Morris City Council approves Corn Fest dates

Council also declares surplus in TIF I and Marina TIF funds

MORRIS – The Morris City Council met Tuesday night and approved a request from the Grundy County Corn Festival Committee to use various city streets and parking lots from Sept. 20 to 27 for the 72nd annual Grundy County Corn Festival.

“We did the same thing with Cruise Night a few meetings ago,” Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick said. “We want to have those dates in place so we can have those things. We know a lot more now than we did last year as far as COVID and how to stay safe.

“We have the utmost confidence in the Corn Festival Committee that they will have all the precautions in place in order to keep everyone safe but still be able to enjoy the Corn Festival. We will also have the Concerts on the Courthouse Lawn events coming up soon, and with those being outside and having people wearing masks, we think we will be able to make those happen, keep everyone safe and be able to enjoy being together and getting at least a little bit back to normal.”

Also approved by the council was a request by the GFWC Illinois Morris Woman’s Club to place blue ribbons on trees and light posts in the downtown area along Liberty and Washington streets from April 1 to May 1 for Child Abuse Awareness Month.

The Finance and Administration Committee recommended two motions regarding the city’s tax increment financing district funds:

  • That the City Council adopt an ordinance declaring surplus revenue of TIF 1 funds.
  • That the City Council adopt an ordinance declaring surplus revenue in the marina TIF funds.

Both motions passed by a 9-0 vote.

“This is an agreement the city has with the taxing bodies that we declare a 10% surplus annually, and that surplus will be split evenly among those bodies,” Kopczick said. “In the marina TIF fund, we declare a 30% surplus and distribute that as well.”

The Water and Sewer Committee recommended in the form of a motion that the council adopt an ordinance approving and authorizing a change order No. 2 for the waste water treatment plant facility improvement project for an increase in the sum of $2,662.

“The first was a change order for a $990,000 project,” Kopczick said. “When you have a big project like that, there are going to be some changes. The first change order was for $37,052 and this one was for $2,662, so a total of $39,715 on a million-dollar project. We’re happy with that. The second order was for exhaust fans, which were galvanized and all rusted out, so we are replacing them with stainless steel fans.

The Water and Sewer Committee also made a motion recommending that the council adopt an ordinance finding need and necessity, authorizing negotiations and the filing of condemnation proceedings, if necessary, for the acquisition of all necessary water and sewer easement (including fee sample acquisitions if necessary) associated with the East Side Wastewater Treatment Plant and related water main projects.

That motion “was for easements to serve the Proctor & Gamble facility that is being built,” Kopczick said.

Both of the Water and Sewer Committee’s motions passed by an 8-0 vote.

The Judiciary and License Committee granted a business license to Cindy Ross, doing business as The Crafter’s Gallery LLC, 316 Liberty St., to operate an arts and crafts supply, art gallery and art workship business.

The meeting ended with Alderman Derrick Wren thanking water operator Alan Siron and the Public Works Department for clearing the roads after the snowstorm. Kopczick echoed Wren’s statements.

“Those guys do a great service for the city,” Kopczick said. “It seems great at first because they are getting paid overtime, but that job gets real old, real fast. We thank them for what they do.

“I know a lot of people complain because their mailboxes or driveways may be covered up, but they are out there doing it so that our police, fire trucks and ambulances can get to where they are needed. The snow can only go to the right or to the left on the streets, and our emergency responders need to be able to get to where they are going.”

Rob Oesterle

Rob has been a sports writer for the Morris Herald-News and Joliet Herald-News for more than 20 years. He is currently also writing news for the Morris Herald-News.