Council approves RV ordinance, firefighters' contract

·4 min read

Aug. 6—DANVILLE — With some aldermen and the public saying there's more important things for the city to focus on, the Danville City Council this week approved a new recreational vehicle and camper ordinance with few changes.

The council voted 10-3, with aldermen Mike Puhr, Mike O'Kane and Ethan Burt voting against it. Alderwoman Brenda Brown was absent.

Alderwoman Sherry Pickering said future amendments are still possible due to so many differing views on the subject.

Prior to the vote, the council heard from a couple residents. Pamela Gorman said she didn't know about the ordinance and that there were restrictions on RV trailer parking; and a yearly permit fee to keep an RV in a driveway would be cheaper than storing a trailer for $30 to $50 a month at a storage business.

"We're not hurting anybody," she said about the parking of their RV.

Randy Osgood said the ordinance isn't much difference, except for some clarifications. He again asked for distance and driveway parking changes.

Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said when they have complaints, they have to make everyone comply with the law.

Williams said they'll never satisfy everyone, but he hopes the city can be helpful to people with the ordinance changes.

Alderman Mike O'Kane said he thinks the city is still leaving too many holes in the ordinance. He said the city is making RV owners have licenses, but the city doesn't require it for cars parked illegally in the city.

Owners have 30 days to park RVs in their driveway in a year's time under the new ordinance. O'Kane also thinks this is hard for city inspectors to enforce.

"I don't think we're there yet," he said.

Corp. Counsel James Simon said the 30 days can be used consecutively or a couple days at a time. He added that an ordinance has been on the books and enforced for about 14 years.

Alderman Ethan Burt said he'd grant more allowance to RV owners.

Other words added to the ordinance concerned dilapidation and an improved surface.

Puhr said he's heard more complaints on boats, food trucks and lawn mower trailers than on motor homes and trailers.

"I think there are more important things to concentrate on," Puhr said.

Pickering said they decided to take out the 15 feet, but the ordinance could be amended again.

Changes previously discussed, but not part of this new ordinance: no time limit to park the recreational vehicle on a property; owners can park them in their driveway, 15 feet from the street or sidewalk; and the RVs are not allowed to be parked on corner lot unless there's a driveway on one side of the property that's parallel to the public street and parked 15 feet from the public street or the driveway.

Also added to the ordinance was a violation and fine procedure.

"It's a very tough issue," Alderman James Poshard said. He said they're talking about friends, neighbors, and inches and feet.

Alderwoman Eve Ludwig said they just couldn't come to a consensus on the changes. They've made a lot of drafts regarding the safety and blight concerns. Sometimes the city just has to make some clarifications if an ordinance is largely working.

Corp. Counsel James Simon said inspectors also said it's hard to measure 15 feet or see permits.

Also Tuesday, the council:

* Approved a collective bargaining agreement with the Danville Firefighters Union #429. The agreement wasn't settled by an arbitrator, but final negotiations. Minimum manning was not changed from 12 firefighters. The contract is retroactive from May 2021 and runs to April 2025, covering 44 firefighters. Salary increases are 2 percent the first and third years and 3 percent years two and four. Other changes included: increase in annual personnel training allowance from $800 to $1,050; increased allowed personal leave from 72 to 96 hours after 24 years' service; residence requirement changed from 5 miles to 45 miles; rewrote testing components language eliminating oral interviews and adding assessment center weighting components; added education requirements and time in grade requirements for eligibility to test for promotion; added pregnancy accommodation with new female members; bereavement leave changes; reduction of senior firefighters allowed annual station assignments from three to two; increased clothing, eyeglass repair and watch repair allowances; changed training requirements and timeline for probationary employees; and updated longevity steps change beginning March 4, 2021 — added a 17 percent increase at 25th year as an incentive to prevent early retirement.

* Heard from Tammy Pollitt of Potomac with Vermilion County's Birth to Five Illinois program. She said of the 6,000 children in the county only 1,100 go to some type of early childhood education setting. She's starting family and action councils to help the state direct funding. She requested one alderman to be on the action council.

* Heard Immanuel Lutheran School has 50 preschool students, an increase again this year.

* Approved a $19,993 budget amendment for the technology division.

* Approved submitting a grant application for the 2022 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) for overtime funding for the Danville Police Department.