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Monday, December 19, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

City Council Meeting 12/19/2011

DECATUR - Decatur City Council members on Monday gave a unanimous go-ahead to fund software supporting a planned city administrative court system and to expand a study of a major east side corridor.

Members voted 7-0 to purchase a court case management software system that will allow officials to efficiently manage what is expected to be a large volume of cases throughout the city as part of administrative court. The city currently prosecutes all ordinance violations in Circuit Court with the exception of violations of the city’s noise ordinance and unlawful use of a motor vehicle charges. The types of cases that could be heard in administrative court could include, among other types, those related to property maintenance, garbage and littering complaints, certain building code and overweight vehicle cases.

Administrative court represents a key tool in efforts to better clean up and maintain the City.

In other business, council voted to amend its agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation to address traffic concerns along Brush College Road from William Street to Faries Parkway. Council last year hired URS Corporation to identify the best methods for eliminating bottlenecks and other traffic problems at the Brush College underpass just south of Faries Parkway. As the study progressed, it was determined that the train crossing at the intersection north of the underpass could still create significant delays even after the bottleneck issue was addressed.

The change order will fund designs that could address the crossing related problems at a cost of $587,714.35, which will bring the total project cost to $1,398,714. This amount is wholly included in the $1.5 million allocated to the City of Decatur by the Illinois Department of Transportation for the Brush College Underpass preliminary engineering.

The City Council Monday also voted to sell the final tract of land at Mound Center, located at the intersection of Mound Road and U.S. 51. An overriding goal in the development of this site has been to recruit new retail and/or restaurant space not currently operating in the City as a means to drive both local and out-of-town traffic to the Decatur community to dine or shop. This strategy has successfully brought to Decatur entities that were highly desirable by local residents and that, today, continue as popular destinations, including Target, Olive Garden, Starbucks and Papa Murphy’s Pizza.

Plans are for this next phase of development to include Smashburger, which ranked first in the most recent Forbes Magazine list of America’s Most Promising Companies. Far from fast food, the restaurant chain instead bills itself as “fast casual,” and according to Forbes, is expected to grow to 143 locations throughout the U.S. by the end of the year with 450 more franchise agreements currently in place.

Contact Billy Tyus at 217-424-2727 for more information.