Anna Council discusses major construction rules

An ordinance requiring use of union labor on construction projects valued over $500,000 may be reexamined by the Anna City Council.

The issue was on the agenda at this week's regular meeting of the city council. The meeting was Tuesday evening at Anna City Hall.

City council member Cindy Swope proposed another look at the requirement after reporting that it led to a business deciding against building in the Anna Industrial Park. "They want to use their money to hire who they choose," she explained.

Council member Steve Hartline defended the law. "The intent was to put local people to work and have good quality construction," he said. "This is the first problem with it in 16 years."

In other business at Tuesday's meeting, representatives of the PAST Lincoln-Douglas Committee asked the city to contribute money to help acquire the house in Anna where Abraham Lincoln stayed.

Linda and Duane Hileman reported that the group has applied for a grant which could cover up to half of the $200,000 cost. They asked the council to match Union County's pledge of $20,000 over two years. No formal action was taken on the request Tuesday pending work on the city's new budget.

City administrator Steve Guined reported the city is on track to stay within budget for the current fiscal year. "Unless something happens in the next three months, we should be in good shape," he said.

Guined noted, however, "The economic downturn has affected us and will continue to in the year to come."

He suggested the city start no projects until funding is assured. "The Market Street project is being funded by money committed by the state," he noted. "But we won't start on it until we get the check."

The project to connect Market Street with McKinley Street is expected to cost $500,000.

Council member David Isom asked that action be taken at a future meeting to rename the portion of East High Street which connects with Anna-Jonesboro Community High School as "Wildcat Drive" in honor of the school and students.

Council member Swope suggested the city consider an Internet-based alert system similar to those used by area schools.

Approval was given to a request by Anna Police Chief Dale Foster to replace a 1999 model police car for which repair costs would exceed vehicle value.

Appointments to the police merit board were approved for Kenny Taylor and Mike Gamble.

A request was submitted by Zach Short for reclassification of an available liquor license to package sales.

A building permit was approved for Moreland Eyecare at 100 Peach Ridge Rd. Utility taps were approved for Bill Jackson and Larry Swope.

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