EFFINGHAM — Working its way down a prioritized list of projects, the Effingham City Council on Tuesday is a bit closer to the renovation of a building that will serve as Fire Station 2.

The city council awarded the lowest bid to specifications to Grunloh Building Inc., located at 901 N. Second St., Effingham, for $782,400.

The project came in over estimate, as it was expected to be about $600,000. Funds are available from the 2017 bond proceeds and Industrial TIF account for the cost. Other projects have come under budget, city officials said, which also offsets the higher cost.

The project proposed is to convert an existing building at 500 West Jaycee Avenue into Fire Station 2. It will include complete interior renovations to the existing building, plus exterior painting, parking lot addition, detention pond relocation, replacement of mechanical systems and other related building work.

City Administrator Steve Miller said this project has been on the list for many years. Several years ago a committee reviewed all of the city’s facilities, including police station, fire station, public works building, and street and sewer building when a list of priorities were made. At that time, it was deemed the police station should be first.

“This has been a long time coming and planning after getting through the police station,” said Miller.

The city already purchased the former Apria Healthcare building. It will eventually close Fire Station 3 and keep Central Fire station open. Fire Station 3 will be sold. This renovation project was expected to be far less costly than building a new fire hall, estimated to cost between $2 and $3 million, Miller said previously.

The city reviewed six bids for the proposed renovation project, including those from Building Systems of Illinois in Decatur; K Wohltman Construction of Effingham; L.J. Swingler & Sons of Teutopolis; Heritage Builders of Effingham; and Grunloh Construction of Effingham.

The project’s bids ranged from $782,400 to $947,000.

In other fire department business, Fire Chief Bob Tutko recognized several firefighters from Effingham, Altamont, Watson and Shumway districts for work on an Interstate 70 crash scene involving three fatalities. The crash occurred July 20 about four miles west of Effingham.

On Tuesday at City Hall, Tutko handed out several Unit Performance Awards to those who went above what is expected. He also recognized and gave certificates of appreciation to two Effingham 911 telecommunicators, Abbott EMS team and area fire departments who helped at the scene or backfilling departments.

Also, in an unrelated accident, Tutko recognized a Texas resident for stopping and assisting by performing CPR on a crash victim. That crash was on July 15 on I-70 around milepost 155.

In other matters, the council:

  • Learned Blake Poe was promoted to second lieutenant, among the ranks of paid on-call firefighters.
  • Promoted Greg Koester to city planner and subdivision coordinator. He’s been with the city for 24 years. He’s taken on multiple projects over the years and will be handling annexations, plats, and will represent the city at Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals meetings.
  • Approved a permanent easement request to Waupaca Foundry for the purpose of constructing and maintaining a solar light.
  • Approved a 3 percent cost of living adjustment to the pay plan for all non-union employees.
  • Denied the zoning request made by Billy Genaust as recommended by the Plan Commission as it wasn’t the best use of the parcel of land near the airport.
  • Approved a new three-year agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local No. 16. The agreement authorizes a 3 percent cost of living increase for each year of the agreement. The new contract takes effect May 1, 2019, to April 30, 2022.
  • Approved a new three-year agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police Telecommunicators. The agreement authorizes a 3 percent cost of living increase for each year of the agreement. The new contract takes effect May 1, 2019, to April 30, 2022.
  • Approved an application for the city’s Litter Abatement Program called Pick It Up, Effingham! as requested by Nathan Nohren with the Lochmueller Group Inc. It will adopt a section of Merchant Street from the Senior Center to St. Anthony Avenue.
  • Appointed Kevin Schafer to the Tourism Advisory Board of Directors to replace Jeff Masters, who resigned.

Dawn Schabbing can be

reached at dawn.schabbing@effinghamdailynews.com

or 217-347-7151, ext 138.


Dawn Schabbing is a senior reporter at the Effingham Daily News, covering Effingham City Hall, Unit 40, and special projects. A graduate of Lake Land College and Eastern Illinois University with degrees in journalism, she lives in Neoga.

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