New alderman installed on city council

A new alderman was sworn in at the Vermillion City Council's meeting July 2.

(From left) Steve Ward, Howard Willson, Kelsey Collier-Wise and Clarene Meins take oath of office before starting their new terms as members of the Vermillion City Council on July 2. They are being sworn in by city finance officer Mike Carlson. (Photo By David Lias)

Kelsey Collier-Wise took the oath of office as a representative of the Central Ward, taking the place of council member Jennifer French.

Collier-Wise was elected to the council last month, as were incumbent members Clarene Meins of the Northeast Ward, Steve Ward of the Southeast Ward and Howard Willson of the Northwest Ward.

Mayor Jack Powell read a commendation thanking French for her service and being "willing to spend the time to improve our community in a variety of ways."

Among other accomplishments, Powell cited French's involvement in spearheading Vermillion's annual Ribs, Rods 'n Rock & Roll event.

"Her fellow members of the Vermillion City Council, on behalf of city staff and the community, do hereby extend our deepest appreciation to Jennifer French for her service to the community," Powell said.

The council members also elected officers at the meeting.

Kent Osborne of the Northeast Ward will serve as council president, and Willson will serve as vice president.

Finance Officer Mike Carlson and City Attorney Jim McCulloch will continue to serve in their respective duties.

In other city news, City Manager John Prescott announced that the project to renovate and expand Vermillion Public Library is "about 25 percent" completed.

The next two weeks should be relatively noisy in the building, Prescott said.

"They will first be constructing a temporary wall, and they will be taking down the existing north wall of the building," he said. "We apologize for the inconvenience, but at some point in time if we're going to add on, we need to take down that existing wall."

The progress of the expansion of Stanford Street also was discussed.

The project aims to expand the street to three lanes, with an eight-foot path on the west side and a five-foot sidewalk on the east, as well as an upgrade of the sanitary sewer lines and water mains in the area.

According to City Engineer José Dominguez, the intersection of Stanford and Main streets has been open for "two or three weeks."

"They are already done with the water main work all the way north to the trailer court," Dominguez said. "That has been tested, and as far as I know … it passed a pressure test this morning."

Additional sanitary work will begin later this month, he added.

"They're probably about a week behind schedule, but I think with the way the weather is going to be fore the following weeks they should be able to make that up," Dominguez said.

The project is scheduled for completion in October.

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