London hires engineering firm to help with building plan reviews

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(Posted June 22, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The city of London is hiring an engineering firm to help with the overflow of building plans in need of review.

On June 17, city council approved a contract with Choice One Engineering for $10,000. The firm will assist with reviewing plans submitted for larger commercial projects. Currently, Madison County Engineer Bryan Dhume performs those reviews for the city. He will continue to do so as Choice One helps with the workload.

“There are lots of people that would like to get business going in the city,” said Henry Comer, council president. “This will be really helpful to open up this avenue to get plans looked at so they can get going.”

Another piece of legislation designed to aid with business development calls for the creation of a revitalization district that encompasses a large portion of the city. State law permits one liquor license for every five acres in such a district. Supporters see it as a way to attract and maintain restaurants, bars, and other eligible businesses.

Council will hold a public hearing and potentially vote on the proposed revitalization district at their next meeting on July 1.

In other action at the June 17 meeting, council members:

• passed the second resolution needed to place a levy on the Nov. 2 general election ballot. The city is seeking a five-year renewal of its 2.1-mill property tax for operating expenses.

• approved the appropriation of $428,247 for the purchase of a new fire truck and $900,000 for the purchase of new traffic lights. The funding comes from a loan the city recently secured to cover both projects.

• transferred $16,495 into the downtown revitalization fund.

• appropriated $1,500 in donations for the installation of park benches around the city.

• approved the appropriation of $40,000 to cover the increased cost of EMS billing. The company that provides the service increased the share it keeps from 5 percent to 10 percent in exchange for providing updates to reporting software, equipment for taking the reports, and maintenance of that equipment. The state frequently changes requirements for what is reported on EMS run sheets which necessitates software upgrades, council member Carla Blazier explained. The new arrangement will allow the city’s EMS to get updates and equipment repairs in a more timely fashion, she said.

Blazier also reported that enforcement of the city’s new restrictions on parking in city lots goes into effect July 30.

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