News & Press

U-Cycle Program Awarded Recycling Grant for Public Space Bins

The City of Urbana’s U-Cycle program will receive 50 recycling bins this summer specifically designed for placement at community events such as Urbana’s Market at the Square, and the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival as part of a national recycling bin grant program made possible by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and The Coca-Cola Foundation.

Olympian Drive Project Wins Illinois Commerce Commission Approval

The Olympian Drive project has won the crucial support of the Illinois Commerce Commission, with construction of the $13 million project now slated to begin this summer.

The Illinois Commerce Commission voted 5-0 Thursday to approve the use of $7.8 million in state Grade Crossing Protection Funds to build a bridge over the Canadian National railroad tracks. ICC approval was essential to the project, as the railroad has five sets of tracks in the area where Olympian would be built, about two miles north of Interstate 74.

A group of 27 landowners and residents, known as Preserve Olympian Farmland, had intervened in the ICC case as opponents to the project. Following months of hearings, an ICC administrative law judge recently recommended to the commission that the bridge project be approved.

"This project took a lot of very patient, professional work and I have have to credit (Urbana Public Works Director) Bill Gray and (Champaign County Engineer) Jeff Blue," said Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing. "It was an Olympian effort. The Cities and the County have worked on this for years."

City Seeking Public Comment on City Council and Mayor Goals

The city is seeking public input and comment on the draft City Council and Mayor Goals document.

After four months of public meetings, the city council completed work on the draft goals, which are meant to guide the city for the next three-plus years, on Monday, Feb. 10.

The goals cover seven specific areas, including enhancing public safety, achieving financial sustainability, promoting economic development and new entrepreneurship, promoting vibrant business districts, achieving environmental sustainability, maintaining a high quality of life and achieving effective city government.

The goals cover 14 pages and include objectives, actions and status/implementation steps.

Changes to Parking for Persons with Disabilities

Persons with Disabilities ParkingNew Disabled Placard Rules as of January 1, 2014
Only vehicles displaying meter-exempt permanent placards will be excused from paying the meter, except at meters with a time limit of 30 minutes or less. Meter-exempt placards are only issued to persons with a significant impairment, which causes difficulty in accessing a parking meter. 

All other disabled placards or license plates do not exempt authorized holders from payment of parking meter fees. For more information, please see below:

Secretary of State
Persons with Disabilities
License Plates/Placard Unit
501 S. Second St., Rm. 541
Springfield, IL  62756
(217)782-2709 or 800-252-8980
888-261-5280 (TTY)


City of Urbana Receiving Two Affordable Housing Program Grants

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLBC) recently awarded more than $28 million through its competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP) to help finance 99 affordable housing projects located primarily in Illinois and Wisconsin. Urbana will be the recipient of a portion of these funds for two programs managed by the Grants Management Division, a part of the City’s Community Development Services Department.

The first program receiving AHP funds is the Urbana Dream Down Payment Assistance program. Busey Bank will provide $58,000 of AHP subsidy to the City of Urbana to assist 10 income qualified households with down payment and closing costs.

The second program receiving AHP funds is the Urbana Transitional Housing Program Rehab program. Busey Bank will provide $12,000 of AHP subsidy to the City of Urbana for the rehabilitation of two units of transitional housing. This project serves formerly homeless individuals.

“We are thrilled to have received these two awards that will help meet important housing needs within our community,” stated Kelly H. Mierkowski, Manager, Grants Management Division.