Streator to set rules for nonprofits soliciting at intersections

Council will vote to finalize ordinance at upcoming meeting

Streator firefighter Bryan Park receives a donation during a past Fill The Boot campaign, which supports the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Streator firefighters were at downtown locations Thursday and Friday and will be there again today.

The Streator City Council soon will vote on rules for nonprofit organizations soliciting money at intersections in an effort to make the events safer.

After a request March 20 from the Streator Monarch Mission and Garden Club to ask for money at intersections downtown, council member Matt McMullen brought up the need for safety rules and guidelines for groups asking for money on city streets.

He said he didn’t want to see an accident with people collecting money at busy intersections.

After researching similar ordinances in other communities, City Attorney Sheryl Churney offered a number of suggestions, including requiring the groups to apply for permission to solicit 30 days before their event. The organizations then would have to show proof of insurance and registration as a nonprofit.

Other rules discussed involved requiring solicitors to be at least 16 years old, to wear brightly colored vests and limiting groups to only two soliciting events per year, among other guidelines.

The council also agreed that solicitation should be limited to the intersections of Park and Main, Bloomington and Main, and Otter Creek and Main streets.

The council didn’t take action Wednesday. The city attorney will draft the ordinance based on the discussion, and council members will vote to finalize the rules at an upcoming meeting.

The council agreed that the Streator Monarch Mission’s and Garden Club’s events can move forward, as rules will not be in place by their requested dates later this month.

Hickory Street demolition

The house at 121 W. Hickory St. was demolished. The rental house was deemed a nuisance by the city. A search warrant was carried out in June at the Hickory Street house after people were seen on video fleeing into the house after a shooting, the Streator Police Department reported at the time.

No arrests were made as a result of it, the police said. According to the city’s ordinances, the city can declare a public nuisance property where three or more offenses, outlined specifically in the city’s ordinance, have occurred within a year.

Mayor Tara Bedei said Senate Bill 3680, which is in consideration in Springfield, would prevent the city from taking future similar action if it were to be signed into law. The bill proposes repealing provisions prohibiting ordinances penalizing tenants who contact the police or other emergency services.

It adds provisions prohibiting a county or municipality from enacting a program, ordinance, resolution or other regulation that penalizes landlords or tenants, guests or others for contact with a law enforcement agency; requires or encourages landlords to evict or penalize tenants or household members for contact with a law enforcement agency, a criminal conviction or alleged unlawful conduct, including through cooperating agreements with law enforcement agencies; and requires or promotes the use of criminal background checks of prospective and current tenants, among other stipulations.

Bedei said she would write a letter discouraging lawmakers from enacting the bill into law.

Kimes School signage

City Engineer Jeremy Palm said the city was alerted that there were no school-zone speed limit signs on Columbus Road near Kimes School. Palm said the city will install the proper signage.

City properties for sale

The City Council agreed to advertise city-owned residential properties for sale. The city would ask for a $500 minimum bid and be willing to agree to a quit claim deed with willing buyers. City staff will review which properties will be made available.

In other items:

  • The City Council agreed to pay $50,880 to Asphalt Sales Co. of Jacksonville for emulsified oil. The oil will be used for the city’s spray patch machine. The council also approved buying $36,200 for aggregate from Todd Campbell Trucking Inc. in Cornell to use in the spray machine, as well as for alley and sidewalk repairs.
  • The City Council approved Midwest Testing Services’ proposal for soil and pavement borings to finalize the pavement design for the Iowa Avenue project. This is a requirement for federal projects, Palm said. The city received $750,000 in federal funds for the Iowa Avenue reconstruction project from money earmarked by U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap.