Calls for racial justice took center stage at Tuesday's McLean County Board meeting.
The virtual meeting started with an invocation from County Board member Lyndsay Bloomfield of Bloomington. She said the county stands in solidarity with peaceful protesters.
“Because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Bloomfield said. “Let us strengthen our pledge to ensure black lives are seen, heard and valued. We grieve for the inequities of our nation.”
The meeting ended with County Board member Elizabeth Johnston of Normal recognizing the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery that will be marked with Juneteenth celebrations locally and across the country this weekend.
Johnston told fellow board members that promises of the American dream still remain out of reach for many people of color.
“They have faced roadblock after roadblock, carving out homes and livelihoods and that they have persevered generation after generation of hardships and they have never given up on that dream,” Johnston said. “In remembering them, I’m looking to craft policies that will fulfill the promses of freedom, equality and opportunity."
Last week, board member Josh Barnett of Bloomington asked county administration to craft an anti-discrimination policy for the board to consider in July.
In other business, the County Board approved hiring Scharnett Associates Architects of Bloomington for $28,800 to conduct architectural and engineering work to replace the roof at the McLean County Museum of History and improve its drainage system.
The company said an initial study of the roof revealed water has leaked through the roof and underlying insulation. It estimates the roof has exceeded its life expectancy by at least five years.
The County Board approved a limited use data agreement between the McLean County Coroner’s Office and the Illinois State University Mennonite College of Nursing for a study of how falls can lead to accelerated death.
The board also approved a feasibility study for the county to partner with the Ecology Action Center, the City of Bloomington, the Town of Normal and the Bloomington-Normal Water Reclamation District to establish a permanent household hazardous waste facility. The county also has agreed to help fund hazardous waste collections in the fall of 2021 and the fall of 2023 with the other taxing bodies.
And, the board approved accepting a $71,000 grant from the Illinois State Board of Elections to help cover voter registration costs.
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