Champaign council considers contract for marathon

Champaign council considers contract for marathon

CHAMPAIGN — The owners of the Illinois Marathon would pay $21,000 to the city for the cost of police, fire, public works and dispatchers' overtime during this year's races under a deal in front of the city council this week.

City council members are scheduled to meet on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

If all the arrangements are the same as last year — which they are expected to be — that would not cover all of the city's costs. Last year, the city paid $24,180.59 in overtime to handle public safety and traffic control related to two days of races.

The city has also provided about 200 hours of staff time, free of cost, to Illinois Marathon LLC, which owns the race, for planning purposes, according to a memo to city council.

City officials plan to let the contract automatically renew each year, and the amount Illinois Marathon pays to the city would rise proportionally each year with the average pay raise received by city employees. Organizers are not planning any substantial changes to the races.

The number of Illinois Marathon participants has grown from about 8,000 during its first year in 2009 to more than 22,000 last year. Officials say it is responsible for a large spike in hotel/motel tax and sales tax revenues during that weekend.

According to the memo to council, budgeters plan to use money from those revenue streams to pay for employee overtime should it exceed the amount Illinois Marathon pays for the city services.

In other business, work could begin in late March or early April on Market Street improvements between Kenyon Road and Olympian Drive if council members sign off on a $3.1 million contract with Cross Construction.

In 2010, the Illinois Department of Transportation transferred jurisdiction and maintenance responsibilities of a 2.5-mile portion of Market Street to the city. When the agency did that, it also gave the city $5.1 million in state gas tax money to upgrade the road.

This year's work on Market Street would include pavement fixes, new sidewalks on portions of either side, bikes lanes between Kenyon Road and Wallace Avenue, and traffic signals at the intersection of Market Street and Olympian Drive. That work is expected to be finished by November.

City officials have planned more work to Market Street between Olympian Drive and Ford Harris Road in 2014.

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ronaldo wrote on March 04, 2013 at 11:03 am

Yeah, never mind the "large spike in hotel/motel tax and sales tax revenues during that weekend" (and let's not forget revenues from restaurants, gasoline & retail purchases) let's sock 'em for even more money.  That's the Illinois way after all.  Instead, they ought to be grateful for their contribution to the local economy.