Carla Moxley and Hunter Johnson

City Clerk Carla Moxley congratulates Hunter Johnson after he was named the newest police officer for the Gibson City Police Department. The 23-year-old Johnson, a Paxton native, is the grandson of Harry and Dorri Groom and great-grandson of Val Hunt — all Gibson City residents.

GIBSON CITY — Gibson City Council members on Monday night approved spending $165,745 to buy a new backhoe and wheel loader from Birkey’s Farm Store in Gibson City.

City Superintendent Randy Stauffer said the bid on Case equipment was the lowest bid he received. Stauffer said the equipment will be used with other equipment the city currently has, but it is newer and with advantages.

“If it has to go to the shop, we literally have to pay someone to truck it down to the shop to get it worked on,” Stauffer explained. “I’m not saying that we might not do that with the other equipment at some time, but for now, having the Case equipment with a Case dealer has its advantages.”

The cost will come from the city’s 2019-20 budget.

Other business

Also at Monday’s meeting:

➜ Hunter Johnson’s hiring as a police officer for the Gibson City Police Department was approved. Johnson will receive $22.30 in hourly pay for the job. He started Monday.

➜ Council members approved the purchase of 20 new wooden tables and four handicapped wooden tables for $8,552. Stauffer said the new tables will be used for city functions downtown, instead of city employees having to transport tables from the North Park’s pavilion to downtown. Stauffer said he initially looked at metal tables, but those were estimated to cost $18,000. Plus, Stauffer said, “when you start scratching those up, the protective coating comes off.”

➜ Council members finalized a grant application agreement between the city and Alliance Grain. City Attorney Marc Miller said the city will essentially be an escrow agent for the grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Alliance Grain will reimburse the city for any reasonable costs. The city will apply for the grant which will then be used by Alliance Grain. The company is seeking money to upgrade its Bloomer Line railroad between Colfax and Cullom.

➜ The council approved an ordinance amending appropriations for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Mayor Dan Dickey said the change “did not affect the budget much.” Miller said several line items have changed in the budget, although no changes were available to view Monday night. Miller said the amended change is not required but would cause notes to be made by the city’s auditor.

➜ Council members voted 6-1 to approve a $1,781 facade grant for the Bayern Stube restaurant in downtown Gibson City. Alderman Aaron Franks voted “no,” questioning why the restaurant did not seek multiple bids for the project.

➜ Council members approved the sale of a K-9 police dog and accessories to the city of Normal.

➜ The council granted Marc Petersen a special liquor license in conjunction with the Harvest Fest on Sept. 13-14 in downtown Gibson City.