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City Council Discusses Need for More Food Pantry Space

Monday, May 20, 2019 - Posted 8:07:36 PM
At the Minonk City Council meeting Monday night, food pantry representative Roger Janssen told the council they need additional space to handle the increase demand for food pantry items. Mr. Janssen said the current building size is 1000 square feet and the food pantry would like to double that space. He said when the current 25 X 40 building was constructed the food pantry serviced 23 families but now there are over 50 families being serviced.

Mr. Janssen asked the council if they had any objections to adding on to the current building which is attached to the northwest corner of the city hall building. He said they are looking for options to pursue. Adding on to the north would take away parking space for city hall but adding on to the west might be feasible.

Administrative Manager Bill Moline said he heard suggestions to put the food pantry addition next to the new Minonk Township building at the northeast corner of the city. Mr. Janssen said that was not a good fit for the food pantry.

Mayor Koos said while there is no objection from the council, more information is needed in order to make a decision on which option to pursue. Alderman Ruestman said it is important to keep the tax payers in mind as there will be additional cost to maintain a larger building in addition to the cost to construct a new addition.

In other business, the council had no objection to the purchase of 10 notebook tablets from Best Buy for around $3000. Mayor Koos said the money was already budgeted for the purchase.

City Treasurer Steve O'Riley presented an amended budget which the council approved. He said the amendments were made to bring expenses in line with the budget since the State of Illinois does not allow the city to spend more than what is specified in the budget.

The council approved the appointment of Teresa Livingston as a Filger Library Trustee.

Ambulance Chief Mindy Goodrich said the Lucas Device for the ambulance squad has been purchased after the $16,000 fund drive goal was reached last week. In addition to the GoFundMe drive, which raised over $3000, another $6800 was raised from the pancake breakfast at Crank's Bar and Restaurant and from the draw down. Ms. Goodrich also said people gave donations in person. She said she was really appreciative of the amazing response of the community. She said there will be an open house at the ambulance shed on Jefferson street on Friday, May 24th, between 1 and 5 pm where the Lucas Device will be demonstrated.

Mayor Koos said the city must adjust to life without a TIF district as the TIF 2 fund will expire in 3 years. The Mayor said the city has benefited from the TIF 1 and TIF 2 funds for the last 24 years and they have played a vital role in improving the city's buildings and infrastructure. He said the council will have to decide how to finance new projects and improve infrastructure without TIF funds. The Mayor said he would like to revive the Finance Committee which can then come up with a model for funding future projects. The committee will decide on whether taking on debt is the way to finance or by some other means.

Administrative Manager Bill Moline gave the following update on city projects:
  • Staff members for Congressman Darin LaHood will be at City Hall Tuesday May 28th from 10-12 for the community to ask questions about Social Security, veteran's Benefits and other federal programs.
  • Prevailing wage change – the City no longer needs to adopt a prevailing wage ordinance – state taking care of and contractors will be required to provide weekly payroll information to the city for any public work hired to perform for the city.
  • The city will be planning a clean up day in June – NO ELECTRONICS.
  • Starting to get some of the potholes filled in, ground work cleaned up around sewer/water leak fixes, sidewalk projects being discussed.
  • Turned in project list to hopefully get some Woodford County Revolving Loan money for sidewalk projects so we are ADA compliant. Won't know if awarded anything until August and then money probably wouldn't be received until sometime in the Fall.
  • City continuing to focus on ordinance issues for tall grass, clutter/garbage and vehicles/trailers/boats not parked on approved surfaces etc.


Josh Jones: I would think the food pantry shouldn't be too picky on a space. Taxes are already gonna go up with the school situation do we really need to make them even higher with a bigger food pantry?
Clint Winters: Josh Jones if it's as big of scam as the one on Wenona they'd be better off shuttling the people that need it to a store..Apparently having a 50k vehicle to pick up food with they should buy their own stuff..pretty sad
Amanda Jane:I mean, I can't disagree with the community providing transportation to the resources. Seems smart.
Billie Stokowski: how about the old dollar General store for the food pantry.... it just sits empty... and there is plenty of parking
Renee Kennedy: Billie Stokowski i heard someone bought that and is turning into a church.. not sure if it's true though
Billie Stokowski: Renee Kennedy oh...i thought that fell through....idk... just a thought
Renee Kennedy: Billie Stokowski oh really? I had no idea.. I only know what I'm told at work lol. It's a good idea if so though... plenty of space
Amanda Jane: Thats what the community needs....another Church
Shannon Gauthier: I hear the large building to the south of the fire department is for sale. The property is large enough to accommodate all of the city and fire department needs including the food pantry.