MACOMB — Western Illinois University student Derek Lahey told the city council Monday about his ambitious summer project. He will be traveling across the country by bicycle from California to Washington, D.C. to visit disability camps.
Lahey said 100 bicyclists would be representing the 13,000 member Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. He said that he would be one of three participants from WIU.
"We think the bicycle trip will bring more public awareness about disability needs, and will encourage the campers," Lahey said. "I mentioned this project to Mayor Mike Inman and he encouraged me to tell the city council about it."
Lahey said he has raised $8,500 to help pay for his trip and that he continues to receive contributions. The cross country bicycle ride will end with a rally in Washington, D.C. on August 10.
In other business, aldermen approved an ordinance creating a special event liquor license for the Macomb Arts Center's John Byrne Band concert on June 6. Center director Nancy Crossman said this is Byrne's sixth visit to Macomb, and the center board wanted to hold a reception for him.
"The band plays Irish music," Crossman said. "They like Macomb so they added us to their summer Midwest tour."
The city council voted to adopt an ordinance authorizing the sale of surplus city property. Included on the list are eight 1998 to 2010 model buses, two Ford trucks from 2006 and 2009, one 1998 model dump truck, and a reversible snow plow. City Attorney Kristen Petrie said the city will sell or auction its surplus property.
Aldermen also voted to authorize purchase of a Kubota zero turn lawnmower from Birkey's Farm Store for $13,200. The mower will be used to tend the grounds of the city sewer plant.
The city council voted to concur with board and commission appointments recommended by Mayor Inman. These included appointment of Julie Ann Pickett to the Macomb Police Pension Board, reappointment of Nate Livermore to the Macomb Firefighter Pension Board, reappointment of Sam Parker to the Macomb Historic Preservation Commission, and reappointments of Jim Miner and Ben Beck to the Macomb Planning Commission,
The council also received an April activity report from Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker. He wrote that the
department received 1,937 calls for service that month and that officers made 313 arrests.
Barker's report indicated that there were 11 thefts, two burglaries, and four auto burglaries. There were 23 traffic accidents.
Police overtime in April totaled more than $17,000 and court fines received totaled nearly $20,000. Patrol officers worked an extra 123 hours addressing manpower needs, were held over beyond their shifts for 18 hours, spent more than ten hours testifying in court, worked nearly 117 hours on grant activities, and spent nearly 32 hours in training.
City detectives spent 51 hours on investigative call outs, were held over beyond their shifts for 27 hours, spent ten hours in training, and spent about five hours assisting patrol officers in narcotics arrests.

* Editor's note: the story was edited to reflect Mr. Lahey is a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity – not Phi Kappa Phi, which is an honors organization.


Reach Patrick Stout by email at pstout@mcdonoughvoice.com