyer versed in environmental law.
Mayor Cliff Banks sought to assure the resident that the city would not purchase the property as an intermediary, because he would not sign any such paperwork. As before, alderman Chuck Hansen said that is a decision to be made by the council, not the mayor.
“I’m going to meet you down the road — Me and you, down the road. I’ve had enough of you,” Banks told Hansen, as the alderman continued talking. “Let’s take a walk,” Banks said.
Others sought to return the discussion to the issue at hand, describing the environmental restrictions and information the council has been made aware of.
“We’ve gone through the (Illinois Environmental Protection Agency), and every step we’ve taken has been at their direction,” alderman Tom Nesti said. “I can see where people have concerns, and a lot of them are going to be moot.”
Alderman Dan McFadden said the council had “followed up on all kinds of hearsay” from people who claimed to know that chemicals had been dumped on the site, but never was able to trace those rumors to a witness.
Alderman Jim “Uda” Taliano, chairman of the public health and safety committee, offered to ask the city’s contracted environmental attorney to attend a meeting of that committee, which will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14 in the council chambers.
The Nov. 14 committee meeting will be followed by a legislative committee meeting on another contentious topic: a proposal to allow a gun range to open as a “special use” within city limits. The council voted to recommend an ordinance allowing the special use to the city’s zoning board of appeals. McFadden, chairman of the legislative committee, said that meeting would be open to the public.
“If anybody’s got anything to say about (the ordinance), want to put their two cents in, please be here,” McFadden said.
n In other business, the council approved a special use permit for Dan and Annette Richardson to operate a church in the city’s downtown, but the two are required to apply for and receive nonprofit status from the state by January 2014.