Town of Normal | WGLT

Town of Normal

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Unit 5 schools plan to pursue a property tax levy that will mean almost no change for the owner of an average home in the district.

Staff / WGLT

The proposed tax levy for the Town of Normal could go up close to 7 percent. Town staff said in documents prepared for Monday's council meeting that most of the $841,000 increase would go to rises in pension costs.

WGLT

Here are the top stories we covered this week (Oct. 23-27, 2017) on WGLT and WGLT.org.

Charlie Harris' Legacy

Harris was the former Illinois State University Department of English chair and is being remembered as a terrific scholar. He passed away with a book at his side. Harris was 78. 

Read the story: ISU's Charlie Harris Passes Away 

Local Opioid Deaths Rise

McLean County Regional Planning Commission

A plan that's "very different" from any comprehensive plan the Town of Normal has adopted before would change, most noticeably, the community's layout, housing and transportation, according to two people instrumental in its development.

Chief Humer and Jeff Fritzen Unhooking the Hose
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

Community leaders gathered Saturday to celebrate the opening of the Normal Fire Department's new headquarters.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The director of the Town of Normal’s cultural arts department and Children’s Discovery Museum is leaving for a new position with Advocate Health Care.

Google Maps

Should Normal give away $800,000 in tax breaks to a shopping center owner so that the town can reap $4.8 million in projected new tax revenue?

Cindy Le / WGLT

The Town of Normal has installed pedestrian signs at the crossings of the Constitution Trail on Locust, Willow, Lincoln, Shelbourne and Raab.

WGLT

Normal Theater manager Adam Fox has a new role with the Town of Normal that will allow him to help shape the cultural landscape of the community.

Staff / WGLT

Future growth of the community's bike share program will likely depend on private sponsorship. 

Staff / WGLT

The Town of Normal wants to cut its payroll because of revenue losses. Staff are recommending the town offer early retirement incentives to 18 people.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

The Normal Town Council on Tuesday agreed, with one dissenting vote, to hire a recruitment firm to find its next city manager.

Current City Manager Mark Peterson announced his retirement last month, effective in March 2018. Council members have also worked with consultants Lyle Sumek Associates to distil the qualities they think are important for a city manager.

Photo by RoadTrafficSigns.com

The Town of Normal could face some financial challenges in coming years.

Staff / WGLT

Just a month after Bloomington’s aldermen created a new police advisory board, the Normal Town Council heard recommendations Monday for improving how its officers interact with people of color.

Road closed sign
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

If you think the condition of Bloomington city streets is going to improve any time soon, you would be wrong.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

What was once a stopping place on the Mother Road has found new life, thanks to a partnership between a local Route 66 scholar and the Town of Normal.

Ralph Weisheit

When the Normal Town Council meets in closed-door session Friday to discuss the process for hiring its next city manager, they'll be joined by an outside consultant.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Normal City Manager Mark Peterson said Tuesday he still loves his job. He still finds it fun. He still has projects he wants to accomplish. Yet Peterson is retiring in eight months.

Normal Sewer Rate Plan Passes Without Dissent

Aug 7, 2017
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Hoping to start proactive work on Normal's aging sewer system, the Town Council voted Monday to more than double the sewer rate paid by residents over the next five years.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Normal City Manager Mark Peterson announced Monday he plans to retire in March, ending a three-decade career with the town.

Bryan Bloodworth / WGLT

With 116 teams representing 29 states, the Town of Normal hit another grand slam this week by hosting the USA Class A 16-and-under girls national softball tournament.

Town of Normal Parks and Recreation Facebook Page

The Town of Normal will shave a few dollars off daily admission rates at its two public pools for the rest of the summer as a mea culpa for staffing problems that lead to unexpected closures this season.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Carl Teichman, a longtime community servant and Illinois Wesleyan University administrator, was named Normal’s 2017 Citizen of the Year on Thursday.

Brad Basham Photography / bbasham.com and Town of Normal

Budget pressures faced by the Town of Normal could result in the leanest budget in a decade.

Photos: Demolition Begins at ISSCS Administration Building

Jul 18, 2017
Ruthie Cobb

A crew from Stark Excavating has begun tearing down the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children's School Administration Building.

Above is a slideshow of photos from the progress of the demolition. The photos were taken from the north end of the structure.

Artist Nick Africano became involved in the property in 1986. Thirty years later, Africano said he believes the teardown will improve the neighborhood and property values.

Normal Council Approves Insurance Changes

Jul 18, 2017
Staff / WGLT

The Normal Town Council has approved a new insurance package for workers.

The plan approved Monday will remove a $50 deductible and increase benefits. Deputy City Manager Pam Reece said it will encourage employees to participate in the town wellness program. 

"We just don't want employees to become complacent. So it made sense to us to bump up the wellness incentive. Really, if you look at it, it applies as a penalty. Because, if you don't participate, then you pay more towards your insurance," said Reece.

WGLT

The owners of the Hyatt hotel in Uptown Normal have withdrawn their request for a tax break that the Normal Town Council was expected to vote on Monday night.

Ron Blemler standing on bridge
Courtesy / Town of Normal

The mayor of Normal is praising a former Parks and Recreation director for his deep impact on the town.

Normal Council Mulls Lawsuit Over Fire Trucks

Jul 6, 2017
Town Of Normal

The Normal Town Council voted Wednesday to move ahead with a potential lawsuit against a fire truck maker.

Mayor Chris Koos said Pierce Manufacturing's trucks have a 50-year warranty but suffer from corrosion.

Fire Destroys Cars, Car Repair Business

Jun 29, 2017
Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

A late morning fire at a car repair business in Normal sent black, oily smoke towering into the air. The plumes were visible miles away.

The building was "fully involved" when firefighters arrived at 604 Orlando Avenue. The Normal Fire Department said the incident was escalated to a second alarm and off duty Normal firefighters were called in. A Bloomington Fire Department Rapid Intervention team responded as well. 

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