© 2024 WGLT
A public service of Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Normal council to decide Monday on license plate reading cameras for police

Normal Town Council members will consider on Monday how well a proposal for license plate reading cameras balances privacy issues with law enforcement priorities.

The council will vote during its regular meeting whether to lease 27 cameras from Flock Safety, for close to $84,000. That's the same vender Bloomington chose.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the council chambers in Uptown Station.

Civil libertarians have expressed concern there are not adequate protections of privacy and questioned data retention and use policies. Town staff said in briefing papers for the council that police will get technology needed to capture objective evidence — vehicles and license plates — to prevent, investigate and solve crime.

The cameras connect to law enforcement databases of wanted and stolen vehicles, as well as the database for Amber and Silver alerts. This allows officers to have real-time information of criminal activity.

Staff said the use policy, transparency portal, and auditing tools will ensure transparency and accountability.

Rivian wind turbine

The council also will decide whether to sign off on Rivian's proposal for a large wind turbine on the east side of the plant in Normal. It would go on the northern portion of the test drive track and be no taller than 500 feet and 3.4 megawatts in generating capacity.

Staff said impact studies show the turbine meets requirements for shadow flicker, noise, vibration, and signal interference. A wildlife study on the impact to birds and bats is under way. Storm water detention issues are still being worked out.

The turbine requires an amendment to the site plan and a special use permit. Both are up for consideration.

Earlier changes to the site plan have included three expansions totaling approximately 1.3 million square feet and a 60,000 square foot charging canopy.

Vineyards development

The proposed 11th addition of the Vineyards subdivision is up for final plat approval. This would add 23 lots for single-family residences on six acres at the southeast corner of the Vineyards on Shepard Road east of Airport Road. Right-of-way is included for the extension of Cabernet Court.

The subdivision began development in 2005, but there was little activity for a few years after the great recession and development stalled again after 2016 until this year.

Intersection work

And, town council members will decide whether to spend about $77,000 on the intersection of Landmark Drive at Parkway Plaza. Staff said larger vehicles making the turn from Landmark Drive onto Parkway Plaza have been driving over the curb when vehicles are in the westbound left turn lane, damaging the curbs and sidewalks. The work will change the curb radius and sidewalks and replace sidewalk ramps to improve access for people with disabilities. Rowe Construction would get the contract.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.