At a Special Vermilion City Council Meeting on Monday, December 9, 2019, City Council voted unanimously to pass an emergency ordinance to allow the city to issue and sell bonds in the maximum principal amount of $2,200,000 to acquire and install new water meter equipment and related technology improvements for the municipal water system. Mayor Forthofer had reiterated at the Utilities Committee Meeting on October 21, 2019.
An ordinance to adopt a moratorium on applications for, and the granting of, zoning certificates for using any building in Vermilion for the cultivation, processing, distribution or sale of medical marijuana has been adopted by the City of Vermilion. The moratorium will last for a period not to exceed six months. The City will use the time to review laws.
Before 9/11, there was Pearl Harbor. A remembrance ceremony of the "Day Which Will Live In Infamy" will be held Saturday, December 7, 2019 at noon. The service will be held at Vermilion's South Street Boat Launch off West River Road. Sponsored by the Vermilion Veteran's Council and President Angus Bartlett, the observance is scheduled to be a brief 15 minutes.
At the Vermilion City Council meeting on Monday, December 2, 2019, Mayor Jim Forthofer reported on the progress of Road To Hope (RTH). Road To Hope is the organization that purchased the dilapidated motel property at the east end of Liberty Avenue in Vermilion, next to Brownhelm Cemetery, to convert the property to recovery housing.
At the Vermilion City Council meeting on Monday, December 2, 2019, City Council tabled the third reading of a Sweepstakes Terminal Cafes Ordinance that would raise fees for sweepstake cafés and referred it back to the January 13, 2020 Legislative Committee for further discussion. The tabling of the ordinance followed comments against the ordinance by Councilman Gabriel two weeks ago.
At the Vermilion City Council meeting on Monday, December 2, 2019, Steve Herron, Council President, thanked Councilman John Gabriel for his service over the last two years. Gabriel will be leaving City Council next year. Emily Skahen, who ran uncontested in the November 2019 general election, will replace Gabriel. “Councilman Gabriel has served on Council in the past, and has always been dependable."
At the Vermilion Parks & Recreation Board meeting of November 19, 2019, the board discussed the Harbor View Project. The Harbor View Project Subcommittee has recommended complete demolition of existing buildings, and landscaping the hillside to include an amphitheater, pavilion, and walkways to and from Main Street Beach westward.
At the Vermilion Parks & Recreation Board meeting of November 19, 2019, Brian Holmes conveyed that Mayor Forthofer gave a presentation to City Council on the Vermilion Community Pool. He would like to see the Parks Board and administration work together to come up with a resolution and a plan of what they're going to do with the pool moving forward. He couldn't say enough about the generosity of the residents.
At the Finance Committee meeting on November 18, 2019, Mayor Forthofer said he reviewed the capital expense obligations and usage is for the pool. He said between 2018 and 2019 the individual memberships decreased from 5 to 2 due to the weather. Family memberships in 2018 were 46 and in 2019 they had 32. However, the estimated walk-ups increased to 2,500 in 2019 from 2,000 in 2018.
At the Finance Committee meeting on November 18, 2019, City officials discussed Sweepstakes Terminal Café Fees. John Gabriel, Council Member, said this is an item in government he doesn’t like, especially when singling out a segment of business. He doesn’t understand why the sweepstakes businesses pay these fees because they invest in Vermilion, in their machines, computers, and everything they need to create their business.
At the Finance Committee meeting on November 18, 2019, John Gabriel, Council Member, said city council received updates recently from the Finance Director on the carryover amount going into next year and wondered what main item changed these amounts. Amy Hendricks, Finance Director, replied that it’s a conservative or worse-case scenario type of estimate.
The City of Vermilion Police Department (VPD) is very proud of a group of kids for doing the right thing. Sgt. Holmes responded to the Valley View pool playground after the kids called the VPD to report that they may have found a gun at the playground. They had not touched it, and did not know if it was real. The gun was determined to be a cap gun without an orange tip that someone had attempted to paint black with a marker.