Council Briefing: Koos Announces Leave of Absence; Council Approves Infrastructure Improvements

 Normal Mayor Chris Koos announced Monday night he will be taking a leave of absence for the next 3-4 weeks to undergo treatment for prostate cancer. (Image credit: Breanna Grow)

Normal Mayor Chris Koos announced Monday night he will be taking a leave of absence for the next 3-4 weeks to undergo treatment for prostate cancer. (Image credit: Breanna Grow)

The Main Point: During a brief council meeting Monday night, Mayor Chris Koos announced a leave of absence for cancer treatment, and the Normal Town Council approved infrastructure improvements for projects including road and water main repairs and equipment replacement.

Koos’ Leave of Absence

Koos announced he will take a leave of absence beginning immediately to undergo treatment for prostate cancer. Koos said he received the diagnosis in late December. He expects to be absent from his role as mayor for the next 3-4 weeks.  

Council member Kevin McCarthy will serve as mayor pro tem until next week when senior council member Jeff Fritzen returns from a trip out of town.

“Things will run very smoothly here,” Koos said of his absence. “We have such a strong culture both on the Council and in city government that there won’t be an issue.”

Despite the diagnosis, Koos said he is in good overall health and remains “very optimistic” about the outcome of his treatment.

Vitesse Cycle Shop, which Koos owns, will maintain normal operations while he undergoes treatment.

Infrastructure Improvements

After approval from the Town council, infrastructure improvements around Normal are ready to begin--as soon as warmer temperatures and drier weather hit Central Illinois.

The Town will pay Stark Excavating $187,811.81 to completely replace Watkins Drive, one of the main entrances to the Shoppes at College Hills. Town staff expect the project to wrap up by mid-July.

Council members also approved a contract with Stark to replace about 2,250 feet of water main on Walnut and Mulberry Streets. The project will cost a total of $791,949, with up to $15,000 in bonus payments if the company finishes the work ahead of schedule.

The Council also authorized the Town to purchase new maintenance equipment for Ironwood Golf Course as the venue prepares for the start of mowing season in a few weeks.

Normal Director of Public Works Doug Damery said the upgrades are part of the department’s regularly scheduled equipment replacement. Damery said the Town will actually save money by trading in two existing pieces of equipment and using those funds to purchase three new machines.