Town of Normal | WGLT

Town of Normal

Sarah Grammer

There will be a contest for the office of Normal Township Supervisor. Sarah Grammer is currently serving on the Normal Library Board and has announced plans to run as a Democrat.

Grammer said she hopes to improve public assistance.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Circumstances on the existing plot of land targeted for a Portillo's requires public participation to draw the restaurant that is one of "the most talked about things in the last 3 or 4 months in the community," according to the Town of Normal Mayor.

WGLT Staff

The $1.8 million tax rebate to developers of a popular Chicago-based restaurant is high, but reasonable for one projected to bring in $8 million in annual sales. 


The Town of Normal Council is expected to address the Portillo's development at its Monday evening meeting. Council will consider an incentive package rebating $1.825 million dollars in sales tax revenue over approximately 7 years. 


Oakbrook, IL based food chain Portillo's will be located on a lot currently occupied by a Motel 6.

The restaurant, serving Chicago-style food, will build along Parkway Plaza Drive, between Landmark Drive and Veterans Parkway in Normal. 

The Town of Normal Council is expected to address the Portillo's development on Monday evening. Council will vote on an incentive package rebating $1.825 million dollars in sales tax revenue over approximately 7 years.  

Staff / WGLT

A Bloomington High School Science Teacher said he believes the Town of Normal is heading down an unsustainable path.

Marc Tiritilli has filed petitions to run for Mayor against incumbent Chris Koos.

Ralph Weisheit

Early filings are  slow for Town of Normal municipal elections next year. Today is the first day candidates can file petitions to appear on the ballot. 

Only incumbent Scott Preston and candidate Ron Ulmer had filed for Town Council as of mid-morning.

Cheryl Gaines

Normal Town Council Member Cheryl Gaines says she wants to become Township Supervisor.

She will step off the council next year after 24 years.

Normal water tower
Staff / WGLT

The Town of Normal is planning for the future...the year 2040 to be exact. A committee of community members presented the Normal 2040 Plan to the Town Council Monday night.

Committee members said the plan will work as a blueprint to improve the community and residents' lives. 

Ralph Weisheit

A special prosecutor has been appointed to look into travel expenses filed by a member of the Normal Town Council.

McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers declined to look into the matter, citing his previous service on the Council as a barrier and forwarded  the issue to the Appellate Prosecutor's office.

Creative Commons

The current owner of the old Administration building at the old Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Childrens School said over time, town support of redevelopment has paid off.

The ISSCS property, in fact is a case study in how long a successful redevelopment can take, decades, according to artist Nick Africano.

Underpass Study Will Be A 'Public, Dynamic Process'

Oct 3, 2016
Town of Normal

The Normal Town Council approved an engineering study that will examine the proposed underpass at Uptown Station more closely. The study will cost the town over $1.4 million and take about two years. City Manager Mark Peterson said people will be able to be actively involved in the study.

Town of Normal

The Town of Normal has picked Shelleigh Birlingmair as the Executive Director of the Children's Discovery Museum.

City Manager Mark Peterson said Birlingmair has a history of community involvement and extensive experience as a leader, volunteer, and advocate for not for profit organizations.

Two-year Underpass Study Could Move Forward

Oct 2, 2016
Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Normal Town Council members will consider a $1.4 million engineering study for the proposed underpass at Uptown Station. Funding for the study was approved as part of the town's budget for this year.

Town of Normal

The town of Normal's new Director of Parks and Recreation comes to the town from Washington, Illinois.

7-year-old Doug Damery, 47, was selected for the post following a ten-week national search. He succeeds Chris Cotten, who left for a similar job in Salina, Kansas.

Damery has headed up parks in Washington since 2003. Prior to that, he worked in Itasca, Illinois and Carmel, Indiana. He'll begin his duties in Normal on November first.

John Alltop / Wikimedia Commons

The Town Council in Normal has approved taxpayers paying about a half million dollars to tear down the old Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children's School Administration Building on Beech Street.

That is in return for the land and in the hope new development will eventually happen.

John Alltop / Wikimedia Commons

Normal Town Council members will be asked to consider a redevelopment agreement for two buildings at a military orphanage that opened in 1869 and closed in 1979. 

Emma Shores / WGLT

McLean County residents are reacting to a new medical marijuana dispensary opening in northern Normal. The Green Solution opened their doors Friday to allow members of the public to preview the facility.

Steve Sompong of Bloomington has a prescription for cannabis to treat Fibromyalgia. He said he's had to drive to Canton and Peoria to obtain the substance.

"Now I'm three miles away. This is the greatest thing that's ever happened in the state of Illinois," he said. "I mean, help with medical, children [and] everything. Everybody benefits from this that has problems.”

Normal Council To Consider Bike Sharing

Sep 5, 2016

The Twin Cities could have a bike sharing program soon. Normal Town Council members will vote on a contract with Zagster, which provides the service for small towns and universities.

Normal Library Board Evaluating Architects

Aug 30, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

Members of the Normal Library Board of Trustees are in the process of choosing an architectural firm for a planned library south of Uptown Circle. During a joint meeting with the Normal Town Council, Engberg Anderson Architects, OPN Architects and HGA presented their qualifications for designing the facility. 

Ralph Weisheit

Mayor of Normal Chris Koos said there are "still a lot of moving pieces" when it comes to determining whether or not a railroad pedestrian underpass will be constructed in the Uptown district.

During Sound Ideas, Koos discussed the $1.5 million feasibility study agreement council members funded at Monday night's regular meeting.

Brett Levin / Flickr

The Normal Town Council will be asked to vote on changing the town's ordinance on cannabis possession to align with a state law passed last month.

Michael Hill / WGLT

People in the Twin Cities are reacting to the Connect Transit route and schedule overhaul that will start on August 15th. Sheila Eskew of Bloomington said she's happy with the changes.

Staff / WGLT

Normal's mayor still likes the chances of improvements to Main Street despite the federal government's rejection of a grant proposal to improve the corridor.

Staff / WGLT

The Normal Town Council has unanimously approved a Complete Streets resolution. The policy establishes rules for making streets and sidewalks accessible to people using any form of transportation.

City Manager Mark Peterson said budget is a consideration when implementing a Complete Streets upgrade and some improvements are not financially supportable. Peterson said there is enough flexibility to make adjustments in street design based upon the existing conditions.

Normal Council To Consider 'Complete Streets' Policy

Jul 31, 2016
IvoShandor / Wikimedia Commons

A formal Complete Streets proposal is under consideration at Monday's Normal Town Council meeting. If approved, the resolution would further establish rules for making streets and sidewalks accessible to people using all forms of transportation.

Chris Koos
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Chris Koos says he will run for his fourth full term as Mayor of the Town of Normal. The 68-year old Koos also served a portion of a term when former Mayor Kent Karraker resigned.

Eight years ago Koos said he probably wouldn't run again. Four years ago, Mayor Koos said he would not run again and would make an effort during the term to mentor potential successors.

Gravity Aided / Wikimedia Commons

The Normal Theater could see an upgrade to its lighting system, allowing it to be used for more live performances and community events. The town council will consider spending $57 thousand on the energy efficient upgrade for the venue.