MORRIS — Many cities and towns throughout Illinois have been announcing that traditional Fourth of July fireworks shows will not take place this year due to COVID-19 concerns.
The City of Morris, though, is not one of them.
At Monday's City Council meeting, the Council voted to adopt an ordinance approving and authorizing the execution of the Ace Pyro, LLC contract service agreement and addendum to Ace Pyro, LLC service agreement for the July 3 fireworks display.
Mayor Richard Kopczick said that the fireworks will begin at dusk on Friday, July 3 at the Grundy County Fairgrounds.
"The fireworks will be at the fairgrounds, but the stands will not be open," he said. "They will allow people to use the front grass area to park and watch the fireworks and social distancing will be able to be worked out.
"For us to be able to have the fireworks this year is a big thing. Hopefully, it will get us back to a kind of normalcy, and it will allow people to see the display like they are used to. I have to thank Grundy County National Bank for contributing to the display as well. As a municipality, the City of Morris is obligated to celebrate the freedoms that we all enjoy as Americans. Grundy Bank doesn't have to do it, but they partner with us every year, and we are very thankful for that."
Also on the topic of fireworks, the Council granted licenses to three different vendors to operate fireworks stands. That number is down from the seven that were issued last year.
One license was granted to Jeffery Parenti, doing business as Xtreme Pyro, Inc., at 333 U.S. 6; another was granted to Kerrie Hale, doing business as Pro Pyro, Inc., at 230 Bedford Road; and the third was granted to John Massari, doing business as Sky's the Limit, at Roosevelt St at Route 47 (Funk's Trailer lot).
Other business licenses were granted to Megan Housman, doing business as Curves by Oleander's, to operate a women's clothing business at 313 Liberty Street, and to Pamela Floyd, doing business as Goldyn Godyss Entertainment, to operate a DJ and videography business at 320 George St., W22.
The Water & Sewer Committee recommended that the Council authorize Mayor Kopczick to enter into a contract with Electric Solutions Network to convert the lights on the Route 80 and Route 6 water towers to LED lighting at a total cost of $20,468. This price would be offset following completion by a rebate from ComEd of $11,032, making the City's net cost $9,436. The recommendation was approved by the Council.
"With the rebate from ComEd, we will see a return on the investment in the first year," Kopczick said. "After that, we will save around $8,000 a year in electricity and maintenance/ That is a substantial savings, as well as good for the environment and the fact that the lights will be brighter than the halogen lights we have now."
In other action Monday night, the Council approved a contract with All Year Round Landscaping for maintenance and plant replacement at the Morris Municipal Services Building and the "Welcome to Morris" sign on Route 47 near Route 80. The Council also adopted an ordinance granting the conditional use request of ZBD Illinois Manufacturing to allow an Adult Use Grower, Processor, Infuser and Transporter Organization at the property commonly known as 3727 N. Division St.
"They are in the recreational cannabis industry," Kopczick said. "This is for them to be able to have a facility to grow plants, infuse items, draw extracts and transport them to retailers. It is a 100% wholesale operation. There will be no retail sales there.
"Their operation is contingent on getting a license with the State of Illinois. Once they do that, they have the go-ahead of the City Council."
The Council also renewed its health insurance at an increase of $72.96 for the entire city, its dental insurance at an increase of 5% and its group term life insurance at no increase.
"For the cost for the entire city to only go up $72.96 for health insurance is outstanding," Kopczick said. "We were fortunate to get that."
The Council also renewed its partnership with Heritage Corridor for a cost of $16,000.
"We have had the partnership with Heritage Corridor for 20 years," Kopczick said. "They put pamphlets at the rest areas at the state borders and other spots that will hopefully draw people to the City of Morris."