After months of negotiations between the Illinois Department of Transportation, Amtrak and the City of Pontiac, the go ahead to build the new train station depot was settled Monday night at the Pontiac City Council meeting.
    "We approved the contracts with Vissering Construction for the new depot," City Administrator Bob Karls said.
    The $2.6 million project will be built south of the present depot.
    "We still have some insurance issues to work out," Karls said. "We anticipate when those are resolved we will have a pre-construction meeting (and) they will be off and running."
    Vissering Construction of Streator was awarded the bid as general contractor in December, but a challenge to its bid was made by a competitor. IDOT eventually looked over the bid and found that Vissering had not done anything wrong with its bid.
    "The contract is for 333 days, but Vissering expects to be done much sooner than that," Karls said. "The 333 days will go into effect when the agreement is signed and we issue a notice to proceed."
    The city hopes that groundbreaking will take place in the next few weeks.
    In other business, the city approved a subdivision on the north side of 4-H Park Road, just off Route 23, to John and Mary Kelly and to Tim Kelly.
    The property will be subdivided and the second plot of land needed a special use permit to use as a proposed water utility facility. Illinois American Water has plans to construct a 1-million-gallon holding tank on the site.
    The final renewal rates for employee Health Insurance Program were approved at the council meeting. The new rates, which take effect the next fiscal year, are increasing overall by 11.25 percent. A single employee insured will increase to $853.88 per year, up from $768.73. An employee and spouse on the same policy will rise from the present $1,635.85 to $1,805.10.
    The old rate for a family is being increased as well from its present $2,321.29 to $2,579.31 for the upcoming year. The city will pay close to $1 million in premiums for its 84 employees.
    The council also approved the closing of streets for upcoming events. The Tourism Department wants to close Washington Street from Main to Mill May 7-8 for the 10th annual Red Carpet Corridor event.
    The First United Methodist Church requested that Washington Street be closed on Sept. 11 for the second annual "Summer's Over Soon" (SOS) event. The church will be offering games, bands, a bounce house, free food and water and more. The event will take place around the south side of the courthouse.
    The Livingston County 4-H branch of the University of Illinois Extension requested the use of municipal parking lot to be blocked off for a Bicycle Safety Rodeo on Saturday, June 11, from 10 a.m. until noon. In the past, the rodeo was held at the Extension parking lot, but requested the city lot to reach out to the community and increase awareness of the program.