As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rear its ugly head both here and beyond, Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith implored residents to do their part to bring the numbers down.
“Somehow, this has got to go down so that we don’t have more people getting sick,” Smith said at the conclusion of Monday’s Waterloo City Council meeting. “The end is in sight with the vaccine coming… Everyone, just wear a mask! The hospitals are being overrun with COVID and if something happens where somebody gets injured, they’re not going to have a place to put you. We need to get these numbers down for the safety of everybody.”
Smith also inspired a joint statement issued Tuesday morning by the Southwestern Illinois Council of Mayors urging metro-east residents to practice safety measures to eliminate the spread of the virus including mask-wearing, social distancing, hand washing, avoiding large crowds, and staying home when not feeling well. Smith is a past president of this council.
“Masks can seem like a nuisance, but the need to wear them far outweighs any inconvenience if we are to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Going without them is not a credible political statement. It disregards the safety of others,” Fairview Heights Mayor Mark Kupsky, President of the Southwestern Illinois Council of Mayors, issued in the statement. “Respect for the welfare of ourselves and others is a responsibility we must all commit to if we are to contain the spread of this deadly pandemic. Each of us is called upon to lead by example, to share responsibility and to show concern for the well-being of our fellow humans. Practicing social distancing and exercising other precautions are the only way to limit the spread of this virus. Our hospitals are already overwhelmed. Our businesses need to reopen and operate fully in order to support the many families that rely on them for their livelihood. A united effort will ultimately get us through this crisis. In order to succeed, we will be required to continue making sacrifices – after the many sacrifices we have already endured. But we can do it, and hope is on the horizon with promising vaccines.”
In action taken during the meeting, the city council approved a tax levy for the current fiscal year ending April 30, 2021. The amount to be raised by tax levy is $1,461,400.
Budgeted expenditures are $9,496,114 with estimated receipts from sources other than the tax levy are $8,034,714.
The council also agreed to set a public hearing for 7:20 p.m. Dec. 7 on a proposed annexation agreement between the city and BMW Land Trust for 19.84 acres of land at the end of Legacy Drive next to Cedarhurst Senior Living. The plan is for that land to be developed as a subdivision.
The council also approved a downtown beautification grant application from Wightman Pharmacy at 123-127 S. Main Street. Plans are for a sidewalk with Americans with Disabilities Act compliance to be installed.
Aldermen approved farm contracts with Norman and Ed Schaefer for 53-plus acres of land north of the city substation and with J&J Septic and Sewer Cleaning for 55-plus acres of land new the city sewer plant off Country Club Lane.
Lastly, a special fence permit for Clearwave Communications to build a fiber hub at 205 Bellefontaine Drive was approved.
The next council meeting is 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at City Hall.