Galva Council deals with eyesore properties, vacating railroad crossings

Carol Townsend

The city council was offered $100,000 more than several years ago to close the railroad crossing near the Galva Catholic Cemetery East of Galva.  Several years ago, the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad had offered Galva $65,000 to close the crossing and now City Administrator David Dyer asked for another $100,00 and they came back and said they would give the City of Galva $165,000.

Dyer said that if this was approved, about $15,000 would be used to close the closing and approximately $150,000 would be used for Galva streets.  

The council tabled the crossing until they can find a use for the 20 acres that are on the North side of the tracks. It is presently rented to Jeff Kaiser for $363 per acre with other acreage on the South side of the tracks. It was stated that maybe solar panels could be put on the 20 acres and it was also noted that a cannabis plant had looked at it.

In other news, Pjar a company who helps develops TIF districts has been in contact with Galva as the downtown TIF will expire December 31, 2021.

The council discussed if they created another one which buildings would go in the new district if one could be created. Several buildings that were mentioned were old REA lot, former Bob Evans, two ceramic buildings etc. The EAV needs to be declining on the properties.

Police Chief Kraig Townsend announced that Galva’s Sergeant Jerrod Hedden had resigned as a full time officer. Hedden had worked a lot of part time hours before being hired nearly two years ago as a full time officer.  Chief Townsend said that Ralph Brown  the school officer is filling in this summer so they won’t be in real need until school starts in August.  He said they really need part time police officers as another one has left the Galva department.

Townsend said he likes to have 8 part time and presently has only 3.  He said other towns in the area are also in need. He said that enrollment is down in the training. He said the training is every other Saturday and Sunday for 9 months.

Third ward alderman Jackie Clucas asked Chief Townsend what the council could do and how old someone had to be to take the training. He said they must be 21 years of age.

Officer James Robertson has been promoted to Sargeant. 

View of nuisance property at 104 NW 1st
104 NE 1st St. Property

Second ward alderman Jim Hartman asked  Chief Townsend about the former Bixby Zimmer property  at 104 Northeast First Street and when it would be cleaned up.

Third ward alderman Dougie Anderson said Monday night that something has to be done immediately and he was willing to sign the complaint if that was necessary. “Everything needs to be behind the fence”  Anderson suggested that  Denny Tarleton needs to be up there with the wrecker hauling the items to the impound lot.

Anderson said that that neighborhood has complained and something needs to be done immediately. “There are even items on the terrace.”

“This has been going on too long” noted Anderson.

Chief Townsend said he has talked to the owner and he is working on it.

He said he has also talked with the landlord and the tenant of a housefire at 12 Northeast 2nd Street about all of her belongings in the front yard under a tarp.   He said she will have it out as soon as she finds a trailer to haul. The council hopes it leaves before July 4th.

Chief Townsend reported that he went around and checked the 110 properties that were in violation several months ago on junk or unlicensed vehicles.  He said he gave each owner a copy of a letter about when clean up was or a letter of suggestions of what you can do with an old vehicle. He said there were 27 properties left before clean up day that still had a violation. He gave each of those til June 30th.

In other business, Anderson said he wants to get Galva going with a marketing plan to market Galva’s two subdivisons. There are 13 lots at Northpoint and 10 lots at Court Estates Subdivision. All of the lots in both subdivisions sell for $9.400 per acre.

The council went into closed session and after coming back into open session, approved to authorize City Administrator David Dyer to negotiate a lease on the city owned old landfill property for a solar array.

Mayor Rich Volkert reported that Galva Fire Department was recently given a 5 rating. This is good for all Galvans when getting insurance on their properties.

The following checks have been received from the State of Illinois: May video gaming tax, $3,994; May cannabis tax, $344; April telecommunications tax, $2,223; May income tax, $38,224; April state use tax, $8,607; April sales tax, $25,694 and May motor fuel tax, $8,459.

Third ward alderman Jackie Clucas was sworn in for a two year term for alderman.

Mayor Volkert reported someone will be replacing the four benches in Veterans park around the fountain.