Town of Normal | WGLT

Town of Normal

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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.

Creative Commons

Police in Normal have arrested two men in what could be the overdose death of a 17-year old girl.

Officers aren't saying anything about the cause of death, but Chief Rick Bleichner implied it when he said there can be immunity from offenses if there is a good faith effort to call for medical help or to save a life.

Creative Commons

Police in Normal have arrested a man they believe is a one-man car burglary wave.

Officers say they found 22-year old Marquel Butler of Bloomington in the 1500 block of Torrey Pines Road early Tuesday morning.

Ralph Weisheit

Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos is considering another run for Mayor.

During Sound Ideas Koos told GLT's Mike McCurdy he'd make a decision in "the next two to three weeks."

Melissa Schoper / WGLT

Construction on the One Uptown  Circle project in Normal should begin in August. The three story building will house a restaurant on the first floor, office space on the second, and high-end apartments on the top floor.  The Normal Town Council approved nearly $70,000 in design work from Eckenhoff Saunders Architects for its offices which will occupy the second floor.

Town of Normal

The Normal Town Council will vote Tuesday on whether to take the next step in relocating four department offices to a new development in Uptown Normal. Engineering, Inspections, Planning, and Facilities Management are slated to move there in late summer or early fall 2017.

Children's Discovery Museum

The Children's Discovery Museum in Uptown Normal has a new exhibit that combines the desire for faraway places with a staycation.  "Hello From Japan" opens Friday evening and gives visitors a chance to experience Japanese culture in an interactive exhibit that reveals the two sides of Japanese culture.

Town of Normal

Van Leer's Broadview Mansion in Normal has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The property has been owned by the Immanuel Bible Foundation since 1949.

Staff

The town of Normal is now in the market for a water department director, as well as a parks and recreation director.

Steve Gerdes is announcing his retirement, effective in August, after nearly 20 years with the department. City manager Mark Peterson says there will be a national search for Gerdes' replacement. He says Gerdes has helped elevate the town's water department status during his tenure, so finding a suitable replacement shouldn't be a problem.

Ralph Weisheit

Bloomington's mayor said a sales tax sharing proposal is "dead, in the short term at least" after a majority of aldermen decided against further discussions. 

However, Mayor Tari Renner said the proposal could resurface after the April 2017 municipal elections.

Ralph Weisheit

The town of Normal's Parks and Recreation director is leaving after one year on the job.

According to a news release from the town, Chris Cotten will take a similar position at a community in Kansas. His last day on the job in Normal is July first.

City Manager Mark Peterson thanked Cotten for his service and said he would be missed. Peterson says summer programs are running and are expected to proceed without any problems.

There is no timetable for finding Cotten's replacement.

Staff / WGLT

The library board in Normal recently agreed to study a potential new location in Uptown south of the train tracks. Library Director Brian Chase said the analysis will be complex but the end result will be much different than the current library.

Staff / WGLT

Discussion of establishing a sales tax sharing agreement for Bloomington and Normal will slow down over the next couple of weeks, according to Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos.

"Bloomington council has been very clear. They want to have a public discussion at either the 13th or 20th  meetings (of June)," said Koos.

Town of Normal

Two properties in a historic Normal neighborhood are being converted back to single family homes. The houses were previously rented by university students, and there were numerous noise complaints from surrounding neighbors.

Ralph Weisheit

An ad-hoc committee of elected officials from the Town of Normal and the City of Bloomington is still working on developing a sales tax sharing agreement.

Transit Board Approves Routes, Schedule Changes

May 24, 2016
Staff / WGLT

New routes and schedules for buses in the Twin Cities were approved by the Connect Transit Board of Trustees. The changes include more frequent service, Sunday service, and more transfer locations. General Manager Andrew Johnson said, as a result of the changes, the yearly operating costs will go up to $14.5 million, which is about $3 million higher than current operating costs.

Ralph Weisheit

The Normal Town Council approved $606,000 to renovate the former Sprague's Super Service fuel station along Route 66. Former Illinois State University professor and Route 66 Scholar Terri Ryburn, who is selling the building to the town, said she'll be happy to see this property develop.

Normal To Consider Fixing Up Route 66 Attraction

May 15, 2016
Staff / WGLT

A fuel station first built in the 1930’s along Route 66 in Normal could be fully restored by the town. The Normal Town Council will consider whether to spend $606,000 to purchase the property, make improvements to the building, and replace the parking lot.

Ralph Weisheit

The Mayor of Normal sees the sale of the Mitsubishi plant to a liquidator as a positive. He also said the purchase would not interfere with overseas conversations to sell the plant.

Transit Board Postpones Changes

May 3, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

A proposal to change routes and schedules for buses in the Twin Cities has been delayed until later this month. Trustees voted 4-3 to table the route change proposal. Concerns about the plan centered around a possible contract with Uber or a similar provider as well as the addition of a Gold route in west Bloomington last week.

Melissa Schoper

The Normal Town Council approved design revisions to the proposed One Uptown Circle structure Monday night. The new mixed use development will be located next to the Hyatt Place in Uptown Normal. 

Twin Cities Bus Riders Unhappy With Proposal

May 2, 2016
Michael Hill / WGLT

Opponents and a few supporters filled the Normal council chambers to express their opinions of a proposal that would change Connect Transit routes and schedules. Those who attended the hearing had mostly negative things to say about the plan.

Eckenhoff Saunders Architects

A new mixed use development next to Hyatt Place in Normal, called One Uptown Circle, has to receive approval from the Normal Town Council Monday night before the project moves forward. The proposed building design requires the council to waive some of the town’s design codes for the area, but those waivers are considered to be quote “minor” according to a staff report.

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