Eric and Chelsie VanDyke, owners of Envy Boutique in Prophetstown, approached the Prophetstown City Council during their November 9th meeting to ask them to consider selling 9.5 acres of city owned property on the west side of Lyndon Road where the town’s yard waste collection site is located.
Chelsie VanDyke said since opening their store on Main Street the clothing apparel business has continued to grow and additional space is needed. She told the Council the couple has had no luck in finding additional suitable space in town and would like to build a warehouse facility that would be used for shipping and receiving while maintaining their storefront operation.
The business has grown to employ 10 people who work primarily with receiving and shipping orders. The vast majority of the boutique’s business is done with on-line sales but it also creates a lot of foot traffic on Main Street for customers who choose to pick up their orders in person.
Eric Vandyke told the Council that Roger Williams Jr., the owner of Junior Sign Company, would also be willing to build a new facility on the property to accommodate his growing business. Vandyke said with the addition of Williams it would allow the two businesses to split the costs of the property and extension of water and sewer service.
If the plan would come to fruition the city may have to relocate its yard waste dump site. Swanson said the Council would consider the request and asked the parties to submit a more detailed plan including the size of the proposed buildings. “We would like to work with you if we can,” said Swanson. The council took no action.
SVCC Earned Tuition Program
Dr. Lori Cortez with Sauk Valley Community College gave a presentation to the Council on the school’s Earned Tuition Program which began over the summer. The program is being piloted by Prophetstown and Fulton High Schools and allows freshmen to sign up for a program that will earn them up to three years of free tuition at SVCC. The program requires students to complete 25 hours of community service work during each of their four years in high school and graduate on time. Approximately 60% of the Prophetstown High School freshman class has signed up for the program. Cortez asked that any nonprofit organizations in the area that would like to participate by providing volunteer opportunities for students should contact her office.
The program exists in several communities across the United States and has shown to be beneficial to both students and the communities they live in. The school is developing an app that will be used by students in the program to keep track of their volunteer hours and and volunteer opportunities.
Cortez added SVCC is also developing a donor program to sustain funding, which was initially started by $1 million gift from a Whiteside County resident.
- Approved the purchase of a 2022 Tymco street sweeper in the amount of $172,925. Swanson proposed cashing in a CD worth $76,000 and setting up a five-year loan with FNB for $100,000 to pay for the sweeper. The company said the sweeper would be delivered within two days of approval. Public works department director Brian Strike said the department’s 25 year old sweeper had reached a point where it was not worth repairing.
- The Council agreed to consider reducing the number of members on the planning commission (zoning) from nine to seven. Swanson said a member recently resigned and it has always been difficult to find people willing to serve. A vote will be taken on the proposal at the December meeting.
- Swanson proposed that residents who currently have their garbage picked up in the alleys that have been asphalted in the past few years have their pickups made on the street. The change would keep large garbage trucks from damaging the new surface. Swanson said he would contact Moring Disposal all to get their input on the suggestion.
- Josh Hovey updated the Council on the proposed tax levy saying he is suggesting an increase of 4.99%. The Council gave its blessing to the proposal which will now be open for public inspection for the next 30 days. The Council that vote on the proposed levy at their December meeting.
After returning from executive session the council approved a wage increase for office staff to $17.50/hr. Staff working in the city hall office will receive an additional $2.50/hr.
Mayor updated the Council on the problems with the software program used by city office personnel to conduct city business. He reported that gains are being made with the problems and that Tampico Village Clerk Kathy Leathers would be coming into the office to help with issues and ensure that records are being maintained correctly during the technical difficulties. The office is seeking a new manager with the departure of Rhonda Carter.
A special meeting will be held on Monday, November 15th at 7:00 PM to approve a loan with FNB for the purchase of a street sweeper.
Approved Building Permits
Amery Rentals, 514 Washington St. – Garage
Tim and Lori Smith, 19 Prairie Park Dr. – New House
Ethan Oleson, 311 W. 6th St. – Fence
Keith Crady, 41 Locust St. – Roof
Jamie and Ruth Ann Sibley, 401 Dale Ave. – Roof
Don and Deb Robinson, 516 Rita Ct. – Fence and Patio
Chris Peed, 316 Park Ave. – Porch
The December council meeting will take plan on the Tuesday the 14th at 7:00 PM.