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October 17, 2018

9/27/2018 2:54:00 PM
Holiday fest is top winner in tourism grants
Six local organizations will split more than $17,000 in tourism grants from the City of Robinson.

Indiana Rail Road, however, will go empty-handed after a vote by the city council.

Robinson aldermen Tuesday approved a half-dozen tourism grants per the recommendation of the Tourism Committee. The top recipient is the Robinson Christmas Magic Festival. The council approved a $7,000 grant to support the annual event.

Other grants are $4250 to the Robinson Girls Softball Association, $3,000 to the Robinson High School Bandfest, $2,500 to the Crawford County Airport Wings by the Wabash Airshow and $500 each to Run for a Difference and the RHS color guard clinic.

The council did not extend its largesse to IRR, though. The railroad company recently did repair work on crossings on South Cross, South Webster and South Howard streets. It later asked the city to contribute $15,750, but was told the city's budget was already set for the year and did not include money for the project.

IRR then sent another request for the money.

"I'm really against it," Alderman Russell Snider said, making a motion to bring the matter to a vote. He and the rest of the council promptly voted it down.

Meanwhile, the city also received a grant of its own. The Illinois Department of Transportation awarded $8,355 to Robinson City Police to help pay for holiday overtime. Officers often work extra hours during the holiday season, keeping a watch out for drunken drivers and speeders.

The council also amended the ordinance allowing golf carts on city streets and the rules and fees for using the Robinson Community Center.

The golf cart ordinance was expanded to include side-by-side vehicles such as John Deere Gators. These vehicles will be required to meet the same requirements placed on the carts. They will have to pass inspection and provide proof of insurance. They must display a permit sticker and a slow-moving-vehicle sign.

The vehicles also must have lights, brakes, windshields and seat belts. Drivers must obey all traffic laws and only cross state highways at specified intersections. They will be subject to police traffic stops to ensure all requirements are met.

At the community center, it will no longer be necessary to have an uniformed officer on the premises during events that serve alcohol, such as wedding receptions. Also, events that run longer than eight hours will be charged $45 per additional hour on top of the regular rental fee. Sinclair voted "nay" on both changes.

Everyone was in agreement over a request for a street closing, however. First United Methodist Church will have its annual Praisefest Saturday, Oct. 6, in connection with the Heath Harvest Festival. A section of Walnut between Howard and Franklin will be shuttered following the annual parade and will remain closed until 5:30 p.m.

Aldermen also approved requests to purchase two different types of pump impellers with the prices not to exceed $10,000 and $2,000, respectively. They also authorized a call for bids to retrofit a pump and pipes on a lift station. Bids must be in by 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 5.

In other business, the council:

• Approved the appointment of Brian Bradbury for a five-year term on the Silas and Ruth Claypool Foundation Board beginning Oct. 1.

• Heard a proclamation by Mayor Roger Pethtel declaring Oct. 1 to 6 as Illinois Association of Home and Community Education Week. The IAHCE works to improve lives in the state through education and volunteer efforts.

• Was told 807 S. Cross was included in list of properties available for sale for back taxes by error. The property was voluntarily deeded over to the city earlier this year.

• Was told the second annual Fest-of-Ale went off without any problems Saturday. Attendance was good, although a full headcount is not yet available.

• Learned that the paperwork for renewing the Robinson Enterprise Zone is in the hands of a consulting firm working with the city on its application to the state.

• Set 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, as this year's official trick-or-treat hours.

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