Morris City Council approves purchase of ballistic vests

Vests will be used by police department for protection

MORRIS – The Morris City Council approved the purchase of 27 ballistic vests for the police department Monday night.

Morris Police Chief Alicia Steffes said that the company the vests are being purchased from, Safari Land, is the same company that provided the vests used by the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department and helped save Deputy Tyler Post when he was shot Oct. 7.

“The cost is about $1,100 per vest,” Morris Mayor Chris Brown said. “Chief Steffes went out and got a lot of donations. Because of that, the cost to the city was only between $4,000-5,000, so kudos to Chief Steffes for the work that she did.”

Brown announced that the Rough Road 100 bicycle race will be run April 2, 2022, starting and finishing at Canalport Park. This will be the sixth year that the race has been in Morris, with the past two years preempted because of COVID-19.

The Finance and Administration Committee recommended in the forms of motions that the council adopt an ordinance approving and authorizing the Donation Agreement between the city of Morris and Grundy Bank Trust #1527 (Little Willow Road/Red Willow Road property), that the council approve the renewal of the Grundy County Animal Control Agreement for 2021-22 and that the council approve an extension of the License Agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. All motions were passed by an 8-0 vote.

“The donation agreement is for the Rockwell Estates subdivision near Route 80,” Brown said. “The Grundy Bank Trust donated the land to us, as well as a $20,000 check, so we can either make a park there or a connecting road.

“The IDNR agreement is so that we can use their property for our water pipes and sewers. The agreements are usually for five years, but this one is for 10.”

Parks and Annexation Committee Chairwoman Sarah Mettille said she has received calls asking about sponsoring the soon-to-be-built ice skating rink, and that a flyer has been sent out to local businesses letting them know how to be a sponsor if they choose.

The Judiciary and License Committee granted a business license to Pengfei Song, doing business as DM Auto Share Inc., 1802 N. Division St, Suite 510, to operate an auto share business.

The Street and Alley Committee recommended in the forms of motions that the council adopt an ordinance amending Section 10.30.010 of the Morris Municipal Code regarding No Parking Regulations (Water Street Parking), that the council adopt an ordinance amending Section 10.36.035(A) of the Morris Municipal Code to include the first parking stall on the south side of the 100 block of West Washington Street east of Wauponsee Street as a Handicapped Parking Space and that the council award the Airport Road Improvements Project to the low bidder, PT Ferro Construction Co., in the amount of $1,246,110.33. All motions passed by an 8-0 vote.

“Ferro’s bid beat out the next bid by just $200,” Brown said. “We’ve been having problems with parking on a dead-end street (Water Street), so this ordinance will help the police enforce that.”

The Planning Commission recommended in the form of a motion that the council adopt an ordinance granting the Conditional Permitted Use Request by Noodles & Company for a drive-thru facility in the B-3 Zoning District (commercial district) at 281 E. U.S. Route 6, Unit 110. The motion passed by an 8-0 vote.

“This will be in the old Cash Store building in the strip mall out near Walmart,” Brown said. “They will have an app that you can order on, then drive up and get your food.”

Alderman Julian Houston also announced that November will be the last month that the city will do leaf pickup.

Rob Oesterle

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.